My Experience with the WHOOP Recovery Tracker
I have been using WHOOP for 18 days now. While it requires 30 days of use for full calibration, I feel like I am already getting to know my body better. There are three aspects WHOOP tracks: recovery, strain and sleep.
Each day your recovery is rated as a percentage (0-100). It is red if it is 0-33, yellow if it is 34-66 and green if it is 67-100. This is based on your heart rate variability, resting heart rate and sleep. Stress, alcohol intake, exercise, diet, etc. all play a role in your recovery rate.
Surprisingly, I have been in the green more than I would have expected. The days that I have been red or yellow, however, do not surprise me. Those are days after I haven’t gotten much sleep, drank alcohol or did a very intense workout. I use this measurement to help guide my decision of when and how I workout now.
Based on your recovery, WHOOP will tell you how much strain you should take on. Strain is measured on a scale of 0-21; 0-9.9 is light, 10-13.9 is moderate, 14-17.9 is strenuous and 18-21 is all out. Your movement is automatically detected (which I greatly appreciate because I would never remember to start or stop tracking my workouts). Even if you don’t “workout”, you can still experience strain from your every day movements/activities.
I’ve fallen into the moderate range for most of my workouts. Lately, I have been doing Camp Gladiator workouts from home. I really enjoy these workouts as they challenge and push me but change daily so I never get bored. Since using WHOOP, I have ran once and completed the MURPH Challenge (this was the only time so far that I have hit the strenuous category with a 16.3 strain) in addition to my CG workouts. I am curious to see once I get back into working out at the gym and doing my own workouts what my strain will look like.
Not only does WHOOP track how much time you spend asleep, it also tells you how much time you spend awake in bed, how long you are in light sleep, REM sleep and deep sleep. For me, this has been the most interesting part of using this tracker. I’m not very surprised by how crappy my sleep is, but seeing it displayed right in front of me has caused me to slowly make changes to my nightly routine.
Another cool aspect of WHOOP is the journal feature. There is a list of things you can choose to track like alcohol, caffeine, plant-based or meat-based meals, sex, sleeping in your own bed, meditation and so much more. I chose about 20 categories that play a role in my life. Each morning, I open my WHOOP app to process the previous night of sleep and my recovery rate, and answer my journal questions. Over time, you can see patterns of how these different categories affect you.
- I love that you can’t see anything on the band, not even the time. The only way to see the data is by opening the app on my phone (which I only open a few times of day). I had considered getting an Apple Watch but didn’t like the thought of having even more access to my phone; I have really tried to disconnect from my phone when I can lately.
- It is free to test out if you use my referral link! Get both the band and 30 days free, only pay shipping. Unlike other devices used for tracking, WHOOP is a subscription based tracker. At the end of your 30 days, you can decide if you want to continue on or cancel – a risk free trial!
- Keep in mind that it takes time for calibration. You really don’t see much information until the 5th day, and even then, take everything with a grain of salt until 30 days. The longer you wear it, the more data it has to compare to determine your “normal”.
- Wearability: the strap is comfortable… it only took me a couple of days to get used to. Since I put it on, I have yet to take it off. It is water proof and you can charge it while you are wearing it!