Staring at the wall or out the window as you run on the treadmill or elliptical is going to get stale fast, even with a playlist full of fired up tracks. So what other cardio and strengthening exercise options are there that aren’t going to scare away returning exercisers but be challenging enough for fit stars? Here are 5 virtual reality fitness trends to keep you on track towards getting fitter and stronger in 2018.

1. Wireless VR

We got to demo the HTC Vive Pro and felt what it’s like to be wireless.

VR Fitness Insider demoed the HTC Vive’s Wireless Adaptor with the Vive Pro headset at CES last week and had a great time playing DOOM VFR without being connected to wires. The wireless room scale gaming experience felt freeing to our head and neck, which was a complete upgrade from the older tethered model of the Vive.

Playing a first-person action shooter VR game like DOOM with the Vive Pro and Wireless Adaptor elevated our heart rate as it transformed the game into a fitness experience. The range of motion expansion put the Vive Pro headset and the older Vive model at an advantage over the Oculus headsets, with more compatible wireless Vive accessories like the Tracking Pucks, VR gun, and paddles to accompany it. There’s no release date set so far for the Vive Pro but you can expect the Vive Wireless Adaptor this Summer.

2. Boutique VR Gyms

Black Box VR Wins Best Startup Award! Credit to: Engadget

The fitness industry’s first-ever virtual reality cable resistance machine workout, Black Box VR, is helping entry level and experienced exercisers level up their bodies and lives. Black Box VR’s fitness machine was nominated for 4 Engadget CES 2018 awards, won their Best Startup Award, and took home a CES 2018 Innovation Award.

Black Box VR is aiming to open up a boutique gym in San Francisco this year. Their goal is to motivate their members to level up their bodies by transforming the body into a gaming controller that fights monsters and other baddies. The Black Box smart cable resistance system is compatible with the HTC Vive and tracks members progress while pushing them to reach past their goals.

3. Spinning

A sensation of motion keeps The Trip compelling. Credit: Les Mills

Les Mills’ The Trip is a spin class for people who like Soul Cycle but want a VR-esque experience to motivate them. The Trip will take you on a 40-minute group cycling trip to places like a futuristic road, underwater, and other exciting locations. Each virtual fitness experience has a curved cinema quality screen that projects beautiful and even trippy imagery to keep you occupied as you pump those legs and tackle going uphill. Les Mills’ The Trip can be found worldwide in the U.S., Russia, the Middle East, the UK, Europe, and Asia.  

Credit to: Life Fitness/VirZOOM

The world’s first VR bike, VirZOOM, will get you crushing your cardio and weight loss goals in no time. The VirZOOM stationary bike is compatible with major VR displays like the Vive, Oculus, and PSVR, as well as mobile headsets like the Gear VR and Daydream. The VR bike has partnered with Life Fitness stationary bikes and has 8 cardio games like River Run, Le Tour, and Thunder Bowl to keep you sweating your keister off. Fit gamers like Will Brierly used VirZOOM and lost over 50 pounds! You can purchase their VR bike and fitness games as an all-in-one bundle for $349.

4. Large Scale Roaming Experiences

Warehouse-scale VR gaming at Zero Latency. Credit to: Zero Latency

Room scale VR is for living rooms, but Zero Latency is extending virtual gaming to the warehouse. 8 players can strap into a VR gaming backpack and wireless headset as they slay zombies or solve puzzles. Set in a large warehouse, gamers are free to walk around unhindered as they chat and coordinate with teammates and smash their daily activity or step quota. Zero Latency’s large-scale VR gaming experience has an integrated guidance program that helps gamers avoid running into walls and each other on maps. You can find them all over the world with locations in Australia, North America, Japan and Spain.

5. VR Fitness Gaming

Punch a robot in the face in Mech League: Boxing! Credit to: VRGEN

With virtual reality games being released daily from big AAA studios and independent development houses the world over, we at VR Fitness Insider had to create a weekly fitness game release collection of our very own just to keep up. Our large selection of new VR game releases can be played wherever your headset is and will keep you striving towards your weight loss, stamina, or strength building goals.

To work on cardio and to strengthen the lungs and heart, play a new boxing game like Mech League: Boxing or get huffing and puffing while having an adult tantrum in Rage Room. If you prefer to dance and express yourself while you get winded, try out Light and Dance VR.

Challenge yourself to a round in BOX VR. Credit to: FitXR

VR Fitness Insider also helps our readers stay fit by putting VR games to the test. We play VR games that we think have the best potential for fitness and then write game reviews on them. We give virtual reality games our honest feedback on the game set up, workout duration, level of intensity, lack of nausea, how effective the game was for major muscles groups, and other helpful fitness insights.

Reviewed VR fitness games like Sprint Vector are an effective upper body and cardio workout, while VR games like Hot Squat are going to make your lower half tremble from all the challenging squat obstacles. Games like Bitslap, a HIIT inspired workout, and BOX VR, a highly effective rhythm boxing game, will both get your heart rate elevated as you gain momentum towards your spring and summer bod.