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AI Wearables for Peak Performance: My WHOOP Experiment

Apple Watch vs. WHOOP: Can Data Insights and AI Boost Your Performance?

Divas, you know I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest where wellness and technology collide. Remember when I shared my experiments with online classes, virtual reality workouts, and all those hyped-up fitness trackers? Well, the landscape has shifted dramatically! The pandemic-fueled Peloton boom fizzled, the metaverse buzzword lost some steam (though mixed reality still holds promise), and let's be honest, those VR workouts lost their novelty. But amidst all this, one technology has emerged as the true game-changer: AI

From Apple Watch to WHOOP: My AI-Powered Experiment

As a long-time Apple Watch devotee, I was intrigued when WHOOP announced its AI-powered Whoop Coach, featuring ChatGPT 4.0 technology. With my upcoming course on AI, Performance, and Balance at Stanford Continuing Studies on the horizon, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to experience AI-powered wellness in action so I signed up for a 30-day free trial. It's week three, and I cannot wait any longer to share my initial impression.

The Future of Wellness: Can AI-Powered Wearables Drive Performance Increase?
The Future of Wellness: Can AI-Powered Wearables Drive Performance Increase?

Wearable Analytics: From Data to Insights

I could have this as a title for one of my consulting slides, but it's exactly my first reaction when downloading the WHOOP app.

We all know that knowledge is power, particularly when it comes to our health. Wearables offer a treasure trove of data, but analytics is the key to unlocking their true potential.

While most fitness trackers show the number of steps, calories burnt in a workout, and time during sleep, WHOOP calculates Strain, Recovery, and Sleep scores considering Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Resting Heart Rate (RHR).

WHOOP Coach Changing its Mind When Asked A Probing Question and Example of Hallucination.
WHOOP Coach Changing its Mind When Asked A Probing Question and Example of Hallucination.

Feeling overwhelmed? Divas, I consider myself a wellness performance geek and it took me a minute to understand what all dashboards meant and how I should use them to plan my workouts.

When insights become complicated, AI comes to the rescue - WHOOP Coach promptly answers questions about performance scores and offers. When I opened the app now it prompted - Review your week with WHOOP and uncover personalized insights. How can WHOOP help you today?

The interface is similar to ChatGPT. While it suggests questions to get you started, you can ask your own and receive seemingly solid answers. However, it's crucial to remember that AI isn't perfect and can generate incorrect or misleading information, especially when it comes to health and wellness. This is known as "hallucination."

For example, the WHOOP Coach once suggested a cold shower at night for better sleep. When I questioned this (since cold showers generally boost alertness!), it revised its advice. As you can see in the picture on the side. This highlights the importance of being critical of AI-generated advice in this sphere.

If a topic seems unclear, don't simply trust the AI's answer. Ask the WHOOP Coach to reference articles from its library or independently research reliable sources. Being proactive in verifying information is key to responsible AI use in wellness and health.

Apple Watch vs. WHOOP: A Deeper Dive

While Apple Watch compliments me in the morning for having slept 8 hours, on the same day WHOOP says that my REM sleep portion was not great and that I should stick to my sleep schedule so I get more REM and energy the next day. It also gives me the option to ask more questions directly in the WHOOP Coach. Can you see the difference? Apple gives you raw data, WHOOP gives you meaningful insights and AI advice.

But the Apple Watch has its strengths too. With a few taps, you can record your activity – something WHOOP doesn't yet have an easy way to do. This may not sound like a big deal for you, but for me, it's very annoying; I want to focus on my workouts, not fiddle with my phone to start tracking!

Let's make this Apple Watch versus WHOOP comparison real:


  • Battery Life: WHOOP takes the crown. Multi-day battery life vs. Apple Watch's daily charging is a huge advantage, especially for sleep tracking.

  • Charging Ease: WHOOP wins again! Just snap on the charger without removing the strap for no gaps in data collection.

  • Workout Data Entry: This is where the Apple Watch shines – seamless workout tracking and integration with popular fitness apps.

Data & Insights

  • Data Analysis: WHOOP is the clear leader. It goes beyond raw numbers to provide personalized insights into sleep, recovery, and strain.

  • AI-Powered Advice: The WHOOP Coach, powered by ChatGPT, transforms data into actionable guidance and answers specific questions. Apple is behind in incorporating AI into its products. I hope this will change soon as Apple is discussing with Google to integrate Gemini into the iPhone (please don't forget the Apple Watch!)


  • Distractions: WHOOP's screenless design promotes focus but limits on the-fly workout logging. Apple Watch has a screen, offering both benefits and the potential for distractions (I removed most notifications from the Apple Watch)

  • Form Factor: Both are sleek, but personal preference will dictate which feels better.


Apple Watch



Easy workout data entry

Longer battery life, easier charging

Data & Insights

Basic trends and data

In-depth analysis, AI-powered coach


Screen, with functionalities beyond health

Screenless for less distraction

Two Devices? A quick fix I found for the Workhout Data Entry is sharing the Apple Watch data with WHOOP through the Health app, but now I need to always wear 2 wearables (one for data collection, one for insights), which is a bit silly as you can see in the picture below.

Apple Watch Versus WHOOP - Which one is Better for Workout Data Entry and Insights?
Apple Watch Versus WHOOP - Which one is Better for Workout Data Entry and Insights?

Can Data Insights and AI Truly Boost Your Performance?

The answer is a resounding yes! Understanding my recovery score and daily strain target on WHOOP helps me plan workouts strategically. As a self-proclaimed Type-A "productivity" addict, this focus on recovery has been a valuable shift in perspective. I used to think walks and yoga sessions weren't "real" workouts, but now I understand their importance for boosting my performance.

It's crucial to interpret WHOOP's data based on your personal goals. I sometimes stay below the recommended strain target because my focus is muscle-building, not solely cardio-driven fat-burning. The WHOOP Coach is great for explaining these concepts and making sure I use the insights to reach my specific goals.

Sleep analysis with WHOOP has also been eye-opening. Even sleeping 8 hours doesn't always guarantee I'll feel rested. That's because restorative sleep needs the right balance of deep and REM phases. WHOOP has taught me that sleep isn't just about hours, it's about efficiency and performance.

This is just the start of a revolution in personalized wellness and I can't wait to see (and try) what will come next! Now, for my personal dilemma...

Divas, it's decision time! My WHOOP free trial is ending, and I'm torn. It's been an eye-opening journey into the world of AI-powered wellness but, there are tradeoffs. The WHOOP's insights are incredible, but I miss the seamless workout tracking of my beloved Apple Watch. Plus, that WHOOP subscription model is a long-term commitment! Apple has this way of making us stick with them, even when the competition offers compelling features.

So, here's my dilemma:

  • Stay solely with WHOOP: Embrace the deep insights, sacrifice workout ease, and invest in the subscription.

  • Ditch WHOOP, stick with Apple Watch: Enjoy workouts with less data insights and AI guidance, but also fewer hassles.

  • The Hybrid (a touch of crazy): Wear both, syncing data for the best of AI insight and workout tracking.

The Apple Watch is more than a wellness tracker, it's woven into my lifestyle. Phone calls, payments – it's all on my wrist when I'm on nature walks without my phone. Losing that seamlessness would be a major adjustment.

So, should I embrace WHOOP's data-driven wisdom (and the price tag) or stick with the familiar Apple ecosystem?

Divas, this isn't just about me! It's about finding the wearable that truly enhances your wellness journey. Here's what to consider:

  • What are your goals? Maximum data insights for peak performance? WHOOP might be your jam. Seamless workout tracking and all-around versatility? Apple Watch could be the winner.

  • Don't underestimate practicality: Will a clunky interface drive you nuts? Be honest about what you'll actually use.

  • AI is our future, but it's not perfect: AI coaches are amazing, but remember, they can make mistakes. Stay critical and always cross-check health advice.

Divas, I want to hear from you! What factors would make you choose one wearable over another? Let's help each other navigate this brave new world of AI-powered wellness! And don't forget to follow us on Instagram for daily doses of diva inspiration.


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