The 10 Best “Pump You Up” Songs from 80s Movies

Karate Kid

I’m putting in a disclaimer at the beginning of this post before you even start listening.  When you get through listening to these songs you may very well punch a hole through the wall.  Honestly kids, nothing compares to the synthetic sounds of the 80s.  And whether it was a sports movie or a drama, the music of that era can really get you going.

Every time I hear this stuff I think to myself “I’m gonna get out there and do it!”  To all you newer generation people out there, give these songs a shot.  You will not regret them.

Here are the 10 best “pump you up” songs from 80s movies.

“Hearts on Fire” – Rocky IV


That an opposing basketball team actually had this playing in warm ups when I was in high school was one of the coolest things ever.

“Lunatic Fringe” – Vision Quest


By far one of my favorite sports movies all time and this song couldn’t be any more appropriate for this scene.

“Eye of the Tiger” – Rocky III


This one’s a given.

“Fight to Survive” – Bloodsport


Trust me on this.  Play this song on your iPod when you go to the gym.  You will NOT regret it.

Kumite, kumite, kumite.  Absolutely awesome.

“You’re the Best” – Karate Kid


Sure this song reeks of unintentional comedy but you can’t deny that it’s completely awesome.

“No Easy Way Out” – Rocky IV


I’m always torn between this song and “Hearts on Fire.”  It’s always a toss up.

“Danger Zone” – Top Gun


Obviously Kenny Loggins had to be in here.

“Win in the End” – Teen Wolf


I can’t believe how bad the basketball was in this movie.

“Push it to the Limit” – Scarface


This song is by far the most 80s out of any of these songs.

“St Elmos Fire” – St Elmos Fire


If John Parr can’t lift you up to a higher place then I don’t know who can.

  • Badalamenti

    umm…. You’ve Got the touch? Stan Bush
    1) 80’s song
    2) Pumps you up
    3) Awesomest song ever

  • Cheryl

    Wasn’t ‘Push it to the Limit’ also from Grand Theft Auto? Now it’s gonna be stuck in my head all day.

  • J5

    I’m with Cheryl on this one:

    “Push it to the limit (LIMIT!!!)”


  • Toad

    The 80’s were definatley the best! I wish I could go back!

  • Bert

    I think it could safely be said that you could have made this list based solely on Rocky movies OR Kenny Loggins songs.

    With that in mind, I’d have to add the classic “Gonna Fly Now” instrumental. I think it’s in most of the Rockys.

  • J5

    @ Toad

    I think they developed a Time Machine of sorts. I saw a rough version of it on Napoleon Dynamite.

    “Back in ’82 I could throw the pigskin a quarter mile.”

  • Nattyb

    Come on Bert! But isn’t that what life should be about? Loggins and Rocky? The world would be a better place. I just went with what the best is. If they happen to fall in that category then so be it.

  • Henrik

    A lot of great tunes here, but you missed Never Surrender from Kickboxer.

  • Bert

    @ Nattyb – no offense meant! The world truly would be a better place. But it’d have to be 80’s Kenny. God, the amount of laps I ran in elementary school gym class to the strains of “Footloose”…

    @ Henrik – it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, is that the “Never Surrender” by the esteemed Corey Hart? The one whose sunglasses curiously stay on his face well after dark?

  • Henrik
  • Tyson

    Lunatic Fringe from Vision Quest…

  • Tyson

    Crap… I don’t know how I missed it in the list. apparently I’m partially blind. 🙂

  • Henrik

    I also just rememberd this cheesy song from No Retreat, No Surrender:

  • Steve

    With the exception of the vision quest song, all these songs are on my workout playlists. TBH If I made this list it would’ve been 10 times as long. Here’s some good ones:

    Thunder in your Heart (R.A.D ost) This is a GREAT Rocky montage as well –

    Lion – Never Surrender (The Wraith ost) –

    Hold onto the vision (no retreat, no surrender ost) –

    Stan Bush – Dare (Transformers ost) –

    “Sidekicks” training music (Sidekicks unreleased ost, fan made) –

    Here’s my version of the same song ripped right from the movie –

    GREAT guitar cover of “training montage” from Rocky 4 –

    And here’s the original –

    Here’s another song from Vision Quest – John Waite – Change –

    This song reminds me of “Eye of the Tiger” A LOT – “Best of the Best” ost –

    A small excerpt from “Kickboxer” –

    And just as a bonus, here’s a funny Rocky 4 training montage parody –

  • Crackwise

    I seem to remember much more motivational songs growing up. St Elmo’s Fire was the only good one on here tho.

  • georgiegirl

    No Huey Lewis and the News with ‘The Power of Love’? It always gets max volume in the car!

  • eRacer X

    You had the movie right, but not the right song.
    I love to work out to Vision Quest’s, “Only the Young” by Journey.
    I’ll have to watch the movie again, but I think it’s at the beginning.
    It’s almost an ultra-gay song, but it gets my blood pumping!

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  • I’ve Had The Time Of My Life, from Dirty Dancing,

  • Danny

    “Lose Yourself” Eminem – 8 Mile
    The song in 300 when on the options menu at the start
    A national anthem always gets me pumped

  • Nicely done. We at feel so pumped up right now after having listened to these classic 80’s hits, we have the defibrillator handy in case we get too worked up. 

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  • Anthony R

    I already have 6 of those songs in my MP3 collection…

    1. “Hearts on Fire” – Rocky IV
    2. “Eye of the Tiger” – Rocky III
    3. “You’re the Best” – Karate Kid (Joe Esposito)
    4. “No Easy Way Out” – Rocky IV
    5. “Danger Zone” – Top Gun (Kenny Loggins)
    6. “Win in the End” – Teen Wolf (Mark Safan…and yes, incredibly horrible basketball…they literally used the same 5 shots the entire final game)

  • Lab Rat

    Yup, thanks for this. A few added – most I had already, some I politely disagree with.