If you like to geek out about fitness tracking in ways that most traditional trackers can’t do, there’s a chance you’ve come across WHOOP. You may have found them in an ad on Instagram or maybe an athlete you follow was hawking it. Or maybe you just wanted a different approach to fitness tracking that is both simplistic and yet more advanced and you stumbled into the world of WHOOP.
For those already into WHOOP, today is a big day. WHOOP 4.0 is the new band with a bunch of upgrades, a new battery pack, and a couple of new app metrics to add to the already-impressive list. For those not new, well, let’s talk about WHOOP, since I happen to be a subscriber.
What is WHOOP?
WHOOP is a subscription health platform that costs $30/mo and includes access to the app and gets you a free fitness band to track everything. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s also going to give you a whole new outlook on your body’s current state and a set of metrics to look at to see the level of activity you can (or should) do each day.
WHOOP, at least as I’ve grown to understand it over the past year as a user, is a fitness platform (a wrist strap + app) that focuses not only on daily activity, but it tries to tell you each day what level of activity you should put your body through. It comes up with that score by showing how your body has recovered from the previous day’s activity and sleep. A good chunk of it is calculated through a lot of heartrate monitoring.
So with a WHOOP strap on, you’ll get 24-7 heartrate monitoring and activity tracking to give you an average heartrate for the day. As a recovery device, it then looks at your heartrate variability (HRV), resting heartrate (RHR), and respiratory rate, as well as the quality of sleep you get. All of those metrics factor into what you should do each day, so unlike other wearables, the goal is to give you recommendations for how hard to push rather than let you, the unprofessional athlete, try to figure it out.
Again, I’ve used WHOOP for a good chunk of the pandemic and really appreciate its different approach. The band doesn’t have a screen or buttons and it doesn’t do notifications, but it’s super comfortable to wear, the battery lasts several days, and I feel like it has helped me cut some bad habits out of my life.
WHOOP, with the combination of heartrate measures it tracks, will let you know the next day in recovery if you drank alcohol in the evening (or all day) and if you had a late night snack or meal. Because those two activities ramp up your heartrate and affect your sleep, WHOOP will suggest you take the day to chill rather than push activities. Where this has helped me, is in cutting those two items from my evening, so that I get more restful sleep and can perform in workouts the next day. If anything, it’s a reminder that you maybe had a bit too much fun the day before and your body is feeling it.
Anyways, that’s all a long-winded yet too-short explanation of WHOOP, which again, is not your typical fitness platform. It’s subscription-based, gets you a really nice band, and focuses more on recovery with strain (on your heart) rather than just tracking steps, your caloric count, general activity output, etc. It’s not for everyone, but I think I’ve appreciated the different approach after years and years of fitness trackers and smartwatches on the wrist.
OK, so WHOOP 4.0 was announced today and yeah, I’m pretty excited. WHOOP 4.0 is the new band for WHOOP members (or new subscribers) and it has a lot of new stuff.
The band has more LEDs and photodiodes to give you more accurate heartrate tracking, is 33% smaller than WHOOP 3.0, has a sleep coach with haptic alerts, does SpO2 tracking (!), tracks skin temperature (!), and features a new Health Monitor with several metrics in one place that used to be scattered across the app. The new battery pack is waterproof (!) and the strap uses a new battery technology that has helped improve the design.
Here’s the full list from WHOOP’s announcement today:
- Upgraded Sensor Configuration: The active sensor area now contains 5 LEDs (three green, one red, and one infrared), 4 photodiodes, and advanced algorithms to provide even more accurate heart rate measurements
- 33% Smaller Size: WHOOP 4.0 is 33% smaller than WHOOP 3.0 with a five-day battery life
- New Feature – Sleep Coach with Haptic Alerts: WHOOP 4.0 is engineered with haptic alerts that members can set to wake them up through gentle vibrations at the optimal time based on their sleep needs and cycles
- New Feature – Pulse Oximeter: The upgraded hardware is equipped to calculate blood oxygen levels (SPO2) to help members unlock additional daily health insights
- New Feature – Skin Temperature Sensor: WHOOP 4.0 measures skin temperature to provide members another layer of knowledge about their bodies
- New Feature – Health Monitor: Members can track live heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and respiratory rate in one view. The Health Monitor also allows members to easily download and export 30-day or 180-day trends of these metrics into a report that can be shared with a coach, trainer, PT, or physician
- WHOOP Battery Pack 4.0: The upgraded battery pack built for on-the-go charging is now waterproof and lets members double tap to view battery level
- Next Generation Battery Technology: WHOOP 4.0 is the first product in the world powered with Sila’s silicon anode battery materials. Engineered with cell configuration improvements and long cycle life, the new battery delivers 17% higher energy density than WHOOP 3.0, facilitating a reimagined industrial design that also unlocks WHOOP Body
The other big new announcement from WHOOP is for their new WHOOP Body collection of apparel. WHOOP Body features both undergarments (bras and boxers) and workout apparel to let you place the WHOOP right on your body for tracking. If that sounds weird, just understand that it then gets the sensor off your wrist and out of the way. Previously, WHOOP offered a bicep strap for this, but a slot within apparel is kind of a neat idea too.
In addition to the new apparel, there are a bunch of new straps and bands, as well as an easier way to change the band or get your WHOOP 4.0 off a band and into body gear.
How to get the new WHOOP 4.0?
If you are already a WHOOP member, WHOOP said today that if you have at least 6 months left on your subscription, they’ll send you one for free and that current members get them before anyone else. You can order them right now in the WHOOP app or online in your account.
If you are new to WHOOP, they weren’t exactly clear when you would get 4.0. You’ll need to add a 6-month package to get it quicker, is my guess here.
And if you do want to sign-up, I do happen to have a referral link that you can use (or not!). It apparently gives you $30 off (a free month) and me a free month. There is zero pressure and I promise this is not sponsored and I’ve never talked to WHOOP in my life. I just like their band and platform. There’s a non-referral link below too.
Anyone else a WHOOP user?