WHOOP gets muscular load tracking

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WHOOP gets muscular load tracking

The majority of smartwatches and fitness trackers on the market offer heart rate tracking to understand your cardiovascular load for workouts. Now WHOOP has launched an update for its health and fitness tracker that brings a “first-of-its-kind” feature. Going beyond Apple Watch, Google, Garmin, and more, the WHOOP wearable can quantity your strength training by measuring muscular load.

WHOOP launched the update today for its health and fitness tracker and shared all the details about the new capability in a blog post and on social media:

Introducing a first-of-its-kind way to measure the Strain on your body during strength training. Strength Trainer quantifies the muscular load of your workouts by tracking weights, reps, and sets for a comprehensive view of your training efforts.

Leading up to today’s update, WHOOP shared that measuring muscular load was one of the top requested features from its users. And Strength Trainer is designed to fill “a critical gap in the wearables space by quantifying both cardiovascular and muscular load for a comprehensive view of your training, allowing you to train more effectively and efficiently.”

How does WHOOP measure muscular load?

The company says that with Strength Trainer, your Activity Strain will measure “both cardiovascular load and muscular load.” And naturally, the more you strength train, the more you’ll see higher Strain scores.

As for the actual hardware used, WHOOP is using data captured by the accelerometer and gyroscope paired with its proprietary algorithm to get the muscular load readings:

Strength Trainer considers all of the movement profiles that are part of your workout session and quantifies your muscular load using the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in WHOOP to understand the volume and intensity of your workout. It calculates the volume for each repetition of each exercise, measures the intensity for each repetition, and estimates the max volume based on your workout history to generate a unique muscular load for every strength training session.

And the neat thing is, you get to see the mix of cardiovascular load and muscular load for workouts. My colleague Max will have a hands-on post soon, so keep an eye out for that.

WHOOP also notes “This is the first step for WHOOP in the strength training space and we look forward to continuing to refine the feature.”

One thing to note, unlike Apple Watch and some other trackers, WHOOP does require a subscription. However, that includes the latest hardware and software so you’ve always got the latest capabilites.

9to5Mac’s Take

This looks really compelling and useful. Like WHOOP, we’ve seen some third-party apps use HRV readings from Apple Watch and (other fitness trackers) to help give advice on when to rest and when to train. But it looks like WHOOOP may have figured out the next level of training recommendations based on your combined muscular and cardiovascular load.

No doubt this puts pressure on Apple, Garmin, and others to deliver the same or a similar capability. That’s particularly true as Apple is focusing more on serious athletes with Apple Watch Ultra.

What do you think? Does this make WHOOP more compelling for you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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