It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a product review on my blog (we’re talking back in 2016 when I reviewed some of my favorites shoes), so this is exciting!
Today we’re talking WHOOP band. I guess it would fall under the category of fitness bands, similar to the ones by Fitbit or Garmin. Where it differs is what is tracks and how it does it: the WHOOP band uses (what I’m assuming is proprietary) algorithms to determine your sleep, recovery, and strain.
So far I’ve been using my WHOOP strap since October 2019 and I think that it has allowed me enough time to give a useful review.
I’ll be frank—it’s a no-frills band. It differs from other straps in that there is no screen or interface, so if you’re used to having a fitness band that also tells time you’re out of luck. I know that not having watch has been a deal breaker for some.
You can purchase additional straps in various colors and textures to suit your needs or lifestyle (they even offer a faux-leather strap). When I bought the band I also purchased a hydroband and liteweave strap, but my favorite by far is the pro knit strap the device originally came with. I have used the hydroband for the times I’ve been in the water (WHOOP is waterproof) but I wouldn’t use it for everyday use because I wasn’t too fond of the material feel. I also anticipated to use the liteweave strap for my everyday band, but I found the material too smooth and it moved around my wrist too much if I tried to workout with it. My recommendation is to purchase different colors of the proknit strap if you want different colors. I have found it to be the strap that I can use in all situations—everyday, workouts, and water.
Just an FYI—don’t forget to charge the battery! The band does need to be charged every few days (I have found I need to charge it every 4 days) and it comes with a battery pack that goes right over your strap so you don’t have to take off the band to charge it.
Behind social media apps like Instagram and (embarrassingly) Tiktok, the WHOOP app is my most used app on my phone (I literally checked). The app itself is has gone through several versions and changes since I have been a member, and I’ve always found it to be super intuitive and really informative. It’s still surprising to me how granular you can get when looking into some of the data.
Like I mentioned before, the band is able to track your sleep, recovery, and strain and the app has interfaces for all three of these analytics. I can see how long I have slept, my hear rate variability, average heart rate, my recovery score, and track workouts all from the app. There are quite a few other data points you can view as well, but those are some of the points I tend to pay most attention to.
You can easily track your workouts or activity throughout the day. It automatically tracks your movement, but you can also add it in later or specify what type of activity you did.
A cool function that I enjoy is the teams you can create or join! If you have friends who also use WHOOP, you can create a team and compare your data in the group. I’ve joined several teams thanks to the Buttery Bros and Talking Elite Fitness, so it’s really fun to see the crazy amounts of sleep some people are getting or how hard some are working out.
What I have learned
Overall I would recommend you give the WHOOP band a try! I see why the the membership requires at least a 6 month commitment—it takes a little bit for the band to calibrate (about a week) and learn your specific heart rate patterns and rhythms, and the same goes for your understanding of the data.
The last 7-ish months of wearing the WHOOP strap has helped me better capitalize on my sleep and training sessions on days where I have a high recovery score. I’ve taken some really good strides during this time in my movements and lifts, which I attribute to having a better understanding of my body thanks to the WHOOP data.
On days that I have a low recovery, I’ve learned that it’s probably not the best day to go for a one rep max snatch (lol). I’ve also learned what can impact my recovery score: generally I can attribute it to high-strain workouts the day before or *shockingly* drinking alcohol (yes, it can really impact your recovery score).
One of my favorite things is when I’ve finished a CrossFit workout that has a specified number of rounds—you can clearly see each round I did because of the spikes in my heart rate (see my example below)! I’m also not very good at burpees and running, so usually you can see my heart rate spike when I did those movements in the workout overview in the app. It seriously makes me laugh!
What questions do you have about the WHOOP band? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.