We live in a fast-paced society largely powered by decisions based on instant gratification. But health is an accumulation of the decisions that we make over time. Do you want to realize your full potential and tap into a higher level of wellness? Then you have to go beyond simply counting calories, following the latest food and health trends, and crushing workouts. Your progress toward holistic health each day will dictate whether you struggle to meet your goals or steamroll through them. Luckily, as the understanding of exactly what it takes for the body to operate at its best has improved, so has technology like body fat scales and wearable fitness devices. The WHOOP Strap 3.0 is the culmination of advanced leaps in tech. It not only provides us with the “what” of fitness; it also helps us answer the “why.”
The fitness wearable market is saturated with trackers. Many simply count steps and buzz occasionally to remind people to move a little bit more. That’s why the WHOOP stands out. This device is dedicated to optimizing performance. While it looks surprisingly simple (there’s no on-band functionality), this device is pretty complex.
What WHOOP Can Do
The WHOOP Strap 3.0 calculates your body’s readiness to perform at its best. It does this by compiling a “recovery” score based on three physiological markers. These include heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, and sleep quality. Your HRV measures the variation in intervals between each heartbeat. This variation is controlled by our autonomic nervous system, which can be further subdivided into two components: the sympathetic ( fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (relaxation response) nervous systems. Variations in HRV could indicate imbalances in autonomic system activity. Monitoring these numbers could serve as a noninvasive way to monitor your health. Recovery isn’t just about how you feel, but about how your body is adapting to your health and wellness regimen.
The WHOOP also tracks the work that your body is being put through daily. This is your “strain” score. Your strain is a quantification of the cardiovascular load that your body is being put through by a particular activity or the normal rigors of life in general. The strain pillar will provide you with your max/average heart rate and the amount of calories burned. It will also calculate this exertion and place it on a scale from 0–21. You can use this number to see how different types of workouts affect you. Then you can adapt based on these findings. If you haven’t recovered from the day before, then you could take on a lower strain day to prioritize recovery. If your recovery number is higher, then you know you can probably push iy. You could even attempt a personal record!
In addition to calculating strain and recovery, the WHOOP is amazing if you are looking to step it up in the sleep department. Since you spend around 33 years (about ⅓ of your life) in bed, and adaptations from training occur during recovery, you should make sure that you are getting high-quality sleep! You could look up all the tips for sleeping better in the world, but if you aren’t tracking your progress, you won’t know if you are getting better. The WHOOP provides a comprehensive breakdown of each night’s shut-eye. This includes information on the number of disturbances you experienced, time spent during particular sleep cycles (Bring on the REM sleep!), and how long it took you to fall asleep. It even calculates the desired sleep number that you need to enhance your recovery experience.
The sleep coach helped me dramatically improve the efficiency of my sleep. I woke up more days feeling well-rested instead of feeling like I need to hit the snooze button. It’s also been helpful to see that, even though I may get a higher quantity of sleep on a particular night, it doesn’t mean that the quality was good. By recreating conditions of the most optimal nights, I have been able to use my improved sleep habits to be more productive during my days. More sleep has also kept me more motivated to work out and continue my progress.
Best Wearable Fitness Tracker: WHOOP Strap 3.0
If you take your wellness seriously, you need the right fitness tech. While a smart scale like the FitTrack Dara is a good starting place, the biggest difference-maker will be your wearable fitness tracker. The WHOOP 3.0 band provides actual data that you can use to make real-time decisions. When the band first hit the market, the public was charged $500 to access this information. Luckily, the company has switched to a much more affordable $30 per month subscription model.
With the addition of WHOOP Live, you don’t have to keep all this fun to yourself, either. You can share how your workouts are affecting you as they happen, and you can join/create teams to compete with others on all of your scores. These changes make this a much more social wearable, and I have already seen the WHOOP begin to spread throughout the fitness community. If you are looking to challenge yourself, train smarter, and take your health to the next level, then you need to get the new WHOOP Strap!