Anyone using a Whoop?

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#1

I noticed they moved from a single purchase price to a monthly subscription that includes the hardware.

I’ve been using HRV4Training and I’ve been finding it very useful so far, so I’m curious if anyone out there is using Whoop.


Anyone using HRV? (Heart Rate Variability)
#2

I’ve looked at it but not bought. Too expensive for something where I’m not fully sure of its added value vs HRV4Training. Would be interested to hear from someone who has used it.


#3

I haven’t looked too thoroughly into Whoop but from what I understand it’s a bit like a smart watch but without the screen and already set up to record certain metrics?


#4

It has a HR monitor, sleep monitor and probably does some other stuff and it puts it into a graph form to chart recovery, strain, etc.

There are a lot of high level folks using them like Kate Courtney, Lawson Craddock, that speak highly of it, but of course those are sponsored. I’m not sure if its worth the cost relative to what I can do for free using Sleep Cycle and HRV4Training.

Really curious to hear from an amateur who paid for it.

I’m somewhat skeptical of the optical HR sensors, since they’ve been proven to be less reliable than the HR straps.


#5

I heard about them through Jeremy Powers, he’s gone very quiet recently in it though. Again, probably sponsored so would have preferred more independent views. I think it’s a bit over priced, especially as monthly cost doesn’t appear to drop once hardware paid for.
Regarding HR accuracy, I’ve always had problems with straps, tried Polar, Garmin and Wahoo and had same experience with all. When new they’re great but before the battery needs replacing i’ll be having issues with static readings, stupidly high readings etc. I wash the straps by hand after workouts but nothing seems to help and I rely on my Apple Watch to check HR when I’m not 100% certain if strap is right or not, that always seems pretty accurate.


#6

Whoop user here! I’ve had mine since July.

The Whoop has been an interesting tool so far, and has added some value to my training, but I’m not sure it is a totally vital piece of equipment.

The features: it constantly tracks my heart rate to assign a “Strain Score” to fitness activities and my day as a whole. The Daily Strain Score allows me to assess how hard I’ve stressed my body (cardiovascular work-wise) so that I can plan for harder workouts or longer recovery periods. Using my Strain Score, it then predicts how long I need to sleep in order to recover. While I sleep, it monitors my sleep cycles, sleep time, heart rate, and HRV to give me a picture of how recovered I am in the morning (higher HRV, lower resting heart rate, longer sleep duration, and higher quality sleep all play big roles in higher recovery scores). My Recovery Score lets me know how hard I can/should work that day. It is kind of like a game of matching your Strain to your Recovery for full training optimization.

What I like: the comprehensive picture it provides of all of all of the activities I do that might strain my body and how that stress works in to recovery. It has been a great way to track my sleep and how I feel on a daily basis in just one app. The battery lasts 1-2 days, the Whoop band is waterproof, and charging is wireless (on your wrist), so the whole thing is really easy to use. Plus the app is pretty neat!

As far as heart rate accuracy, I’ve used the Whoop alonside my Apple Watch and my Wahoo Tickr. The results aren’t always exactly the same, but they aren’t wildly different. Most often, the Whoop will read my heart rate about 10 beats lower than the watch on a run, which I think is due to the watch being bounced around.

But honestly, I’m not sure I really need all of the information, and I don’t think it takes some important things into account. Some of my weightlifting, for example, doesn’t peak my heart rate, and therefore the Whoop doesn’t see it as super high strain, even though my limbs are all sore and noodly. But really, in the end, the Whoop isn’t telling me anything that my body doesn’t already know - when I work hard, I need time to recover. When I’m tired, my body is more prone to stress, etc. It has been good confirmation of body cues and has helped me to prioritize sleep and rest after long training efforts, but again, that’s kind of logical stuff. I am very externally motivated, though, so a little technological push to take care of myself never hurts! :slight_smile:

Let me know what other questions I can answer. I hope that helped a little!


#7

Very helpful! Sounds close to what I’ve put together with the combo of products I’ve been using in a much more user friendly and comprehensive package.

That being said, the delta in cost seems a bit too much since I have a pretty solid system going right now.


#8

I’m interested in tracking HRV as well, but haven’t tried it yet. Few questions for you @stevemz:

  • Have you used HRV4Training with a heart rate strap, or just using the phone camera?
  • How accurate have you found it?
  • How has tracking HRV changed your approach to training? Do you actually do easy/rest days when your readings suggest your body is overly stressed?

#9

I also used to have the same HR accuracy issues with incorrect high/low readings etc. but I’ve found there’s an easy/cheap solution - I started using an electrode gel (small amount on the 2 contact points):

Since using that the HR readings I get are far more accurate/reliable :wink:


#10

I’m interested in the Whoop too, but I’m one of those people who finds wrist based HR readings to be highly inaccurate. I’ve owned a couple Garmin Fenix watches, and looking at the data over the course of a 2 hour ride on the Fenix vs. on the chest strap is laughably different. I actually have a friend who was convinced he had a heart issue because he couldn’t get his HR huh even during HIIT workouts…and after several doctors visits, he found out it was the wrist readings.

Having said all that, I just assume I’ll have the same issue with the Whoop.

(Caveat…I also know people who get perfect readings from wrists, and it’s not the hair vs. no hair or tightness of the strap either…I have no idea what causes one person to get good results and another to not)


#11

Thanks for the tip!


#12

I use the Wahoo Tickr (non-X) but I’ve found the camera to work pretty well also.

I don’t have any way of quantifying this, but it seems consistent and accurate enough that I feel confident in the data.

It has been a slight change, but a noticeable one. The #1 thing it helps with is forcing you to check in with your body every morning, and the qualitative tags they give you (traveling, fatigue, sick, alcohol) help make a decision about how you are going to ride.

If I have a ride planned and I get up, and my HRV score is below my normal range, I’ll usually get back in bed and get some more rest, and then do a super easy coffee shop spin later that day and adjust my schedule accordingly. Similarly, if I get up and I feel crappy, but my scores say that I’m in good shape, I’ll usually see if I can get through the warm up.

The biggest thing that has been interesting is how well the data correlates when I’m sick. My resting heart rate goes significantly up and HRV goes way down and that has been a helpful way to tell when I’m back into a good state for doing intensity.

I’ll be taking a Ramp Test on Monday as my first benchmark for 2019, so we’ll see how things will kick off the season. I didn’t use any of these measurements last year and I have a pretty good sense of my “normal” rate of improvement, so we’ll see how big a difference it might make.


#13

I’ve been using Whoop since July. I’ve found it interesting, helpful and puzzling. It took me some time to reconcile what I thought I should be seeing with what I was seeing.

I loved it initially and recommended it to several friends. I was intrigued by the concept and loved having the Recovery feedback. I’ve gotten a lot out of it, still think it’s great, but don’t think I need to continue with it past the initial 6-month subscription.

Whoop has educated me on many things and helped establish new habits and now I can continue to apply that knowledge on my own. At this point, I don’t think renewing for $30 a month is necessary.

Whoop has helped me establish better sleep patterns, getting to bed and rising at consistent times. I am more aware of how alcohol, sugar, fatty foods and the timing of my food intake affect my HRV and my Recovery score. I’m also more aware of how my emotional stress affects me.

I think Whoop is a great advance signal for the onset of allergies or a cold as the body ramps up for the fight and before you notice or feel the affects.

Consider Whoop a research tool for gaining a better understanding and insight about your body. From that perspective I think Whoop is worth the initial $180 6-month investment. But if you don’t intend to learn about how Whoop works, what it’s assessing and why, when it’s doing it’s gathering data, etc., and if you don’t think you’ll apply what you learn to test out how behavior changes affect your scores, you’ll be wasting your money.

I may transition over to Restwise. I’m in the middle of my 30-day free trial and am comparing its daily recovery score with what Whoop says. I’m not seeing a lot of variation in my Restwise scores, where my Whoop Recovery scores do fluctuate pretty well. Whoop is basing its score on HRV, RHR and sleep. Restwise factors in hunger, injury, feelings of sickness, weight, and other things as well. However, they’re all self-reported.

This FLO Cycling podcast with the Restwise founders addresses why the daily self-reported Restwise questions are effective in providing a dependable and accurate recovery score.


#14

Thanks for the info @stevemz. I like the sound of it; getting an early warning before illnesses has got to be a good thing, so I’m going to give it a whirl. Hopefully it’ll work with my phone, as I haven’t got a bluetooth HR strap yet :crossed_fingers:


#15

I use an activity monitor with a 24/7 HR on it to track my resting HR and then a regular HR strap on rides (I charge the activity tracker while I’m riding).

Gives a fairly similar picture for a lot lower price point. Doesn’t give all of the fancy metrics you get with whoop though, so I definitely feel like I’m missing out (even if I might not actually be missing out)