For one, Whoop’s dodged the menagerie of flashy smartwatches, opting instead to serve as a 24-hour strap pegged at optimizing performance for elite athletes and tracking-obsessed weekend warriors. Here’s what you need to know about its latest upgrade: Whoop Strap 2.0.
Whoop Strap 2.0 is a fitness band meant to be worn snug against your wrist; it clips open and closed for (fairly) easy on and off. Whoop comes with a stretchy, woven band with a polyester side and a silicone side that sits against your skin for added grip during swims and ultra-sweaty workouts.
We like the discrete nature of its design. It’ll depend on your preference for accessories, but we think it’s sometimes nice to have a tracker that’s not a smartwatch, leaving your wrist open for your favorite timepiece. If you’d rather your tracker house a fitness-monitoring computer and serve as an extension of your smartphone, this may not fit the bill.
Why We Like It
Unlike most wearables, Whoop helps you understand how your sleep, workouts, and overall lifestyle are straining your body. Five sensors measure heart rate, heart rate variability, ambient temperature, and motion to gauge your body’s status at any given second. In fact, it’s measuring these metrics 100 times per second.
Heart rate variability helps athletes know when they’re primed for a grueling workout and when they need to back off and spend more time recovering. It’s the time variance between heartbeats.
Whoop then consolidates all this info on the app via Bluetooth to package your day’s strain, recovery score, and sleep targets. It’s one of the most comprehensive apps around, providing detailed insights and actionable recommendations on when to go full throttle and when to pump the brakes.
You’ll get about 44 hours of use, plus it has an on-wrist charging system that allows you to keep the band on 24/7.
Over time, you can see trends and whether certain high-intensity workouts are getting easier for your body to handle (i.e. you’re getting fitter). Qualitative information—the app will ask you to answer questions regarding your habits before bed and how you feel in the morning—will also help cue you in on the habits that are hindering and helping your progress.
You can improve your sleep hygiene (like, stop putzing around on your phone at night, avoid alcohol two hours before bed, and go to sleep around the same time every day), which can help you tackle your workouts with the ferocity your training demands. Likewise, you can learn how much travel taxes your body and use that to better plan arrangements around races, events, and competitions.
Since you’re wearing Whoop all the time, it can get a little uncomfortable once wet.
We recommend upgrading to the Hydroband: The nylon braid ensures quicker dry time, so you’re not stuck with a sopping wet band post-shower or post-workout.
And while the original price point ($500) deterred most people from the strap, Whoop just launched its consumer membership, which is making things more affordable.
The membership will run you $30/month with a six-month minimum commitment to begin (so, a $180 entry point). You’ll get the hardware, app/analytics, and the opportunity to join teams and challenges through the Whoop community.