A few months into trying out the WHOOP 4.0 fitness tracker and I still don’t know what ‘whoop’ stands for, but I do know this device can take your life up a notch.
‘Life’ not ‘fitness’ was a deliberate word choice there. The WHOOP tracks all the usual suspects – sleep, heart rate, steps. What it does with that data is what matters. Rather than read back to you on a screen throughout the day, WHOOP data is app-based, so the fitness tracker itself is screen-less. When you open the app, you open up all your data for the day, but importantly it’s cross-referenced with your own data from all the other days. It takes a few weeks to establish baseline measurements – the first few days are where it learns you (during which time I am extra conscientious with my steps and workouts so that’s already a win in my books). After another week, things start to get interesting.
The WHOOP takes your data and offers recommendations on how to optimize your life – fitness, yes, but also recovery and sleep. The three official measurements are ‘sleep’, ‘recovery’ and ‘strain’. It will tell you when you’ve had enough rest to warrant a hard workout or conversely if you might need a rest day because of extra ‘strain’ the day before. Same for sleep – after a week of long, late calls and early starts, I’m advised an 8pm bedtime is in order, so off to bed I go. The next day I smash out a run and a workout. Is that a sort of placebo effect? Maybe. But again, I claim that as a win.
The WHOOP is designed for anyone (it has a cult-like following among athletes) looking to learn more about their body, and how to reach peak performance fast. With a range of different coloured bands and WHOOP Body smart apparel (think sleek bralettes with tiny pocket inserts for your WHOOP) so it’s certainly got a lifestyle factor going for it. The wearable range of gym gear is functional – you can target different pulse points – but for me it comes in handy when I want to track but also want to free my wrists up for bling.
You’re also free from cables – the WHOOP 4.0 charges via a little battery pack that clips on top of the device. You precharge the battery pack, and pop it onto your device to charge while carrying out your day. The battery pack is the only part of the device that isn’t waterproof, but otherwise the WHOOP 4.0 comes on walks, to the gym, swims and sleeps with me.
Unlike other trackers, you pay a monthly membership fee, $44 per month, which includes the WHOOP 4.0, and comes down if you commit to an annual ($34) or 24 month ($30) membership.
Find out more at https://www.whoop.com/