Choosing Your Fitness Tech: WHOOP vs. Apple Watch

Written by: Sarah Gilbert


Healf Journal

When it comes to fitness tracking technology, there are a few big players on the market.

Two stand out names, and ones which we're sure you’ve heard about before, are WHOOP and the Apple Watch. Both offer unique features tailored to different areas of health and fitness, but which one is right for you? Which one do you need? Sarah Gilbert has put them both to the test and unpacked their features to help you decide which is the right fit for you.

WHOOP: A Recovery Focused Powerhouse

Newer to the wearable technology scene is WHOOP. As someone who has been loyal to the Apple Watch since fitness trackers first emerged, I was curious about what WHOOP could offer that Apple couldn’t. To my surprise, WHOOP impressed me with its unique focus and capabilities.

WHOOP is a sleek, screenless band designed with one primary goal: optimising your recovery. Unlike traditional fitness trackers, WHOOP dives deep into your body's recovery metrics, providing insights into your sleep, strain and recovery status. It uses continuous heart rate monitoring and a sophisticated algorithm to determine how well your body is recovering from daily activities and workouts. 

 Key Features include: 

  • Strain and Recovery: The device calculates a daily strain score based on your heart rate and activity levels, helping you understand how much stress your body is under. This is complemented by a recovery score, indicating how ready your body is to take on more strain.

  • HRV Monitoring: Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a key metric for assessing recovery. WHOOP tracks your HRV continuously, giving you a clear picture of your body's readiness.

  • Sleep Tracking: WHOOP provides detailed sleep analysis, breaking down your sleep cycles and offering suggestions to improve your rest.

WHOOP is a game-changer for anyone eager to understand and enhance their performance and recovery. Personally, I find its use of recovery metrics incredibly valuable. We often focus too much on staying busy and pushing ourselves to the limit, neglecting the importance of slowing down, rest and recovery. This can sometimes be harmful to our health. WHOOP shifts the focus to recovery, providing in-depth data and holistic insights into your health and lifestyle. This ensures you’re always in the best shape mentally, and physically to train effectively and maintain overall wellbeing.

Apple Watch Series 9: The Fitness and Lifestyle Companion

The Apple Watch is a versatile smartwatch integrating fitness tracking with lifestyle and productivity features. It provides a comprehensive suite of fitness metrics while also keeping you connected with notifications, apps and even phone calls. 

 Key Features include: 

  • Fitness Tracking: Apple Watch covers all the bases, from step counting to workout metrics. It tracks a wide range of activities, such as functional training, HIIT, pilates and more, making it a great all-around fitness companion.

  • Heart Health: With ECG functionality and irregular heart rhythm notifications, it’s a robust tool for monitoring cardiovascular health.

  • Sleep tracking: The Apple Watch provides useful sleep tracking capabilities, including monitoring your sleep stages and duration. This helps you understand your sleep patterns and make adjustments for better rest and recovery.

  • Smart Features: Beyond fitness, the Apple Watch offers features like Siri, Apple Pay, and seamless integration with your iPhone, making it a versatile device for everyday use.

The Apple Watch is ideal for those seeking a balance between fitness tracking and smart functionality. It offers detailed fitness data while seamlessly integrating with your smartphone. As an avid Apple Watch user, I love how it motivates me to move more, get my steps in and close my rings every day. However, one downside is the constant connectivity. If my phone isn't nearby, my Apple Watch keeps me tethered, feeding into the negative cycle of always being connected. While this can be helpful, it sometimes makes it hard to switch off and disconnect. 

Comparing WHOOP and Apple Watch

When deciding between WHOOP and the Apple Watch, the best approach is to consider what your main needs and goals are. 

  • Recovery vs. Fitness: If your main focus is on recovery and optimising your performance, WHOOP is the clear choice. It’s designed to provide in-depth recovery insights, helping you understand how well your body is recovering from daily stress and workouts.

  • Versatility vs. Specialisation: The Apple Watch offers a broader range of features, making it suitable for those who want both fitness tracking and smart device functionalities. It's a more versatile option that caters to various aspects of daily life.

  • User Experience: WHOOP’s screenless design and continuous data collection make it less intrusive, ideal for those who prefer minimal distractions. The Apple Watch, with its interactive screen and apps, is more engaging and functional as a multipurpose device.

Both WHOOP and the Apple Watch are excellent in their respective domains. WHOOP excels in recovery and performance, while the Apple Watch provides a well-rounded experience combining fitness tracking with smart device capabilities. Ultimately, it depends what you’re looking for. Choose the one that aligns best with your lifestyle and fitness goals


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Healf