I’ve always been skeptical about Virtual Reality-anything for fear of dipping too irreversibly far into the metaverse to the point of no return.
However, I’m always looking for ways to mix up my workouts from my typical Pilates, yoga, circuit training, and of course, hot girl walks. A VR workout seemed like a safe venture into the meta…and I do not regret it.
Lucky for us, Supernatural has an incredible app with super sweaty boxing and dance-like workouts, and they were beyond excited to send us a Meta Quest 2 (aka the Oculus) headset to experience the full journey.
I haven’t tried Supernatural’s other offerings, such as meditation and stretching, but the workouts definitely surprised me. There are essentially two different modes of workouts—Boxing and their signature workout called Flow.
Boxing is as straightforward as it sounds. While we don’t have gloves, the hand controllers keep your hands in a fist, and they appear as gloves through the lens of the headset. You punch (and sometimes knee/kick) targets moving towards you in a portal. It’s a major release.
In fact, I was shocked at the schvitz that occurred after just a 12-minute session on beginner mode. I thought, sure, flailing about in my living room has gotta burn some cals, but I was totally unprepared for the intensity. My arms, obliques, and even glutes felt it the next day.
I’ve been working my way up to the more advanced Hard mode and challenging myself to hit as many consecutive targets in a row. It’s super motivating because periodically throughout the workout, my hits tally shows on screen, pushing me for better form and precision. I may not have a sparring partner or a punching bag, but I’m pretty sure I could kick someone’s ass now.
Flow is more like a dance, and let’s just say I don’t quite have the groove down. It’s as if you’re holding a baton in each hand, smacking targets as they come at you in rhythmic waves. Like boxing, all of the soundtracks are amazing and super catchy, so you do feel a lot like dancing. While people love this mode, it makes me feel a little less in control and more like flailing, so I stick to my fave—boxing.
What makes these workouts even more fun is you totally get to tune out of your own reality. Raining outside and can’t get your hot girl warm-up walk in? No problem. Plug your brain into VR, and get warm on the Great Wall of China. Or a desert mountaintop. Or among the Egyptian pyramids. Maybe an icy Nordic beach.
Our Wellness Editor, Allie, is feeling the burn from her own living room as well:
“Working out from home has always been hard for me. My fiancé and I are both pretty disorganized, and we have two chaotic bull terriers. I mention this because my house definitely reflects all of that. It’s difficult to stay present in my workouts when I can see the graveyard of empty cardboard boxes and items I meant to return in my entryway.
“But that’s not an issue with this headset because it blocks all of that out with *Spongebob rainbow hands* virtual reality. All I’ve gotta do is make sure there’s a clear, six-foot radius around me, and I’m good to go to Mars or wherever the day’s workout will take me.
“The workouts themselves are—dare I say—fun? They’re very interactive…without having to actually interact with another live human. My favorite!
“The video game-y touches—the hand controller vibration when you punch a target and the sound effects—help keep me from getting distracted while adding a sense of urgency that brings out my competitive side.”
If you’re looking to uplevel your home gym (in our case, the six square feet of room we cleared in our living spaces), VR is a thrilling way to mix things up, tone parts of your body you may not have been giving attention to, and get some serious cardio.
Just be prepared to look very, very uncool to anyone around you.
Up next, be the first to know our weekly content and sign up for our Poosh newsletter.