My VR fitness journey has been amazing! It’s been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. A lot of people have been asking me how it’s been going since my article in VR Fitness Insider was published earlier this year about my Fat-to-Fit VR Workout Journey, so I wanted to share a short update on my progress.

It’s been almost a year since I started working out in VR. What began as the world’s worst pity party in a New York hotel room as I pondered my weight gain, turned into one of the most incredibly positive experiences of my life.

Bottom line: VR workouts are price friendly, not geographically constrained, lots of fun and best of all, they work!

If you ever want to join, just DM me on Twitter @TheVRCEO.

Power to The People

Above all else, the best part about working out in VR is the people. I’ve met amazing people from around the world who’ve joined my VR workouts. We connect in VR, workout, share aspects of our lives and the best part is that we all struggle, laugh and smile together while feeling as though we’re all in the same place at the same time, even though we’re sometimes on different continents.

After VR Fitness Insider profiled my Fat-to-Fit VR Workout Journey, I was almost immediately contacted by people around the world who shared similar life challenges that were physically manifesting as weight gain. I was contacted by other CEOs, entrepreneurs, students, stay-at-home parents and people just like you and me. We all shared one thing in common… we weren’t living the life we knew we could and should be living.

It is through my VR workouts that I’ve been able to connect with these people in a truly immersive way that is far more meaningful than a video chat or conference call. We’ve not only become regular VR workout buddies, we’ve also developed truly meaningful friendships and in one case, an important business relationship. I’ve been humbled by their stories, genuine kindness and deep desires to be better, not only for themselves but for their loved ones as well.

The connections are very real.

Virtual Reality to Actual Reality

I also virtually connected with the wonderful people at Black Box VR through my VR workouts and they invited me to workout at one of their VR gyms in San Francisco. I gladly accepted and met one of their trainers for a VR workout that was anything but a game.

To be very honest, I fully expected a gamified workout that wouldn’t prove too challenging. The reality of my workout at their facility was an a$$ kicker, which I absolutely loved!

The Black Box VR workout is more than a workout, it’s an experience that is unparalleled by any gym. The trainers were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly and helped me set up my first Black Box VR workout. As they say, your body is the controller and within three sets I was sweating, feeling the burn and having more fun working out than I’ve ever had at any gym. Gone are the days of staring numbly at a gym monitor as I run in place on a treadmill. There is no more waiting for gym machines to free-up or restacking free weights that the person before me left on the gym floor. At Black Box VR, I burned more calories and had more fun. But the best part is that I re-stacked not a single free weight and waited exactly zero seconds for a weight machine to free-up. Simply put, the Black Box VR workout not only gave me a challenging and fun workout, it gave me freedom.

My Black Box VR workout was an experience unlikely to manifest had I not first started working out in VR.

It is also through VR that I made meaningful connections with the good people at Black Box VR in real life. That alone has made this all worth it as they are all genuinely good people.

Mindset is Everything

Discipline… it’s the hardest part. But, it’s also the easiest. A daily discipline simply requires a mindset of success. Once you train your brain, your body will follow and you will only achieve success from then on. I’ve learned to slightly tweak this discipline so that I can achieve the best results for me.

Here is my daily discipline and I follow this religiously:

I must

  • Wake-up at 4:30 am
  • Immediately drink 16 oz of water and adhere to my intermittent fasting diet
  • Workout in VR

I will

  • Contact at least one Doghead Simulations customer and offer any help they might need with our VR platform named rumii
  • Support my team with whatever they need whenever they need it
  • Complete a minimum of 3 urgent tasks and 1 important task

I can

  • Lead with kindness
  • Stay humble
  • Help the next person in line move forward

The Raw Reality

I’m back to my fighting shape. It is through my VR workouts that I went from just over 190lbs of almost pure fat to 175lbs of lean muscle. I’ve experienced positive changes in my mental wellbeing, my physical wellbeing and my work and personal relationships have all improved. All around, life is dramatically better. By improving my health, I’ve improved my outlook and I’ve been attracting more overall positivity in every aspect of my life. The changes are phenomenal.

Intermittent fasting has been a key driver to my success. I really haven’t made any significant changes from the diet in my original article other than cutting back on sweets. Simply put, I just don’t crave them as often. However, I do partake in the odd desert here and there and I have no plans to cut out desserts entirely. I mean, without dessert what’s the point?!?!?

I’ve also become much more transparent and true to myself. To be very honest, I’ve stopped giving a sh*t what people think. When I stopped applying myself to please others and started applying myself to improve me, I reconnected with a more genuine and personal me.

Simply put, I reconnected with the me I’ve always been meant to be.

Exercises

I still do all of the exercises listed in my original article, but I’ve learned that the best workouts in VR are pushes, pulls, and planks. I get a phenomenal workout in VR by doing pushups, pullups, tricep dips, squats, and planks. But the best workouts are variations of burpees. When I’m not working out in VR, you can find me at a spin class or outside running stairs.

About the Tech

For at-home VR workouts, nothing beats a 6DOF HMD, at least right now. However, what I want is Black Box VR to become the Peloton bike of at-home fitness. After working out in their SF gym, I now want my own at-home Black Box VR machine. In fact, I’ve already cleared out the space… I’m just waiting on the home version of their VR workout machine. Hint! Hint!

What’s Next

We should all expect VR, AR, AI and other spatial computing technologies to integrate into our daily fitness realities. I’ve doubled down on my own VR workouts and now workout in the early mornings and afternoons. If you’re reading this article, I encourage you to join me or invite others to meet me in VR and join a VR workout. Just DM me on Twitter @TheVRCEO and I’ll help you get started.

The one thing this whole experience has taught me is that people around the world are all the same. We all share the same wants, needs, challenges and loves. Simply put, we’re all connected, and my VR workout journey has augmented those connections in deeply meaningful ways.

What I’ve learned the most is this: First love yourself, then love each other. Do that and life will be a whole lot cooler.


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Mat Chacon
Mat Chacon is CEO and co-founder of virtual reality company Doghead Simulations, which makes the VR education and training platform named rumii. Mat started his company to fundamentally improve how people around the world educate and train using VR. Named a top 20 VR executive, Mat helped grow his company to a global leader with over 7,000 educational institutions, enterprise companies, and government agencies using rumii every day. Growing up in poverty, Mat couldn’t afford college, so he helped start a website development company in 1994 and took part in the $63 million USWeb IPO when he was 25. By 35, he was a successful software startup executive and by 45 Mat was named a top 20 VR executive. He eventually attended college when he could afford it and now teaches online education for free inside rumii. Virtual Reality is Mat's passion, but education is his purpose. You can follow Mat on Twitter @TheVRCEO