If you’re anything like me and you spend any time in the lifestyle section of YouTube, you’ve probably heard of WHOOP. It’s the newest fad in the fitness tracker market, having exploded in popularity due to extensive marketing by successful YouTube influencers. But what is WHOOP, really? Is it really as good as all the influencers say? And is it worth it to buy one?
WHOOP is a fitness tracker that is purchased via subscription service. It can run you anywhere between $18 and $30 per month ($216-$360/year), depending on how long you sign up for, plus an extra fee if you want a cool colored strap.
What makes WHOOP unique is its focus on sleep, strain, and recovery.
WHOOP comes with a detailed sleep tracker, which recommends optimal sleep levels based on your activity for any given day, tracks any sleep disturbances, measures sleep cycles, and even your rate of breathing through the night.
Using this sleep data combined with other metrics, it also provides information on your recovery, letting you know each day how recovered you are from earlier activity and how much your body can reasonably do for the day in order to optimize performance and health.
Lastly, WHOOP actively measures the strain you’re putting your body (both mentally and physically) through exercise, work, stress, etc.
That all sounds great, right? But is it really worth the hefty price tag? It depends a lot on who you are and how you’re going to use it.
To help you figure out if WHOOP is right for you, I created this comprehensive flow chart:
WHOOP excels for those who exercise with a high rate / intensity on a cardio-heavy training plan, are at some risk of overtraining, and have flexibility in their schedules and routines. It’s not great for those whose primary focus is fitness motivation (those who are not already deeply invested in a busy training plan), who do not exercise a significant amount, those whose training routines are primarily strength-focused, or those who have rigid schedules. In those cases, other fitness / lifestyle trackers would provide a better value.
If you’re unsure and interested in trying WHOOP out, my recommendation is to go for a 6 month trial––long enough to get the benefit of learning your sleep, strain, and recovery patterns but not so long that you end up with diminishing returns on your investment.
Do you have a WHOOP? What do you think of it? Comment down below.