Is a WHOOP Band 4.0 Worth it?

Article by Lucas Rockwood

Are you a non-athlete trying to improve your health and fitness and wondering if the WHOOP Band 4.0 could help you? If so, this report is for you. My name is Lucas Rockwood and I’m a yoga teacher. I ordered a WHOOP Band two years ago, and now only take it off to shower. It’s on my top five list of items that have transformed my health, and the results are measurable. Is WHOOP worth it for you? Let me share my experiences.

NOTE: I do not have an affiliation or association with WHOOP the company. I’m a paying customer sharing my experiences

Can WHOOP Help Improve Your Sleep?

I’ve struggled with sleep my entire adult life. I knew my sleep was bad, but I assumed I was getting about six and half hours a night of sleep. WHOOP forced me to get honest. I was averaging just five hours nightly, and my REM sleep percentage was crazy low. Yikes.

WHOOP gives you a recovery percentage and color-coded recovery rating: red, yellow, and green. Red is a warning that you’ve slept and recovered poorly, and I was seeing red daily. This real-time biofeedback gave me the push to work on improving my sleep. Here are three things that worked for me:

1. Sleeping in a lightning bolt position

I use a wedge pillow to elevate my head and chest, and I use a pillow under my knees to keep me stuck in this position throughout the night. It’s awkward at first, but it improves your night-time breathing, sleep quality, and duration.

2. Cooling down before bed

We sleep best when our core body temperature drops slightly at night, so to encourage this I started taking a cool shower before bed. Freezing cold water can wake you up, so don’t do that, but a cool shower has really helped.

3. Yoga Breathing

I’ve been doing pre-bed breathing for years but adding Whiskey category practices like I’ve been doing pre-bed breathing exercises for years, but adding Whiskey category practices like Triangle or Box Breathing while in the lightning bolt sleep position really worked wonders.

Can Whoop Improve Your Heart Health?

When I first started practicing yoga 20 years ago, my heart rate would spike and stay elevated for over an hour – it was an amazing workout. Over the years, my yoga practice has become less taxing on my heart. Currently, my yoga practice rarely elevates my heart rate above 100 beats per minute. I didn’t realize that until I got a WHOOP Band.

There is severe heart disease on both sides of my family, so I need to take extra care. After seeing my lack of true cardio training in the app, I started running and joined a 40–50-year-old men’s group in the WHOOP app.

Much to my own surprise, seeing other people’s stats motivated me to train harder and want to move up the ranks. I’m not a competitive person, but since using this group in WHOOP, I’ve completed two marathons and two 10km races. Better still, my resting heart rate has dropped to the low 40s, and I’m in the best cardiovascular shape of my life. This would not have happened without WHOOP.

Can Whoop Help You Track Heart Rate Variability?

A healthy heart speeds up slightly when you inhale and slows slightly when you exhale. This beat-to-beat difference is called heart rate variability (HRV), and it’s a very good measure of your recovery and readiness state. If you’ve overtrained, your HRV will be low. If you’re stressed or sick, your HRV will be worse. If your HRV is high, you know you’re ready to take on the day.

HRV is a complicated math equation, and there are actually many different ways to measure it. To complicate things more, you really need to measure at the same time every day, and you need to compare your numbers to your own baseline–not to someone else’s. What all this means is that despite being an amazing health metric, almost no one bothers with it because it’s such a hassle–until now. WHOOP makes it so easy.

I learned my HRV is consistently extremely high, which explains how I’ve been able to get by on such poor sleep. Bad sleep combined with great HRV means I can just about get through the day. On days when I manage to have great sleep–in the green–and high HRV (above 150 for me), I feel amazing both mentally and physically. It’s extremely predictable and it gives me something to work towards.

Is Whoop Right For You?

The Whoop Band is best suited for endurance-style exercise, so if you’re not doing cardiovascular training such as running, swimming, or cycling, you’ll likely find the Whoop Band data uninteresting. Likewise, if you’re not into tech or number crunching, you might be wiser to invest the hefty $30/month membership fee on something else—like fitness equipment or a gym membership.

On the other hand, if you like health tech devices, if you’re motivated by data and biofeedback, and if you have health goals with a specific data-based target, Whoop makes it very easy. The battery life is amazing, the band itself can be worn with most clothing without standing out, and if you can stomach the monthly price tag, your data collection is on autopilot which can be a game changer.

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