Whoop Vs. Apple Watch: Which One Is Better For Your Goals
We live for technology – the latest and greatest, especially when it comes to wearable technology that can help us achieve better human performance. Ever since Apple released the iPod in 2001, 20 years ago, society has been obsessed with the power to make life better, easier, more optimal. But when it comes to fitness, there are a few players in the game, WHOOP with their first release in 2015, the same year as the Apple Watch, have been closely matched, yet also offer significantly different features and benefits, based upon the metrics you find more valuable as an athlete. We’re going to take a deep dive into the differences between WHOOP vs. Apple Watch and see which one is best for you.
The latest and greatest release from Apple – Apple Watch Series 7. First and foremost, the apple watch… Is a watch. This release has a larger display with over 50% more screen area than the Series 3. The new, “Tap. Type. Swipe” features also make using features like text, easier since it uses machine learning to predict what word you’re typing. The Series 7 also has 33% faster charging than the Series 6.
Now, in regard to fitness, the Series 7 has really stepped up their game.
You can now measure your blood oxygen level, your heart rate, along with other innovations, such as mindfulness and sleep tracking.
Your blood oxygen level is a key indicator of your overall wellness. It can help you understand how well your body is absorbing oxygen and the amount of oxygen delivered to your body
The Apple Fitness+ feature has dozens of workouts, including protocols like spin, tai chi, and Pilates. There are new workouts every week, from 5 to 45 minutes. Eleven workout types, including HIIT, Strength, Pilates, and Yoga. Guided meditations to help you focus on your overall wellbeing. And personal metrics from Apple Watch synced to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Even crazier, the Apple Watch is H20 resistant up to 50 meters, which can help you track your swim metrics.
The WHOOP Strap is very different than the Apple Watch. The real goal of the Apple Watch is to appeal to the masses, essentially being the Swiss Army Knife of wearable technology, for anyone and everyone.
WHOOP is highly specialized and focused upon a specific demographic, which is more competitive in nature, who really values deeper insights and metrics into exactly your body needs and what it’s doing regarding recovery and performance insights.
The WHOOP strap focuses on a few specific parameters, including sleep, sleep quality, strain scores, recovery, bloody oxygen levels, and heart rate.
In depth sleep monitoring is one of the most appealing aspects of the WHOOP. WHOOP recommends hours of sleep needed for optimal recovery and tracks sleep stages, disturbances, respiratory rate, and more. WHOOP tracks time in bed, sleep latency, and sleep efficiency in correlation to how well your workout recovery is. WHOOP tracks all 4 sleep stages with precise accuracy: slow wave sleep (SWS), REM, light, and awake. Each stage serves a different function of your recovery.
Better sleep translates to better recovery. WHOOP recovery quantifies how your body is adapting to stress and your readiness for the day. The more recovered you are, the more you can achieve with your performance. The WHOOP strap gives you valuable analytics into your daily, weekly, and monthly recovery and how well you are sleeping to maximize performance.
WHOOP Vs Apple Watch
I wrote an article in 2020, entitled “10 Studies That Prove If Fitness Trackers Are Actually Accurate.” In my research I found that amongst several wearable technology competitors the Apple Watch and WHOOP were two of the most reliable when it came to accurate information. However when it comes to technology, two years is a lifetime. So what’s changed?
Studies have shown that fitness trackers are relatively accurate in tracking and recording activity, however energy expenditure still proves to be a relatively challenging variable to quantify. Recent studies suggest that the most accurate fitness trackers are still 10% off, when it comes to energy expenditure [R]. In 2017 Stanford conducted a study which showed the mean average for the best trackers when it came to energy expenditure was off by 27%. Therefore, trackers have come a long way just in the last few years, regarding accuracy.
This leads me directly into my next point. One advantage that WHOOP has in terms of accuracy, is that that it takes 52 samples of your heart rate per second 24/7 (even if you’re not active). The Apple Watch only checks your heart every five minutes while inactive, which over time, can result in poor or suboptimal data.
Now let’s talk about general exercise and motivation. Apple Watch has built in activity rings, in which you are incentivized to complete. This can be a big motivating factor, for those that really need it. Apple watch also lets you initiate a workout relatively quickly and easily with a couple quick taps, giving you visibility into your heart rate, exercise duration, and distance. You can even download an Apple Music playlist on your watch before a run or cycle, without the use or need of your phone in close proximity.
WHOOP strap does not have a display and is purely app driven. For some this could be an issue. Personally, I like having the data on my wrist to reference how many cals I’ve burned, my exercise duration, the distance I’ve ran, and my heart rate. This can help exponentially with heart rate training, more motivation, and tracking your runs, which I love to do. With WHOOP you can log a run afterwards, however since it does not have GPS you do not have real-time tracking data for distance.
If you’re looking to track your sleep, then WHOOP whoops Apple Watch hands down. Apple Watch does track sleep duration, but it has no way to track sleep quality, or sleep cycle like WHOOP.
Apple Watch also does not track anything about recovery and assumes you’re 100 when you wake up. WHOOPS specialty and niche is recovery. WHOOPS intelligence interface will tell you how much sleep you need and even what time to go to bed, in order to have the most optimal recovery for the next day.
Average battery life for an Apple Watch is around 20 hours, and does require daily charging. WHOOP however, has a runtime of 5 days. Daily charging for 10-15 minutes is optimal to keep it fully charged, indicative of use.
|Automatic workout detection||✓||✓|
|Support for chest straps (HR)||✓||✘|
|Sleep stage analysis||✘||✓|
|Sleep quality score||✘||✓|
|Battery life||16 to 28 hours||5 days|
|Pricing||$399 to $799||$18 to $30 per month|
WHOOP Vs Apple Watch: Takeaway
It comes down to really one thing – how competitive and serious are you about your athletic performance and sport? If you are a competitive athlete, WHOOP is the easy choice. Sleep and recovery is much more important in term of value based metrics, to help you optimize o daily habits, sleep routine, and improve recovery for better performance. The Apple Watch, is more of a general consumer based novelty, for the average, or even above average gym goer, but is a bit less ideal for the highly competitive athlete. When you know your sport, you don’t need exercise activity options, motivation, or care about calories burned. Personally, I enjoy the touch screen, the metrics, and the distance tracking. But again, i am not a competitive athlete. I work out to stay in shape, be healthy, and fit. So it really comes down to what type of athlete you are, and/or want to be.
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