I decided to start a thread to discuss all forms of physical fitness and training for anyone else who engages in this activity on a regular basis.
To give some context: Back in 2016 when the Rift CV1 was released, there was a lot of debate over the potential for VR to help people get involved in physical fitness. Since then, there has been at least one major article about someone who got in shape by going between VR Experiences like Beat Saber and Boxing sims. My stance back in 2016 and 2017 was that the idea of getting all sweaty in a VR HMD seemed rather absurd. I maintained the viewpoint that using a VR HMD can cause more harm than good. Examples include obstructing your vision so that you are unable to make sure that your body is maintaining good form during excessive movement. Another example is the added next strain caused by the weight of the HMD, as well as wrist strain caused by VR Hand Controllers. Especially something as bulky as Wands or Knuckles.
However, in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, I found myself becoming something of a hypocrite. I was very much addicted to building up a sweat in Creed Boxing. And I started trying to reach the top ranks in certain fitness sims within the game. Fitness in VR started to really peak my interest. And I was planning on creating a VR Fitness thread one day, where I call myself out for being wrong, and exploring additional creative implementations of VR and Fitness.
But then right around March/April of 2019, I found myself going to the gym more often. And I was also spending almost zero time doing anything in VR related to physical fitness. Any time I entered VR, it was either for an RPG or Action Shooter experience. But I wanted to either stand or sit without over-exerting myself. Yet my desire to continue pushing my body towards being stronger and faster didn't go away. So there I was... in the gym twice a week for a few months. And then it became 3 times a week. And now as I post this, I have spent the last 8 weeks going to the gym 4-5 times a week.
I realize now that I have gone full circle. Getting a workout in VR was great for awhile, but all it ended up doing was making me want to get outside to run, jump, and swim. And then get inside a gym to exercise with others who are dedicated to fitness. I think VR served as a great catalyst to rekindle my desire to "get in shape." And so this thread is for anyone who may want to talk about fitness goals, strategies, meal plans, etc.
All that being said, here is my overall approach:
I had been out of the gym for a number of years. Family and career took over quite some time ago. At best, I might have tried to run my lazy ass around the block once or twice a month. I would attempt a pushup or a few squats on occasion. But never anything consistent. So when I decided to go back to the gym and start hitting it hard, I felt like I needed to re-educate myself. And I came across two rivaling schools of thought, both which I feel have pro's and con's that can serve me well.
On one side, we have the "science" of fitness. Where we address things like:
What are the most effective arm exercises?
What's the best chest and legs exercise?
How much time should you spend working out each day or week?
How many reps should you do?
How much time should you wait between reps and sets?
What should you eat before the workout? What about after?
How much sleep should you get?
While there is a lot of value in answering these questions, the whole thing does start to get a bit tedious. And rather silly, if you ask me. So I didn't want to take the "science" of fitness to any extreme. I wanted it to serve me more as a guide; a basic blueprint. Because I know that there is the other side of the spectrum, where none of that shit really matters. Where it comes down to your own personal drive, pain tolerance, determination, and mental fortitude. Where it doesn't matter if you only got 4 hours sleep and missed your protein shake for the day; you still get your ass in the gym and perform your workout to the fullest extent.
Lately, I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos from two of my favorite channels. Each representing these opposing schools of thought.
The first is, my favorite old school Wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior. RIP.
He started his own fitness school some years ago, and his videos about the power of the mind and human spirit are fun to watch. One particular video I enjoy is his quick rant on the concept of "over training."
I enjoy AX's videos to help ensure that I'm not doing certain exercises wrong or wasting time doing something "dumb." Like spending 1 hour on a treadmill when I can engage in a much more effective form of cardio.
All that being said, if anyone has any interest in this subject then let me know!
I workout but not to the extent that some people do. After doing a lot of reading over the years, I've found that doing 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps for each body part is good enough - Anymore then 3 sets and you are wasting your time from what I've read and it seems to be true in my case. I do 3 days working my muscles and for 3 days I do 10 mile cycle rides, which is the equivalent of doing a 2 mile jog without damaging my knees etc.
I don't go mad on eating protein. I just make sure I eat about 150 grams of protein a day just to repair and maintain what I have. I know if I doubled my protein intake I would gain muscle, but I'm happy with what I've got. Every month I have a full week off from doing any training.
Been using quest for some time now for fitness. An hour each day playing Racket Fury(been a bit lazy recently though) whilst wearing a HRM tracking on the wrist. Interestingly, I burned more calories when I first started but as my playing game improved started burning less. Go figure. A fun way to burn calories but only if you are playing against tougher bots.
System Specs: ASUS NVIDIA RTX 3090 TUF GAMING OC 24GB , i9 9900K CPU, 16 GB DDR 4 RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.
I have gotten some good workouts in Beat Saber and I bought the Dance Central game for that reason but haven't tried it yet. Only thing, I don't like sweating with a VR headset on my face. Funny enough, the Fitness Boxing on Nintendo Switch is actually pretty cool. I did it for about 2 weeks and was getting a serious work out on. Trying to eat healthy as well, with an emphasis on the "trying" part, lol.
This is a great read Zen, thanks for posting your experience. I see a lot of this in my life as well. I lost 30 lbs last year through strict calorie management and exercise. And I mean strict - every calorie and exercise was logged in an app. Daily weight was logged as well. When I hit my calorie limit for the day, that was it. No more eating. I didn't watch specifically what I ate, just the calories.
There is nothing more amazing the plotting your weight and seeing the trend heading down. I've been at my target weight for 8 months now but I still track everything daily. Every single day.
Weight loss and exercise is the most honest process in the world. You can't cheat it or buy your way around it. It just takes dedication and effort. It's so f'n honest and brutal. I have grown to have the utmost respect for people who maintain their physical condition.
Having said that, all my exercise is outside of VR. I bought Thrill of the Fight back some months ago because I heard it was fun and strenuous. Man when I played that game the first time, I really went at for about 5 minutes. My arms were sore for two days afterward. And I mean like spaghetti noodles.
Racket Fury is another good one for physical activity but not as intense as Thrill. I still get a sweat going with it. I used to play ping pong when I was a kid so this game is fun for me.
I don't use VR specifically for exercise purposes - that's what the gym is for (the rowing machine is my jam). But as you mentioned, I think it could serve as a catalyst to get peoples asses moving a bit and that could lead to a lifestyle change.
Also, you have your stats backwards. People who exercise go to the doctor less, because exercise is good for your heart, liver, and for managing stress, including anxiety and depression. Whereas people who sit for long periods of time go to the doctor more. So... someone who stays indoors all the time is a perfect candidate for doctors who have bills to pay. Because you'll be paying those doctors more visits to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and general health problems related to inactivity.
Whereas people who sit down all day and avoid exercise tend to have more health problems: "Habitual inactivity raises risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome."
I know this first-hand as well, as I suffered from anxiety in my 20's. This was also the period in which I was doing the most gaming while also working 40 hours a week as a software developer. Which meant that I was spending a whole lot of time sitting down. And this is when I went to the doctor, where I was prescribed anti-anxiety medication. But I ended up curing this myself by simply becoming more active. I went back to the gym and started up my personal hobby of playing in a Metal band. My anxiety vanished!
As long as I maintain a well-balanced lifestyle, I can avoid going to the doctor but maybe once a year. And it's usually for something minor like allergies.
If I had done the sensible thing, and what I NORMALLY do when having a hypo, I would have crawled across the floor instead of getting out of my chair and walking into my kitchen.
See! Further proof that exercise is bad for you!!! 😄
Although to be fair, me breaking my leg wasn't ALL bad. If I hadn't ended up in hospital I'd still be on the crap insulin that I was on.
I can't run any more though due to one leg now being shorter than the other. I was due to sign for Manchester United this Summer but it all fell through cos I can't play football any more. Not that they missed me earlier this afternoon, they hammered Chelsea 4-0 😄