My First 80 Days of VR for Exercise

I’m 38. Never had a workout or fitness routine in my entire life except for a few brief and unsustained periods of working with a trainer, but quit.

Last May I bought a Quest 2 specifically to try Supernatural, a mix of Beatsabre with a Pelaton-style experience with pre-recorded song-driven sessions.

I did one 5 song session (20 mins or so) and for the first time in my life I was dripping with sweat and thought to myself “that was fun as hell, I want to do another one.”

That want did not fade. I haven’t missed a day since May 5th of 2021. I go harder some days than other. I take my Quest on vacation and do at least one session. I focus on closing rings on my Apple watch. I have become more mindful of my eating too.

I was also surprised that with Supernatural specifically, the inclusion of a game mechanic that translates to squats and lunges means has translated to pretty significant increase in strength as well, even though it’s “just” body weight exercises.

I was skeptical about the additon of Boxing to Supernatural, but it’s become my fav mode. I get to a target heart rate faster, and I’ve seen significant changes in my body since adding it.

Over the last 12 months I’ve lost almost 60lbs, feel better, am stronger, and enjoy the process. I’m headed towards a weight I haven’t been since college, and it’s clearly within reach.

This never happened before VR in spite of time and money spent on professional services, products, and trainers.

I’m adding a Tempo Move for some weight training, but I don’t expect to give up Supernatural anytime soon, if ever!

This is amazing to read. When people are looking for advice on what to do to be more healthy they’re usually pointed towards routines or habits of exercise. In truth I feel like the best way is finding something you have fun with, routine comes in pretty easily after.
Thank you!

I’d add kudos to the Apple Watch, which I bought a few months before the quest. I never thought of myself as a “don’t break the chain” habit person but the watch proved me wrong!

I’ll +1 the quality of the workout with Supernatural. I was a heavy XBox fitness user and loved the workouts available, along with the use of the Kinect to gameify and make sure I wasn’t cheating. Supernatural offers the same thing to me. Workouts are intense, hard, and fun somehow. It took a little work to make sure I was timing things right and making the right motion for my moves to count, but the result is fun. To make it even better, I connect bluetooth audio to my home theater AVR and enjoy a much better music experience to get pumped up.
All power to you! Congratulations. For me, the takeaway is that XR (AR+VR) opens up a new market and attracts new people (customers). Everything in our world is a continuum. Candles to lightbulbs, horses to ICE to EV mobility. Telegraphs to phone to cell. The adoption curve is the continuum.

Your comment is such a clear signal that this technology, XR, has a place on this continuum. It will evolve and attract new people to it who have not been sold on/motivated to engage with previous generations of presentation – in your case exercise.

Totally agree. This experience gave me a very strong sense of applications that I would have been much more skeptical of before. Really powerful (and for me, unexpected) gateway.
Do you use the regular strap? I’ve been trying to get into workout stuff but the regular strap never really keeps the device in place when I go for more than 10-15 minutes
Who would have thought video games would get people to excercise! That’s really cool, I wasn’t sure VR would stick around this time, but it seems like it’s found some good niches
I feel the same way! Also notable: I don’t really play video games at all other than this one. I get bored too quickly with most games!

This model of short workouts built around playlists really unlocked a lot of things for me, I think.

Shameless plug: if you are into VR fitness but you think the existing solutions are missing multiplayer options, my brother and I are building Space Punch [1] which is a multiplayer fitness app. It is currently released in early access on Sidequest, and it’s functional. We are working out Monday to Friday 4:30pm UTC. If you have a Quest and want to work out together as group, then drop into our Discord sever. I’ll personally make sure you get an access key and I will show you the App from within.

[1] https://sidequestvr.com/app/5820/space-punch

[2] https://discord.gg/MKsZqrZh

Perhaps because I’m an introvert, but never quite understood the motivation for social exercise in VR. Half the advantage of it is that I can work out on my own time, in private without being coupled to fixed schedules or other people’s expectations.
Fixed schedule is one possible system that will push you to keep going even while you go through demotivated period. Same with “other people’s expectations”. Seeing other people exercise is motivating for a lot of people. And being seen is one more nudge to actually do it today. Moreover, many people are motivated by competition. That does not need to be official competition or large scale one. Pretty often it is just “I want to keep doing it as long as him” or “I think I could get bigger score then mx123Throwaway”. For many people, the social aspect is what turns activity from “boring chore I do because I think I have to” to “I actually like doing it”.

Underappreciated aspect of long term exercising is “how to keep doing it long term” and “how to prevent it from becoming yet another annoying dot on my todo list”.

So I reckon there’s about 50% of the population for whom what you say is true and then a giant slice for whom all those factors work in reverse. They are demotivated / scared by the thought of competition, and social activity is tiring rather than stimulating and intrinsically enjoyable.
Peer pressure (hopefully in a positive way), fun, distraction from the boredom of the exercise. The better memories you form of the event, the less likely you are to seek excuses to skip the next session.
Thanks! Yep, I also played Blaston a while and really liked it. We basically replaced shooting with a gun with punching in order to make it even more intense.

In addition we also want to build out the social part and create a community of Space Punchers that work out together and motivate each other to stick to a regular schedule. I find it really fascinating how immersive VR can be and really make you think that you are in the same place with your friends. If we can translate this energy into forming a healthy habit of working out regularly with a community than we are on a good path.

One thing that’s good to point out to anybody looking to get into VR for fitness is that Beat Saber becomes radically more challenging when playing custom community-made maps instead of the stock/DLC maps. The higher difficulty community maps require a lot of speed, precision, and stamina, and I’m only beginning to be able to play them decently after a few months of practice. It’s almost an entirely different game.

Unfortunately, support for custom maps/mods for the standalone Quest version of the game is not great, so it’s best to play the PC version if the community maps are of interest (which can be done with a Quest via PC link).

I’m several months into using Beat Saber as an exercise routine. Yes, add-on maps are a necessity, not just for the challenge, but also to keep things interesting.

I don’t find high difficulty levels to be great exercise. I can keep up fine, but I get lulled into using little wrist flicks instead of sweeping arcs.

The best tracks for me are ones which aren’t technically challenging. Instead, I get my whole body into it – dancing the whole time, stepping to the side so I can take a wide swing, shakin’ my butt to the groove… That all gets my heart pounding, and works a much wider range of muscles. I’ve also turned the HUD off so I don’t focus on my score, instead loosening up and having a good time.

The Claws mod also helps me a lot. You only get about half the range of the normal sabers so you have to move your arms farther to reach the blocks. It also makes you use a wider range of muscles, which has stopped some of the RSI I was feeling from too many wrist flicks earlier.

It’s not perfect exercise. I could feel my body improve a lot early on, but then it plateaued and I don’t see an easy way to push it much farther. However, I’m happy with where it’s gotten me, and I intend to keep with it for the foreseeable future. It’s fun, and it’s convenient so I have no problem doing it for 45 minutes every day, and those are valuable attributes.

> The best tracks for me are ones which aren’t technically challenging. Instead, I get my whole body into it – dancing the whole time, stepping to the side so I can take a wide swing, shakin’ my butt to the groove…

Exactly. Once I could beat everything on expert I ended up losing interesting because expert+ felt like a different game: seemed much more wrist-oriented, which I have zero interest in. I’d like to find more maps that optimize around the criteria you’ve mentioned, but haven’t put effort into it.

I actually prefer expert+ for movement, the cubes are more widely distributed in space and you need to make wider moves. For expert there are many cubes, but too grouped together. But probably depends also on the maps you choose. Anyway, for me only the expert+ maps are fun and challenging physically.
Interesting, I felt like the better I got at beat saber the less effort I would make, whereas DDR type of games made me sweat to no end. But I didn’t try to apply myself to easy tracks. I think there’s gotta be a better game than beat saber than can be developed that puts you into weird positions. Playing superhot on the quest was the game that really put me into weird positions.
Beat Saber isn’t really designed for exercise but you can raise intensity by keeping your wrists fixed and by imagining you are wielding two really having blades. You have to imagine yourself glaiving the blocks in two rather than simply touching them so they fall apart. The same mental tricks are needed with the more fitness oriented rhythm boxing games.
Where’s the best way to get started with these community mods.

I have:

1. A Quest 2

2. A PC with an RTX 20XX graphics card (usually running Linux, but can boot into Windows 10) and USB C port

3. Beat Saber (standalone version)

I guess I need:

4. A long USB C cable (or the official one)?

5. Beat Saber for PC (best to buy on Oculus or Steam?)

6. Some instructions for finding, installing and using these community mods.

Is there a particular place (e.g. Reddit community) that’s the best place to find ‘getting started’ info?

That PC should be more than adequate.

I wouldn’t personally recommend the official link cable — it’s expensive, and in my case it was flaky. I’m currently using a cable made by Cable Matters[0] that works well.

Most people buy the Steam version, though either can work. I personally lean more towards Steam so if I change headsets to something non-Facebook (like Valve’s rumored upcoming quest competitor), I can still play Beat Saber without a second purchase or weird hacks.

For installing mods, ModAssistant[1] has worked well for me. It’s pretty foolproof; the “standard” mods are pre-selected for installation by default, so for a minimal setup just open ModAssistant, point it at your Beat Saber installation, and install the standard mod set. From there you can search and install custom maps in-game.

I don’t have too many other useful links for you, but r/beatsaber on Reddit is pretty active and good for asking questions that haven’t already been covered by that subreddit’s wiki.

[0]: https://www.cablematters.com/blog/Virtual-Reality/oculus-que…

[1]: https://github.com/Assistant/ModAssistant

> 4. A long USB C cable (or the official one)?

Airlink works surprisingly well and it’s so much nicer to play wirelessly. You might need to connect a wireless (AC or better) access point to your computer if your existing wifi AP is in a different room, though.

I tried Air Link but even with all-wifi-6 hardware and the router sitting 20ft away, the video quality was garbage. I didn’t try to tweak settings too much though, maybe there’s some magic trick.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll try it out whilst waiting for the cable.

My computer already has a wired connection to the wifi router (which is a recent AX model), so hopefully it will work well.

I started with the official cable, but honestly, it’s not teenager proof and it’s expensive to replace when the USB-C connector on the end is ripped out vigorously.

I’m now using an active booster one from Amazon that was about £20.

I wear a 20 lbs weight vest, 3.5 lbs wrist weights and 5 lbs ankle weights at all times when using my Oculus Quest 2.

The point of always wearing them, even for low intensity use, is I never have to motivate myself to put on extra weight – and I strongly associate the weighted feeling, and the endorphins I get from them, with having fun.

This is how our bodies evolved to live … or it should have been, lol.

VR exercise was a bit of a revelation for me. Used to run 8km per day but lockdown convinced me to try exercise at home using VR and I fell in love with it. Apart from being fun (you’re literally playing computer games), I got a much better workout, exercising parts of my body that running didn’t touch. I actually started bulking up in my upper arms for the first time in my life. Really surprised me and sold me that this could be one of the real “killer apps” for VR if enough people knew about it.
> I actually started bulking up in my upper arms for the first time in my life.

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no way VR will bulk up your arms in a way that a simple dumbbell won’t do better in 5-15 minutes per day, right?

> exercising parts of my body that running didn’t touch

Similarly, running will exercise parts of your body that VR won’t touch right?

> no way VR will bulk up your arms in a way that a simple dumbbell won’t do better in 5-15 minutes per day

True, but you underestimate the most important thing when working out: consistency – doing it regularly over long periods of time. VR/AR trainings will take off in the future, as the “gamification” (read: instant gratification) will help motivate people to stick with a workout routine and achieve that consistency.

I don’t think I underestimate it, just in case someone is coming here and thinking that VR is a good way to bulk up their arms, I’m just saying that it won’t compare to even the minimum of using dumbbells.
I’m just saying that it won’t compare to even the minimum of using dumbbells.

Using dumbbells is the main thing here: It doesn’t matter if dumbbells do better if it simply isn’t an activity you keep up long term. Daily VR is going to be more meaningful and develop more muscle over time than sporadic dumbbell use. And lets be honest, realistically this is what we are comparing. Fun activity with side effects to an exercise in boredom that has better side effects.

The fallacy everyone is making here is believing that consistency trumps all else. But it doesn’t if you’re consistently subjecting yourself to a stress which does not result in any new adaptations–then there will be no change.

An oft repeated example of this fallacy is in the case of tanning. If you go out into the sun for 20 minutes and get a tan, what will happen if you continue to go out in the sun for 20 minutes each day? Will you get more tan? No. You’ve already adapted to the stress (ultraviolet light exposure for 20 minutes) and so the continued daily stress of 20 minutes of sunlight will not result in any new adaptations.

That is why if you are completely untrained, sure, VR constitutes a sufficient disruption to homeostasis that you’ll get some muscular adaptations. But the stress is so minimal (and you cannot effectively increase it) that you will quickly adapt to it and subsequent exposure to the stress in the future will not result in any adaptations, it will only maintain what little adaptation you already have.

“Consistency” in this instance probably means exercising more than once a month. I think you’re comparing VR exercise with a hypothetical ideal based on your own exercise routine, when it should really be compared with what a given individual was doing beforehand, which is probably some kind of cardio with no upper-body impact, or absolutely nothing.
The original guy said he replaced 8km daily running with VR exercise, so I don’t actually think we are comparing ‘sporadic gym/exercise’ with ‘constant VR’. But in the case of that, sure you are right.
I can’t really tell you if using a dumbbell would have done more – probably you are right. But there’s no way I would persist with dumbbells, I find them excruciatingly boring.

> Similarly, running will exercise parts of your body that VR won’t touch right?

Perhaps but not nearly as many as VR hits that running doesn’t touch. It certainly forces you to do squats.

> I find them excruciatingly boring

I find the best antidote to boredom when lifting weights is to find the right weight and number of reps so that you’re pushing through the burn for at least a third of the set. Hard to stay bored when your arms are on fire. Music is the other major component, you have to really amp yourself up and listening to music can put you in that mind set. Maybe even doing some circuit training would be better for you since you don’t have to deal with long wait times between sets.

> Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no way VR will bulk up your arms in a way that a simple dumbbell won’t do better in 5-15 minutes per day, right?

You’re not wrong, just missing the point.

> there is no way VR will bulk up your arms in a way that a simple dumbbell won’t do better in 5-15 minutes per day, right?

Right, targeted exercise will bulk you up more

> running will exercise parts of your body that VR won’t touch right?

What? No

Which muscles do you think you use while running that you don’t use jumping around in vr?

> I actually started bulking up in my upper arms for the first time in my life.

No you didn’t, unless you were completely and utterly detrained (i.e., previously bedridden or something) and even then, the stimulus would’ve only resulted in adaptation for a short period.

VR exercise is far too submaximal (in regards to strength) to result in meaningful strength adaptations past a short initial adaptation period.

I also build muscles in VR training and I’ve done a lot of stronglift so I know what progression is like. Pistol Whip is great for building leg muscles. Imagine doing that one more squat you didn’t think you had in you when in the squat rack. In Pistol Whip you do that 20 times without noticing.

You don’t need progressive overload to build muscles. High rep sets should not be underestimated.

The lower body musculature is too large to be effectively stressed by bodyweight exercise in people fostering any decent level of fitness, i.e., bodyweight squats don’t make you stronger.

Just because an exercise is hard or makes you sore doesn’t mean it’s effective.

I doubt I’ll convince the parent, but for the curious about why this comment is utterly wrong and uninformed let’s look at how muscles work.

In a given set of muscles you have dozens to thousands of motor units. Each is activated by a motor neuron. When recruited the muscle fibers in a motor unit begin producing (or trying to produce) force. The interesting thing is that they arn’t all recruited at the same time, when you use ‘a muscle’ your actually invoking a complex process of recruitment of sub units within that muscle. Moreover these units are not created equally. Some can produce force for a long period of time and are usually weaker, some can produce force very rapidly but tire quickly. This is why when you try to produce a small static force for a long period of time (e.g. hold your arms out straight) your muscles will eventually start shaking and eventually give out. As one set of motor units begin to fatigue the signal to the whole muscle increases, recruiting fast action motor units which are worse at slow holding, and eventually they and all the units are fatigued and you can’t produce continued force.

If you’d like to play around with a simulation of the above process you can, it’s older code but it may still check out:

https://github.com/iandanforth/pymuscle

And to specifically address the issue of ‘building muscle’, as I’ve noted there are lots of sub components with different roles. Each of those can grow over time for different reasons and fatigue is one of the main signals for growth. Not the only one, but the notion that the only way to build muscle is to ‘tear up’ your muscles with huge lifts is both outdated and wrong.

I’m having trouble understanding how your comment refutes mine; could you clarify?

> Not the only one, but the notion that the only way to build muscle is to ‘tear up’ your muscles with huge lifts is both outdated and wrong.

I think you’re misunderstanding my point. The bodyweight squat is ineffective because you cannot change the stimulus; the only training variable you can adjust is the number of squats you do. Because it’s a relatively easy exercise, this quickly means that you cannot subject yourself to sufficient stress with it, both for myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy purposes. Nobody in the history of the universe has ever gotten big and strong on bodyweight squats. It has never happened and it never will happen.

You sure can change the stimulus. Three options immediately come to mind. First, you can increase the power with which you explode out of the bottom, that is push at the ground harder and faster. Second, you can pause at the bottom for a variable length of time, adding an isometric element and increasing the difficulty of the concentric movement. Third, you can do one legged squats to greatly increase the weight per leg.

Have your heavy barbell back squats made your legs and core strong enough to do explosive pistol pause squats?

I should’ve written more explicitly: bodyweight squats don’t make people who harbor a decent level of fitness stronger. Like any novel stimulus, they will make you stronger for a short while and then it will stop once you’ve adapted.
It’s pretty obvious that the target audience for VR exercise is not ‘people who harbor a decent level of fitness’. You’re looking at the wrong baseline.
> they will make you stronger for a short while

I’m curious about the precise interpretation here. Are you saying increased strength be lost and I will return to baseline before I started exercising? Or are you saying I will get a certain amount of increase and I will maintain it, but it will plateau there?

Because I’m just fine with the 2nd scenario. The first would be weird and contradicts my experience (nearly 2 years in …).

I’ve only ever done body weight and know that get more muscle when training. I think you are doing premature optimizing. I know nothing about exercise theory but I know what gets me fat and what makes me strong, I do not care about what is optimal since I do fun things for exercise, not for strength.

Do you think this is the difference, the mindset we have in our training.

Well, I’m not sure if this is about differences in definitions …. I don’t know what adaptation means. All I can tell you is it had a significant impact on the actual physical bulk of my upper arms.

The main driver of that was SynthRiders, where you get points for punching targets as hard as you can. To get to the top of the leader board you have to pretty much hit targets with all your strength for 3-4 mins. 30 mins of that a day over several months was enough to make a significant difference.

A few subjective observations that may be totally wrong when applied to others despite their normative tone:

* VR makes me sweaty… because it induces minor vertigo.

* Anything which requires intense, complete focus to do right is never boring. Exercise, both strength and cardio, requires this level of focus.

* Exercise is essential to physical and mental well-being, especially as you age. The difference between having plenty of energy throughout the day and fighting through deep fatigue is profound. With exercise you are sharpening the tool that is your body, for both physical and intellectual output, and time spent keeping your tools sharp is never wasted.

* Exercise is a skill that supports measurable progressive mastery. If gamification helps your motivation, then the advent of smart watches and fitness trackers makes it extremely easy to watch your “stats” go up.

* Exercise and sports provides a venue to meet new people, which as you get older only gets harder and harder. You may think you are an introvert and dislike being around others, but that likely points to unresolved social anxiety. You’re a human: you evolved to be a social animal. You may indeed need less socialization time and fewer friends than more gregarious humans, but you do need it. The extent to which you are introverted only emphasizes the importance of finding opportunities to make new acquaintances and friends because introversion has probably left you with fewer than you need. Exercise and sports is a great such opportunity.

* Exercise is fun. It taps into a very animal sense of conquest, and the joy of pure physical sensation. I’ve been doing a lot of road cycling lately following a running injury that I’m still recovering from, and the exhilaration of speed, of instinctively responding to possibly dangerous surprises, and of pushing your legs and your lungs to go ever faster is joyful. Even overcoming the misery of winter cycling weather becomes it’s own source of accomplishment: “I pushed through sub freezing temperatures and a brutal headwind today. I am strong and resilient.”

I am reminded of the quote attributed to Socrates: “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

As the proverbial 90 lb weakling who never did anything athletic, I can attest that once I started, I was amazed at what my body was capable of.

To be fair, we should also understand the context of the quote, which is that Socrates advocates physical strength and training so men could be useful to the states [1].

[1]. https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/5hcclh/did_s…

I struggle with nausea, so I stick mainly to stationary games. I’ve found that I can handle rail/linear movement as long as I have a fan blowing at my face.
I do pretty much the same thing. I own a Quest 2 and I play Pistol whip, Thrill of the fight and Moon rider (a free VR game which is played in the browser where you need to hit blocks with your hands synced to music).

The only issue I have with Thrill of the fight is that when I get into it, I hit hard, but find no resistance as I would hitting a punching bad or sparring with someone, so my elbow tends to overextend and I feel some pain for a couple days after playing for about 30 minutes. That’s something that will probably get better over time as I gain more control, but as of now, that’s something I need to be careful of.

If you tie an elastic around your elbow and hold it in your hand or hold one around your back and in both hands, you won’t overextend your elbow and it should give you the resistance you are looking for.
I loved Thrill of the Fight. I sweat like a pig on it.

Too bad I get obsessed with fast knockout punches and my shoulders hurt like hell after a couple of days.

I also learnt the hardway you cannot outrun a bad diet. I would routinely burn 600+ callories in Thrill of the Fight only to get extremely hungry after and eat double what I’ve burnt.

For me weight training is better than cardio because I don’t get the same hunger afterwards, on the countrary, if I do it late in the evening I can’t eat at all. I also can’t sleep afterwards.

I also became obsessed with shooting/hunting simulators and haven’t done any exercise in VR for a long time.

Gaim compact, but it’s really pricey(I’m just playng the Demo, still trying to justify the price) or if you’re ok with shotgun shooting flying things –skeet/trap/sporting/pigeon/pheasant then Clay Hunt VR — it’s an incredible value for money. If you’re looking at land-hunting, take note that Gaim compact is geared towards european style driven hunting.

Pavlov Vr is free, I only used the firing range (which is much better than Contractors).

I also did play quite a bit of Contractors but right now I just play the Ninja mode, hunting bots with bow&arrow.

I also got Onwards, but given that it’s very realistic (you die very fast if shot), it’s too slow pace for my liking.

Space Pirates is also really nice, but it’s not a simulator.

I was gifted a punching rig for exactly this type of workout a few years ago. You’ll find them around a few types of gyms sometimes (MMA, Military). It’s similar to what was mentioned elsewhere (elastic wrapped around body) except as an actual rig that is adjustable for resistance and reach.
Forgive my ignorance, but I always see the quest mentioned. Are there any comparable devices that don’t require Facebook?

I’ve sworn off FB and while VR for cardio has me intrigued, nothing is gonna get me to sign back in there.

Pico Neo 3 IQ Q3 (still in development) HTC Vive Focus Lynx R1 ( still in development ) Oculus Quest using Oculess to remove FB ( or just ask Meta support to unlink your headset from your account )
Almost every console and handheld have been sold at a loss — including the new Steam Deck. Games, licensing, and access to the platform has always been the money makers.
It isn’t really comparable, but the only other real VR competitor out there is the Valve Index, which is considerably more expensive, requires base stations and requires a cord to a (beefy) computer, but on the flip side can support many more games, with much better controllers and is much more powerful.
That’s true, I just forgot about them. From what I’ve seen, the Vive occupies a midpoint in price and quality between the Oculus products and the Index.

EDIT: I hadn’t actually seen much of the Vive Pro 2, it looks… comparable to the Index? Both price and feature-wise?

Not really a midpoint, but more on a similar level to Index. Generally, people like Index more than the Vive Pros on most points (display, audio, controllers, etc.) except for the wireless capability, and some niche features like eye tracking on the Vive Pro Eye. If you want a wireless high-end headset, Vive is the only game in town (Index is wired-only) so you have to get a Vive. It’ll end up being more expensive than Index because the wireless adapter is $350. Since the Vive Pros and Index share the same tracking system, people do mix and match equipment other than the headset though. Many people will buy a Vive Pro headset and use Index controllers with them, since they’re better. Index users will buy Vive trackers for full-body tracking because nothing equivalent exists for the Index.
That’s still their flagship I think, check out their other lines like the cosmos which has AR/VR type camera integration etc, room scale without the base stations and so on.
I’d recommend you look at the HP Reverb headset, which has a good performance/price ratio. Technically, it is made for the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem, but I find it supports almost all Steam VR games and there are work arounds to make it work for oculus games without a FB account. YMMV
This is simply not true. It’s obviously the same company and will treat your privacy right the same way (i.e. as nonexistant)

Further, you need a facebook account to log in (at least, for now) and it needs to be your real name (if you don’t want to run afoul to Meta’s terms and conditions).

so yeah, the will use and combine your data for any nefarious purpose see: https://support.oculus.com/146743104076817

“Yes. Facebook will use information related to your use of VR and other Facebook products to show you personalized content, including ads, across Facebook products. This could include recommendations for Oculus Events you might like, ads about Facebook apps and technologies, or ads from developers for their VR apps.”

For others that are interested in VR fitness games, here’s a few more suggestions:

– SuperHot: while less cardio focused at the higher levels it really has you doing a lot of slow, deep squats and stretches as you dodge and move around. I recommend trying to do the “Whole game in 10 minutes” mode as that’s an easy chunk of time to spend. It’s been great to loosen up my back after being at the desk for too long or as a quick way to get over the sleepiness of a big lunch.

– Synthriders: a lot of people know BeatSaber already, but I prefer this as the music is more vaporwave and there’s a more varied move set and better 360 mode.

– The Climb 1+2: more a pleasant mental break than anything else, but fun.

I’ve really enjoyed “Until you Fall” on the Index.

Most first-person VR games (including Half-life Alex) make me motion-sick. But for some reason that doesn’t happen with Until you Fall. I really hope they make a sequel or similar game.

Most people can grind through motion sickness. If you’re willing to deal with feeling queasy for a night or two, it’s worth the effort. I wasn’t able to handle continuous motion in VR until I decided to just play through Boneworks repeatedly until I could handle it. Ended up only taking about 20 minutes and I’ve been good ever since.
Same with Sim Racing in VR for me – the trick is small repeated exposure I found.

After a couple of days it was absolutely fine and I do 1 hour+ races in VR in iRacing without any issues – although the karussell at the Nordschleife still makes me a tiny bit dizzy for a split second.

For the fitness focused experiences

RealFit, Hitmotion Reloaded, Les Mills Bodycombat, Thrill of the Fight, VRWorkout Bootcamp, FitXR, PowerBeatsVR, Supernatural ( if you are in the US), Holofit or VZFit (if you have a rower/bike), Happy Run, Hitstream, OhShape

and many more

I’d throw in pistol whip as a cardio recommendation to anyone that enjoys superhot. A few back to back rounds at a higher difficulty will get you moving and squatting a lot
Another vote for SynthRiders here. I have the same complaint about Beat Saber as OP. Can be done with wrist flicks and be lazy

Synth Riders forces you to have to move your body and do large sweeping motions, it feels like dancing, AND it has online multiplayer with voice chat which regularly has groups hanging out and playing for fun

That last part makes it so much more enjoyable for me

I’ve been doing workouts in VR for over two years now and it’s my preferred for HIIT and Cardio in general. I do mix in elliptical and treadmill sometimes but I’ve found VR far more convenient, just get up turn around put the headset on, start the tracker on my watch and get going versus going out to the gym in my building. Every reduction of friction helps me keep working out. FitXR and Thrill of The Fight are my gotos and I typically maintain 150-170bpm workouts between 3-4 times per week for 40-50minutes. With a resting heart rate in the 50s and around a 7 minute mile time I’d say it’s doing the job for someone who’s not trying to be an elite athlete just keep in shape while working a desk job. I’m 27 for context.
VR exercise is a remarkably poor allocation of time (if your interest is physical fitness, efficiently). It also leaves out the most important adaptation of all: strength.

Effective training (not exercising) requires a progression model. That is, on some time frame you must exceed your performance at the end of that time frame when compared to the beginning of the time frame. This must be done in some measurable way–trying “harder” is ineffective. For example, if you squatted 120 kg x 5 two days ago, today you need to squat 122.5 kg x 5. VR cannot support such a progression model because it is incapable of producing a sufficiently intense stimulus (obviously for strength, but also for cardiovascular fitness) to result in continued adaptations; i.e., you cannot effectively scale the stress to produce meaningful adaptations after an initial period of adaptations. I’m sure if the author of the post continues for another 80 days, you’ll see progress mostly stall.

At any rate, the bigger issue is that the most important component of fitness–strength–is left out entirely. Strength is extremely correlated with decreased morbidity/mortality but, perhaps more tangibly, becoming strong results in vast, systemic changes to your body and (especially if you’re older or extremely unfit already) similarly vast improvements to your quality of life. You are a physical entity and the way you interact with your environment is expressed through forces; the degree to which you can produce such forces is strength. We all depend on strength.

As anyone who is strong will tell you, being strong is a far superior state to being weak. If you only “exercise” or just go for runs or only do VR exercise, you are weak.

(Effective) strength training trains your entire body. Your bones, your nervous system, your balance, and yes, even cardiovascular fitness. You can become very strong lifting just 3x a week for one hour each time. Throw in some HIIT (which takes 15 minutes and results in better cardiovascular fitness than VR exercise because it has a progression model and is sufficiently intense to result in sufficient stress to evoke an adaptation) on a rest day and you have a far, far more effective recipe for general fitness with significantly less time spent. All other factors being equal, the man who can squat 400 lbs will always be fitter than the man who plays VR for 45 minutes every day–and the former can do it with a smaller time investment.

For any naysayers arguing that strength training isn’t fun (like VR is): it is fun. You’re playing Pokemon, just leveling up IRL instead of your Clefairy. The progression model I explained above makes it fun.

1) The best exercise is the one you do.

2) You are too dismissive, hand waving/wringing behind the word “effective”. You don’t need to min/max and obsess over progression and optimization to get good exercise. I’m jacked just doing push-ups, pull-ups, and body weight squats here and there. I don’t count them, I just do some, but I do some every day.

Where people fail is the daily consistency and making the lifestyle change of actually exercising at all regularly, not because they aren’t exercising optimally.

If VR compels someone to exercise, it kinda seems like you would butt in with this “well actually” sort of unhelpful discouragement before you even know what their goals are. Sounds like you may only have one narrow goal in mind.

Your posts in these threads remind me of all the instant guru redditors that just read Starting Strength and now dunk on people in r/fitness.

> You don’t need to min/max and obsess over progression and optimization to get good exercise.

You’re right, but I’m not talking about exercise, I’m talking about training. You do need to “obsess” over progression if you intend to progress.

> I’m jacked just doing push-ups, pull-ups, and squats here and there.

You almost certainly are not. Having low bodyfat is not the same thing as being “jacked”. Weight/height? How much can you squat?

> Where people fail is the daily consistency and making the lifestyle change of actually exercising at all regularly, not because they aren’t exercising optimally.

My argument is that these things are highly related. That is, lifting effectively makes lifting consistently much easier–if you’re seeing continued, measurable progress (every time you lift your numbers go up–how exciting!) and actual physical changes and improvements to your quality of life, it really isn’t so difficult to be consistent because the process itself is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Continued habits are not formed by discipline, they are formed by finding something you enjoy in the habit; at least some component of the habit itself must become compelling.

> My argument is that these things are highly related. That is, lifting effectively makes lifting consistently much easier–if you’re seeing continued, measurable progress (every time you lift your numbers go up–how exciting!)

I’ve found that I don’t experience this at all. I went from being extremely weak to benching as much as I weighed, but once the college program that I participated in was done I didn’t continue, because for me it was always a chore and remained so.

Nowadays I swim, because it’s enjoyable for the sake of it. Also I have a small child now, so most of my daily exercise just sort of happens.

I have friends who enjoy this progress, pushing themselves to do more etc. – I can’t relate to this at all.

Bottom line is that there’s a chunk of the population that doesn’t feel this at all and it’s better that they exercise using VR than not at all.

Continued habits are not formed by discipline, they are formed by finding something you enjoy in the habit; at least some component of the habit itself must become compelling.

You keep applying this to exercise, though, and obviously you have gotten enjoyment from it that others don’t – but then you are putting down what other people manage to do. I don’t care how much I could lift, nor do I think that I need more strength than what I need in everyday life – and realistically, that’s just generally carrying groceries home from the grocery store and things like that (I’m in a walkable location and just walk 15 minutes each way).

> but then you are putting down what other people manage to do.

This is a bizarre argument to me. If I argue that Rust is better than Pearl am I “putting down” Pearl programmers? There is no personal attack here–I firmly believe the methods I outlined in my post are superior. If you cannot find it in your being to find something enjoyable in that method that’s unfortunate and if that means you have to do something else that’s less optimal, so be it.

> If I argue that Rust is better than Pearl am I “putting down” Pearl programmers?

Only if you come in telling the Perl programmers that they can’t possibly have written useful code. Which is what i hear when zmmmmm says

> I actually started bulking up in my upper arms for the first time in my life.

and you say

> No you didn’t

Or when Kiro says,

> Pistol Whip is great for building leg muscles

and you say

> bodyweight squats don’t make you stronger.

To give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you are using some very specific definition of the word strong. But it’s not the definition that the rest of us are using. Body weight exercise can absolutely help folks reach all kinds of fitness and life goals, which is all we’re trying to say here.

Plus as some folks have pointed out, there’s no reason you can’t wear some weights in VR either.

So yeah, it’s fine to extol the virtues of weight training, but you’re sounding to me like a Rust programmer saying Perl can’t possibly be used to save time or practice your problem solving.

> Only if you come in telling the Perl programmers that they can’t possibly have written useful code. Which is what i hear when zmmmmm says

In hindsight, perhaps the analogy was poor. Perl and Rust can express exactly the same computations (and no more and no less) and are in some sense interchangeable which is not what I was trying to express.

I am indeed arguing that the utility of the strength training I outline exceeds that of VR exercise and that VR exercise is less useful in developing physical fitness.

> Body weight exercise can absolutely help folks reach all kinds of fitness and life goals, which is all we’re trying to say here

I agree with this and your quote

> bodyweight squats don’t make you stronger.

is out of context, since I qualified it with people who already have a decent level of fitness. And that is indeed the case. You cannot increase the loading on the bodyweight squats and–assuming your bodyweight isn’t drastically changing–that means you cannot change the intensity and hence you will not get appreciably stronger. Doing more reps just puts you in the realm of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy followed by cardiovascular adaptations.

Doing something is always better than nothing; there is no contention there and I agree. What I disagree with is the degree of benefits (especially in regards to strength) people are claiming things like VR exercise can provide and relative of importance of cardiovascular fitness vs. strength and how to best obtain fitness in each area.

I’m strongly opinionated, absolutely. And I absolutely think a lot of the approaches featured in this comment section are ineffective if the goal is to obtain physical fitness. If your goal is to just have fun and just do something you enjoy, then who cares–have fun! It’s fine to not especially care about physical fitness and I have no personal interest in your physical fitness. But I believe that life is better physically fit and that the best path to fitness involves lifting weights in a manner which features progressive overload. A lot of people go to the gym with the intent to become strong and most of them fail–not all approaches are equally valid and a lot of them are ineffective.

If your goal is to “obtain physical fitness,” which as stated is a totally unquantified goal that could be defined in any way you want, then you are infinitely better off waving your arms around with a VR headset on than sitting on the couch.

The attitude of “well actually you’re doing it all wrong and this is poorly optimised, watch me piss in your cornflakes” fails to take into account the merits of doing anything at all. Sure, they might plateau after a few months. That’s not a problem. Anyone who plateaus is going to either A) decide they’ve made it far enough, which is their business, or B) find a way to push themselves, which will get them doing everything you’re talking about.

What is your goal here? Get the excited people who like VR to stop exercising because they’re not doing it efficiently enough for you? Why?

Yes you are puttning people down, even thick skinned Perl programmers, you do not show perspective. Most people will not care and just ignore you, the ones who argue with will at best have an interest in you explaining what you mean in a meaningfull way.

Responding with “well that’s just your opinion man” is tiresome. You need to understand who you are having a discussing with. I know no one who cares about strength outside the training nerds, if that is your argument that strength is important and you need to prioritze it. Then you have to be really humble, and show how that can be. Do not say Perl sucks to make that point.

On the offchance you’re not trolling, these are quite the outdated views you’re holding.

It’s fine to muck around doing 120kg squats if that’s your thing, but you’re continuously putting yourself to increased risk of injury as the years go by and you’re increasing weight. To mitigate that risk you then have to start doing additional warm up, foam rolls, recovery routines. Oh and lets not forget that most people can’t even do squat properly, so add static stretching too. That’s hell of a commitment to someone who likely hates the process and just wants to be healthy.

That said, I also do weight training, but I don’t emphasize it due to above. 2x/week full-body base, 2x/week 30 min cardio, 2x week static stretches. Am I advanced in anything? No. Am I rounded more than person going to the gym 3 times a week? I’d think so.

> To mitigate that risk you then have to start doing additional warm up, foam rolls, recovery routines

How do you know that any of this is effective?

> Oh and lets not forget that most people can’t even do squat properly, so add static stretching too.

If you don’t squat correctly, you need to do static stretching to ameliorate it? What?

> It’s fine to muck around doing 120kg squats if that’s your thing, but you’re continuously putting yourself to increased risk of injury as the years go by and you’re increasing weight.

Being strong decreases risk of injury and death. We’re not talking about becoming competitive weightlifters or powerlifters here, we’re talking about becoming decently strong. To become strong, you must learn to execute the lifts with sufficiently good technique to not injure yourself. If you can read a book and think somewhat critically (so, hopefully, the entire Hacker News readership) you can learn to execute the lifts correctly.

Would you have the same defeatist attitude if I was talking about joining a recreational soccer team, where injury rates are literally magnitudes higher than in the weight room?

I did weight lifting for years in my 20’s… I could squat 500+ lbs, bench 325 lbs several times, do 25 consecutive pullups with a wide grip or narrow grip, etc. I looked like a bodybuilder.

Then I did Crossfit for several years in my late twenties… more cardio, a bit less weights.

Then rock climbing for several years in my early thirties.

Now I ride my bike competitively on Zwift and have tons of fun doing it.

All exercise is good. If I could go back in time, I would greatly reduce the amount of weight lifting I did and focus more on fun cardio centric activities. You get all the muscle you need from those.

I think your comment is a bit myopic, and I power lifted for years (my #s weren’t great, just ok 525 DL, 395 sq, 315 bench all at 200#).

Step one is getting people to train at all. That alone means they are improving if they do something consistently.

Next, progression can take many forms. Adding weight is one way, more reps is another, adding explosiveness (body squat with jump for example) yea another. There’s also things like time under tension where you do 1/2 squats and never come out of the contraction for the whole time. I did heavily weighted pull ups for years, then one day decided to focus on reps instead and my lats got bigger.

We also need to define how much strength does the average person who doesn’t want power lifting to be their sport need. I’ve seen some people say, the ability to goblet squat the weight of a typical toddler is a good goal. If someone is doing 100s of bw squats consistently multiple times/week, they should feel comfortable picking up their kid.

Someone mentioned studies showing increased strength is good for health, and that’s right. But if you look closely, they are not talking about huge increases. Again, bw stuff probably meets the study parameters for increases.

At the end of the day, people need to find something they like doing and do it consistently. They’ll progress to some level, and then maintaining is fine if they don’t want to squat 400# or do 500 pull ups in the workout.

I finally stopped power lifting when it no longer fit my other sport goals. I needed more agility and endurance for what I wanted to do so had to move my focus.

This post is clearly about cardio while your whole comment dismisses it for not being strength training and talks of strength training. Just because you do strength training it doesn’t mean cardio is useless and in fact many people do both.

As for progression you do it the same way as running presumably – by putting more time and/or doing it faster.

The title of the post is “Virtual Reality: My Digital Dojo for Mental & Physical Fitness”. The post is about physical fitness and I think the author is conflating physical fitness with cardiovascular fitness.

> in fact many people do both.

And I argued for both and that strength training also results in cardiovascular adaptations.

How would the term physical fitness, used as the complement of mental fitness, not include the cardiovascular? The blog never claimed anything about bulking up or maximising strength!
What you said boils down to “but that’s just cardiovascular, not proper physical fitness.” By that measure, Lance Armstrong on the height of epo abuse wasn’t fit.
None of this matters if you find exercise and training of this sort so mind-numbingly boring that you active avoid the it due to hate of activity. You might try your best to convince me that it is fun, but I whole-heartedly disagree. It is repetitive boredom, about as fun as housework and maybe worse (which is why I keep a messy house).

I’ll be physically weak and happy instead and continue to put concepts into my mind and enjoy the activity I do get, thank you.

For that, you’d need to be convinced that exercise/strength training results in better health outcomes long term, and that better health outcomes are an important factor in emotional wellbeing.

Supposing that, it is safe to acknowledge that particular behaviour can be created by building reward circuits and overcoming initial aversion common when building any habit.

> For that, you’d need to be convinced that exercise/strength training results in better health outcomes long term, and that better health outcomes are an important factor in emotional wellbeing.

On top of this, being physically fit generally results in increased longevity, giving you more total time to enjoy the things you do enjoy. (And enjoy them in a physically superior state.)

> Supposing that, it is safe to acknowledge that particular behaviour can be created by building reward circuits and overcoming initial aversion common when building any habit.

I think humans have a surprising capacity to learn to enjoy things (or, at least, tolerate) and that sticking with something is largely a question of overcoming an initial “enjoyment” curve. Besides, why does everything need to be enjoyable or stimulating? There is certainly value in a lack of stimulation.

I’ve done a lot of stronglift and don’t think it’s fun. It’s a chore I do because it’s good for me. VR training on the other hand is extremely fun and I still look forward to each session. It’s not until I take off the headset I notice that I’m soaking in sweat.
That’s too bad. Out of curiosity, do you have meaningful progress on Stronglifts? Can you tell me what your starting lifts were and what you’re at now?
I always start with just the bar and keep adding every time until I hit a plateau. I don’t do stronglifts right now (just VR training) but something like 120 kg in squats and 150 kg in deadlift last time.

Normally when I hit the wall I transition to a regular split program with biceps curls and whatnot, which I find much more stimulating and fun but it’s still a chore compared to VR training.

I am tired of the HIIT nonsense. When it comes to cardiovascular fitness it’s not even remotely enough to throw a HIIT session here and there. It’s not enough to rely on intensity alone. You need volume and volume before everything else. By volume I mean a lot of light, easy exercise. You will benefit by adding some intensity once you you have enough volume in your training, probably not all year round and probably not too much.

Just talk to anyone who trains endurance sports. Read the recent “how to skate 10kms” that is making rounds lately. Look at any training program of competitive endurance athletes and you will see low intensity volume before anything else. The reason is there is that it works. There are adaptations that only happens during long easy sessions.

If you just care about carrying heavy stuff then you can ignore all of the above but there is more to fitness than that.

>>All other factors being equal, the man who can squat 400 lbs will always be fitter than the man who plays VR for 45 minutes every day–and the former can do it with a smaller time investment

Plenty of guys who can squat 400lbs who would be totally gassed after running a few miles or cycling up a moderate length hill. I wouldn’t call it fit. I am betting on 45mins per day VR guy.

> There are adaptations that only happens during long easy sessions.

What sort of adaptations? As far as I’m aware, adaptations are the result of significant stress. What are the stressors of a “long easy session”?

At any rate, my post was about physical fitness and health, not how to become a competitive athlete.

Many competitive athletes are not fit. A marathoner who has no muscle mass and who is physically weak is not fit–regardless of the fact if they can run a 2:15 marathon. Said marathoner is not resistant to adversity, e.g., consider how they’d do on a wasting disease like cancer versus an athletic 215lb male.

What competitive athletes do generally is not a useful consideration when deciding on training modalities. Assuming that what the pros do is effective because they’re pros is logical fallacy and, regardless, these people are (genetic) outliers with differing goals.

Low-intensity, long endurance cardio is adversarial to increasing strength. If you want to be a competitive endurance runner then, sure, you need to adapt your training and you will need to do long endurance cardio. If you’re just an average Joe who wants to be healthy and fit then it is not in your interest to do long endurance cardio. Injury rates are higher, it makes it harder to become strong, and many of the resulting adaptations are undesirable.

Someone who can lift 440lbs but who sweats when they eat isn’t fit, either.

>What sort of adaptations? As far as I’m aware, adaptations are the result of significant stress. What are the stressors of a “long easy session”?

The adaptations come from the cardiac system. Basically, the body can use more oxygen more efficiently.

>Low-intensity, long endurance cardio is adversarial to increasing strength

Increased strength is adversarial to improved cardio efficiency.

> Increased strength is adversarial to improved cardio efficiency.

This is absolutely untrue. If you take a runner who doesn’t squat and get them to squat (and get stronger) they will become a better runner. By becoming stronger, each stride becomes more submaximal. Of course how strong they can become will be modulated by how much weight they can gain–in the case of a runner, that will probably be a very modest amount before the increase in weight begins to negatively impact their performance. But even with extremely minimal weight gain, they can become significantly stronger from an untrained state in a way that only positively impacts their running performance.

> The adaptations come from the cardiac system. Basically, the body can use more oxygen more efficiently.

You misunderstood my question. If the session is easy, what is the stress which sufficiently disrupts homeostasis to lead to an adaptation? Easy things do not result in adaptations.

> Someone who can lift 440lbs but who sweats when they eat isn’t fit, either.

Sure, they should do their cardio.

>If the session is easy, what is the stress which sufficiently disrupts homeostasis to lead to an adaptation? Easy things do not result in adaptations

An “easy” run is a stressor on the cardiac system, because you don’t spend all day with an elevated HR and commensurate lung work.

Everything is a stressor. Doing nothing is a (negative) stressor. The question is is it a sufficient stress. And it is not.

Squatting 120 kg x 5 every day is a stressor, and provided you do no other strength training, it will feel hard. But you’ll never get stronger than you already are.

>Everything is a stressor. Doing nothing is a (negative) stressor. The question is is it a sufficient stress. And it is not.

You are wrong.

> The adaptations come from the cardiac system. Basically, the body can use more oxygen more efficiently.

I’m quite sure HIIT is near optimal for improving VO2max – and if you look at it through the less of time vs. benefit then it’s unrivalled in terms of cardiovascular health.

>You need volume and volume before everything else.

There’s volume and then there’s volume. Obviously five minutes of HIIT between picking things up and putting things down isn’t going to do a great deal, but especially in the cycling world there’s a lot of research around easy volume work and high intensity sessions (Neal Henderson at The Sufferfest/Wahoo, TrainerRoad etc) and the general consensus is that if you’re time crunched, then the long Z2 work is not where you want to be focusing your efforts.

The article isn’t about a trained athlete, it’s about the untrained/hobbyist for whom getting in sufficient volume just isn’t possible.

>Plenty of guys who can squat 400lbs who would be totally gassed after running a few miles or cycling up a moderate length hill. I wouldn’t call it fit. I am betting on 45mins per day VR guy.

Picking things up and putting things down barely raises HR. Cardio appears to be a dirty word around these parts.

HIIT is not meant to train you for long distance and I never ever heard anyone to claim so. How to skate 10kms is competitive athlete program and had literally nothing to do with goals of normal sedentary person exercising.

For a lot of people, actual ability to run up stars higher or be active for 20 mins with kids is what they want and need.

And it is fun. It feels good. You see improvements in own ability to do day to day things. It takes a while till those wear off and you start to stagnate.

I highly disagree with the gist of your comment.

First, I’ll mention that I generally agree that most people are not fit, that most people should get fitter, and that includes getting stronger. I’ll also agree that getting stronger has tremendous real-world benefits, especially as you get older.

That said, you’re pushing that message way too far and discounting cardio completely.

I think the main reason to get fit, for most people, is one of:

1. They want to live longer.

2. They want to have a healthier/better life.

3. They want to look better.

4. They enjoy it.

Different people have different goals, which are all valid. But you deciding that strength is the most important component of fitness is not true, for someone who doesn’t share your goals.

For living longer, cardiovascular health is more important than strength, as is having lower body fat. That’s the generally accepted view today – if you think otherwise, what evidence do you have for that?

For being healthier, after a certain amount of strength, I’m pretty sure that cardiovascular fitness is also more important, though admittedly I’m a bit less sure about that point.

For wanting to look better, this very much depends on the person. For most people, losing weight is the easiest thing to do to improve their appearance, though building muscle is probably the second most important thing. (I’m excluding makeup/fashion/etc which are completely different).

For enjoyment, well, that’s completely dependent on the person. I personally love strength training and dislike many forms of cardio, but that’s me.

Umm what a load of nonsense.

I play FitXR which has HIIT and I use resistance bands that I connect to a belt, so I’m adding plenty of strength.

Plus I’m not a Gym rat, I’m not trying to do what you are doing, I use it because I hate going to the gym, i hate any exercise, I want to be able to do something at home on my lunch break and most of all it really makes me feel great for the rest of the day, it’s the best thing I do for myself so I’m not sure how it can be a ‘remarkably poor allocation of time’ it’s literally the opposite of that, i do it for an hour, my heart rate goes way up, I sweat a lot and I’m buzzing for hours afterwords with a great amount of focus. Your comment is complete and utter nonsense.

I don’t care about ‘training’, I care about exercise. Your post makes no sense. Nobody doing this is trying to become some brain dead nobody builder like yourself.

When calling me “some brain dead nobody builder” it would be nice if your response actually faithfully represented mine. I did indeed write

> VR exercise is a remarkably poor allocation of time (if your interest is physical fitness, efficiently).

But notice the parenthetical which you left out. My response was about obtaining physical fitness and doing so efficiently. Your response is about exercising and feeling good for today. And that is a totally fine thing to do, but you are not becoming physically fit in the process and it is not a method by which to become physically fit.

Of course it’s better than nothing and it’s great you do it and it’s great you enjoy it and it’s great it helps you focus, but the goals my post address are different from yours; even a brain dead nobody like myself can realize that.

The fitness industry is an endless string of fashions and fads to get people motivated to workout and convince themselves that this new method is the one they will actually do.

The novelty of VR aerobics will have the shelf life of Tae Bo, Jazzercise, on and on. I have seen more variations on this theme than the Fast & Furious franchise.

At least when you get sick of the workouts you still have the VR headset that can do other things instead of a rowing machine or treadmill that collects dust.

I even have a decent home gym but go to the commercial gym 90% of the time because working out at home is boring and demotivating. You can’t replicate the stimulation of the gym at home. The ritual of going, the other people, not to mention the variety of physical stimulus.

Other people are the reason I don’t go to the gym (I’ll make an exception for colleagues at the work gym because I can expect them to be respectful). The ritual of going is a pain in the arse because that’s time I don’t have.

>You can’t replicate the stimulation of the gym at home

What works for you doesn’t work for other people, which seems to be the one thing in this thread that the typical HN denizen forgets.

Any exercise is good exercise. Cardio, which somehow seems to be a dirty word here, is vital to good health and longevity and is the sort of exercise that leaping around with a VR headset is geared towards (and if you doubt the efficacy of computer based training, there’s an entire ecosystem of cyclists that would take issue with that).

> What works for you doesn’t work for other people

I think this mindset is extremely destructive. You do not have some unique fitness journey and have to find some niche thing that works for you. Barring significant physical abnormality, strength training–on a physical level–works for everyone and it works for everyone with the same basic programming tenants and the same exercises.

If by this you meant mentally (i.e., what sticks and what is appealing to them) sure, I’ll concede that and agree. On a physical level it is absolutely not the case.

But also, people who chase those fads and jump from Tae Bo to Jazzercise to boxdance to VR are having fun and exercising the whole time. These people sign up to classes, go, have fun, they get bored with it, sign up again to whatever is new.

Starting new activity is more fun then mastery for many people – you progress faster. And that is actually ok I think.

There is this tendency to turn exercising into chore that tests your moral quality and discipline or what not. But, it is OK to just chase fun.

> Throw in some HIIT

VR has HIIT already, FitXR has many different levels of it.

VR fitness is mostly just aerobic workouts that you would get from a kickboxing or more tradition aerobics class with an instructor. You aren’t using weights in those classes either, it isn’t suited to anaerobic exercise.

I’m usually pretty sedentary, generally don’t have the best diet and haven’t looked after myself so well.

VR exercise has been a real gamechanger for me, well worth the cost of the VR system alone.

I exercise every day, and look forward to it, I really enjoy it. I feel a lot more energy in my day to day life and feel just generally great. My focus and general emotional health is a lot better, and I also see some benefits with creativity.

So yes, it may just be light cardio or whatnot, not the same as a gym workout, but I don’t see myself doing a gym workout so regularly or having such fun.

Geez, go outside for a run. Get some fresh air, smell the rain, say hi to the neighbors, watch houses being built, get chased by a dog, check the Little Library for something interesting, swallow a bug, see if anyone has a cool car in their garage.
I tend to agree—if you’re at a point where you can do it. But for a lot of people VR will end up being better for the simple fact that it’ll actually happen for them.

Personally, I do go on extended walks regularly, e.g. do a couple miles to the grocery store—but, I was trying to get back into an actual strength training routine after years of no formal workouts, just walking, and gaining skill in Beat Saber was actually the first stepping stone that eventually got me back into it. Just needed some kinda tiny success first, just some experience using my body in a relatively athletic mode again.

This sentiment is so predictable and boring. Also the article literally says the motivation was knee pain meant he couldn’t run more than a few minutes. Maybe people aren’t the cartoons you have in your head.
I suffered from knee pain from running, too. I was concerned I was going to cripple myself. I finally switched my technique from heel-strike to ball-strike. This dramatically reduced the impact load on my knees, and the pain faded away after a month or so and has not returned.

The reason this works is because your body is designed to ball-strike, the heel-strike is unnatural. The ball-strike enables the tendons in your feet to act as shock absorbers. Those tendons will hurt for a bit under the unaccustomed load, so it’s best to back off the running a bit until they strengthen.

Be careful. I did the same and it worked fine until I started to run more than 15k at a time, when I started to develop issues with my metatarsals that still haven’t gone away more than 6 months later. I saw a physio who specialises in running and he said that long-distance runners don’t ball strike any more, it’s more of a flat landing (so still not heel strike) and then you spring off from your ball. That stopped my feet really hurting after long runs, but as I say I’m still paying the price for pure ball striking.
Counterpoint: No.

VR is great. You don’t have to spike your risk of skin cancer, you don’t have to deal with allergies, you don’t have to run along a road that constantly has drunken teenagers crashing into mailboxes, there are no mosquitos that will make your life miserable, and you can play with friends, regardless of the fact that they’re traveling, or live elsewhere. You don’t have to deal with motion sickness as you’re driving to a more interesting location, and you don’t have to comply to the schedule of your immediate environment.

But none of that is quite as important as what really matters: The real world is boring. If the parts accessible to everyone were half as interesting as a world defined in silicon, people wouldn’t strap an LCD screen onto their face and spend all day in it.

$300 for a device that you can do your work in, watch movies with friends in, play pretty intensive, full-motion e-sports in, meet new people every single night without having to pay a cover fee in, and program your own world around your preferences in is a hell of a deal.

These things are popular because the real world sucks in comparison for 80% of the population. Not everyone’s a dotcom bubble millionaire, not everyone attends any university, let alone a good one, not everyone lives in the suburbs or in an urban environment.

It’s more fun to see someone stand up on a virtual stage and give a presentation to eighty people on something that wouldn’t be significant in real life, like a mainline Linux kernel running in a written-for-this-talk RISC-V emulator inside of a pixel shader inside of the video game you’re currently standing in’s virtual world[1] than it ever could be to watch birds.

I have one of the best views imaginable in real life, with as much land as a person could want to mess around with vehicles, run, or make impromptu sleds to see how fast you can go down a steep hill without toppling, and it doesn’t hold a candle to VR. Most of my hours spent outside now are based in running with my pet or walking through the woods, because there’s no point in going outside every day for its own sake. If it weren’t for my pet, I probably wouldn’t spend more than an hour outside every day.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2u7NOpzcBQ&t=5054s

A few comments (I know I won’t change your mind):

I run when the sun is lower in the sky because of skin cancer risk. For 6 months of the year, it’s low enough that it isn’t an issue any time of day. I also wear a hat and long sleeved shirt. I know this works because I don’t have a tan. I’ve never been bitten by a mosquito when running, it’s when I stop they get me.

As for it being boring, I zone out and work on my projects in my head when running.

Not sure why you’d bother with a spread with a view if you don’t enjoy it.

“VR is great. You don’t have to spike your risk of skin cancer, you don’t have to deal with allergies, you don’t have to run along a road that constantly has drunken teenagers crashing into mailboxes…()”

And what about your eyes? How healthy is wearing VR? 🙂

Dry eyes happen without LCDs, and CVS isn’t actually bad for your health or the health of your eyes. Not to mention that most people don’t get it, even if they’re staring at a screen for most hours of the day. As someone who stares at a VR LCD screen for almost all of my workday with eyes that’ve gotten less dry as I’ve started using screens more, I’m pretty much convinced CVS is a myth.

(And, of course, there’s the fact that no one has ever been able to reproduce a study on CVS… also not giving it a very strong case.)

I only listed things that I actually do with the headset.

I do all of my daily programming with it on, there are a bunch of applications to watch movies with IMAX-size screens with it on in multiplayer-synced virtual theaters, there are a surprising amount of full-motion sports, plenty of applications built around socialization including a bunch of games, and it’s incredibly easy to develop applications for: It’s just an Android device as far as software goes, and as of last year it uses the industry-standard OpenXR, so you don’t really need to know much specific to the headset at all.

The only thing you can’t do completely standalone that’s mentioned in that comment is use that particular Linux-in-RISC-V-emulator-in-pixel-shader-in-VRChat, but that’s sort of an edge case, as you can probably imagine. For that sort of thing, the Quest 2 works really well for PCVR, as long as you’re not using a very specific configuration of Linux (Linux/Nvidia), or a Mac.

But yeah, the future is basically now.

Going on a walk works for my mind, I can think really well walking or hiking.

But more intense exercise without a novel mental aspect (i.e. a game) interferes with my ability to think hard and I find myself constantly frustrated and/or bored.

Now if I could go on physical exhausting, mentally entertaining, medieval quests in the real countryside that would be great. Maybe sunshine, Vitamin D and augmented reality are waiting in my future.

I don’t get either of you, at all. I greatly enjoy both.

I am not a serious runner, just ~20mi/week for health, but being outside, getting into that zone, the mental space for work/etc. as you mention (though math gets difficult with pace), or just listening to audiobooks as I watch the scenery change, it’s great.

Weight training, on the other hand, is very technical. Mesocycles planned months out, tweaked as targets are crushed or missed, every set recorded with rates of perceived exertion, everything on timers, the constant strategizing over which variation of which accessory exercise might help with a particular sticking point and add a few lbs to a main lift in the long run. It’s intoxicating.

I feel like people who find these things boring sat in a race car in a parking lot and decided race cars were boring.

I guess weight training is a means to an end that I want – health and fitness. It is not an end in itself, I don’t enjoy it, and discovered that I cannot lift while thinking about something else.

I understand that if you love weight training for its own sake, the calculus is completely different.

Running can be a monotonous grind if you do it on a schedule. That’s assuming you live in a place with decent enough weather that lets you keep to that schedule year round.
It can be a monotonous grind, but it isn’t for me. The difference is I “preload” my head with a problem I want to solve, and then solve it while running. It’s very productive time.
I can’t get into VR boxing. I have both Thrill of the Fight and Rocky. It never feels like you’re really landing any punches. You’re basically shadow boxing, which can really hurt your shoulders if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m surprised we don’t hear more complaints of injuries.
> I wake up at 5:30, and do some deep work; at 7:15 an alarm goes off, which reminds me to fire up my Oculus Quest and start my VR workout.

Not being bad about it, but if you find a gym that’s open at 5:30 it’s going to be pretty empty, that’s if COVID worries are keeping the OP out of these environments.

> I clear out my workout space and make sure my cats aren’t in the main play area.

No wife and kids huh? I don’t think it’s going to scale to having a couple of toddlers running about when you’re plugged in and jumping about the place blindly.

I tried doing VR with my toddler around once. Now whenever he sees me with it on he thinks I’m going to accidentally bop him. Definitely not toddler friendly, you need the kid at daycare or with your partner and the room needs to be locked so they don’t wander in.
The author does say they have a wife. But I know what you mean – I took my Quest to my sister’s over Christmas and there were many near-misses with a two-year old not understanding the adult is not playing with them. If I had young kids I would probably want to put a lock on the door for when I’m going to use it.
What is so bad about just going out and doing sports with people and having real contact?

I guess that everyone is different. In my case I really enjoy participating in HIT workouts with people; the group competition drives me to push myself.

That’s one of the reasons for having better results in a marathon than during training: group competitiveness

The second benefit is also obvious to me: socializing. Just the fact of doing sports together gives you a sense of bonding, of going through similar pain and succeeding.

One can argue you can achieve the same with VR meanwhile for me is just a poor replacement.

> What is so bad about just going out and doing sports with people

Inflexible, time intensive, lacks variety, intimidating to those with lower fitness, dealing with annoying people, competition limited to whoever you work out with rather than matching your level, affected by weather, injuries, expense ….

Agree with all the benefits you listed about in-person sport. Main issue is the time commitment with team sports.

VR is in and out in 30-40 mins and the sports venue is your living room or garage (no travelling required)

IME – VR can be more fun than the gym.

VR can be social and competitive. Many online e-sports are.

Horses for courses etc..

Outdoor group sports wasn’t really forbidden in many countries, or just for a small period of time.

It wasn’t my goal to alienate anybody. On the contrary I was trying to highlight the advantages of group sports.

Just wanted to add that Eleven (VR table tennis) is absolutely brilliant for exercise. After an hour of eTT and you will be sweating and have increased your step count a lot. Moreover, the better you get at it, the more energy you can put into it.

* If you’re wanting to have some change of skill transference into real world table tennis, get an adapter for your dominant hand paddle so your bat has the right weight, position and feel. Also, never forget that the table isn’t real.

Seconded! I do an hour of it every day and it’s had way more staying power for me than Beat Saber due to the competitive aspect of climbing up the rankings.
I’ve been enjoying supernatural for the last few months.

When I focus on form, I’m just a little sore from pushing myself past my comfort zone.

Most importantly, it gets me out of bed because I look forward to the 20min of zen and focus I get while listening to great music.

If you enjoy supernatural, I highly recommend PowerBeatsVR. It’s not nearly as polished as supernatural, but the workout configuration options are very effective, plus no subscription fees.
I recently (today!) started playing vzfit, which is a bicycle simulator.

You get in an exercise bike (with a cadence tracker, which is a device thag measures pedal movement) and ride through 3D environments via google street view. It’s really, really cool.

Also, best saber is great for getting a little sweaty. So is holopoint.

Consider checking out Holofit. When I tried both 18 months ago, Holofit was leaps and bounds better, and I still use it daily.
I don’t own a VR headset, but working out is one of the main reasons I could buy one. I have some questions though:

1. Isn’t the headset moving when doing fast moves?

2. Does the headset get dirty from sweating?

3. Does any sweat build up inside the device?

4. Did anyone break their device by moving too fast?

1) Games take this into account. There’s no “Headbanger Hero VR”. The headset holds on just fine with moderate acceleration.

2) The face gasket gets damp with a moderate workout, and sometimes I soak it if I push really hard. It air-dries between uses. It’s made of antimicrobial something-or-other which seems to last a long time before it turns funky. When it does, new ones are 2 for $40, so you just throw it away and snap a new one on. The rest of the headset doesn’t get wet.

3) I haven’t had problems with it, but some people feel it gets too hot and humid. If so, you can get aftermarket fans which fit in the frunk to circulate air through it.

4) I haven’t yet! The headset stays on fine. I have clapped the controllers together moderately hard a few times with no apparent damage. Everything seems well-made, and you can buy individual pieces if you do manage to break something.

My experiences are all with the Valve Index. YMMV with other setups.

I have the Quest I and Quest II. Thrill of the Fight is my main “workout” game, so now I use the Quest I exclusively for that (works just as well), because I do worry about the amount of sweat I get on it. I use the Quest II for the less physically punishing apps to maintain its longevity.

The Quest II actually feels a little more uncomfortable to be for exercise anyway. It seems like the lenses are closer to the face and the unit gets a little warmer.

So to you question, yes the face gasket and head strap can get quite sweaty, but not so much “inside” the device far as I can tell.

To the last point, I’ve punched the headset with the controllers a few times (usually going for a short inside uppercut), but they seem pretty sturdy. (Or maybe my punches just have no power 🙂

1. No, with the fitness strap upgrade at least.

2. Not really. The main thing that gets dirty is the face insert, which is detachable and can be washed by hand. I have a silicon layer above that so just wipe it off after each session. The oculus 2 is much better than the 1 in this regard, which had a fabric around the unit that could get really grimy.

3. I’m not sure. My first oculus died from reasons I can’t determine. I thought it might have been because of the sweat. The oculus 2 avoids fabric for the main unit and seems to be more resistant in this regard.

5. No. But I’ve had more than a few accidental controller strikes on either the other controller or on the unit itself at high speeds. Never hurt the hardware, but I’ve hurt my fingers a few times.

1. Not if it’s fitted well. Some people seem to need aftermarket straps for that. Myself, I’m fine with the stock Oculus Quest 2 strap, as long as I fit it properly. My core game is a table tennis simulator (Eleven), which requires lots of fast sudden movement.

2. It does. I wash the face mask foam regularly with just warm water + soap. The face cover is removable so it’s not a big deal.

3. In my case, it’s all absorbed by the washable foam.

4. The Quest 2 is pretty sturdy. I did bump the controllers pretty hard against each other a few times, and had a few glancing hits controller vs headset. Nothing broke so far. The controllers have a ring that tends to protect your hand and the buttons when you crash them into something.

1. Some, but if it’s well fitted, it’s not a big deal.

2. Yup.

3. Yup again, especially around the… face gasket?

4. Haven’t broken it yet, but I definitely have windmilled my controllers into various things. Part of that is that I don’t really have enough floor space for VR.

What’s outlandish about it? Some people wake up on the early side for all sorts of reasons — disposition, physiology, mix of responsibilities requires it, household functioning, kids, etc., etc.

There are many different kinds of people in this world. It pays to think of all the reasons there might be for even one single behavior.

because waking up and putting your first effort to your job seems misplaced if you have such strong personal goals such as daily working out. what’s more important, your job or yourself?
Been starting work at 5 am (which is now where I live) for a few years now. I was usually the person who would check in for work around 11 am the past 30 years. That was a bit of a mistake in hindsight; my body and mind like this early time far more; I get far more from my day now that my focused coding time ends around 11 instead of starts and the rest of the day I get to do mostly hobbies (including VR workouts). Somehow, in the past 30 years, including when I got up around 8, I missed about 3 hours of very valuable focus time which I was not possible to get for some reason until getting up when the rooster starts crowing (we have a rooster and it’s doing that now).

I have to continue during the weekend (obviously as it is Sunday now) or I move out of the rhythm but that works fine too.

If you ever want someone to work early, a lot of ex-military just naturally run on an earlier schedule like that. People who run for a hobby tend to start early too.
I used to do it all the time. Up At 5, at Starbucks around 5:30, out by 7:30. Or wait for the gym to open at 6, or maybe an early morning run. Mornings used to be great, but then I had a kid and the pandemic hit and it will take awhile to go back to see them.
I late-rise with the best of them, but 5:30 still pales next to ‘My 25-year direction is to “facilitate innovation.”‘

But, well, if it works for them – I suppose it correlates with likelihood of writing a blog?

It’s interesting to see all the same conversations happening around VR exercise as there was about Wii Fit. And it’s the same split, those who find it useful for consistently doing light exercise, and those who criticise it because it isn’t as effective as lifting weights or some “proper” gym/fitness routine
“Tiny Habit”

TIL. I’ve been doing this forever, but it’s kind of nice to have a zeitgeisty label to slap on the activity.

For example, I’ve been doing somewhere between 5 minutes and 60 minutes of yoga every day for about a year now. Some days it’s more, other days (or weeks) it’s less. But I’ve found that needing to do something with no minimum standard every day keeps it top of mind, but never stressful.

And it helps that even five minutes of stretching after sitting in front of a computer all day does help to keep me from feeling terrible.

Also, my wife and I have gotten really into doing Apple Fitness+ strength training videos together. It requires an Apple Watch because Apple, but no weird VR headset. I’m sure you could find any number of comparable videos on YouTube. I don’t think you need to buy a thing to start feeling healthier.

On the subject of knee pain. I’m 48, have never really jogged consistently.

I bought a treadmill for a treadmill desk. At first walking was a bit painful when walking more than an hour a day.

Now, after a couple months, I not longer have pain when walking even a few hours. In fact, it feels better to walk than to stand.

And now walking doesn’t create knee or leg pain, I am starting to jog. At first once every 2 or 3 days. Now about nearly every day for 20-30 minutes. Though if I feel worn out, I’ll skip a day to avoid any injuries.

i try to jog outside, but when it’s too cold, i jog inside on the treadmill, while watching queued youtube vids.

VR seems great for folks, but you’re putting your eyes’ ciliary muscles into a cast and then working the rest of you out. Few activities put your eyes at a fixed 1.3m focal distance for the entire time.
Has anyone solved the ventilation problem for headsets yet? I seem to be convinced that the right light-absorbent baffles that still allow air through are possible, but no one seems to have attempted this in a product
I didn’t really believe it would work until I tried it, but having a fan blowing on you at high speed works to cool your whole body, including inside the headset. I no longer experience fogging of lenses or sweat dripping down into my eyes, which previously would become a problem after 15 minutes of intense activity. An added bonus is that the breeze can give you a sense of which direction you’re facing.
What worked for me to avoid fogging is to wear the headset kind of like a visor for a few minutes before starting your workout, which warms it such that I haven’t worried about fogging much since (which initially was a problem).

There is, e.g, the BOBOVR F2 which will add a battery-powered fan to your Quest 2 to add some venting, but I haven’t personally tried it.

There are face interfaces with the ventilation holes set above that don’t leak light. Must be the hole angles, the ones I use seem to be fine (can’t provide links, they come from a random vendor on Aliexpress).

I believe the versons with fans also don’t leak light.

Can’t say ventilation has been an issue for me on the Quest 2, I have a pleather type face cover and there is a hole by the nose area so it’s not an air tight seal. I have done many long sessions with it.
A lot of people love Thrill of the Fight for exercise. It’s funny because it isn’t really directed exercise, it’s a boxing sim. You can take it slow but the game makes you feel like you have no choice but to punch for your life. It gets you really worked up.

I actually ended up with a bit of repetitive strain from throwing hooks and had to switch to Supernatural. It’s a monthly fee but it’s more purpose-built for exercise.

Thrill of the Fight has an adaptive punch power setting that lets you play it at a lower intensity, that might help you.
Exercise is the killer app for VR. If they figure out full body tracking too, they will give (and capture) a ton of value.
We’ve added rudimentary foot tracking to our fitness game ( https://youtu.be/ZBdYOnZ35Lk ) and are working with SlimeVR to get full body tracking into our game ( which will be an important aspect ) but it will still take VR some time before that becomes a smooth experience that’s available everywhere
As someone who is deciding whether to splurge on a Quest 2 for exercising, how good is it without a computer system to link with?

Also, is there any step that requires a computer system like the initial setup etc.?

Any recommendations for initial games to try and guides for getting the optimal adjustment are also appreciated.

You do not need a computer for the setup. You’ll need your mobile phone instead.

You may, if you wish, hook up the Q2 to a a PC to play steamVR and Oculus Games. The oculus quest 2 has a separate store (in VR) in which you purchase new games.

This is very intriguing. I can see myself using this during my lunch break where otherwise I just watch YouTube videos. I’d love to hear others’ experience. Anyone else here do this, or know of other articles like this?

I’d prefer not to buy anything from Facebook for privacy issues, though…

I’ve been using Beat Saber as a cardio mixup, though I agree with the sentiment that the headset gets a little stuffy. My bigger issue with VR in general is that the tethered PC experience has a lot of friction. The Oculus has more “pick up and go” power, but Facebook is a hard pass, so I’m patiently waiting for some other company (anyone, really) to come out and compete with a similar form factor.

VR doesn’t replace exercise for me; my regular routine involves weights, but it compliments it nicely on my off days. I think it’s good to mix in, but wouldn’t want to rely on it as the sole form of exercise. Maybe that’s just me; I can’t do the same thing every day, and since weight training requires a strict routine, cardio is where I mix things up for spice.

I have an index and have done a bit of beat saber. I wouldn’t really recommend it for exercise. Beat saber specifically, can be exhausting, but it doesn’t require much more than moving your arms for most levels. You may soon learn to adapt and actually just move your wrists more than your arms. I can do all but 5 or so of the base content songs on expert+ and while I do enjoy and recommend the game, I cannot say its a great idea for exercise.

Being out of breath isn’t actually great evidence of of a good exercise. A few things I particularly dislike:

* Headset gets sweaty

* Content that requires you to perform well can be harder to do when tired, so the exercise part gets less and less as you just fail. Yeah, you can tweak settings to not auto lose, but if the gamification of your exercise stops working then you might as well just do real exercise. This goes the other way too in that you may just get too good at the game and the gamification part is gone for all but the most extremely difficult pieces of content.

> You may soon learn to adapt and actually just move your wrists more than your arms.

I’m not convinced that someone learning that they can cheat themself out of the exercise, and then doing it, is a proper criticism of Beat Saber.

Beat saber is not an exercise program. It’s a rhythm game.

It’s not a criticism of the game to say that all of its design elements aren’t conducive to a good workout. Novice players will move their arms much more than they have to. As you get better at the game you will probably learn to move your arms less.

This is my point. Playing better tends to result in exercising less. Saying you’ll just play suboptimally to get more exercise is counterintuitive and will probably not work as it will force you to ignore all of the feedback that the game gives you, e.g. score and missing blocks.

VR is a good workout, but to be honest, I still find the headsets unpleasant enough to not want to use this over other forms of exercise. The headsets are too heavy, moving vigorously cause them to move and lose your visual sweetspot, they got hot, the foam interface gets sweaty and gross, etc. And for the amount of time I spend on screens, I’d rather go for a run outside and enjoy the fresh air.

But I could see most of the above being improved in a few generations such that it’s a really great exercise option.

The stock headset definitely needs to be upgraded for this kind of application.

I own a BoboVR headband with an external battery, which helps balance the weight of the headset. I had the elite strap with external battery and the BoboVR is much more comfortable for me. It’s also leatherette instead of foam, so much easier to clean.

I also have a fan (BoboVR F2) attached to the face mask in order to prevent condensation and overall I get a great experience even when I drip of sweat after exercising.

If you have the oculus quest, put on the silicon/rubber piece over the foam. I’m pretty sure that’s how they intended people to use it.

I just had the foam for a while as well and it was disgusting.

You get sweaty. The silicon spacer helps make it easier to cleanup. I usually have a small room fan blowing directly on me when I VR.
if you have the stock cloth piece in your headset, it gets disgusting and you’ll have acne by day 3. No way to clean it unless you buy the aftermarket eye piece that isn’t porous.

I tried working out in VR but realized that working out in RR is way more fun.

The stock foam gasket that comes with the quest is definitely porous and easy enough to wash under water. What headset are you talking about? I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been, was it attached to a PC with a wire?
quest v1 no wire but like 4 hour battery life so the wire gets involved.

You also get a semi permanent line down the middle of your head that lasts proportionally to how long you’ve worn the headset. Also the sinus pressure of having a 5 pound device drooping from your forehead and the red ring around your face and bloodshot eyes (because you didn’t blink at all) means you can’t go into public for another hour after you use the thing.

Ok, so I owned two oculus 1s (had to buy a replacement after the first one died after a year of heavy use) and suffered from none of those problems. It is even better with the quest 2. I don’t understand how you could get a mark on your face even after an hour of use, but I’ve never tried using it for more than 2 hours at a time.

You could have special circumstances: sensitive skin, especially acidic sweat, or just different head pressure tolerances. Also, I could never use the VR system if I didn’t have around 3 sweat bands on. I had to move away from simple cloths ones when I upgraded to the quest 2 because they wouldn’t fit anymore, and the smaller elastic ones don’t hold sweat well, so I had to triple up on them. Otherwise my sessions would end after around 10 minutes as I simply couldn’t keep the sweat out of my eyes anymore.

haha thanks. Yeah I’m trying to make RR the next big thing. Near zero load times, no suit required for haptic feedback, two 576MP cameras, the list goes on. The birds are still obviously drones though.
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