This has a funny name. It was synonymous with the CrossFit brand due to the partnering. However, sponsorship ties have been cut in 2022.
So what exactly is a WHOOP band in CrossFit?
WHOOP is state-of-the-art wearable sports technology, tailored to each individual user. It provides useful feedback and data, based on user behaviours, habits, training and diet. Using empirical data and parameters for age, it gives personalised recommendations to optimise your health, fitness and recovery. A similar size to the wristwatch, it is worn 24/7 and also monitors your sleep. Competitors of WHOOP are FitBit, JawBone, AppleWatch and Garmin. It is currently on version 4.0 in 2022.
Can I use WHOOP without a membership?
Without a membership, a WHOOP strap does not operate. Therefore purchase of one of their plans is necessary.
Like mini subscription-based products the longer you subscribe for it’s the cheaper it becomes.
There are various plans to choose from, ranging from the following:
|Europe (Check country)
Most economical subscription?
Laid out in this way, we can see the best economy of scale appears to be the 1-year subscription over the “monthly”, as the small print states a 12-month minimum subscription is required.
So you may as well choose to pay £264 upfront to make benefit from the cheaper annual membership.
That would save you £60.
2 year subscription
If you were to go for the two-year subscription, it’s an additional £168 for the second year.
So the question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re committed to using it for two years?
Otherwise, if you like it after month 12, you’ll be forced to pay £264 again for another year.
Pros and Cons of WHOOP
Here are just a few. Overall the pros far outweigh the cons. The functionality and App are just too good to ignore.
|Strong health and training metric tracking
|Limited colour options
|Solid and rugged
|Doesn’t tell the time
|Readouts very accurate
|Get’s raised eyebrows from other people
With any membership, you get the WHOOP 4.0 for free and access to the WHOOP App.
According to the WHOOP website:
“The monthly payment goes towards the personalized data insights WHOOP provides in addition to weekly, monthly, and annual performance reports. And we continually add new features and functionality into the app to enhance your experience without the need of buying new hardware”.
The App is very slick and extremely interactive and responsive. It is native, as opposed to a PWA (progressive web app).
With a black background, the information and interactive scales are in bright colours. They really pop off the screen and make for easy reading.
The font is bright white. Against the black, again makes for easy reading.
Working your way around is simple and intuitive.
There are plenty of stats to get your head into. The bottom of the App has a control pane where you can easily flick between functions.
Android and Apple
The App is supported by both operating systems. It relies on Bluetooth to connect to your device, as the band takes the metrics and sends them to your phone.
You also need a WiFi connection during setup, for your account registration.
The Apple App Store shows a pretty solid 5-star score, with just under 1k reviews.
What functions does the App have?
There are many functions, but here are the headlines:
- Understand your Strain, Recovery and Sleep
- View your key health metrics
- Receive personalised coaching recommendations
- Join a community pertinent to your activity
- Track your daily behaviours and habits (for example caffeine, stress, tobacco etc)
- Learn how your behaviours affect your performance
- Adjust your lifestyle around your menstrual cycle
What you can expect to see in the App
Further to the above, this is what you can expect to see when flicking through the various functions.
There are further options to expand more information out on the pages by pressing the ? button.
Is WHOOP a CrossFit sponsor?
In May 2022, it was announced that WHOOP is no longer an official CrossFit sponsor, as this article details.
The relationship lasted only just over a year.
The details over the split are fairly sparse. However, one thing that would has been publicly announced is that they (WHOOP) appear to be aligning themselves more with conventional gyms that use similar techniques to CrossFit in their training.
Perhaps to broaden their scope and market share?
What WHOOP has to say
Director of WHOOP PR, Andrew Jacobs said
“There are many gyms and boxes that offer exercises similar to CrossFit gyms, and we updated the activity to Box Fitness to create a more encompassing category to track these activities alongside Functional Fitness.”Andrew Jacobs – WHOOP
CrossFit option has been changed
One noticeable thing on the app is that CrossFit training is no longer selectable.
You now need to select ‘Box Training’ if doing CrossFit with your WHOOP.
WHOOP also sponsors the PGA, top-level golfers and field athletes.
It was originally named Bobo Analytics.
WHOOP was allegedly an expression that he and his friends used during college. “So, people would say, ‘Hey, you fired up for the match, you got whoop?” according to CEO Will Ahmed.
It’s an interesting name. Easy to remember, but hard to explain.
I remember the first time I saw someone wearing one and it didn’t tell the time.
Mind = blown.
A wristwatch that doesn’t tell the time….
What CrossFit athletes use WHOOP?
According to Morning Chalk Up, “Among the CrossFit athletes sponsored by WHOOP are Katrin Davidsdottir, Noah Ohlsen, Brooke Wells and Rich Froning.”
There are a number of other elite and regional level CrossFit athletes you may have seen wearing them too.
Quite often you see coaches every day CrossFitters, and non-CrossFit sports lovers wearing WHOOP.
It’s not exclusive for CrossFitters! Generally speaking, anyone who loves data and fitness is suited to one of these.
Is WHOOP better than an Apple Watch?
The two items are different and therefore aren’t really be comparable.
AppleWatch: More of a motivational tool, with a huge array of features that dwarfs that of the WHOOP.
WHOOP: The wristband is not meant for sending texts, ringing your phone when it’s lost in the back of the sofa, or looking at Facebook notifications.
Its key objective is to optimise human health, behaviours and recovery.
So in summary if you want to optimise your performance, the WHOOP is a good option.
So the question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re committed to using it for two years?
Otherwise, if you like it after month 12, you’ll be forced to pay £264 again for another year.Choosing your WHOOP subscription
If having a myriad of features, as well as analysing fitness data, then Apple Watch is a possible solution you need.
This review from PowerBlogs is very analytical and balanced in its conclusion. It’s well worth a read.
The best alternative to WHOOP?
Here is a rundown of alternative options to the WHOOP 4.0 with some of its key features.
This is not an in-depth review of each, but more of an overview of what to expect. Make sure to do further research when selecting which device would be suitable for you.
1. AppleWatch 7 – from £369
An overview of the functions are as follows:
- Make phone calls
- Access other functions on your phone such as using it to take pictures and read messages
- Find my iPhone
- Fitness tracking
- Motivational feedback
- Sleep tracking
- ECG (echocardiogram) monitor
- HRM (heart rate monitor)
- Weather Monitoring
- Flight tracking
- Receive workouts (new every week)
The list can go on and on. It is a crazy bit of kit.
2. FitBit – Charge 5.
The FitBit Charge 5 is also a function packed wrist strap. It does not have the plethora of functions like the AppleWatch, but its primary focus is fitness and heath tracking.
Below are some overview functions you can find in the Charge 5.
|– Fitbit ECG (Electrocardiogram) App
– EDA (Electrodermal Activity) Scan App
– Stress Management Score
– Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) Monitoring
– Heart Rate Variability
– Breathing Rate
– Skin Temperature Tracking
– Sleep Score & Sleep Stages
– Menstrual Cycle Tracking
|– Daily Readiness Score
– Active Zone Minutes
– 24/7 Heart Rate Tracking with PurePulse
– Built-In GPS
– Workout Intensity Map
– 20 Exercise Modes
– Cardio Fitness Level
3. Garmin – Forerunner 945
This is a rough equivalent to the WHOOP 4.0 with regards usage, size and weight.
According to Garmin, it’s for the versatile athlete. It is quite big on the wrist, and the style an acquired taste. Probably less for the daintier of us, or those with small wrists.
– Wrist based heart rate monitor
– V02 Max
– Recovery Data
|– Garmin Coach
– Built in Sports Apps
– Running tracking
– Perfomance condition
– Training status
– Effect of training
– Training load
– Workout suggestions
– Pulse and O2 sensor
Along with all these features, the Garmin also has NFT payment capabilities (wireless payments), smart notifications, automatic tracking, Spotify linking, various workout types, and loads of other cool things.
It is more on par with an Apple Watch. It also tells you the time!
Summary of WHOOP
The WHOOP band is an excellent little device that will keep your training interesting and on track.
Although it is no longer a sponsor of the CrossFit brand, the functionality and tracking still very much applies.
It’s downside and turn-off admittedly is the subscription-based model. If it wasn’t for that, many more people could reap the benefits of having one.
The App is so sleek and informative, so it’s a must-have for anyone who’s looking to improve their lifestyle, training or health – should you be able to commit to the outlay and subscription.
For other CrossFit-related must-have kit and 20 tips, check this Best Gym Hacks Article here.