Whoop 4.0 delivers a host of significant hardware and software upgrades from 3.0. Combined with Whoop Body (garments where the tracker can be placed), Whoop has raised the bar for wearable tech. It won’t stop you playing bad golf shots, but the potential wider health and fitness benefits are huge.
Best in class health insights
Detailed weekly and monthly reports
Whoop Body and Any-Wear Technology
Improved sleep coach features
Improved HR accuracy
Subscription model won’t suit everyone
3.0 still provides incredible insight
If you bought extra 3.0 bands these are now redundant
By Mike Harris published
If you’re not familiar with Whoop, here’s a brief background: it’s 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”. It collects physiological data around the clock, and provides an accurate insight to help the user better understand their body.
How can this help your golf game? Well, many of the world’s best players wear Whoop, the reason being it measures strain, recovery and sleep. In short, balancing strain (essentially effort) and recovery is vitally important for optimal performance and Whoop can help golfers peak for important rounds.
However, it’s not just designed for elite athletes, far from it – Whoop is for anyone who wants to better understand the effects (positive and negative) of their lifestyle habits and exercise patterns.
What is Whoop?
Before talking about the 4.0 upgrade, it’s important to give a little extra background and recap on my first 10 months on Whoop - you can read my in depth Whoop 3.0 review.
Although wearing Whoop may not have improved my handicap index, I feel its impact has been nothing short of transformational when it comes to my wider life. It’s no exaggeration to say that I feel better now at 51 than when I did at 21 and I put a lot of how I feel down to actioning the insights Whoop gives me every day.
What’s been really noticeable is my improved energy and fitness levels. My energy has been off the charts compared to where it was in the past and I’ve seen my fitness increase - from 5K run times to the weights I can lift.
That’s because I now don’t fall into the trap of overtraining and putting in maximum effort every time I exercise but instead dial back on days when my recovery is lower, or I have a genuine easy day when I’m in the red. Conversely, when I’m in the green, I know I have the capacity to really work hard and drive fitness gains.
Of course, Whoop isn’t solely responsible for this, but what I am keen to stress is that it’s given me the insight to make better choices that promote my wellbeing. The more I’ve used it, the better the results I've seen the more I trust Whoop. It feels like a virtuous circle.
Have I become a little over reliant on Whoop? Do you need cutting edge tech to tell you getting drunk and going to bed late is bad for you? Have I let Whoop rule my life a bit too much?
My wife and daughter often laugh at me when I head upstairs at 9pm; “Dad, has Whoop just told you to go to bed?” Maybe the answer is yes to both, but frankly I’d rather be making good decisions around my wellbeing than undermining it with bad choices.
Whoop 4.0: New Features
Needless to say, I was pretty excited to upgrade from 3.0 to 4.0, and having spent the last month wearing 4.0 and trying the new features, I have to say that it’s been worth the wait.
The delays to product shipping are well documented, which has been frustrating for existing users wanting to upgrade and those wanting to get on Whoop for the first time, but to its credit Whoop has made a lot of effort to communicate with disgruntled customers via social media.
There are a number of new features and design changes – so the first thing to state is that this is a genuine upgrade not just a cosmetic makeover. The device itself is 33% smaller than the previous one, so it takes up less space on the wrist.
It’s still prominent and whilst not everybody will like the look – I actually think it looks stylish – Whoop has managed to get around the fact that if you don’t like the strap on display there’s now Whoop Body with Any-Wear Technology (more on that below).
With Whoop 4.0, the sensors have been developed so it can measure more metrics, and measurements are also meant to be more accurate. One of the drawbacks of 3.0 was that I did get the odd rogue heart rate, which tended to be abnormally high during what I’d classify as mild-strain activities.
Over the last four weeks, there have been few, if any, of these. If I compare the readings from my Apple Watch (which is widely acknowledged as giving one of, if not the most accurate wrist readings from a device on the wrist) this would back it up – they’re very similar, whereas with 3.0 the heart rate would show it higher than my watch from time to time.
Meanwhile, you’re able to get some really advanced metrics with blood oxygen and skin temperature. This data is normally the preserve of medical observations. When combined with respiratory rate, heart rate, and HRV, it gives a daily medical, and it shows you in the report, at a glance, whether your five metrics are within your healthy range. What’s really clever is the share function. Whether it’s with your doctor, or your coach – handy if you’re an elite athlete – this is a superb function.
As with Whoop 3.0, the weekly and monthly performance reports are extremely useful. I don’t look at them all the time, but no doubt about it, they will show you trends of how behaviours affect recovery. So, if you want to see what changes in your behaviour does, either introducing or stopping something, then these reports will identify what is and what is not helpful when it comes to promoting recovery.
There have been some really big improvements made with the battery, too. Despite the smaller size, it still has the same five-day battery life as the 3.0. The battery pack is also a lot smarter – it’s wireless and waterproof. I never made the costly mistake of showering with the battery on with 3.0, but Whoop says plenty of users reported doing so.
What’s also neat is that you can double tap it and it’ll alert you as to how much power it has remaining, which means you can better manage when to give it some juice.
Whoop Body With Any-Wear Technology
One of the standout new pieces of technology is the new series of garments that allow you to wear your Whoop 4.0 in a variety of places on your body. As someone who’s fairly active and trains a lot, I have found this to be an excellent feature.
Now, you can easily remove the tracker from your device and place it in a little pod in your Whoop garment. I’ve been using this feature extensively and I’ll often place the tracker in the athletic boxer shorts (part of Whoop’s Training Collection) when I’m taking part in CrossFit sessions and want to wear wrist supports.
Previously I’d have had to have bought a Bicep band or take my Whoop off altogether and in doing so not record data around a workout.
Whoop has also made the new bands softer, more comfortable and more easily interchangeable. I never experienced any discomfort with the 3.0 ones but it could be a bit of a faff swapping the bands. The fast slider has eradicated this problem. My only gripe is that all the bands I bought for Whoop 3.0 (over 10!) are now redundant. I like to have a few options to mix up the look, so I’ll be starting again on that front!
It’s a minor quibble and of course the 4.0 comes with a strap, albeit a plain black one. The cynic in me says it's deliberately the most boring option so you’re encouraged to buy other bands… or maybe that's just me building up justification to buy other colours like the light blue ‘Ice’ one I'm wearing in the pictures.
Finally, with the launch of 4.0, Whoop is also offering a new membership option - Whoop Pro. For an additional cost of $12/£12 per month, it will give you a range of benefits including free gear, early access to new products, and discounts in the Whoop store, which adds another layer for the big Whoop fans.
A final word on Whoop and golf. Golf is hard. Improving at the game and shooting lower scores involves a lot of effort and wearing Whoop will NOT provide a shortcut to lower handicap index.
However, I do feel by wearing Whoop and actioning the feedback and insights it offers, it gives me the best chance of standing on the 1st tee in an important round physically and mentally ready to give it my best shot.
It is the reason why so many of the world’s best players - male and female - wear Whoop. None of them are paid to wear it (Whoop does not pay anyone to do so) and in the world of mega endorsements in professional sport, this speaks volumes.
For more information, browse our health and fitness reviews.
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