WHOOP is proud to announce the completion of a landmark exercise physiology study which explored how metrics like Recovery, HRV, and Sleep can be used to achieve optimal performance. WHOOP partnered with the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut for this study on collegiate athletes.
A core company goal is to be a thought leader in exercise physiology and we are glad to have partnered with the phenomenal scientists at KSI for this study. KSI is on the forefront of modern thought in studying the health and safety of athletes in order to maximize performance and optimize safety. Their mission and excellence in scientific research made them the perfect partners for WHOOP.
The analysis we provide at WHOOP is based on years of physiological research. What struck us in the early days at WHOOP was the lack of data in previous studies in this field; whether from participants dropping out, or impractical data collection methods leading to low quality data on the athletes. The results often had low statistical significance or left massive parts of the data unanalyzed. Before co-founding WHOOP, I participated in research projects in astrophysics. We had a plethora of data coming from simulations or observations. Contrast that with the studies on athletes done today, and we saw a clear need for WHOOP.
With WHOOP, we are gathering the world’s largest exercise physiology data set to build out analytics and recommendations to help athletes optimize their training and achieve peak performance. However, we are also interested in new discoveries pushing the boundaries of knowledge forward in exercise and recovery science. Data collection methods in the past have either been cumbersome or impractical for studies over large time scales. The easy wearability of the WHOOP Strap and the granularity and quality of the data it collects completely changes the game.
The purpose of the KSI study is exactly that: While validating WHOOP and the metrics it gives for its use in training, we are also looking forward to new discoveries that will enable new actionable insights for coaches, scientists, and athletes–this is the first time we are able to collect data on a continuous basis on how athletes are recovering outside of training.
The study itself was conducted on 40 NCAA collegiate athletes at UCONN with data collected on these athletes over an eight-month time span. In conjunction with the continuous data the WHOOP strap provides, the KSI staff also got athlete demographic data, blood-biomarkers, training and competition loads, and fitness and hydration status. The data is unique in that we will be able to explore relationships with it on a mass of athletes outside of a lab spanning their preseason, regular season, and postseason.
Currently, data collection has completed and the KSI team is exploring this massive dataset. The first findings elucidated relationships between sleep, training load, and fitness. These results were presented by the Korey Stringer Institute at the 40th Annual National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA) Conference in Las Vegas in July. Specifically, some highlights of the first analysis are:
- positive correlation between average slow wave sleep time (measured by WHOOP) and high-intensity running performance
- positive correlation between body fat percentage and average sleep disturbances (measured by WHOOP)
By wearing WHOOP, anyone can get the same benefits that many of the best athletes across the world are receiving. Measuring key physiological metrics and understanding readiness to take on strain is the first step in ultimately optimizing your performance. This study, and others at whoop.com/validation, show what the WHOOP Strap measures and give powerful insights into how to achieve this.
The analysis of this huge and important data set is ongoing and many more discoveries are just around the corner. We will be sure to keep everyone updated via The Locker and our social media accounts, so make sure to follow us @whoop on Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s to peak performance!