WHOOP For Athletes: Recovery as a Skill


What is WHOOP Recovery?

Recovery is a measure of your body’s readiness to respond to perform on a scale of 0 to 100%.


What impacts Recovery?

Recovery is an all-encompassing metric that is calculated using recent trends and data points in resting heart rate, heart-rate variability, sleep performance, and more. Lifestyle choices and behaviors can significantly impact those metrics.


What is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart-rate variability (HRV) is the variance in time between heartbeats. Your HRV value on a given day originates from the two branches of your autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic (rest and digest) and the sympathetic (fight or flight). When these systems are balanced, your HRV increases, a sign that your body is capable of adapting to any changes in environment, like a hard training session, and performing at its best.


What is Resting Heart Rate?

Resting heart rate (RHR) is a measure of the number of heart beats per minute while your body is in a state of complete rest. A low resting heart rate is an indication of a strong heart muscle that is more effective with every beat, and increased fitness.


What does my Recovery mean?

Over time, WHOOP will help you discover lifestyle habits and training modalities that work best for your unique physiology. Viewing and assessing your score trends each week can help maximize performance in each facet of your athlete experience.

How do I use my Recovery score?

Post-Game Recovery. Have a low Recovery score on game day or the day after? Stay ahead of fatigue by dedicating extra time to rehabilitation techniques that most positively impact your data.

Coping with Training Load. Monitor your Recovery to peak when it matters most.




Training Periodization. Monitor how long it generally takes you to recover from games or workouts, and work with coaches to adjust training accordingly.

Returning to Play After Injury. Monitor your data and stay ahead of post-injury overtraining. 

Recovery is Not a Prescription. Use your Recovery score as a guide, not an end all be all.


Green Recovery indicates that your body is primed to take on Strain and you may be able to push yourself harder than usual during an important training session or competition. In this zone, you are well above your Recovery baseline, so make sure to track which lifestyle behaviors might have had an impact. 

Yellow Recovery represents your baseline and where you’ll most likely be majority of the time. Being in the yellow means that your body has taken on meaningful Strain recently, but you are still able to recover effectively. 

If you wake up with a Red Recovery score, don't panic! A lower score should inform you that you may need to pay close attention to your body and Recovery as you continue to accrue high levels of Strain. Sometimes, during a programmed period of overreaching, continuing to work through periods of low Recovery will lead to tremendous fitness gains.


Tips on Recovery Maximization

The key to optimizing Recovery is through self experimentation and constant monitoring. Log behaviors in your WHOOP journal and track how they impact your Recovery score over time. Some ways to increase Recovery:

  1. Foam rolling and stretching.
  2. Maximize Hydration, which is the #1 way that increases Recovery scores for WHOOP users.
  3. Dial into your nutrition and monitor how different foods affect your physiology.
  4. Meditation or Breathwork
  5. Monitor and Limit Alcohol Consumption
  6. Use Light Exposure and Circadian Rhythm. Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning and limiting bright lights before bed can have serious impacts on your Recovery.




Why should you shoot for high Recovery?

A high recovery on game day could be the difference between a win and a loss. Learn more about how Recovery can help you and your team optimize performance here.



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