Why is Recovery Important?
Recovery reflects how well prepared your body is to take on Strain, and is a measure of your body's "return to baseline" after a stressor. The size of these stressors - which can range from illness, exercise, psychological stress or sleep deprivation - determines how much your body needs to recover.
- When your Recovery is high, your body is primed to take on strain.
- When your Recovery is low, you may be at greater risk for injury, or overtraining (during intense workouts).
Recovery is highly personalized to each individual member; this means that two people with the same combination of resting heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and sleep performance on a given day could get very different Recoveries.
Recovery Analysis, Reporting and Breakdown
WHOOP learns each user’s unique baseline over time and adjusts continuously to guide individual training and personal lifestyle.
Recovery is reported on a 0-100% scale and divided into three stages:
Green = Sufficient Recovery. 67% or above. The body is primed to adapt to a larger training load.
Yellow = Adequate Recovery. 34% - 66%. The body is able to adapt to high training load but might be compromised based on the lower end of the spectrum.
Red = Low Recovery. 33% or below. In most cases, you may want to consider a low load (Strain) day or a day off and consider the influence of lifestyle factors on your score.
How Recovery is Calculated
WHOOP calculates your body's Recovery rate during your Sleep (each night) and reports your Recovery the next morning (after your Sleep is complete).
Four key metrics make up your Recovery:
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
- Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
- Respiratory Rate (RR)
- Hours of Sleep
Heart Rate Variability measures the difference in amount of time between successive heart beats, and is calculated with a dynamic averaged combined with your RHR each night while you sleep - focusing on your last slow-wave sleep stage, or the period when you're in your deepest level of sleep. This calculation method enables you to get an accurate understanding of your baseline, from which you can monitor trends/abnormalities.
NOTE: HRV is a health indicator for your autonomic nervous system, and a trending increase in HRV leads to a stronger Recovery. For more information on HRV, visit this locker post.
Resting Heart Rate measures your heart beat during your last period of slow wave (deep) sleep, when your body is in its most restful state. NOTE: Lower RHR over time is an indication of improved fitness and recovery.
Respiratory Rate is the number of breaths you take per minute, on average and over the course of your entire Sleep. NOTE: On average, your RR shouldn't fluctuate too much. Significant increases to your RR could be meaningful, and a plausible indicator of illness or health complications. For more information on Respiratory Rate, visit this locker post.
(Hours of) Sleep is when your body recovers. Getting more restful sleep each night can improve your Recovery the following day, and over time.
NOTE: getting 8 hours of sleep does not guarantee good Recovery, and getting 4 hours of sleep does not guarantee bad Recovery.
Other factors in Recovery are:
- Fitness level
- Recent Strain