What I’ve Learned From Wearing a Whoop Band
I was offered a whoop band a while back and I’ve worn it every day since then. I‘ve been asked about it a bit more than I thought I would be, I guess just like I used to ask everyone I saw that had one, so I’m happy to share my insights here below.
First the cons:
-It’s another thing on my wrist. I wear a watch while coaching (so I can time out everyone’s favorite exercises like split-squat holds) which means both wrists have something on them. As a certifiable “graceful spaz” (somehow I make both true), that means I have another thing that I somehow find a way to smash against a wall or door frame. Not ideal or pleasant. I think a one stop shop like an Apple Watch might be a better fit for my lifestyle, but this is obviously a minor thing.
-The accuracy of wrist wearables is, and has been, questionable for a long time. I’m no scientist but I find this to be somewhat accurate, as far as what I feel versus what it says. The bicep band is apparently better at giving more believable data, but I cannot vouch for that. I have noticed that the more I move my arms, the higher my heart rate reading seems to be. Therefore even though I no longer putt for thousands of dollars on a regular basis, the whoop strap says golf is incredibly strain-ful for me, which I have a hard time believing at the moment, as it is back to being just a hobby.
-I’ve lost the ability to “listen” to my body. (It’s possible this is a chicken and egg effect) Because I get a recovery score every morning, I notice I gravitate towards using the number to tell me how I feel that day. I’ve lost the ability to gauge whether I truly feel rested, recovered, tired, hyped, etc. I believe I am less fit than when I first got the strap, and I think I can attribute that to not wanting to be in the “overreaching” category. If I were better at listening to my body, I‘d workout most days, and then when I truly needed a rest day, I’d know to take one. Now I just barely push the envelope unless I have a miraculous night of sleep. (Which sleeping next to a pregnant wife and having a toddler on a sleep monitor all night definitely negatively affect, and that’s just a stage of life, no complaining or anything to change really.)
-As if I needed something else to look at on my phone, I find that I check the app multiple times a day to start an activity, to see where my strain is at, to monitor my heart rate or recovery, or whatever. This is probably my biggest negative because I truly would like to be on my phone less, and this doesn’t move me in that direction. It’s big enough for me that I may eventually decide to ditch it for this alone.
-Just as there are a handful of negatives, there have been some pros as well. One is that I have averaged probably forty-five more minutes in bed than before I got the strap. Even though I’d preach sleep, recovery, nutrition, lessening stress and everything healthy to my clients, I was unaware how many times during a night I would wake up, or that for every eight hours I’m in bed, I apparently am awake for about one. This has led me to go to bed earlier and been a hugely positive change to our lifestyle. This and other changes are mostly due to accountability. My wife and I’s job really only exists because accountability helps people, and Whoop steps in for that to an extent.
-Good things are still good things and Whoop shows that. More sleep, adequate hydration, quiet time and reading, sex with my wife, and no alcohol all positively affect my recovery score, which is just about the biggest “no duh” type of statement ever. Wearing the strap just brought attention to it and makes me think about it a little bit more than I used to. It’s almost like I’m competing against myself to be better than my old self, and there’s something in that which remains motivating.
The greatest thing about the strap is mindfulness. The biggest negative about the strap is connectedness. If you can be mindful of how you feel, and what you’re doing with your healthy habits (likely still need to monitor them in a journal or something) without the strap, then I would highly recommend not getting it. If there’s zero chance you will pay attention to those things unless an app prompts you in the morning, then it is almost guaranteed to help you move the needle northward on the health scale.
I hope this helps in some way! Thanks y’all!