By Alina Kelly
For many athletes, it is important to track their heart rate and activity to ensure that they are reaching peak performance. As an athlete myself, this is something that I have been passionate about during my years of training. Until recently, I had been using an Apple Watch to track my fitness, but I have since switched over to WHOOP, and I have found it to be much more informative.
Unlike other typical fitness trackers, WHOOP is a fitness subscription where you pay monthly for the full benefits of WHOOP; however, the WHOOP itself is free with the subscription. The WHOOP Strap 3.0 collects physiological data about you 24/7 to provide the most accurate and granular understanding of your body. The strap not only tracks your heart rate, but the physical strain exerted on your body each day, as well as your recovery for the day, and your sleep. It is important to wear the band at all times so you can achieve the best personalized data available.
The WHOOP connects to the WHOOP app using bluetooth and tracks your heart rate 24/7. The battery life lasts about five days, and it comes with a charger that you attach directly to the band so you don’t need to remove the strap to charge your WHOOP. The WHOOP comes with a free black wrist band. However, you can choose to purchase additional colored bands and clasps, or even a bicep band if you don’t want to wear the strap over your wrist.
I currently use the wristband for my WHOOP because I feel that it is more comfortable than wearing it on my bicep. Many of my friends also use the bicep band and believe that is more comfortable.
My first introduction to the WHOOP was when some of my friends on my rowing team convinced me to purchase the device. Thanks to the community feature on the WHOOP app, I am now able to compete with my friends in a WHOOP group, where we can see each other's daily strain, recovery, and sleep. In addition to creating groups with your friends, you are also able to join larger groups created by WHOOP with people from all around the world.
My favorite feature about the app is the personalized sleep schedule that it generates based on your daily strain. The app gives you a suggested bedtime in order to achieve peak performance the next day. In addition to creating a sleep schedule, it tracks your sleep and gives you an in-depth analysis of your sleep. If you set sleep as an activity, your WHOOP tracks your latency, or how long it takes you to fall asleep after going to bed. The analysis also provides your total time in bed versus your time asleep, and it breaks down your sleep into your time awake, time in light sleep, time in REM sleep, and time in SWS (deep) sleep. It also provides your sleep efficiency as well as the total amount of disturbances felt during your sleep.
The app even allows you to track multiple activities during the day. Not only do these activities include exercise, but you can also track your sleep and naps as activities. While tracking your activity, the WHOOP tracks how many calories you burn, as well as your minimum, maximum, and average heart rate throughout the workout. It also informs you of the amount of strain that this activity has put on your body. The activity tracker also provides a helpful chart of your heart rate throughout the total duration of the workout.
The prices for the subscriptions are $30 per month for a monthly membership, $24 per month for a 12-month membership, and $18 per month for an 18-month membership. I originally purchased the monthly membership since I wanted to test it out, but I plan to upgrade my membership because I enjoy it so much and feel that I will be able to commit to it for a longer time period.
Overall, getting the WHOOP strap 3.0 and subscription has been my best purchase this month. While investing in this might not be that important for people who aren’t athletes or aren’t that interested in fitness, if you are an athlete who is devoted to maximizing your fitness, then this is something you should definitely invest in.