WHOOP HR Accuracy – Again

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Been supporting this blog for years, generally great work and appreciated. But dude it’s annoying to put content behind a paywall, you will lose readers.

Jason Davis

Re: the paywall, it got me to subscribe today. I get a lot of value from your page and I had been meaning to subscribe for a while, so this was a good reminder for me. Agreed that the options to monetize are all probably annoying in some degree to readers, just how it is, and I understand you can’t do this full time for free. I’d MUCH rather support you and thus support more content. On to Whoop, I’m about 3 weeks in and debating keeping it. I’m a pretty good candidate for optical HR, Garmin/Polar work fine for me from the wrist, and my Scosche Rhythm 24 works great for strength training. Whoop seems to do a reasonable job on the wrist when running. Maybe a few weird numbers at the beginning of the run sometimes, but mostly inline. Where I’ve been disappointed is the accuracy on the bicep when strength training. I’ve been comparing it vs the Scosche and vs a Polar H10 as a baseline, and the Whoop seems to consistently cut out peaks in HR. For example, after a set the Scosche would have my HR peaking around 132 and the Whoop around 121. This… Read more »

Nick K

Well, presumably there’s a difference between a spike of HR to 140-150 on heavy lift or plyometric exercise like kettlebells or box jumps vs a cut-off at 115-125 if HR tracking is off. If we go by Firstbeat/Garmin methodology, for the former you gonna get a nice anaerobic effect. For the latter you gonna get bupkis, which is quite a bit upsetting for any self-respecting data-driven OCD type. Not to mention, more accurate HR, with no peaks missing, will imply higher strain. Which is better than lower strain, even if not as good as some measure that would take in not only an average cardiac load from the session, but perhaps a measure of how it varied.

Jason Davis

Before I got the Whoop, I didn’t really care about HR in the gym. I’d still track it, as I could somewhat infer if I’m working hard or slacking by the peaks, but I never look back at a strength workout recorded on my Garmin. With Whoop though I’ve got a strain goal that I’m trying to hit, and unless I want to double my running miles or ditch the strength training for another form of cardio, I’m not finding it possible hit. I guess cardio strain vs muscle strain, but I feel like the strength workouts do put more of a strain on the body overall (muscle, CNS, whatever) than what Whoop is giving me. And I keep thinking if Whoop was seeing 30 sets peaking 10 to 12 BPM higher, would I be getting a more reasonable strain number from the workout.

Nick K

Are you using a biceps band for your WHOOP while strength training? If not, anything on the wrist or around will be garbage. And I have a feeling that not all biceps bands are equal, especially if the said strength training exercises involve mmm… biceps. I get better accuracy with older, stretchy bends than, say, an impact sleeve on all curls and cleans. Not seeing this difference for non-bicep heavy exercises.

Jason Davis

I am using the bicep band. I’ve tried all sorts of arm positions on the upper arm and forearm, but can’t get good consistent results.

I do think the strap on the Scosche is better. It’s wider and attaches to both ends of the HRM vs the Whoop clasp where the band is essentially attaching at the same end and then lying over the HRM.

What I like about Whoop is how it takes into account everything. But the other side of that, is if I think it’s giving me not that great numbers for one thing (strength training) is that then throwing off everything?