Ow, ow, the pain! Love, Virtual Reality

Ow, ow, the pain! Love, Virtual Reality

In Les Mills Bodycombat in VR, the name says it all. But differently than I thought. Heavens, that hurts.

People are moving less and less. This is highly dangerous: Anyone who sits for more than eight hours a day has an 80 percent higher risk of dying from some kind of heart disease. Alternatively, you can get diabetes or high blood pressure or even cancer. Obesity is almost inevitable, and stress and burnout are also popular side effects.

The daily struggle for existence due to work and other obligations often ensures too little time or too much exhaustion to eat properly or exercise. There are many critical problems of our society in this sentence, such as the fact that work has become much faster and more hectic in the last thirty years, while leisure time has stagnated or even decreased.

Even though I know my fitness is poor, I can’t manage to work out regularly. In addition to stress and exhaustion, motivation is also a problem: going to the gym takes effort, time and money, and even when I do fitness programs at home or get on the rowing machine, the effort seems so small compared to the perceived benefits that my will to do it weakens exponentially.

With virtual reality, I want to address that. Beat Saber & Co. are quite nice to move my arms not only at mouse speed – but can VR fitness move anything at all? Josef has been reporting on his VR fitness attempts for some time now but is also running into a motivation problem. For me, effectiveness is crucial: I want to achieve as much as possible in a short time and then feel it.

While extended Bob Harper workouts always brought me to the brink of exhaustion, but measured against time somehow didn’t produce clear results, last week I had an experience of a slightly different kind for the first time: VR Fitness taught me how it feels when my body fights me for days on end.

I tried out Les Mills Bodycombat for Meta Quest 2. Really: just tried it out. Virtual martial arts workouts involve punching, jabbing, and knee-striking the crap out of virtual rings. This is really fun, not at least because a challenging points system and the multiplayer aspect (you always play the exercises simultaneously with other users for points) spice up the whole thing in a playful way. Fitness gamification done right.

I did the tutorial and two five-minute basic workouts on Wednesday. Afterwards, I was exhausted, sweating like crazy, and feeling my arms and, surprisingly, my stomach pretty clearly.

Cool, I thought, that works, do that again first thing tomorrow.

Haha.

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No.

And not Friday either. Not Saturday and not Sunday.

This pain! I could only do limited movements with both arms for three days. Around the shoulders to the back, everything felt like a big bruise. Further training was out of the question. I haven’t been so exhausted by anything in a very long time.

Of course – this is also a sign of my disastrous fitness condition. I feel muscles that I didn’t even know existed. But I also have the feeling that something is happening. That’s very important to me because I want to use the little time I have as effectively as possible.

In any case, time is no longer an excuse: Quest 2 takes less than two minutes to set up and start boxing.

I’m already looking forward to a new round – and when my muscles are reliably doing their job again soon, regular beating dates in the fitness metaverse are set.

Have an exercise-filled Monday and a great week.

Ben