WHOOP U Session 1: The Basics


Welcome to Session 1 of WHOOP U. We’re excited to lay the groundwork for your understanding of WHOOP.


One of the most common questions people ask is why they should use WHOOP compared to other devices. While anyone can benefit from WHOOP, it depends what you are looking for out of a fitness wearable.

What WHOOP is:

  • A performance monitor: WHOOP tracks recovery, cardiovascular strain, and sleep. It is a full physiological profile of each day, so you can assess your body’s needs.
  • An accountability coach: WHOOP tells it like it is. It is up to you to make actionable behavior changes.
  • A long-term solution: It is impossible to know your body’s needs after wearing WHOOP for a few days. WHOOP monitors trends in fitness over time, so you can see your performance evolve or weeks, months, and years.

What WHOOP is not:

  • A smartwatch: We purposely do not have a watch face to distract you with notifications. This is intentional and allows WHOOP to maintain a low profile.
  • A step-counter: We do not count steps because we believe they are irrelevant to your physiological performance and overall health.
  • A GPS watch: While you can track distance within the WHOOP app, the device itself does not have a GPS monitor.

For a basic overview, watch the tutorial below:

The 3 Pillars of Your Performance

Your body is a complex system that is working 24/7. WHOOP breaks it down into 3 pillars of performance to help you get a better understanding of how it works. 

Pillar 1: Recovery

WHOOP recovery is based on 3 metrics: resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and sleep. These 3 metrics are affected by things like stress, alcohol, caffeine, exercise, diet, and more. WHOOP detects fluctuations in these metrics, which in turn affect your overall recovery.


Know the difference between red, yellow, and green:

Pillar 2: Strain

WHOOP strain is measured on a 0 to 21 scale, which is based on Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. The more time you spend in your max heart rate zones, the higher your strain will be. Strain does not operate on a linear scale, which means the higher your strain goes, the harder you must push your body.


Pillar 3: Sleep

WHOOP recommends the optimal amount of sleep you need each night based on your baseline, recent strain, sleep debt, and recent naps. 

Tap “Sleep Needed” in your app to see how we calculate your specific sleep requirement.


Your Baseline is Constantly Evolving

As we stated before, WHOOP is a long-term solution. It records data 24/7, so that you can monitor trends in physiological data over weeks, months, and years. 

By swiping right in your app, you can view your 30-day baseline, which will change based on your fitness levels and overall health:


By visiting app.whoop.com, you can select any time frame up to 6 months to see how any of your WHOOP stats have trended. Below is an example of someone’s recovery recorded over a 6-month period:


This concludes Session 1 of WHOOP U: The Basics. Stay tuned for next week’s class, which is all about recovery.



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