Every single year, a majority of people make the same resolution for their New Year, New Me. It won’t surprise many to discover that exercise is one of the top resolutions each year, but unfortunately, most folks drop off from their new habit within a few months. If you’re looking for a tool that has the potential to help you stick to your fitness resolution in 2023, let me talk to you about WHOOP.
WHOOP, as a service and as a wearable, ain’t new. The fourth iteration of the wearable, simply called WHOOP 4.0, was launched in September, 2021. If you’ve been with us, you’ll know Kellen previously talked about his WHOOP experience a little bit, but he didn’t have the 4.0 model at the time. I was provided with a WHOOP 4.0 for review purposes a couple of months ago and haven’t taken it off since, but I also had experience with it previously when I passed my L1 course through CrossFit and they provided me with one to try out. Point being, I’ve had WHOOP long enough to where it has learned my body, my fitness and sleeping habits, my overall day-to-day regiment and provides a ton of helpful insights that you can’t get from other wearables.
WHOOP 4.0 does so much that there’s no way I can write it all out. There’s just too much. Instead, I’ll focus on the things that help me the most. The big one for me is sleep. I never knew how well or how poorly I was sleeping until I started wearing a WHOOP, but this an important distinction for me because before WHOOP, I couldn’t wear any bulky watches or trackers to bed. With WHOOP 4.0’s slim fitting design, it really feels like you’re not wearing anything at most times. Now that I can comfortably wear something to bed, I can get that data.
Inside the WHOOP app, there’s a dashboard, with the dashboard featuring three main categories: Strain, Recovery, and Sleep. Under the Sleep category, the app provides a sleep performance score, a 7-day graph that tracks your performance score, as well as a breakdown for hours of sleep needed versus how many you actually got. While all of this is awesome, there is also a built-in Sleep Coach, something I’ve only recently started to take advantage of. With Sleep Coach, you tell WHOOP your goals for the following day — 100% Peak, 85% Perform, or 70% Get By. Using your own goal and a wake time, WHOOP tells you when you should hit the hay, utilizing the data it has already collected on you. Put more simply, WHOOP can calculate how much sleep you need in order to feel a certain way, which feels really remarkable. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks, and for me, it’s been spot on.
Can you spot when I had COVID using the graphs?
I don’t like to use the word “fortunate” in this sense, but I can’t think of anything better. I was fortunate during my WHOOP testing period to test positive for COVID-19 and come down with some decent symptoms. I had a solid fever, extreme body aches, and my sleep was absolutely horrible. WHOOP knew something was off with my body immediately, with all five of its health monitor metrics that it displays in the red while I was symptomatic. I had an elevated respiratory rate (which is one of its main sensors for tracking everything that you might do in life), my blood oxygen level dipped significantly (an effect of COVID), my resting heart rate was very elevated (my body is working overtime to fight infection), my skin temperature was elevated (due to fever), and my heart rate variability (HRV) was low. HRV is a calculation of time variance between heartbeats. According to WHOOP, HRV can be an indicator of how well your body can perform and adapt to its environment. All I know is, I felt like absolute shit and WHOOP is perfectly designed to confirm how bad I felt.
Once you have worn WHOOP long enough, more features are unlocked. When access to all data is available, users can find and share entire Health Reports, as well as Weekly Performance Assessments and Monthly Performance Assessments. In terms of using that data to maintain a certain fitness resolution, WHOOP is great at letting you know when it’s appropriate to push your body. In the world of fitness, we talk about burn out. People go super hard at the beginning of a year, then they quickly fall off because what they start with can’t be maintained for an extended period. With WHOOP, you can know what days to turn it on and what days you should focus on recovery. It’s been an invaluable tool for me.
There is so much more to WHOOP 4.0 and the platform in general than what I’ve shared above. I recommend if you’re interested to head over to WHOOP’s website and read up on it. If WHOOP sounds like it could help you in 2023, or you simply want more insight into your body without changing your lifestyle, pricing is as follows. Subscribers get the WHOOP 4.0 for free when paying $30/month. That subscription gets you personal customer service in addition to the wearable, just in case you ever need any actual help. If you pay up front for a year of service, the price is $25/month ($300 up front), while a 2-year purchase comes down to $20/month ($480 up front). It’s not the cheapest service by any means, but again, the amount of data you are getting can be extremely beneficial. WHOOP offers a free 30-day trial to any interested parties, so at least give it a try if you’re curious.
If you have questions that I might be able to answer about WHOOP, shoot them down below.