Beat Saber is one of the coolest games in VR right now. It is simple, intuitive and endlessly replayable. Beat Saber is also a great game for groups of people to take turns with, using the built-in Party mode. And if you already play (or have played) Beat Saber, then you’ve probably stumbled upon its hidden secret: even 30 minutes of Beat Saber can give you a solid full-body workout.
So how can you make Beat Saber even more potent as a fitness tool? For starters, you can add weighted gear. In this article, you’re going to learn the safety procedures that I’m currently using to stay injury-free while playing Beat Saber with weighted gear. But there’s no question about it; nothing makes a better total body VR workout than what you get when you add weighted gear to your existing routine. And, frankly, I can’t wait to go back and play some more Beat Saber. So let’s get things going:
Disclaimer: Weighted gear can cause (or exacerbate) health problems—in any form of exercise—if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you have health issues that involve your joints, heart, or respiration, then you should talk to a doctor before attempting to add weighted gear to your workouts. Pay attention to and respect the correct precautions, as explained in this article, to exercise safe and play safe. All advice given in this article is that of an individual’s opinion, and not that of a licensed medical practitioner.
Beat Saber with a Weighted Vest: What to Expect
The first time I used my 40lb weighted vest, I found that I didn’t need to change up my form for any of my favorite Beat Saber levels. Even on Expert mode. That’s a big plus; originally, I was expecting to need to compensate for the added weight on my shoulders, chest and upper back. But Beat Saber did drain my stamina faster, and I began feeling strained at around 10 minutes.
In that time, I burnt roughly 100% extra calories than I regularly would. Equaling to about ~200 calories vs. ~100 calories on Expert mode. Remember that my results are not cut-and-dry. Everybody’s body is different, and my weighted vest is now equivalent to about 23% of my total body weight. I’ve used my weighted vest each day for the past month while playing Beat Saber, and also while doing household chores such as watering plants or doing laundry. Over time, my body has adapted and I can now wear it for about 2 hours without feeling any strain.
That said: It is generally considered safe for most first-time users to wear a weighted vest that weighs 5% of their total body weight—for up to one full hour—while doing aerobic exercise.
However, because you’ll get used to your weighted vest as you use it, it’s more than viable to add weight over time. And based on your age and overall physical fitness, you may also find yourself able to wear a much higher percentage of your body weight—such as my personal 23%—for more than an hour at a time. So, make sure that your vest is modular; meaning that you can add or subtract weight based on your needs. For safety concerns, the general guideline you should follow is to always listen to your body; if you’re in pain, you should take the vest off.
How About Beat Saber with Weighted Anklets/Wristlets?
You’re here to get in shape, which is why adding wrist and ankle weights is a fantastic idea. There is a significant reward for using ankle weights and wrist weights correctly. You can add resistance to your workouts, which helps you build muscle in your arms and legs. And like with the weighted vest, the additional weight gives your cardiovascular system a tune-up by pushing your heart to work harder to fuel your muscles. Which is great for long-term heart health.
You still want to be careful with these, so here are some guidelines that you should go over to stay safe:
First, let’s talk about your wrists.
A basic framework to follow is:
- Don’t use wrist weights on a song you haven’t played before.
- Introduce weight slowly; start with an extremely low amount of weight (less than 1 lb), and work your way up to no more than 3 lb maximum.
- Don’t use wrist weights if you already have joint problems in your wrists.
- Don’t use wrist weights if your doctor has explicitly told you not to use wrist weights.
- Don’t use wrist weights if you aren’t already in good physical condition.
- Don’t use wrist weights on a song that has a bunch of random changes in wrist motion.
- If you really want to use wrist weights in a fast-paced song, avoid Expert and Hard mode. Go for Normal mode—or Easy mode instead, if it has one.
- If your wrists begin to hurt, take the weights off.
Now, let’s talk about your ankles.
Ankle weights seem different because most of the sudden, deliberate movements in Beat Saber will be activated by your arms and your wrists—right? Well, not exactly! Beat Saber is full of levels—even on easier difficulty modes—that require you to crouch or move from left to right very quickly. And those sections of those levels can be pesky if you aren’t careful. So, the same precautions apply to ankle weights. Remember: The goal here is to protect your joints while getting extra fitness out of your arms and legs.
Often, you see injuries happen when people ignore precautions and do whatever they want. Warnings aside, there are some serious benefits to using ankle and wrist weights, as I’ve mentioned.
To recap—when worn correctly, a few of the benefits of ankle and wrist weights include:
- Extra resistance to regular full-body movements such as walking, which trains you to be more deliberate in your movement.
- Increased heart rate—helping you burn more calories.
- Additional leg and/or arm strength.
- Increased cardiovascular strength—for better heart health.
And each of the above will make you a better Beat Saber-ist. How? Because when you take the weights off and tackle that song you’ve been trying to master on Expert, you’ll have more strength, more stamina, and more kinematic control over your sabers.
Beat Saber is a fantastic way to get in shape with VR. Adding weighted gear is a good way to juice extra fitness out of Beat Saber’s fun, fast-paced levels and addictive gameplay. Today, you learned how to choose a weighted vest that’s correct for your own routine. You also learned how to use ankle weights and wrist weights effectively, as long as you choose the right weights and use them safely.
Fortunately, if you use weighted gear properly, you can get some serious fitness benefits from playing Beat Saber. But you don’t need to take your weighted gear into the hardest difficulty levels to reap those benefits. Try playing your favorite songs on Normal or Easy mode to avoid injury.
Have you used weighted gear while playing Beat Saber? Let us know in the comments.