While some of today’s most popular virtual reality (VR) games help users break a sweat and burn calories, a new type of VR game from Black Box VR is designed specifically to cultivate fitness through virtual reality. How does virtual reality fitness experience work, and will it lead to a new trend of VR fitness?
The Rise of Virtual Reality and Fitness
Advances in virtual reality have come in fits and starts. However, over the past few years, VR technology has grown into its own. By putting on a virtual reality headset, gamers are transported into a 3D world where their movements in the real world are translated inside the game. It wasn’t long before gamers started to recognize that movement-based games could offer a great workout as well as fun gameplay.
Now, imagine what would happen if a company designed a VR game specifically for fitness. Two men, Preston Lewis and Ryan DeLuca, did just that. Lewis and DeLuca wondered if they could combine the addictive elements of gaming with cutting edge fitness science to create an immersive VR experience that helped users of every fitness level get in shape.
After a lot of hard work, they founded Black Box VR.
Understanding Black Box Virtual Reality Fitness
Generally speaking, one of the drawbacks of other movement-based VR games is that the fitness aspect is a secondary consideration. Additionally, while these games do provide users with a good amount of cardio exercise, they leave out resistance training, which is an equally important aspect of a holistic workout regimen.
Black Box VR is different. It is a virtual reality experience designed specifically to improve the overall fitness of its users. The specialized cable pulley machine that comes with the system is a big tipoff that Black Box is not like your ordinary VR games.
The Black Box VR gaming experience combines resistance training and high-intensity interval workouts, giving users a high energy mix of a full body workout in roughly 30 minutes.
Users can expect to perform 12 – 14 reps of different compound movements, like squats and standing rows, at a weight automatically calculated by the system. The great thing about this VR fitness experience is that Black Box has spent a lot of time building a virtual reality system based on the latest scientific research on fitness and addictive gameplay. For example, performing 12 – 14 reps at 60 – 70% of your one rep max is one of the best ways to build muscle mass without spending two hours at the gym or waking up the next morning too sore to move. Additionally, Black Box VR includes many familiar and compelling elements of gameplay like trophies, points, leveling up, and unlocking cool new champions that have been shown to increase enjoyment and encourage players to come back and play (i.e., work out) again.
Check out the fascinating science behind Black Box VR’s virtual reality world.
How Black Box VR Works
Currently, Black Box VR is exclusively available at select EōS Fitness locations. At EōS, members can enjoy a complimentary Black Box VR trial period. To get started, an EōS Team Member will provide a thorough demo and will continue to be available to answer any questions. The Virtual Reality Fitness Experience takes place in a private, closed door room. Each session is booked in advance through the VR reservation system.
To start, stand in front of the cable pulley machine. You will be provided your own VR gear to keep, which includes wrist straps and a headband. Next, attach a movement tracker onto each wrist strap. These movement trackers will let the game translate your movements in the real world into the game. As soon as you get started, you won’t even notice them.
Finally, the pièce de rèsistance is the VR headset, which will transport you into the VR fitness game. By looking at a certain point in the game, the cable pulley system will automatically adjust to your height. After a few more calibrations, you’ll be ready to begin your first VR exercise session.
Black Box VR Game Play
As soon as you are calibrated, you will enter a fantastical arena. Notice the purple crystal in front of you with a blue gate on either side of the crystal. Now, look across the arena. See the dark figure standing on a platform on the far side of the arena? That’s your competitor! (Don’t worry, in the beginning, your competitor will only be a wimpy computer program to help ensure that you get set up at the right resistance levels.) A purple crystal and two blue gates sit in front of your adversary. The point of the game is to break through the gates of your adversary and destroy their crystal before they can destroy your crystal. To win, you’ll need to think strategically, using both offense and defense to smash your opponent’s crystal while protecting your own.
How exactly do you break their crystal? You’re going to need help in the form of powerful champions, which you can unlock after performing certain movements. The champions represent different elements–air, water, and earth/fire–and possess abilities they will use to help break the gates of your opponent and attack their crystal. There’s only one problem. Your opponent has helpers attacking you, and they can also unleash champions to fight against you.
How do you protect your champions, beat back your attackers, and keep the pressure on your opponent? You’re going to need to move. By performing compound movements, you can launch attacks against your opponent. Different movements correspond to different elements. For example, perform a round of squats to launch water attacks or bust out a set of standing rows to launch an earth/fire attack. The faster you perform the movements and the heavier resistance you use, and the more powerful your attacks will be.
As you play the VR fitness experience, Black Box VR’s system will automatically calculate the right amount of resistance for you to use. While the resistance may feel light during your first few rounds, it will get heavier and heavier as the system calibrates to your strength.
Don’t worry if the gameplay sounds confusing. You really need to just jump in and begin to play in order to fully understand the experience. The next best thing is to watch Black Box VR co-founder Preston Lewis take you through a Black Box VR workout.
Leveling Up to Keep Coming Back
You know how gaming can get so addictive? You just need to make it to that next level or unlock that new hero before you quit. Users gain points and experience every time they play. Wins equal trophies and allows users to level up and unlock cool new champions. As you advance in the program, you’ll also start playing against real opponents and will get to compete in exciting new arenas.
Most important of all, Black Box VR will save and track your stats. Open your app after each virtual reality workout session to see how much effort you put in. Your stats will show you how much you worked each major muscle group, how many calories you burned, what specific exercises you performed, and even how much fun you had. Over time, as you continue leveling up, the program will adapt to you, making the resistance heavier so that you can keep improving your fitness. Of course, Black Box VR tracks your progress for you. One of the most satisfying parts of the virtual reality fitness experience is checking your results chart to see how your one rep max has improved in each major movement.
What to Join the Virtual Reality Fitness Experience?
One day, you might be able to jump into virtual reality fitness classes anywhere in the world. For now, Black Box VR is exclusively available at EōS Fitness. If you want to try Black Box VR for yourself, sign up for a membership at an EōS Fitness near you that includes a Black Box VR setup. As part of your membership, you’ll have the ability to sign up for a free six-session trial. To get the maximum results, try to complete your six sessions in two weeks.
Learn more about Black Box VR at a participating EōS Fitness right here.