Like most athletes I enjoy tracking my daily workouts and feeling accomplished at the end of the day when I see that I've closed all my activity rings on my Apple watch. It's a simple pleasure that holds me accountable and keeps me motivated to move, both of which are needed while I navigate through this pandemic.
But for those of us who are a bit more obsessive than others about our health and fitness stats and want to know more than how many steps we've take or calories we've burned, you might be interested in a product that debuted in 2011-2012 that has recently taken the fitness community by storm--it's called WHOOP.
For my fellow Aggies out there, unfortunately this isn't related to our alma mater. WHOOP is a fitness tracker that goes beyond the essential stats that most of the popular trackers provide you by looking into three distinct components: STRAIN, RECOVERY & SLEEP. One of my goals for this year is to focus on my wellness in addition to my health and fitness, specifically looking at the stresses I put on my body and the recovery tools I'm using to heal it. So deciding to try WHOOP was the perfect tool to help me with my goal.
WHOOP has a distinct and clean look to it, I began to recognize it on a lot of athletes I saw on social media and on the internet. Professional athletes like Lebron James, Michael Phelps & Rory Mcllroy have been using WHOOP for several years. The technology comes on a fabric band that wraps around your wrist and is extremely light weight. The band does not have a display on it, read that again, so you can't see the time, how many steps you've taken etc. on it. All the information you get comes from the app. that you download on your phone. Another cool feature is that the band is 100% waterproof so you never have to take it off. What about charging it you ask? It comes with a separate attachment that you slip onto the band that charges it. WHOOP's goal is for you to keep it on 100% of the time so it can properly track EVERYTHING and provide you with the most accurate stats.
The app. that you download on your phone will hold more information about your body that you might ever want to know. BUT if you're focused on improving your recovery methods and want to understand how different activities affect you physiologically, then you need to try this out. WHOOP collects a ton of data including your heart rate variability, strain and recovery, respiratory rate and is the gold star for sleep tracking. It takes two weeks for your strap to fully "get to know you" before it starts to provide you accurate data, but once it's starts there's so much to learn.
Even though I'm really digging this device it's probably not meant for everyone. If you're perfectly happy knowing how many steps you've taken and get fulfilled by closing your rings, then stick with that. The amount of information, graphs and screens to scroll through can get overwhelming if you're not truly interested in this level of information.
This is also another item I have to wear in addition to my Apple watch, that can get frustrating but I'm in love with the information I am getting. One last criticism, which is my biggest problem with WHOOP, is that you don't ever really own the WHOOP product like you would an Apple watch. That's because WHOOP requires a monthly or yearly subscription that starts at $30 a month. If you're passionate about the stats then you can justify the expense, BUT if not I wouldn't invest the money into it.
I've only been using WHOOP for eleven days but it's already made me more aware of my sleeping patterns, how much time is needed for my body to recover and see how much strain I place on my body with every workout. I've only touched the tip of the ice berg on understanding what this tracker can do for me, but I'm excited to learn how I can take better care of my body. If you're using WHOOP let's connect and if you have more questions don't hesitate to reach out!