I had a pretty decent run going where I’d get to the gym early in the morning before they opened and swim (basically doggy paddle, who am I kidding?) in the lap pool for a half hour. Then I’d head into the sauna until I got too hot to handle it and then I was out of there. Toward the end I had added a little resistance training.
When Omicron came down and triple-vaxxed people started bringing it home to their unvaxxed kids, I decided to throw that on pause.
At Christmas I got a VR headset: Oculus Quest 2. If you’re thinking of picking up one of these bad boys for yourself, do invest in the Elite Strap with Carrying Case because the extra battery power and the balance the weigh in the back provides is worth it. Without the extended battery I feel like you could get a solid 2-3 hours out of it. With the battery, double that.
So which games have I been using for that sweet sweet cardio in the early mornings at home? I’m glad you asked, I’ll tell you (yes, I’ve been watching way too many Elyse Myers videos).
I’m sure you’ve seen it before but it’s a rhythm game where you have a pair of light sabers and you slice through cubes as they fly toward you to music. You can find the game itself in any number of bundles for cheap but then you have to buy additional music packs if you want to play more than just what they provide. That being said, the music they do provide is really really good. And as of this writing they’ve just released the fifth set of songs with some game mechanic changes too which have been a lot of fun.
There’s a component of the game where these wireframe walls come toward you and you have to stay out of the way. I’ve worked out that you don’t have to move your entire body out of the way but only the controllers and sometimes they require ducking. I’m not trying to do any of that in a crowded living room. So I turn those off. It does drop your potential score by a percentage, but I’m not playing it for the score.
You can add another setting that increases the song. It doesn’t pitch it up like the Chipmunks, but it is fast enough that it’s a little annoying if the regular speed is what’s in your brain. It works really well for the techno tracks because who cares if they’re a little faster. The net result is that you get a really nice cardio burn in because you have to really move to hit those blocks as they’re coming at you.
This is deliberately a fitness game. There is a monthly fee which is actually awesome because that means they can use popular music and have a constant stream of new content being added which you can see on the left side when you log in. It also allows you to have multiple profiles (I want to say five) so each player can have their own statistics, configuration (volume, platform size), and collection of favorited routines.
It has three modes…
In this mode you smash targets with a pair of virtual bats to music. It is by far my most favorite mode and where I spend most of my time. Like the others you can play in low, medium, and high modes. I’ve been solidly in high workouts for a while but recently I discovered that there are also themes to these workouts. The ones labeled Quick Hits are very fast and feel a bit like Beat Saber in expert mode. The targets are very close together and there are a ton of them. The Pros Only and Monster workouts are just a little more difficult than the others and tend to be a lot longer (25+ minutes).
I dumped my favorites and loaded it up with those three types because those are the ones that get me the best workout in that 25-30m span in the morning.
This is so much harder than I expected. I don’t spend a lot of time with my fists in front of my face or trying to jab, hook, or uppercut. So I’m pouring sweat pretty quickly and I haven’t been able to get into the hard mode workouts in this mode.
That being said, it’s very cool. The precision of hitting the targets seems to be really smooth. If you’re into boxing this could be a lot of fun.
I tried this and it’s so-so. The scenes are gorgeous, but if I’m trying to meditate I’ve mostly got my eyes shut. The music that plays in the background is peaceful but having that light scene right in my eyes is enough to throw me off. I did see that they were asking for suggestions about how that component could be more useful and I just don’t know.