With the launch of the WHOOP Strap 3.0 featuring WHOOP Live, one of the key new features we’re proud of is the Strain Coach, which provides activity level recommendations based on your recovery. It also lets you know in real time how close you are to reaching your goal.
Below we’ll take a deeper dive into how the Strain Coach works, where it came from, and how you can use it to better optimize your training.
Where it Came From
WHOOP members are already familiar with our Sleep Coach, which takes sleep monitoring to the next level by suggesting exactly when to go to bed and wake up in order to meet your daily performance goals.
Now we’re applying a similar approach to strain (a measure of cardiovascular exertion which we track on a 0-21 scale, both for individual workouts and for your entire day) and making the transition from feedback to coaching.
How it Works
The Strain Coach gives you an exertion level recommendation based on your recovery (a daily metric for how ready your body is to take on strain) and strain you’ve already accumulated. When you start an activity, it shows your strain building in real time towards the suggested goal. You can also see how many calories you’re burning and which heart rate zone you're operating in.
Upgrade Your Training
The initial recommendation from the Strain Coach is based on an optimal state to maintain your fitness level (WHOOP members will recognize this from the Weekly Performance Assessment, but now instead of simply analyzing last week’s trends you have access to this information 24/7, in real time). However, that is not always going to be your desired outcome.
The Strain Coach allows you to adjust your goal depending on what your intent is (check out this piece on max heart rate and heart rate training zones). Maybe you’re tapering prior to a big event, and prefer to train in a restorative state to allow for active recovery? Or, maybe you’d like to push yourself to make fitness gains with a period of functional overreaching?
Once you’ve set your goal, the Strain Coach lets you know how long and hard to work out in order to meet that goal--whether to keep pushing yourself, or if you’re overdoing it. This allows athletes to make smarter and more informed decisions in the moment.
Should you do that extra lap or set of reps? Like having a personal trainer at your fingertips, the Strain Coach has the answer.
The Strain Coach is only available with the WHOOP Strap 3.0.