The virtual reality (VR) gaming market is set to grow exponentially to $53 billion in 2028, significantly driven by the growing trend of virtual workouts, as stated in a Fortune Business Insights report. Virtual training in the metaverse uses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain to create engaging routines in 360-degree simulations. These virtual workouts often require additional equipment like high-quality headsets, controllers, and special equipment like bikes or rowing machines to exercise to make it a fully immersive experience. Training virtually has several benefits, offering individuals customized workouts, real-time feedback, and flexible scheduling of sessions. This blog dives into some prominent platforms in the virtual fitness industry, like FitXR, Supernatural, and Beat Saber, to explore their offerings and benefits for users.
Can you work out in the metaverse?
The metaverse’s 3D virtual world encourages individuals to connect, work and play digitally, making the space ideal for virtual workouts or physical activities that would be hard to execute in the real world. Exercising in the 3D internet can be highly immersive, using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain to incorporate 360-degree environments, audio, and interactive elements to engage with friends or trainers during routines.
For instance, VR-enabled fitness experiences in the metaverse could include the creation of a virtual gym like FitXR or game-based workouts like Beat Saber. FitXR offers virtual HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), boxing, and dance workouts. Alternatively, Beat Saber has gamified physical training where users must use lightsabers to slice blocks as a part of their fitness regime.
While fitness in the metaverse is beneficial for several reasons, it's not free from drawbacks. Besides being clunky, VR equipment needed to exercise in the metaverse is expensive for most users. For instance, Steam's complete Valve Index kit includes headsets and controllers that cost over $1,000. Virtual fitness workouts in the metaverse also fail to offer the same community experience as physical gyms and classes, since there is less social motivation. However, these obstacles can be overcome as this space evolves and technologies advance. While virtual workouts may not fully replace real-world exercise, they will surely enhance it.
Virtual workouts at home
Virtual workouts combine technology and exercise to allow individuals to access routines like yoga, spin, or HIIT through live streaming, pre-recorded sessions, or one-to-one virtual fitness training from the comfort of their homes. These workouts offer individuals the convenience of choosing the session that suits their schedule and eliminates the barrier of commuting to a physical gym or studio. Individuals can customize their workouts to their experience levels and receive real-time feedback and tracking to motivate them. For instance, Peloton offers subscriptions to virtual workouts that allow people to ride the Peloton bike together in a virtual spin class with a live trainer.
Exercising in virtual environments is beneficial for a novice new to fitness who may find working out with seasoned exercisers daunting and would instead prefer environments where they can train at their own pace.
Virtual reality workout equipment
To carry out virtual workouts, individuals must have access to specific equipment to enjoy the experience fully. Virtual reality workout equipment includes:
Virtual reality headsets: High-quality headsets are vital to creating an immersive, interactive, and fun simulated environment to exercise. These headsets allow users to set up a virtual boundary within the chosen space to exercise to avoid running into walls or other obstacles. Popular headsets like the Meta Quest 2, Feebz VR headset, or Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 are incredible for virtual exercise.
Special controllers or sensors: Virtual workouts often require hand-held controllers or equipment like body suits laden with sensors to track movements and relay feedback. Teslasuit is a full-body VR suit that uses haptic technology and motion capture for virtual training and is ideal for creating personalized workout experiences.
Special equipment: Certain virtual workout routines require additional equipment to complete the sessions. For instance, VirZoom, a virtual fitness company, provides bikes created with sensors and software for users to ride virtually. Other companies like HOLOFIT connect with an individual’s existing equipment like rowing or elliptical machines through Bluetooth.
Virtual workout equipment can be expensive and require users to incur additional costs over and above a program’s subscription fees. However, companies alternatively offer equipment-free virtual workouts for those who prefer the option.
Virtual workout trainer
A virtual workout trainer can provide a range of benefits for those looking to exercise at home, including:
Customized workouts: Virtual trainers can build personalized workouts based on your fitness level, goals, and progress. These plans also consider prior injuries and physical limitations to create a routine that suits one best. For instance, Gympass offers personal training through their platform Trainiac which creates personalized weekly workout plans for each user.
Real-time feedback: Several virtual workout trainers provide real-time feedback on your form and technique during exercise routines to help prevent injury and optimize workouts for the best outcome. The Lululemon Studio Mirror has a hefty price tag but is ideal for virtual training. The mirror allows users to check their form while following an instructor’s workout routine and has a camera for live feedback and interactions.
Motivation and accountability: A virtual trainer can help encourage individuals to exercise regularly and stick to their workout plans by setting achievable goals, tracking progress, and periodically checking in with them. Future, a popular fitness app tracks a user’s fitness journey and helps individuals focus on target areas that need improvement to meet their goals.
Flexible scheduling: Individuals can benefit from flexible scheduling options for virtual training to tailor workout sessions to their convenience. For example, the Caliber app provides workout plans that fit into your day based on your available time. Trainers can schedule quicker workouts, like HIIT, to ensure you can exercise despite busy schedules.
Fitxr vs Supernatural
FitXR and Supernatural are leading virtual workout platforms. Here’s a comparison between each platform based on key criteria like price, variety, equipment, features, and music to help decide which suits you the best:
Price: FitXR and Supernatural both require a monthly subscription fee on a monthly or yearly basis. FitXR monthly subscription is affordable, starting at just $10 a month or $84 annually, which gives you some savings over the year. Alternatively, Supernatural has a monthly subscription fee of $19 and a discounted annual fee of $180.
Workout variety: FitXR has a range of workout routines, with ten trainers and five workout types like HIIT, boxing, and dance. Individuals can earn points based on their workout performance, gamifying the experience. Supernatural has about five trainers and four workout types like flow, meditation, and stretch. Supernatural is known for its immersive and visually compelling workouts.
Equipment needed: Both FitXR and Supernatural are available on Meta Quest, with FitXR also available on Pico VR. Virtual headsets are required to access and complete workouts on both virtual fitness platforms.
Social features: FitXR has a community aspect as it allows for multiplayer sessions with friends, something that Supernatural lacks. FitXR also creates a competitive environment among players by displaying leaderboards to track performance. On Supernatural, you can share your score with friends and family on social media or the application and create a personalized leaderboard.
Music selection: Both Fitxr and Supernatural offer curated playlists for their workouts. Supernatural has a wide selection of licensed music soundtracks from leading artists across pop, rock, and hip-hop genres. FitXR offers music from lesser-known indie artists and allows music submission to the app, which isn’t necessarily a drawback but a matter of music preference.
What is the best workout in VR?
While the best VR workout is subjective to personal interests, fitness goals, and expertise level, some popular programs include:
Beat Saber: Released in May 2018, Beat Saber has become a popular platform among the VR fitness community. The platform is a rhythm-based game that encourages movement by slashing blocks with lightsabers while dodging obstacles and listening to upbeat music. The game is a high-energy workout that is both fun and challenging and is available to access on Quest 2, Quest Pro, and PlayStation VR.
Supernatural: A highly-immersive virtual fitness platform that stands out for its quality graphics and competitive full-body workouts that range from boxing to stretching to meditation. Individuals can train face-to-face with expert coaches in stunning locations and listen to music that matches the energy through a VR headset. The app is available for users on the Meta Quest.
BoxVR: This VR fitness game developed by FitXR is available on Steam, PlayStation Store, and the Oculus Store. The virtual workout is cardio-intensive, involving punching and dodging movements with high-intensity interval training with pumping background music. This exercise plan is ideal for those looking for more traditional workout routines.
Interactive workout programs
These programs virtually deliver exercise routines incorporating traditional workout elements with VR. Some examples of interactive workout programs include:
The Climb 2: This virtual reality rock climbing simulator is available on the Oculus Quest 2, providing entertainment and a workout experience. Individuals can dive into a virtual adventure of climbing the Apls or skyscrapers in the city through virtually created environments.
Sprint Vector: This high-intensity racing game combines the physical elements of extreme sports by encouraging players to run, jump and climb to race peers in a world created through VR.
Capti Smart Bike: A 3D biking machine created by Capti allows individuals to ride through multiple virtual terrains with a bike that enables steering, virtual shifting, and terrain-adapted resistance. Individuals can train and take classes through Capti’s game-inspired workout content.
Free virtual workouts
For budget-friendly workout options, various sources like YouTube, Instagram, and fitness apps offer free workouts. These workouts range from yoga and pilates to high-intensity interval training and dance classes. Here are some examples of free virtual workouts:
Nike Training Club: On iOS and Android, Nike Training Club has no membership or subscription fee to access fitness content and health and wellness tips. They have various workout plans taught by celebrity trainers to suit different needs.
FitOn: FitOn is popular because it offers unlimited access to training, meditation, and nutrition plans. It is a no-equipment workout that individuals can access on its free mobile and desktop app or through Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV.
HASfit: This fitness app and YouTube channel have over 100 million free workouts like HIIT, low-impact exercises, and strength training. The platform has personal trainers who guide you through the workout and have tailored plans for different goals, including muscle building and fat burning.
While free fitness apps are an attractive option, it is also worth noting that not all workouts are equal in quality and well-suited to a specific person’s fitness level and coaching requirements. Choosing a workout plan that suits you best will require an analysis of your personal goals and fitness needs.
Working out virtually in the metaverse or through online programs creates an immersive experience using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and interactive elements. However, in some cases, the high cost of VR equipment and the lack of social motivation compared to physical gyms could be drawbacks for fitness enthusiasts. Virtual trainers provide personalized workout plans, real-time feedback on performance, motivation to meet goals, and flexible scheduling. Additionally, there are both paid and free options for virtual workouts, catering to different budgets and preferences. Virtual workouts are not set to replace traditional exercise but can be combined with face-to-face options to enhance the overall experience.
Are you looking to launch a virtual workout program in the metaverse? We can help you build, scale, and monetize immersive and interactive workout plans for your customers. Get in touch with us!
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