Digital Monitoring: Whoop

The Whoop Strap is a new take on fitness trackers. Most fitness trackers cover the same sort of metrics- measuring heart rate, counting steps, and calculating how many stairs you’ve climbed. These can be really helpful, particularly if you’re just starting your fitness and recreation journey. What if you’re looking for a wearable tracker that can help you monitor your performance? Whoop might be the fitness tracker for you. Instead of focusing on metrics like steps and heart rate, Whoop is more for athletes and looks at your physical activity and sleep to determine if you are straining your body or giving yourself enough rest. 

The Whoop comes with a host of features typical of a fitness tracker. Whoop’s claim to fame is that it stores 100 MB of data at a time; that’s about three days of data. It samples your metrics hundreds of times per second, giving insights into your heart rate, heart rate variability, and ambient temperature. It syncs to your mobile device via Bluetooth, and calculates your strain for the day, recovery score, and sleep targets. Additionally, the Whoop provides advice and insights on how to best take advantage of these numbers.  

 The Whoop collects data and can make recommendations based on how you’re doing so you can fine-tuned your routine to become a better athlete. The Whoop website provides examples of how a user would use the wearable device. One example they present is a person trying to stay in shape and keep up her recovery during a sports season. After sleeping poorly from a long day of schoolwork, Whoop notifies her through the app that she needs to take on activities that will not strain her as much. After a workout on a bike, the app notifies her she has a need for more sleep so the athlete then takes a nap to catch up. After reviewing that she has strained less than before, she prepares for bed, knowing she requires less sleep now thanks to her earlier nap. The point of these examples is to show how a person can make changes to their lifestyle through a rather seamless process and by tracking all of this information you can become a better athlete and reduce risk of injury. Want to make it competitive? The Whoop app also has leaderboards so you can compare yourself to your friends and see how you’re performing.  

The main disadvantage to the Whoop is its price. At $500, this is an expensive wearable. The comparable Fitbit Versa, the latest smartwatch in the Fitbit family, only costs $199 and the Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329. Both of these bands have other features that the Whoop does not since they are more geared toward the casual fitness user. It’s important to note that the Whoop does not track steps but tracks movement. This doesn’t mean a casual user can’t use Whoop, but it’s important to know if this features is necessary for your fitness routine and goals.

Is Whoop right for you? It depends on how active of a lifestyle you have or if you are trying to change to become more fit. If you are an athlete who is training for a marathon, triathlon, or other event, then the Whoop is a good fit. It provides multiple metrics to help you keep track of the strain you’re putting on your body, your sleep, and ways to close those gaps so you can recover easier and quickly, reducing the risk of injury. If you are a casual gym goer, or even go to the gym pretty often but don’t compete in sporting events, then the Whoop may just be a very expensive fitness tracker.  




*This is not an endorsement of the Whoop or the company.

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Micah Peterson

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