What’s The big Whoop All About: An honest opinion on a pretty cool piece of tech

My Whoop and Whoop tan.

I wear the Whoop band everyday. I sleep with it on, shower with it on, sweat with it on, surf with it on. It’s pretty much life-proof. And that’s the point. If you’re confused as to what I am referring to-see below.

If you didn’t click play, whoop is essentially a “fit-bit” that measures daily stress on your body, how your body recovers from said stress, and then the sleep you get to help you recover from said stress. Strain, recovery, and sleep are the 3 pillars of the whoop system, and I check them at the beginning and end of each day. You can really put together a lot of useful information and health statistics that can help you feel much better more often. Here’s a couple things I have taken away from owning one since last April:

-Learn When To Take Your Foot Off The Gas

Working out feels good. This is just a fact, and when you get in a solid rhythm it becomes rather easy. Prior to getting a whoop I was pretty hard in my ways on certain days requiring this workout, run, etc. However, with whoop telling you about your recovery from the day prior and your sleep performance before starting your day, it’s easy to tell when you might want to have a rest day. When you have a lower recovery, if you put up high strain again you will need an unrealistic amount of sleep (at least if you are in the working world). When I see a yellow or red recovery, I know I might take today as a rest day instead of my usual day or tune a workout to be lighter than anticipated. 

-In That Same Breath: Trust Your Instinct

In the beginning, I took the recoveries very literally. And I think a lot of people do get stuck in the rut of relying on their whoop to dictate the workout. This directly goes against what I said above, but trust your instinct. If you feel good, ignore the lower recovery. If you feel so-so, maybe heed the caution. Sometimes I feel great and have a less than ideal recovery, and other times it is warranted and I feel a little less pep in my step. 

-Sleep Is VERY Important

Sleeping is one of the pillars, and really can make a difference in how you feel, how you perform, and how you pretty much live day to day life. At first I would just wake up at my usual 6:30AM wakeup call, and sometimes my recoveries would suffer if I went to bed too late but still woke up at this hour. On top of this, the whoop breaks down your sleep stages, so you can see how much light sleep, deep sleep and REM. Deep sleep and REM are what help your body recover, so getting sufficient sleep in these stages is vital. The Whoop has really made me be analytical of mty sleep and strive to get a solid recovery the next day. 

-Things That Ruin You The Next Day

There are a myriad of factors that can mess around with your body and have it be seen on the Whoop. However, the one that was most startling to me was drinking booze. Waking up in the red the day after a night out is bad enough. At first it was comical as I am pretty good about not letting it ruin my next day. Going surfing on a 1% recovery? Check. However, when you do a deep dive on the numbers and see the difference in your heart rates before and after alcohol, it’s a bit startling. Drinking really does a number on your body, and having the whoop has made me pull back my habits a bit.  

-Competitive Drive

On the whoop interface, you can join teams of all sorts of varieties. I have one with 2 of my close friends. One with some of my favorite surfers. Even one that is just a bunch of people with the name James. Some of these teams I often am in the #1 spot. Others I have to really work to be ranked #1. But seeing other people push it and also seeing my ranking on the teams can fire me up to put the pedal to the metal. I probably look at this aspect the most, but sometimes you just want to be number 1. 

-It’s All About Balance

When it comes down to it, life’s all about balance. There’s gonna be days you can’t get enough sleep. There are days you’re gonna have a shit recovery. The whoop should be used as a means to know when it’s best to dial it up or down, not so much to tell you the exact days. There are plenty of surprises that happen in a lifetime, so sometimes you gotta live in the moment. But it doesn’t hurt to know how your body is feeling when these moments arise.