We have all become accustomed to activity trackers and smartwatches, which monitor our activities and provide statistics such as the number of steps we take, the distance we travel, our heart rates, and the amount of sleep we get. These kinds of wearables are extremely common. There is, however, the latest generation of devices that attempt to take fitness tracking to a new level by monitoring an often overlooked element of your training routine—recovery. These devices have been developed.
Wearables often accomplish this goal by monitoring HRV (heart rate variability). This is a measurement of the variability in the amount of time that passes in between individual heartbeats. The better off you are, the bigger the value. It is not to be confused with the heart rate, which is merely a measurement of the number of times that your heart beats in a certain period of time. In that regard, you should work toward getting a low number.
Although professional athletes have long been aware of the significance of sleep and time away from training, the rest of us are only now beginning to understand its relevance. In order for your muscles to grow and mend themselves, as well as regain energy, your body requires breaks at regular intervals.
Whoop and Biostrap are both excellent choices if you are searching for a wearable device that can provide you with information about your progress toward recuperation. Both employ HRV as their primary method for tracking comparable parameters, which they both do. The first one is in the third generation, and the second one is in the second generation. In what specific ways are they distinct from one another? Continue reading to find out.
Design and Hardware Considerations for the Biostrap and Whoop
Both the Biostrap and the Whoop are available in the form of a fitness band that is made of a substance that resembles plastic and can be attached to a strap. Although they were meant to function properly when worn on an athlete’s wrist, Whoop can also be worn on the forearm or triceps to achieve the same results.
The core unit of Biostrap is 91 centimetres on each side, while the core unit of Whoop is somewhat larger in size but has a slimmer profile. The one significant difference between them is that the Biostrap comes with an additional shoe pod that may be purchased separately. This is something that you may attach to your shoes in order to track your activity levels. However, you do not require it in order to watch the healing process.
Both of the devices have a level of water resistance that is sufficient given that they are designed to be worn continuously. Whoop has a rating of 3 ATM, while Biostrap gets a rating of 5 ATM. Because neither of them has a display or buttons, you will need to utilize the companion smartphone app in order to examine the statistics and insights. You may get it from the App Store or Google Play.
Additionally, there is no vibration functionality for notifications or anything else of the type. It is important to keep things as straightforward as possible in order to cut down on interruptions and maximize the use of available battery life. But you shouldn’t be fooled by it. These two wearables are at the cutting edge of technology.
Both of these gadgets come equipped with a number of different sensors, including a gyroscope, a heart rate monitor, and an accelerometer with three axes of movement. The heart rate monitor on the Biostrap makes use of red photodiode LEDs, whereas the one on the Whoop makes use of green ones. Both can measure HRV, but Biostrap is the only one with red photodiodes that can also measure blood oxygen levels.
Neither of these two has a very good life expectancy for its batteries. You will need to give Biostrap a charge once every two days. Whoop offers a somewhat longer battery life, up to 5 days, than its competitors. The previous model could only do this for up to 40 hours, but the third-generation Whoop can do it for up to 80 hours.
A rundown of the specifications may be found here.
Wrist pod: 91 x 91 x 91mm; 120-200mm circumference of the band
Shoe pod: 35 x 23 x 15mm
2.54 x 4.445 x 0.635 cm
Silicone band, plastic pod
Wrist pod: around 2 days
Foot pod: up to 3 days
Wrist pod: 5 ATM
Foot pod: splashproof
Wrist pod: 23 grams
Foot pod: 8 grams
Wrist pod: Red+Infrared PPG, 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope
Foot pod: 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope
3-Axis Accelerometer, gyroscope, Green Photodiode LEDs, On/Off Wrist Detection via Capacitive Touch Sensor
Black, blue, and white band (all enclosed)
Arctic, Carbide, Onyx, Reef, Denim bands.
Wristband + Shoe Pod $250
The monthly membership starts at $30. The band is free with membership. 6, 12, or 18-month plan
Whoop vs. Biostrap: An Activity Tracking Comparison
As was previously noted, the Biostrap can be worn as a wristband or, alternatively, as a foot pod. You are able to wear both, although there is not much use in doing so. The activity classification is the only factor that considers the significance of the shoe pod. When running, you can also use it in place of the wristband, which is convenient if you also use a sports watch.
The Biostrap bracelet will capture all of the essential data while you go about your day and even while you sleep. This contains information on the number of steps taken, the number of active calories consumed, the amount of time spent sleeping, the heart rate, the heart rate variability, the respiratory rate, and the oxygen saturation. You will receive the unprocessed data as well as a score for your activity, recovery, and sleep on a daily basis, ranging from 0 to 100.
The recovery score and the sleep score will take up most of your attention most of the time. Simply giving each of them a quick glance in the morning will tell you all you need to understand about whether or not you are ready to work out. Click on any of these for additional information and perspective. The information about your sleep is very detailed, and our tests showed that the tracker does a great job of figuring out when you fall asleep during the day.
The Biostrap software does not include any buttons, so beginning a workout has to be done manually instead. During exercise, you have the option of connecting the mobile application to an external heart rate monitor. Doing so is highly recommended because doing so will enable the app to broadcast heart rate as well as HRV data in real-time. You’ll get a more detailed summary of your workout that will also tell you about the different heart rate zones.
The Connected GPS feature was made available after a recent software update was applied. This means that when you are working out outside, Biostrap will be able to tap into the satellite signal of your smartphone to provide you with more accurate tracking information, including metrics such as distance, altitude, pace, and a map of the activity.
The capability of Biostrap to automatically detect, track, and analyze any repetitive exercise is one of the most intriguing aspects of this fitness tracking device. You can download a library of those that you can use at the gym, and you can teach the wristband and shoe pads to recognize different exercises. Additionally, you can use this to track your progress.
The fact that Whoop’s sensors collect data on a user’s heart rate, HRV, electro-dermal activity, ambient temperature, and 3D acceleration 100 times per second, 24 hours a day, is a crucial differentiator for this company’s product. This is likely the single most important factor that contributes to the selection of this wearable by elite athletes. Its ability to give out statistics with a high level of accuracy is made possible by the fast sample rate.
In contrast, Biostrap takes a sample of the data once every 5 to 10 minutes, dependent on the settings. If you enrol in Sleep Cloud, which costs $9.49 per month, the frequency of these alerts will rise to once every two minutes. Because the first month is on them, you won’t have to pay anything to find out if it’s right for you.
The physiological markers obtained from Whoop, just like those obtained from Biostrap, are utilized to evaluate an athlete’s preparedness to perform on a daily basis. You will not get any information on Pulse Ox. This implies that Whoop takes into account your resting heart rate, HRV, as well as the number of hours you sleep and the quality of that sleep, in order to assess how recovered you are. Your sleep quality can be evaluated by looking at factors such as your heart rate, the temperature of the room, and the patterns in which you move around while you’re sleeping.
Whoop is able to immediately detect if you are already working out, which is a useful feature for tracking activities like walking or running. You now have the option to start an exercise manually using the mobile app on your smartphone. In the third generation, a new feature known as Strain Coach was introduced. This provides you with real-time assessments of your degree of exertion as well as recommendations based on how well your body is recovering, which can help you optimize the way that you train. To put it another way, it will let you know if you need to exert more effort or if you are doing too much of it.
Additionally, there is a Sleep Coach that works with you to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. For instance, if you want to “peak” the following day, it can inform you how many hours of sleep a night you need to just get.
Stress & recovery
Once every 5-10 minutes depending on the setting. Subscribe to the Sleep Lab cloud platform to increase this to every 2 minutes.
100 times per second (HR, HRV, electro-dermal activity, ambient temperature and 3D acceleration).
Automatic tracking of reps and sets in the gym
Strain Coach, Sleep Coach
The Price of the Biostrap vs. the Whoop
The price tag is a significant point of differentiation between Biostrap and Whoop. The band alone, which is all that is required to monitor recovery, costs $175 and is sold by Biostrap. If you wish to go above and beyond that, the additional cost for the shoe pod is $250. There is also a third-tier option that can be selected for a price of $320. This one comes with a chest strap that may be used to monitor your heart rate while you are working out.
Whoop has moved away from the traditional model. In the past, the cost of a fitness band was set at a hefty $500. This feature is now available at no additional cost to members. However, the monthly cost for the option of paying for six months at once is $30. This price can be reduced to $18 with a membership for either 12 or 18 months.
Whoop vs. Biostrap: Concluding Thoughts
Both the Biostrap and the Whoop are not your typical wearable technologies. They do not concentrate primarily on tracking activities but instead inform you of how well you are healing from your injuries.
Your daily activity, recuperation, and sleep score are the components that make up this measure, which is comparable to the others. The purpose of this exercise is to help you determine whether you should put in a lot of effort for the day or ease up by comparing your activity level to your recovery time. Each of these indicators gives you a lot of extra information, such as comments and suggestions, graphs, and a way to compare your performance to that of others.
The sampling frequency is the primary point of differentiation. Whoop collects data samples at a rate of one hundred times per second, whereas Biostrap only does it once every few minutes. This should allow you to get a much higher level of precision when using Whoop. Whoop has a battery life of 5 days, but its competition only has a battery life of 2 days. This is another factor that works in Whoop’s favour. On the other hand, Biostrap extends the scope of the collected biometric data by including blood oxygen levels.
The last point to consider is the disparity in cost. The Whoop Strap requires a monthly fee payment of $30 for a period of 6 months in order to access its vast amount of data and improved battery capacity; however, the device itself is free of charge. Your $175 donation will get you a Biostrap, and you won’t have to spend any more money on it (unless you want to buy extras).
Readers who are located in the United States can access Biostrap through the website that is maintained by teams. We were able to negotiate a 10% discount for them. Simply make sure to enter the code “Aff10Off” when you are checking out. The device can be purchased from the Biostrap webpage by individuals located in other nations. Whoop may only be purchased through the official website of the manufacturer.