What if I told you that you could burn more calories in less time while playing a game? How about if that game had you doing pushups, situps, burpees, and running (in place)? Wouldn’t it be great to not have to hold or make use of controllers? Now, what if I told you that this game was FREE? Have I got your attention now? VRWorkout lives up to its name, it is a total body workout and will transform you into a calorie-burning machine. It is also available for FREE for Oculus Quest and Quest 2 users through SideQuest!
If this is your first time hearing about VRWorkout, it could be because you will not find this game on the Oculus Store. VRWorkout, currently can only be found on SideQuest, and it is available for free for Quest and Quest 2 users!
SideQuest for those that are not familiar, is another resource for Quest users to load games onto their headset. Most of the games on there are currently in development and SideQuest serves as a means to allow users to test and support these indie titles and developers. VRWorkout is a prime example of a game that is worth supporting and is defiantly worth adding to your fitness routine.
To load games from SideQuest to your headset requires a little effort, but it is not a terribly complex ordeal. I figured it out and I can barely tie my own shoes. There are some good tutorials that explain how this works so check them out and follow their step-by-step instructions. Once you have the game installed on your headset you will be ready to embark on a series of workouts designed to turn your playspace into a home gym. Complete with “Sweat Demons” on your floor.
Prepare for Action!
All VR fitness games and experiences should be approached in a similar manner. Make sure you are hydrated and that you have taken the time to stretch. Now, do I sometimes skip stretching before playing Beat Saber, or Ragnarock? Sure, sometimes I am in a hurry and I make the mistake of forgoing the extra effort. Is that smart? No, not really at all. However, with VRWorkout you will NOT want to skip the limbering up process. Not being properly hydrated or stretching before a session in VRWorkout will almost certainly result in a bad experience, including muscle pulls and strains. So get ahead of this problem and make sure you take the time to prepare your body. This is a workout, an absolutely intense effort, and push. Treat yourself with respect and take care of your body or you will regret ever loading this application. If you do not take anything from the article other than the importance of stretching and being hydrated I will sleep soundly at night.
Now with an intense workout comes a lot of sweat. Do what I do to help mitigate any damage you might have to your headset by using a VR Cover. Plus if you are like me and want to play other VR games later there is nothing worse than putting on a cold and wet headset. They have a lot of solutions that help prevent this issue.
The VRWorkout Experience
I will tell you what my first experience with VRWorkout was like. I initially got the game and set a timer to work out in it for about half an hour. My objective for the day was to simply test it out and potentially move on to more familiar titles to reach my caloric burn goals for the day. I created a playlist in their menus and got myself calibrated. It took a little bit of time for me to adjust to using the native hand tracking that VRWorkout supports, but once calibrated it worked wonderfully.
VRWorkout started off as other familiar fitness apps begin, punching, moving, and ducking my head and body around. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when the virtual coach told me the next exercise was going to be jumping. A hollow shape of your VR Headset floating just above you, requiring you to leap in the air to get a proper score. It sounds silly and I probably looked silly but after a few moments of that my heart was racing and I was starting to breathe heavily. The VRWorkout had just begun!
Push up Position, MOVE!
Soon I was instructed to get down in a pushup position. The same hollow shape was telling me to move my head and body down, and up. To add more effort to the mix the familiar hand shapes I was meant to hit before, were now begging me to reach for them while in the “Up” pushup position. This was getting intense, more intense than I thought possible in a VR exercise routine.
Pick up the Pace!
I was then instructed to stand, and begin sprinting in place. I am not a runner, I do VR workouts out for a reason. Yet there I was in my living room, running as fast as my legs would allow, in place. The game has a zone at your feet that help you stay in place so you don’t end up flying through a wall. At this point that was the least of my worries, as I was nearly out of breath before the voice called me to another position.
Crunches in a VR Workout?
Down I went on my back, in the situp position. Moving my head and body up to meet the Hollow Shapes and reach for the hand strike positions. I was doing crunches, legit and actual crunches while playing a game. I was able to catch my breath during this time, but only barely.
Next, the game had me stand back on my feet to begin a series of burpees. If you would have asked me before if you thought it was possible to do a burpee with an HMD on I would have likely said “you’re crazy”! I am here to tell you that it is! Up and down I went. Jumping to reach the Hollow shapes and back down again to meet the lower ones.
The song ended, The headset came off. I was done. I looked down at my timer and noted that I had only done about 17 minutes of my allotted 30-minute workout. I was drenched in sweat, out of breath, and I sat down on the floor questioning life. I reached for my water bottle and took a few swigs. Wiped as much sweat off me as I could and put back on my soaking Quest 2.
I managed to complete my workout in the 30 allotted minutes, and by complete, I mean that I had successfully met and exceeded my goals for the day on a calorie burn. Normally I would work out for three to four times as long playing a variety of other games. So this was a shock and at first, I thought this was an error. I attempted the same workout a few days later with the same results. VRWorkout is real, it is worth checking out and is now part of my weekly routine. Notice I did not say daily, not yet anyway. So if you have 30 minutes, a Quest or Quest 2 headset, and you want a workout that will push your limits, VRWorkout is the only choice.