On Tuesday, March 28, members of the WHOOP Education and Research team conducted the first installment in this year’s webinar series, tailored for the Elite Team coaches utilizing our platform. Joining the webinar call were coaches and performance managers from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, Aussies Rules Football, FBI, The Premier League, USA Swimming, and folks from two of the most competitive Crossfit gyms in the country. A highly expert group of people, to say the least!
The participants wrote WHOOP in advance with their exercise physiology questions, dictating the outline of the session. WHOOP’s Lead Quantitative Physiologist and Data Analytics Manager, Emily Breslow, imparted the research that backs the three Pillars of WHOOP’s physiological monitoring system: Sleep, Recovery, and Strain.
The first segment was a breakdown of WHOOP Sleep and the factors that influence Sleep Performance. Emily elaborated on WHOOP’s machine-learning algorithm for staging sleep, the physiological significance of Disturbances and why WHOOP tracks them, and provided some high-level tips for how athletes can get the most out of the time they spend in bed.
The second segment of the webinar discussed the physiological insights an athlete or coach can unlock with an understanding of Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Emily provided examples from WHOOP’s 3,000+ athlete database to demonstrate the trends to look for when tracking HRV over the course of a season and the modifications to consider when optimizing the training load for each individual.
In the third segment, the ideology behind the WHOOP Strain framework was explained in full. As an internal load metric, WHOOP Strain provides a means for a coach to quantify how much work each of her or his athletes requires to complete a training segment. Moreover, WHOOP Strain quantifies the impact of effort on the cardiovascular system and, as such, non-training related exertion is measured and accounted for in the athlete’s Day Strain. This not only gives a coach more context when she or he doesn’t have eyes on an athlete, but also accurately informs the specific recovery needs of each athlete.
The fourth and final segment was an opportunity to ask more general questions and collectively discuss the best practices coaches have learned from utilizing WHOOP with their organizations. The anecdotes across the markedly wide array of sports, industries, and in-the-field application were remarkably similar, which speaks to the common thread amongst us all: the desire to harness the full potential of the human body and, together, accomplish incredible feats.