Training smarter, not harder


“Mentally, I’m struggling with getting past the idea that I should train every day.”

One of the key elements of WHOOP is the ability to help athletes train smarter, not harder. Despite preparing for an event that most humans would never even consider attempting, the veteran SEALs are not crushing themselves with their training. Properly managing their daily strain volume is crucial to what they are trying to accomplish.

"Sometimes my body is just jonesing for that bad stress level."

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Weekly Training Schedule

Monday: Active Recovery
Tuesday: Lifting
Wednesday: Short Run/Swim
Thursday: Lifting
Friday: Active Recovery
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Medium Run

“Our Specter training is the most basic, yet well calculated, training I’ve ever done,” Bob said. It’s centered around building up the necessary strength and endurance to complete the task at hand, while simultaneously avoiding putting any unnecessary stress on their bodies. It often goes against the SEALs’ natural instincts to push themselves to the limit, but they can see the positive results in their WHOOP data.

Coach Jaelyn Wolf supporting the guys during their training in Virginia Beach, holding them accountable with everything nutrition and fitness.

WHOOP Analysis

After viewing the data from the SEALs’ first month of Specter training, WHOOP performance experts advised them to cut back strain in two key areas:

– reduce strain from regular daily activities on big training days
– reduce strain the day before big training days to improve recovery that morning and make the most of their workouts

Making Progress

With the distances of their long runs increasing (hitting 30+ miles on Saturdays), the SEALs’ activity strains routinely get above 20 (on a 0-21 scale). However, for the past month the team’s daily average strain is only 11.8. This shows the efforts they are making to minimize excess strain whenever possible.

A Week of Strain

A Week of Strain

Pictured is a typical week of the team’s average day strain from the second month of training. You can see it stays below 10.0 on Monday and Friday, the squad’s two “Active Recovery” days. Additionally, the team is able to keep day strain below 14.0 on five of the sevens days.

Strain Metric Shows Improved Fitness

A unique aspect of the WHOOP strain metric is that it allows you to track fitness gains by comparing the strain of similar workouts over time. Bob’s data over the past two months indicates significant progress:

His first long run as part of the Specter training was 10 miles on July 22, and registered a strain of 19.4. Exactly two month later, he ran 25 miles on September 22, this time logging a strain of 20.5. The massive increase in distance only resulted in a minor increase in strain–his body is adapting and become better prepared to take on this epic challenge.