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April 21, 2021

Marcus Filly Shares 5 Ways WHOOP Makes Him a Better Coach

How WHOOP is a Valuable Tool to Engage My Functional Bodybuilding Community

By Marcus Filly

I’ve been a WHOOP member for almost 4 years now, and the impact it has had on me as an athlete, father, and business owner is profound.

One area that I haven’t had many opportunities to share regarding my WHOOP experience is how it has affected my life as a coach and the lives of my clients. We have a community of thousands of clients worldwide and that number continues to grow.

A great number of our customers are also active WHOOP members as well. As a result of this commonality that we share around data collection and performance optimization, we have seen an elevation in the level of our conversations around health and fitness, more long-term accountability, and even a deepening of our relationships.

Below I’ll discuss the five biggest impact points we’ve had with our clients and community around WHOOP.

 

1. Getting Honest About Sleep

My best friend in medical school came from a family of two sleep scientists. Both his parents had dedicated their entire professional lives to studying sleep. That was 12 years ago, before sleep was the hot topic it is today.

What he told me back then was: “We don’t know much about sleep except that if you don’t get it, you die.” That was profound for me at the time, and that simple truth has led to more and more science and research on sleep in the past decade. We know a lot more now and as health and fitness professionals, we deeply want our clients to understand the values of sleep.

Prior to WHOOP, it was extremely hard to make this essential health topic tangible for clients. They couldn’t perceive how their sleep quality was changing, or be precise about their amount of sleep in order to make valuable improvements.

The conversation with clients has been vastly upgraded with the help of WHOOP sleep metrics, and we have a much better success rate getting clients to tune into their sleep needs and amounts. Furthermore, results in the gym for those who value their sleep have improved.

 

2. Initiate a Dialogue About What Happens Outside the Gym

Having a tool that helps open up conversations about what our clients do outside of the gym is so useful. In a time and age when people are getting more and more protective of their personal lives, we have to keep up a dialogue about how they spend their time. That is how we get insight into habits that will lead to success in their health and fitness journey.

The data WHOOP provides our clients is a powerful conversation starter about what might be contributing to things like poor HRV numbers, or more green recovery days. It creates a connection to the habits in their lives that we don’t have the ability to see on a regular basis, but want them to be growing awareness of.

A week-long trend of Marcus Filly's recovery data from WHOOP.

 

3. See Trends and Appreciate Long-Term Training Strategy

There is no question that the vast majority of our clients come in seeking quick solutions. The thought of having to wait for months or years to have the look or feel that they want can be daunting, and the process of getting to those long-term goals can be hard as well. Often there are periods of external plateaus and limited signs of progress.

However, the WHOOP data our clients have at their disposal serves as yet another objective metric set to help them see their progress, especially when they might not otherwise be aware it is happening. For example, a downward trend in average resting heart rate, or lower strain scores when repeating the same workout, show real fitness gains. I often tell my clients that we have to heal ourselves from the inside out. WHOOP metrics allow us to get inside our athletes in a non-invasive way and deepen their commitment to the long approach.

 

4. Community Engagement Beyond Just Workout Performance and Competition

Nothing makes me happier than to jump onto our Facebook community page and see a thread between clients about their WHOOP data. Anything from comparing sleep performance or the strain of specific activities, to discussing which behaviors they’ve found boost their recoveries.

When our community engages with each other, the retention rates improve and client success improves. We are tribal animals that value connection, and WHOOP enables us to share, connect, and compare (in both competitive and non-competitive ways) with one another.

Those who are following similar programs, coaching philosophies, or gym ethos find the comparison amongst one another something they come back to over and over again for validation and guidance. My clients want to know what other Functional Bodybuilding participants are experiencing and WHOOP helps us do that objectively.

 

5. Starting Point for Educational Topics for Better Living

Educating our clients over the long term is one of our company’s primary missions. We want them to accumulate lessons and knowledge that they can carry with them to improve the quality of living and the years ahead.

One important topic that WHOOP allows us to converse about is energy balance. The strain that clients perceive vs. what they actually accumulate (tracked by WHOOP) can often be very different. That workout felt hard, but was it actually a high-strain/output activity?

This becomes particularly useful when we start to expand our coaching conversations to topics of nutrition and energy balance. How much food should a client be eating relative to their goals and activity levels? When we calculate a client’s macros, as an example, we want to know their total daily activity level, not just their training strain. WHOOP helps us get a better understanding of trends in their overall energy expenditure.

 

Being a great coach takes practice. It also takes having the right tools that can help you lean into the most important aspects of health and fitness change. When both our coaches and clients wear WHOOP, it provides us with incredible insight to go deeper as coaches. We can develop the conversational reps, so to speak, with the clients that allow us over time to deliver better education and results.

 

Learn More: Podcast No. 20 – Marcus Filly, Revival Strength Owner & 6-Time CrossFit Games Competitor

 

Are you a coach or gym owner looking to integrate WHOOP into your client experience? Apply here to be part of our Affiliate or Community Program.

 

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Marcus Filly

Marcus is the creator of the Functional Bodybuilding training method, and CEO and Founder of Revival Strength. He is a 6x CrossFit Games athlete (2016 12th fittest) and has also competed in baseball, golf, and Division 1 collegiate soccer. Marcus’s passion for helping others live healthy lives led him part way through medical school, until he turned his career focus to coaching. After the peak of his competitive career, suffering from burnout and injury, he developed training that blends bodybuilding methods with functional movements to help others look good and move well. Marcus currently leads a team of coaches at Revival Strength and creates online Functional Bodybuilding training, nutrition, and education programs.

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