Key TakeawaysFitXR's virtual boxing workout is a fun and effective way to burn calories. High-energy music and easy-to-follow classes made the FitXR an excellent option for exercise during the coronavirus pandemic. Holding a controller in each hand, it felt natural to throw punches in virtual reality FitXR
FitXR's virtual boxing workout is so enjoyable that it makes you forget you are exercising.
I have a boxing background, so I approached FitXR with a certain amount of skepticism. Could you replicate the intense workout of trading punches in virtual reality? My pulse rate answered with a resounding yes.
The boxing workouts come as part of a larger assortment of exercise options in FitXR, but I decided to concentrate on the punching kind for this review. It costs $29.99 with dozens of workouts included, and additional activities are available as bundles for $9.99 each. It's available for the Oculus Quest, Playstation VR, and the Oculus Rift S.
"The focus on movement rather than gimmicks pays off... FitXR was one of the more intense workouts I've ever experienced in a game."
Get Ready to Fight
The training begins when you enter your height, weight, and age. Then, like in a real gym, you sign a long liability waiver. With that, it's time to choose your classes. The basic package comes with a good number of options.
I entered FitXR's virtual gym and was shown three screens with various ways of choosing a workout. The left-hand screen displays the "Class of the Day" with brief workouts.
The center screen has the "Recommendations," if you quickly want to jump into a full-fledged training session. There's also a "Class List," which shows the full array of classes that you can choose by instructor, length, type of music, and level of intensity.
I picked a quick boxing class from the "Class of the Day" to start. The music was high energy as I was led through an introductory tutorial, which gave tips on how to stand, move and throw punches. You face a large board that shows your score, the number of calories you've burned, and the time remaining.FitXR
The scoreboards are great for people who are motivated by metrics, but I sometimes prefer to just concentrate on the activity rather than watching the clock. There's a leaderboard to show how your workout compares to other participants, and you can even play with friends if you want to get more competitive.
Holding a controller in each hand, it was a very natural movement to throw punches in virtual reality. Doing a yoga class holding a controller would have been weird, on the other hand.
A warm-up started things off. Then it was time to box. I stood in the middle of a play area and took up a boxing stance. The music began, and targets hurtled towards me.
Occasionally, a block icon popped up, and the game instructed me to hold my arms up as if I was blocking punches. To work the lower body, rectangles appeared, requiring me to lean or squat to avoid them.
I immediately noticed how abstract the visuals are. It looks like a futuristic virtual gym. Unlike other VR workout apps, there's no attempt to make it feel like you are in a real gym or a boxing ring. I consider this a good thing. The game's clear cut guidelines make it easy to follow along and concentrate on fitness rather than aesthetics.
The focus on movement rather than gimmicks pays off. If you haven't boxed before, don't underestimate how tiring it can be. FitXR was one of the more intense workouts I've ever experienced in a game.
"The scoreboards are great for people who are motivated by metrics, but I sometimes prefer to just concentrate on the activity rather than watching the clock."
The best part of boxing as exercise is the wide range of movement you encounter, and FitXR's version was no different. Throwing jabs and uppercuts left my arms sore. My legs got a great workout, as well, with all the motion involved in the game. Just when I thought things were getting easier, the instructor would throw in some squats to make it more challenging.
FitXR is the best virtual workout game I've tried. I liked that it concentrates on pure movement and music, rather than creating extra jazzy virtual environments. Golden Gloves, here I come.