A Year With Whoop: 4.0 An Evaluation by a Personal Trainer


A Year With Whoop

A Year With Whoop: 4.0 An Evaluation by a Personal Trainer

A Year With Whoop 4.0: An Evaluation by a Personal Trainer


For more than a year, I have been wearing the Whoop 4.0, and the discreet wrist strap has never left my arm. Having worked as a personal trainer for nearly three decades and having a slight interest in “bio-hacking,” the prospect of quantifiable healing was alluring.


Most self-monitoring products have been helpful to me in the beginning, but since I stick to my routines and eat the same things, I stop learning new things. Would the Whoop 4.0 be any different, I wanted to know.

A Year With Whoop

A Year With Whoop
A Year With Whoop

Whoop’s main purpose is to weigh recovery efforts—mostly sleep—and balance them against stress. An athlete can fine-tune how actions, foods, and other factors impact their sleep, and how that sleep impacts training efforts, by tracking at least six physiological markers during sleep and comparing them to personal logs and strain patterns.


In summary, the Whoop 4.0 offered extremely insightful information about factors that both positively and negatively impacted my ability to perform, recover, and sleep. These effects were significant at first, and alterations in lifestyle significantly aided in recovery.

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After a year, the frequency has decreased, but I continue to find seemingly insignificant behaviors that interfere with my daily recuperation.


Whoop 4.0 Evaluation: Extended Trial

I made a commitment to use the Whoop 4.0 for a minimum of a year in order to gather as much useful data as I could and to test its durability.


I’ve made it very clear to my athletes that recovery is an essential component of training and should not be disregarded.

A Year With Whoop

A Year With Whoop
A Year With Whoop

Even if you are highly motivated to train, your efforts will mostly be in vain if you are unable to heal. Similar to numerous athletes I coach, I have no trouble staying motivated to train. But I’ve always struggled to keep up my recovery efforts.


As Gear Junkie’s lucky cycling and climbing editor, my workdays are busy in and of themselves. Recuperation and athletic performance are top concerns for a serious recreational athlete.

A Year With Whoop

Recuperation is crucial to maintaining health and injury-free training at 55 years old. But striking a sustainable balance has proven difficult because of being a single father, keeping up social ties, and—gasp!—dating.

I was hoping the Whoop 4.0 would be useful.

Physical Specifics

As advised by Whoop, I wore the Whoop 4.0 tracker on my non-dominant wrist. Moreover, it can be worn on the upper arm. The 1.5 x 1-inch sensor didn’t bother me at all, and it didn’t get in the way of any activity—including rock climbing.


I was only aware that I was wearing a tracking device when the strap got wet from working out or taking a shower. I then upgraded to a “Hydra-Knit” band, which dries faster. With this setup, the Whoop 4.0 weighs a mere 28 g.

A Year With Whoop

With the help of an ingenious piggyback battery pack, the on-board battery could be wirelessly recharged, giving it a 4-day lifespan. In this manner, while charging, the Whoop can continue to record and send data to the phone.


To ensure that the much larger form factor wouldn’t interfere with anything, I completed this over night while the charger was on.

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For up to two hours, the Whoop sensor and charging battery pack can withstand water and dust at depths of up to 10 m (about 32 feet) thanks to IP68 certification.


What The Whoop 4.0 Monitors and Shows

First off, the Whoop primarily functions as a sleep monitor, timing the duration of each stage of sleep. Measurements are made of light sleep, time awake, rapid-eye movement sleep (REM), and slow-wave sleep (SWS).


In addition, it keeps track of your heart rate variability (HRV), skin temperature, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and waking events.

A Year With Whoop

Along with GPS, motion sensors, and manual journal entries, the Whoop monitors the same metrics all day long.


These customizable manual entries cover things like CBD use, coffee and alcohol consumption, exercise zone and type, and other lifestyle factors that may impact sleep.


The software targets that night’s rest and recuperation by calculating a sleep requirement based on all the data. Additionally, it calculates how much stress you can handle that day.


The app’s main screen continuously displays a strain versus recovery visualization. Whoop uses heart rate and HRV to estimate stress levels throughout the day.

A Year With Whoop

Broadly speaking, the Whoop system tracks all of this over time to show trends. It does this by attempting to quantify the amount of strain your current recovery can withstand as well as the quantity and quality of sleep required to recover from that day.


The user can quickly recall the raw data and make connections between actions, recovery, and strain tolerance. This is the main information provided by The Whoop, though there is more.


Rehab Tracking: Key Learnings

Common sense governs many of the major factors that adversely affect sleep. Perhaps the Whoop wasn’t necessary, but at first it was really shocking to realize how much of an impact it had on sleep. Since each person is unique, these assertions only apply to me.

A Year With Whoop

The main one is how negatively drinking alcohol impacts sleep, which I believe a lot of people who are active want to know. It was a major disappointment for me.


The amount and quality of restorative sleep were significantly impacted by alcohol consumption, regardless of the amount, after approximately 5 p.m.


It lengthened my time to sleep and decreased the amount of both SWS and REM sleep. In addition, it caused an increase in my skin temperature, resting heart rate, breathing rate, and number of awake moments.


Believe me, I tried every combination—different types of alcohol, different times, food or not—but the outcome was always the same.


The timing of my last meal was the second most important factor. Like alcohol, the later I ate, the less restorative sleep I got and the longer it took me to fall asleep. The effect increases with the size of the meal.

A Year With Whoop

Eventually, it was evident that any unsettling thoughts before bedtime seriously interfered with deep, restorative sleep.


I slept through the night just as quickly, but I woke up much earlier and experienced more frequent awakenings. Furthermore, these emotionally upsetting thoughts decreased both SWS and REM sleep, just like any other physical factor.


Whoop 4.0 Review: Final Thoughts

Declining Profits?

Self-monitoring for health and performance gains is nothing new to me. Since my lifestyle is constant, every other wearable has been beneficial for a few months, but eventually the novelty and utility wore off.

A Year With Whoop

I promptly adjusted my lifestyle as needed and verified the gains. But going forward, the improvements were, at most, negligible.


For the first three months of the Whoop 4.0, my assumption that it would be the same was accurate. For the rest of the year, though, I continued to wear the monitor and check the app.

A Year With Whoop

Everyday revelations were no longer available. However, sporadic “ah-ha” experiences permitted ongoing gains in recuperation, resilience to stress, and sleep.


Further Results

One instance of a “minor” finding was that, independent of air temperature, some bed partners significantly raised skin temperature.


There was a concomitant increase in the resting heart rate and breathing rate and skin temperature. All of this had a detrimental effect on how well I recovered from my sleep.


This happened only when I slept in the same bed as certain individuals. Determining what made some bed, tent, or van mates “hotter” than others was an amusing task. I could ruin my current dating situation by saying that my dog or cat had no impact.

A Year With Whoop

It is ultimately up to the user, in my opinion, how long the Whoop 4.0 and Whoop app continue to provide lifestyle guidance to enhance recovery. I made a commitment to investigate for a year, during which time I actively sought out connections. And I think that if more people follow suit, people will still find value in the system.


Upon a year of continuous, round-the-clock use, the Whoop sensor remains untarnished. Despite mountain and dirt biking with it, as well as rock and ice climbing, this is the case.

A Year With Whoop

Although there is some fading and dirt on the Hydra-Knit strap, the Whoop 4.0 has shown to be incredibly durable overall.


Not So Good: Undervaluation of Activities Associated with Strength

Whoop 4.0, in my opinion, correctly estimated the relative strain of aerobic exercise as well as the requirements for rest and sleep.


After engaging in cardiovascular cross-training or unloaded metabolic conditioning, hiking, and cycling, I found the Whoop app’s information to be accurate and beneficial.


However, I felt that the Whoop 4.0 significantly underestimated the strain and associated sleep and recovery needs for activities like weightlifting, climbing, or intense, CrossFit-style metabolic conditioning.


The day after this training, I felt like there was a big margin of error.

Whoop added a Strength Trainer feature during the testing phase in an attempt to potentially address this underestimation.

A Year With Whoop

This gave me the option to use a Whoop workout that was already created or add my own to the app. However, because I was a single parent and a time-pressed professional, I never used it because it required data entry during the workout.


I knew that adding loads, sets, and repetitions would significantly increase the precision of the muscle load estimation, but I wasn’t ready to sacrifice the intensity or flow of my workouts.

A Year With Whoop

I finally had to figure out a way around the Whoop’s underestimate of the amount of strain and recovery required for strength-training exercises.

If you prioritize strength-building, high-strain workouts, think about how this would affect your overall experience and goals.

Additional Unfavorable Elements

An additional possible drawback is the price of the necessary subscription. Monthly memberships cost $30 per month, and annual memberships have an MSRP of $239.


Although these are expensive purchases, loyal members receive free hardware updates. Whoop uses a preowned device, but they offer a 30-day free trial that, unless the user cancels, converts to a 1-year plan.

A Year With Whoop

My wrist never broke off the Whoop 4.0 by itself. However, I unintentionally opened it a few times when working on cars or bikes, pulling off long sleeves or shoving my arm into awkward spaces.


One minor drawback is that the strap can completely unhitch on one side due to the way it attaches to the body. This might make it fly off and possibly break rather than hang on the arm.

In conclusion

There is no denying the initial influence the Whoop 4.0 had on my way of life. It gave me information that helped me make adjustments to my sleeping patterns so that they would better support my daily activities.


However, I’ve had comparable experiences with other wearables, such as activity trackers, continuous glucose monitors, and other products in the growing self-monitoring market.


However, even after a full year of use, I still find little nuggets of knowledge that shape my daily routine. No, they are less common, but they nevertheless offer proof to support steady and gradual advancement.

A Year With Whoop

A Year With Whoop
A Year With Whoop

Any input into training or wellness starts off as a steep line on the graph, but it eventually tapers off.


Regardless of how slowly, as long as it keeps going up, I think it’s still worthwhile to pursue even the smallest advancements.

A Year With Whoop

I believe that if you have similar interests, the Whoop 4.0 would be helpful for the first year or more. I kept up my annual subscription and my desire to pursue every tiny advantage. Perhaps you will be as well.


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