If you own an Oculus Quest and regularly search Youtube looking for virtual reality content chances are high that you are already familiar with the popular Quest channel BMF. The channel’s owner and host Matt Quinlan has already amassed nearly 40,000 subscribers in a short space of time and he’s often the first source for Quest game reviews as well as exclusive previews of upcoming game releases.
Like many of us, he’s starting the new year with ambitions to lose weight and get fitter. Not only is he doing all of his training in virtual reality he’s also documenting the 30-day challenge on his Youtube channel.
I spoke with Matt to find out more about his channel, his love for the Oculus Quest, and of course his new year fitness challenge.
VRFI – Hi Matt, thanks for talking with us today. As a site focusing exclusively on using VR for fitness we love to see mainstream content creators embracing this technology to improve their own health, and to demonstrate the potential of adapting VR to fitness to their viewers. Let’s start with a bit about your own background. When and how did you first get interested in VR, and at what point did you decide to set up your own Youtube channel?
BMF – Hi Kevin, thanks for talking with me. To be honest I don’t feel like someone who is even qualified to be doing an interview. It’s hard to believe people actually watch the channel and enjoy it as much I enjoy creating the content. My background is actually in filmmaking and I have always loved creating video content and short films. As soon as I was able to get a camera in my hands as a kid that’s what I was doing with all of the other neighborhood kids. Video games were just an extension of that because I loved watching and creating movies but video games gave me the ability to BE the character and experience the story with them. Ever since I can remember I have loved the concept of VR, although back when I first started dreaming about it there was nothing like what we have today in the slightest. My first foray into VR was actually at Disney world as a teen when I went to Disney Quest and tried one of their VR games that had a headset the size of a trash can lid. I got massively sick and that put me off of VR for a while. Fast forward to the present I have tried many different VR headsets and platforms but with the release of the Quest it really opened up the world of VR to the general public and that’s really the reason I jumped on board and started creating content. I felt like the future of VR was finally starting.
VRFI – I know your channel is exclusively devoted to the Oculus Quest, although I believe you also own PC VR. What is it about the Quest specifically that made you decide to focus entirely on that headset for your channel? How do you feel the headset compares to tethered PC headsets?
BMF – It’s all about freedom and accessibility to me. The Quest opens up the world of VR to the masses and that is really what drew me to the Quest. Between that and how much fun the Quest is to play it was an easy choice for me. It’s hard to compare the Quest to PC VR headsets because they really are meant for different things, although with the addition of Oculus Link allowing people to use the Quest as a PC VR headset the line is even further blurred. I used to tell people if they want PCVR to go with a PC VR headset but that is no longer the case. Now I’ve started telling them to get an Oculus Quest.
VRFI – So at what point did you realize that the Quest would be great for fitness and weight loss, and when did you decide you wanted to do a public 30-day challenge?
BMF – Pretty much right away I realized that without any type of cable or tether the Quest would make a perfect fitness tool. That was confirmed right away once I got the Quest and started using it. BoxVR was one of my first forays into VR fitness and it had me sweating and aching after just a couple of short workouts. I guess I started really thinking about the challenge back in October. I knew that I wanted to start getting healthier and I also wanted to encourage others to do the same and that kind of transformed into the Quest For Fitness.
VRFI – Ok so let’s talk about the fitness challenge. What are your goals and ambitions, and what games, hardware accessories are you using on this program, and how often are you going to report on it?
BMF – When it comes to goals my real goal is to just be healthier overall, but as far as tangible goals my goal weight is 180 to 190. A few years ago I was down in weight and starting to build up muscle and that is really where I want to be. When it comes to games I am using a whole ton. BoxVR, Thrill of the Fight, Synth Riders, The Climb. If it gets you moving I’m probably going to try it. I couple that with the VZFit by Virzoom and it makes a pretty well rounded out workout routine.
One game that will certainly feature heavily Matt’s training program is Ian Fitz’s The Thrill of the Fight. Watch him demonstrate below!
VRFI – It’s great that you’re using the VZFit sensor to add VR cycling to your routine. I’ve been using it with my bike for a couple of months and it’s certainly reinvigorated my desire to get pedaling!. I saw in your review of VZFit that you bought a relatively inexpensive bike to use it with. What’s been your experience with using it so far, and do you feel it works well even with a sub $100 bike?
BMF – Yeah I just went to my local Walmart and grabbed a $98 bike. It was the cheapest they had and it works great. I haven’t had any issues either with setting it up or using it even at that price point.
The VZFit sensor is an essential accessory if you want to revolutionize your boring old stationary bike. It works with both the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Go. Check Matt’s review below.
VRFI – So is the 30-day challenge a one-off, or are you intending to keep this going, and if so will it be something you make a regular feature on your channel?
BMF – I think that the weekly check-ins will probably just be for January but I am definitely going to keep going so my thought is to probably do a monthly check-in video after this month just so I can keep myself accountable and keep encouraging others to stay strong and keep moving forward.
VRFI – Finally for fellow Questors and VR fitness enthusiasts who want to follow your progress and maybe get involved themselves how can they follow and contact you?
BMF – The easiest way to find the channel is probably to go to YouTube and search for BMF VR. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter with the handle @BMFSHOW.
VRFI – Matt thanks for your time today, and best of luck with your challenge. I look forward to speaking with you once its over to see how you’ve done!
Check out day one of Matt’s fitness challenge below, and be sure to follow him on Youtube if you’re also looking for advice and encouragement to start getting fit and healthy using VR.