WHOOP instead of HRM

I just started using whoop and it can transmit HR data so should I still wear Garmin HRM while cycling?

Yes, the whoop is ok for HR, but sometimes its off a little. Not too bad, but if you have a strap, might as well use it had have the best accuracy that you can

Whoop is generally decent but can be significantly off, like 20 bpm off for an average. It seems to have problems in high heat conditions. Sweatiness seems fine, but 105 degree heat it has trouble.


I just finishe 6x4’ vo2 intervals outside.
Hr via my strap was 136 bpm and 172 max bpm, with whoop it was 132 avg and 172 max. So close, but not perfect

I have transitioned to using my Whoop for all my HR transmitting needs. Since I wear it all the time it means one less thing to do before a ride or other workout and I like that convenience. Occasionally I will see a bit of inaccuracy if its gotten out of place on my wrist but that’s easily fixed once noticed and that does not happen any more often than my chest strap goes a bit wonky.

I understand that all things being equal a chest strap is “better” than an optical sensor on the wrist but, the Whoop works fine for what I use heart rate for.

Yeah I don’t think that there is a “better.” There is a more accurate. There is a more convenient. There is a more inconspicuous. But these things are all relative based on what is important to the user. I have seen more than small inaccuracies with Whoop, but overall I really don’t care about HR anyway other than very broad strokes. Power and breathing volume are the key factors. Heart rate is secondary. The OP asked about a standard HRM vs Whoop, and they should base their decision on what is important to them factoring in the likely inaccurate (but in my view perfectly acceptable) readings that Whoop will provide.

Just to play devil’s advocate here…how do you know your Whoop numbers are not the more accurate?

Personally, when I was using a Whoop, it was still easier / more convenient to just keep using a chest strap for my HR measurements…but that may have just been habit, too.

The whoop is an optical HRM, isn’t it? I believe chest straps are commonly accepted as a more accurate measurement, especially when things like sweat and motion are involved.

I would go for the chest strap if you train to HR or otherwise pay a lot of attention to it- if it’s more of a secondary/curiosity metric that you don’t rely too heavily upon the whoop will probably be good enough.

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I’m just basing accuracy on what I notice. I’ve used heart rate straps for 20+ years and the Whoop for about a year and I’m not noticing anything that concerns me. I can say this, so far my Whoop has paired up with my Garmin 100% of the time whereas my Tickr would go on the fritz about once a month and not pair without a lot of fiddling so from that standpoint the Whoop wins.

I train with power so HR for me is secondary (if not lower after RPE). I really only use HR for gross measurements (e.g. am I at 120 vs 160) and rarely I’ll do a Zone 2 ride by HR so I’m not worried about fine accuracy.

How can anyone rely on whoops data if it’s heart rate readings are that far off? Odd.

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True, I should say that the HR strap and Whoop dont always align perfectly. I dont know which one is correct, they both may be wrong for all i know

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You know there are ways to measure HR that aren’t a chest strap or a wrist-based optical sensor and whose accuracy/precision are perfect right :slight_smile:

I’ve been using whoop for about 2 years now and for me the HR accuracy is good enough for indoor rides on the trainer. It’s generally very close the the chest strap.

However when I ride outside it’s absolutely terrible. I mean way way off, usually reads super high compared to chest strap. I guess it’s to do with all the movement?

I’d like to have seen whoop show data from the EF cycling team ie both the whoop and chest strap data from the same rider/ride.
They claim the whoop is accurate and this would seem like an ideal opportunity to showcase that, but they haven’t! I wonder why? Seems like they’re not that confident in it to me otherwise they’d do just that and say “there you go”

Anyway, in summary I’d say indoors yes, outdoors, ney!

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This is my experience exactly, except that it usually does OK on cold outdoor rides (40-55 F) and terrible on hot outdoor rides (+95 F).

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I have transitioned to using Whoop. I wear it all the time so it makes sense.

I have experienced all the issues here. I contacted Whoop, most of the issues with accuracy tended to occur when wearing it on the wrist. Whoop sent me bicep band, not ideal but it has fixed accuracy.

I also found that when i play golf, the accelerometer in whoop reads my swings as higher heart beat. Bicep strap fixed this.

With HR broadcast WHOOP has a delayed response compared the chest straps. This is because of latency - WHOOP sends the data first to its cloud servers before sending it to your device.


Well, we might all know chest HRM is the most accurate one. Choose between optical vs chest is just what tradeoff should I accept upon. As many people pointed out, optical ones might not work well under certain situation. If you don’t experience such situations quite often, optical HRM would be ok.

I do not use it for HR. I find not only is it off but often it drops or isn’t continuous in communication.

I do open the strain coach on the trainer and sometimes ride to strain targets…just depends on the objectives of the day.

This is worth a read - its a pretty damning analysis of the HR accuracy of the Whoop.

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From what @dcrainmaker said in his review, the Whoop HR accuracy is still pretty poor. But if it’s not that important to you, it might not really matter. The bigger issue I saw from the DCR review was that if the numbers are that inaccurate and the whole Whoop platform relies on it, then the Whoop platform is significantly undermined. Which led me not to go for it in the end.

The chest strap method is fundamentally more accurate (I see that above chart gives 0.99 agreement for the Polar one).

snap - it was enough to put me off entirely as well.

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