A couple of weeks ago I wondered if Garmin’s new Forerunning 955 would be a Whoop Killer? After a couple of weeks of use, I said I would report my experience. Just for background, I’ve used a Whoop band since 2018. During that time I also used a Garmin 945 for all my endurance sports training. With the inclusion of native, built-in recovery measuring and reporting in the new 955, I wondered if I would find it more (1) accurate and (2) useful than the data provided by Whoop.
I’ve now wore the 955 almost 24/7 for over three weeks which allows for the device to calibrate and provide full recovery metrics. I can say for me, without a doubt, both the accuracy and usefulness of the data is far superior to the Whoop. Here are both my positives and a few negatives, comparing only apples to apples (ie., if the Whoop doesn’t try to do it, I’m not using it as a factor):
- The Elevate V4 Optical HR sensor is more accurate than the Whoop, especially when doing certain activities such as showering or other movements that cause a lot of wrist movement.
- The Training Readiness score is much more useful, as it takes in a number of multifaceted, secondary metrics, to produce an overall score. I’ve found it correlates much more to how I performed in training for that day.
- HRV readings give you both a nightly average and a more 40,000 foot view of our overall condition by taking into account multi-week trends in HRV. So, it give you a better idea of who fatigued you are, generally, and also how you might respond to training on a given day.
- During training accuracy of the 955 is far superior. I’m a triathlete so this is double so when in the water or while worn on the wrist during cycling.
- Battery life is better, which was a big complaint of my when switching from the 3.0 to 4.0.
- Price. I’m not a big subscription model guy and hate the number of companies moving to this model to slowly such more money from customers over years.
- Sleep tracking seems to be less accurate. I’m talking only recognizing when I feel asleep and woke up, not sleep cycles because I don’t believe any device is good at measuring such.
- Bigger and more cumbersome. There is something to be said for the minimalist design of the Whoop which I always loved. The 955 is more cumbersome to wear during daily activity, during certain stuff like Crossfit/BJJ, and while sleeping. Having said that, connecting a simple external HRM to your 955 is a fine work-around when you don’t want to wear the watch but still want data.
- Less durable. You still have a screen on your wrist you can brake.
When you try to make an apples to apples comparison to what both devices claim to do, I think the 955 is far superior. Then you add in all the other stuff it does, from detailed GPS tracking, to on-board music to help a user do a workout, I’m sold and I cancelled my Whoop subscription.