Wearing Whoop may not have improved my golf game - it hasn’t stopped me coming over the top in my swing or quitting on chips - but its impact has been transformational. I feel better at age 51 than I did at 21 and my energy levels and focus are off the charts compared to where they were a year ago; I know I’m in a better place to tackle the challenges of life - be they personal or professional. Whoop isn’t solely responsible for that but it’s given me the insight to make better choices that promote my wellbeing. From there it’s just down to me to follow up on those insights and make the changes. I’ve been so impressed by Whoop that I have encouraged the Golf Monthly team to get involved in a six-month trial to see if they can feel some of the benefits I have enjoyed.
Provides incredible insight. Waterproof, lightweight and features a five-day battery life. Can charge easily whilst wearing. Adaptable subscription model and outstanding customer service.
Need to use a device (phone/computer) to access any data. The standard strap (black) is not as aesthetically pleasing and when worn on your wrist it's far from discreet. Can give the occasional rogue reading around very high heart rate.
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In this Whoop 3.0 review, we discuss what the health and fitness tracker can do for your golf game, as well as your general wellbeing
Whoop 3.0 Review
Whoop is the brainchild of Will Ahmed, a former captain of the Harvard men’s varsity squash team, who describes this wearable technology as a “24/7 life coach”. By collecting physiological data around the clock, it provides an accurate insight to help the user better understand their body.
The Whoop Strap 3.0, which can be worn on the wrist or around the bicep, syncs with a free app, and gives wearers daily reports on three key areas: sleep, strain and recovery. In short, it will give you specific insights into what are the personal factors that keep your body in balance; the more you do that, the better your recovery; the better your recovery, the better your potential to perform.
One of the most impressive features is the recovery score, which tells you what kind of shape your body is in to take on ‘strain’, be that a round of golf, a heavy workout, or a busy day in the office. Life is tiring and technology that encourages you to prioritise rest so you can perform to your maximum potential is highly undervalued.
It’s easy to understand why so many of the world’s best golfers wear Whoop, as well as business leaders and the military. For golfers, they know that if they are well rested, they’ve got a better chance of playing well.
“I’m almost a year in and I never take it off,” says Justin Thomas. “I’m always learning about myself and things my body does and doesn’t respond well to, which is huge for me to perform my best on the course.”
Some of the feedback will come as no surprise, but it’s not your typical fitness tracker and it hasn’t been designed to tell you off. It can’t make you not have an alcoholic drink or go to bed early, but the insight it offers is incredible and, ultimately, it gives you more accountability.
The insights around sleep are especially eye-opening. In a nutshell sleep drives recovery so the better your sleep (duration and quality) the more able you are to perform the next day.
With Whoop’s Sleep Coach you learn how much you need to reach your desired performance level the next day and gain genuine insight into what promotes or impacts good sleep. It’s up to you to action those insights but Whoop gives it to you straight in black and white. For me, eating my last meal at least two hours before bedtime, taking a CBD supplement, avoiding or at least limiting alcohol and reading a book - not looking at my phone - are the key things I can do to improve my sleep.
To gain this insight you track behaviours in the Whoop Journal - it's a simple two to three minute process to undertake thanks to the simple yes/no sliding scale functionality.
To determine how much strain you are putting your body under you can log all your activities in the app too – anything from golf (including caddying) and commuting, to CrossFit training and household chores.
Two words of advice: Firstly, don’t expect immediate insight. Whoop will give you information from day four of wearing it but I’d say you need a good month under your belt in order to establish a genuine personal baseline and from there you’ll begin to get the insights from which to make changes.
Secondly don’t get demoralised by your recovery scores. There will be times when you wake up feeling great, but your recovery score is low. Whoop is measuring what you can’t feel, so trust the science and you can really reap the rewards.
From the moment you get started, Whoop’s customer service is second to none, and you’ll receive plenty of updates and information to help you make sense of the data and improve your understanding of how to increase your potential to perform. Meanwhile the free podcast and the online resource centre, The Locker, are amazing sources of information and inspiration.
A word on the subscription model, too… it’s excellent! It’s a bit like when you enter a phone contract, where there’s no upfront cost and you get rewarded if you sign up for longer, which is good, because it encourages you to keep on using it.
That said, some might see it as expensive, especially for those who already have gym membership or another fitness tracker. However you’re paying for the insights, and the insight really is next level.
As a tech company Whoop is always looking to the future and Whoop 4.0 has just been released.
The tracker is 33% smaller than 3.0, has an easier-to-change strap, can be charged even when you are getting wet (ie in the shower, pool or ocean) and can be worn in different locations other than the wrist or bicep when used with the new range of Whoop Body clothing.
More importantly it will give another two new metrics - skin temperature and blood oxygen levels that combined with the existing ones of HRV, resting heart rate and respiratory rates delivers you with what is effectively a daily medical. I’ll provide a review of that once I have had the chance to experience the new features.
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Mike has been a journalist all his working life, starting out as a football writer with Goal magazine in the 1990s before moving into men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines including Men's Health, In 2003 he joined Golf Monthly and in 2006 he became only the eighth editor in Golf Monthly’s 100-plus year history overseeing the brand until July 2023. His two main passions in golf are courses, having played over 400 courses worldwide, and shoes; he owns over 40 pairs.
Mike’s handicap index hovers at around 10 and he is a member of four golf clubs: Hartley Wintney, Royal Liverpool, Royal North Devon and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
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