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Can VR Fitness Training be a Thing?

kevinw729
Level 16
With at least two sports related VR companies starting up and a number of VR fintess bike style designs in the works, or operation at Chinese VR Arcades, I would like the communities opinion on the prospect of VR fitness.

The clossest example in the real world to the aspiration of a VR fitness bike is this kind of example:


But the question has to be how many of you think this could be a serious offering for the current PC VR platforms?
https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
33 REPLIES 33

Zenbane
Level 16
Considering I did over 500 squats in 2 days with Dead & Buried, I'd say Yes. Very possible.

However, we need better suited HMD's for this kinda activity. I absolutely hate getting my Rift drenched in sweat. 

kevinw729
Level 16
A well observed point - and part of the reason for the question.

I was intrigued that there is an interest to be able to exercise in a virtual environment but very few takers to be the next in line to use a sweaty HMD at the local gym, let alone have the capabilities to keep a personal "exercise rig" clean!

It was interesting to learn, while doing some research, the issue of sweat corrosion in the exervise bike (machine) business (consumer and commercial).

There is no way that a Vive, let alone a Rift (with its fabrick design), would be suitable for exercise work; but could a specific exercise variant be a future platform?
https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

Zenbane
Level 16
One thing I found amazing is that traditionally I have always hated exercising. I do it because I feel I have to since I'm a software engineer who loves energy drinks and potato chips. A deadly combination for a sit-down job. So I jog, and squat, and jump, and lift weights occasionally. But the process is torture due to the monotonous aspect of working out.

I've tried other things, like Krav Maga training facilities. To help remove monotony by combining that combat element. It was better, but still not perfect.

And then there's Dead & Buried. Where I had no problem executing 50 squats on average per hour, for 6 straight hours. And all because my mind was completely stimulated by the competitive environment. I didn't care if my legs and arse were going to be sore as hell the next day, I was determined to keep my winning streak!

VR exercise is great for folks like me who long to exercise more than average, but struggle with the monotony and overall lack of motivation caused by repetition. Now I just need an HMD that can handle a few pints of sweat!

kevinw729
Level 16
Hopefully you have had a checkup before starting strenious exercise like this? Do you even warm-up?

We have to remember why Nintendo abandoned the Wii-Fit platform, and their planned exercise game suite.
https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

Zenbane
Level 16
lol - well I'm not that out of shape. I'm 5'9" and 180lbs (cause of cookies over the darn Holidays). My normal weight is around 170lbs, and I'm fairly physically active when I'm not in front of a PC.

I didn't warm up the first day because I didn't realize I was going to keep going for 6 hours. I did warm up the second day though. Lots of stretching, and I even wore shorts and tennis shoes!

AQfumes
Level 5
@Zenbane I went through the same motions with Dead & Buried. Playing the game non-stop for several hours until sweat drenched exhaustion, but still wanting to continue on because of the exhilaration of the competitiveness in the game is so much fun. 

It's definitely one of the toughest work outs I accidentally force my self to go through in a long time, and just saying that out loud, I know I need to work out more in non VR - haha! And especially when you start to get leg cramps in D&B but you battle through the pain to get that win. 😄

I would try a VR exercise app, just for the curiosity. The sweat thing is a major factor though, I learned this weekend. I let some of my family members try out my Rift and by the end of the night it was so soaked with sweat, for a minute, I honestly question whether I would use it again lol. I felt bad. 

Now I know I need to invest in those extra face masks for sure. 


kevinw729
Level 16
Even without major exersion sweat and breath are proving big issues inside HMD's.

The fabrick on the CV1 seems to be a bit of a trap to moisture.

Having to deal with Vive and GearVR's that have been used by thousands of guests at a park is still one of the worst elements of immersive entertainment.

A reason that some companies are looking at special public-space rated (standardized) HMD's. As well as special rigs for mass cleaning.
https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959

Zenbane
Level 16

AQfumes said:

when you start to get leg cramps in D&B but you battle through the pain to get that win.


Yes! That describes my experience and mindset while playing perfectly. I had to win, and I needed to get the most kills per match. The issue very much became: Squat or Die. That's actually a more appropriate name for the game lol

Caldari5
Level 4
Having played allot of Space Pirate Trainer(with only the Brawlers) and Elven Archer  I can say my arms are definitely getting a work out compared with my desk job. I did invest in an extra face interface and paddings/covers kit from vrcovers, and it was well worth it, I might even get some extra for in-case of a party play of Space Pirate Trainer.