David Scott, owner of Cool Beans Studios and a developer for the VR game Project Shield, is the perfect example of a person using VR to get a fun daily exercise and losing weight because of it. Losing one pound is hard enough, but losing ten while using VR? That’s an accomplishment.
He told VR Fitness Insider that games like Soundboxing, a kickboxing game combined with Youtube music videos, have helped him lose weight. VRFI interviewed him to find out more about the type of gear he uses for VR, the games and programs he used to lose the weight, and other helpful tips he’s learned on his virtual fitness journey.
VRFI: How long have you been in the gaming industry?
DS: I’ve been developing since 2014 after I got the Oculus DK2. I own the company Cool Beans Studios, was a developer for the game Project Shield, and am currently partnering with Elemental Sparks on an exciting project.
VRFI: That’s great. What VR gear and games do you use to exercise that’s also helped you to lose weight?
DS: I used an Oculus DK2 and played Soundboxing and The Lab (Longbow) the most. I have 20 hours of Soundboxing and over a 100 hours on The Lab.
VRFI: That’s a lot of gameplay hours. What made Soundboxing so fun to play?
DS: The most fun aspect of Soundboxing is that it allows you to get up and be active, but also gets people (developers) to make beat maps that go along with the song.
VRFI: Can you explain Soundboxing’s beat maps further?
DS: Sure, other games use an algorithm to try and sync the music to beats, but having custom beat maps allows for more accurate representations of the music and rhythm. Being able to play any song you like by simply using the buggy YouTube search feature is great and allows me to enjoy the music I like and not be forced to listen to music others like.
VRFI: You’ve got hundreds of VR gameplay under your belt, how long did you or do you play?
DS: Currently I play 1-2 hours a day, 5 times a week. I have been doing this for roughly 15 days.
VRFI: That’s phenomenal. 10 pounds in 15 days? How intense is Soundboxing for people who’d like to use it?
DS: This game is an adrenaline rush. The intensity draws from the fast paced rhythm movement that you are thrown into. But what’s great about this game is that you can choose your own intensity. In a few different ways, you can play a song with a smaller number of punches, or you can simply create your own beat map.
I play roughly 20 songs of around 3-5 minute length. I also only play songs with 800+ punches, this allows for me to get the most exercise out of my game time. There are quite a few songs that I play that stay over 1500 punches per song. This varies on your stamina, so don’t overdo this part. This is simply because at the end of the song your punches won’t be full punches and won’t mean much.
VRFI: That’s great that there’s customization for music and the number of punches per song. As you increase the punches the more difficult it gets and vice versa.
VRFI: When did you notice that you were losing weight from playing these VR games?
DS: The results were insanely quick. After the first two sessions I noticed that I had already dropped 4 pounds, although it was probably water weight, it was weight nonetheless. I started at 196 pounds on the dot and I weighed in this morning 9/11 at 186.7 pounds.
VRFI: Are you on a plan of any sort to help with the weight loss?
DS: I started the weight loss plan on August 26th so it’s been about 15 days. If you really try and lose weight while you play, you can definitely do it much quicker than if you were to play the game normally as well.
VRFI: Do you have any tips for VR exercisers out there that want a maximum fat burn?
DS: I don’t just swing my arms or do lazy punches, I put full force into every punch. I also constantly move my body and over exaggerate my movements for better calorie burn.
VRFI: Were you tracking how many calories were being burned during gameplay? If so, what device did you use?
DS: I tracked calories burned using a Fitbit Flex. It’s a little difficult at times since it relies on heart rate to determine how many calories were burned. But I burn roughly 600-800 calories per 1-hour session.
VRFI: Do you have any other fitness type games for VR and if so, which are your favorites?
DS: I have played a few different games that I would probably consider fitness games such as Holopoint, Thrill of the Fight, and Knockout League. But overall, Soundboxing is easily my favorite game to work out in. Although realistically, Holopoint and Thrill of the Fight are much more intense workouts, they aren’t as fun to me and I don’t lose track of time in them like I do with Soundboxing.
VRFI: Do you have any helpful diet tips for gamers or people that want to lose weight and get a workout using VR like you?
DS: I’ve made some more healthy choices in my life like cutting out all soda and just watching my intake of sweets. I eat normal, I eat pizza and tacos and whatever I want. I just exercise to burn the excess calories and that has done wonders for me. But if someone were to properly diet and start eating healthier while doing this workout, I can bet they would lose weight faster and more efficient than myself. Also, cardio doesn’t take a huge toll on the body and can have a great outcome in weight loss. Do as many days as your body lets you.
VR Fitness Takeaway
It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes a day to get better results in your body and mind. All you need is to have the will to step up to the platform, strap on that headset, and start boxing and busting bubbles to the beat.
Improve and increase your weight loss potential by wearing a heart monitoring device so you can see how many calories you’re burning and whether or not you’re burning the maximum fat you can per game.
Stories like David Scott’s are motivating and inspiring to those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health. Make a bold move, you might just find that playing VR games like Soundboxing or The Lab (Longbow) will entertain you for hours at a time.
Have fun and play on.