the value of bass in elite athletic training

Despite the nearly ubiquitous use of music in sport and exercise, very little research has been conducted to better understand how music impacts athletic performance. In collaboration with Utah-based headphone manufacturer, Skullcandy, we sought to utilize sensor technology to quantify the effects of altering bass level in music delivered via Skullcandy earbuds upon various measures of performance and recovery during successive high intensity, circuit training sessions. Nine Division I recruited athletes were equipped with a suite of body worn sensors to track measures of performance and recovery over the course of two days. Athletes listened to a pre-determined, standardized iPod playlist consisting of contemporary hip-hop and pop music. Bass level was changed on the second day for select participants to measure the effect of higher and lower bass in music. Analysis results suggested that listening to high bass music may promote increased effort during high intensity training by lowering heart variability while athletes are performing exercises and may inhibit recovery by increasing heart rate recovery duration following a workout.