With 2017 right around the corner, Outside Magazine recently published a piece entitled “The Best Advice of 2016, from the World’s Best Athletes.” The author, Brad Stulburg, shared a list of quotes he’d compiled from elite athletes over the past year as guidance for others aspiring to reach that level.
Stulberg divided them into seven categories, which he calls the “keys to peak performance”–eat real food, get comfortable with pain, sleep, prime for performance, accept fear, embrace rest and prioritize mental fitness.
Sleep, rest and performance are all areas of focus when it comes to WHOOP. As is another topic the athletes mentioned frequently: Recovery. Below are several of the quotes, followed by similar things WHOOP has to say on each subject.
“Sleep is a part of my job; I take it very seriously.”
Brenda Martinez, Olympic middle-distance runner
One of our data scientists is also a former NCAA Division 1 track and field athlete. He wrote about how better sleep habits helped shave 26 seconds of his 10K time.
“Sleep is the most important thing you can do for recovery. And it’s free. In a 24-hour period, I’ll get nine to 10 hours. Usually, I’ll sleep for seven to eight hours at night and then take a two-hour nap during the day, but sometimes I’ll sleep for 10-11 hours straight.”
Mirinda Carfrae, triathlete
Our lead quantitative physiologist examined the stages of sleep and the difference between time spent in bed vs. actually sleeping. People often misjudge their sleep time by as much as an hour.
“Rest is a weapon. What was once seen as a weakness is now a strength. There are all kinds of ways to recover, what I call regenerative strategies.”
Brett Bartholomew, NFL strength and conditioning coach
Players missing games to rest is becoming the norm in the NBA, particularly when teams take the court on back-to-back days. Could WHOOP help clubs better manage this strategy?
“If the thought of a hard workout brings you close to tears, skip it. It’s better to take a few days off now than to put yourself in a hole that takes weeks to dig out of later.”
Megan Gaurnier, cyclist (pictured above)
The WHOOP Recovery metric is designed to better equip athletes to handle this situation by educating them on how prepared their bodies are each day to take on Strain.
“Recovery starts with smart training and understanding your body’s natural rhythms and cycles. How many easy days do you need after an intense day? How many weeks can you train hard before taking a break? How often can you race? If you listen to your body and are honest with yourself, you’ll be able to answer these critically important questions.”
Amby Burfoot, veteran marathoner
From Olympic sprinter and WHOOP user Wallace Spearmon: How Prioritizing Recovery Led Me to Greatness.
“It’s only when you step outside your comfort zone that you grow. Being uncomfortable is the path to personal development. It is the opposite of complacency.”
Nic Lamb, big-wave surfer
Committing to the idea that you’re an athlete 24/7 is not an easy thing to do. But as demonstrated by our White Paper The Impact of WHOOP on User Behavior, the potential benefits are substantial.