A Virtual Shadowboxing Workout You Can Take Anywhere – Review Geek

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Evaluation:

8/10

?
  • 1 – Absolute hot waste
  • 2 – A kind of lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
$18.99 per month

Here’s what we like

  • I loved the workout experience
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Much cheaper than the Liteboxer Starter Pack

And what we don’t do

  • Forced to buy a Meta Quest 2 (Oculus Quest 2)
  • There’s nowhere for all your sweat to escape until you take the helmet off

If the word Liteboxer doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a home boxing machine that uses playful techniques to make training more fun. I had the pleasure of testing a Liteboxer, and it’s super fun to train. So when I got the chance to test Liteboxer VR, I had high hopes.

Luckily, Liteboxer VR takes all the best about training on a real Liteboxer and turns it into an effective shadowboxing workout. As with the Liteboxer physical machine I tested, I like the ease of the workouts for beginners and I’m obsessed with the fun of the punching tracks. But more on all that later.

You will need a Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as Oculus Quest 2) to try Liteboxer VR. It will launch on March 3 and, after a 7-day free trial, will cost $18.99 per month.

Liteboxer VR training experience

Overall, my experience with Liteboxer VR was great, and a lot of what I loved about the physical Liteboxer machine carried over to Liteboxer VR. I like boxing as a kind of fitness; it’s interactive and, honestly, it just helps bring out all those built-up emotions in a healthy way. Plus, Liteboxer manages to make training more like a game, so I look forward to each session instead of dreading it.

After just one punch track and a 15 minute session with a Liteboxer coach, I was sweating hard, which is both a great and terrible thing. It’s great because it’s a sign that I’m doing a great workout. But it’s terrible because I sweat profusely inside the Meta Quest 2 helmet.

Anyone who’s ever played a VR game knows you’re always sweating no matter what you’re playing. VR is simply a more active way to play games, so it only makes sense that you’d leave in a sweat. With Liteboxer VR, expect to sweat at least twice as much.

When I took the helmet off after the session ended, there was a mask of sweat beads around my eyes and nose. I also had occasional droplets of sweat escaping from the headphones during my workout. Like I said, with VR you expect to sweat, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to easily wipe the sweat off your face without stopping the punch track or video.

That said, I have a cushion insert, not a silicone insert. If you use any type of VR workout in your regular fitness routine, you’ll want to invest in a silicone insert. For former Oculus owners, Facebook (now Meta) offers one for free. If you are buying a Meta Quest 2 for the first time, it now comes with a silicone insert. Having a silicone insert helps immensely with the trapped sweat problem, and I recommend using one if you’re trying Liteboxer VR.

when using liteboxer vr on meta quest 2 this is the training screen view
Liteboxer

Let’s talk about what you see when the headset is on. You look like you’re in a virtual boxing ring and the boxing board is in front of you at what it thinks is the perfect punch level for you.

Then to your left you can see your coach video or the punch track with a time at the bottom letting you know how much time you have left. It was easy to watch at all times and see what the Liteboxer trainer was doing to make sure I was doing everything right.

All of my shots recorded (almost) perfectly. The only punches that seemed to have trouble registering 100% of the time were uppercuts (punches 5 and 6 on the punching board). I don’t know why but I tried hitting consistently in different ways and each time some hits registered and some didn’t.

Considering that was the only flaw I encountered and Liteboxer VR will launch on March 3, I’d say the app is in pretty good shape right now.

Liteboxer VR vs Physical Liteboxer

Because you’re not hitting anything, there’s no resistance. So your experience on Liteboxer VR probably won’t have as much impact as a session on a physical Liteboxer. That said, shadowboxing workouts are still going to strengthen your muscles and help you get your daily dose of cardio.

You also lose that kind of “authentic” experience, so to speak, by not being able to hit something real in front of you. Training on the Liteboxer machine also allows you to wipe away the sweat that accumulates on your face, while Liteboxer VR on the Meta Quest 2 does not allow you to do this easily. If you have a silicone insert, there will still be some sweat, but it will definitely be minimized.

If you’re short on space in your home, Liteboxer VR will obviously take up much less space than a Liteboxer machine. The physical Liteboxer is about 5ft by 3ft, but you could probably get away with only needing a 2ft by 2ft square for Liteboxer VR.

The final thing that separates Liteboxer VR and the Liteboxer machine is the price. For the Liteboxer starter pack, you’ll be at $1695 for just the machine; and while a $29.99 monthly subscription isn’t required, it unlocks a ton of premium content. Liteboxer VR only costs you $18.99 per month, but of course you’ll also need to buy the Meta Quest 2 (the 128GB model costs $299.99 and the 256GB model costs $399.99).

demonstration of using the liteboxer vr, a view of what it looks like during a round with the punch board in front of you
Liteboxer

Even if you get motion sickness in virtual reality, try Liteboxer VR

If you’ve ever tried any type of VR game or experience and suffered from motion sickness, you might be wary of Liteboxer VR. But I can assure you that with Liteboxer VR you stand in one place and nothing really moves around you, so you should be good.

Of course, I can’t say for sure that you won’t get motion sickness because everyone is different. Personally, there are some VR games that I can’t play because I get motion sickness and I haven’t had any issues with Liteboxer VR.

When you train, you stand in one place, in your fighter stance, throwing punches and looking at the trainer and the punching board in front of you. Occasionally you’ll do a few exercises away from the boxing board like squats, but that’s the only time you move your feet.

Conclusion: If you already have a Meta Quest 2, definitely give it a try

If you don’t already have a Meta Quest 2, I definitely wouldn’t buy one just for this application unless you were considering buying a Liteboxer machine and considering it as an alternative. If you are comparing the two, I would recommend the VR Headset + Liteboxer VR combo simply because there are a ton of other VR games you can play besides saving money and space in your home . Also, you can take the VR headset with you on vacation, but you cannot take the Liteboxer machine with you.

If you are a cool kid and already have a Meta Quest 2, definitely give it a try. It’s such a fun way to practice, and because there are punch tracks that match the songs, you just have to commit to a little three to four minute workout if that’s all you can muster. And usually, at least for me, once I’m sweating it out, I’m much more motivated to keep going with one more song or even sometimes a little coached workout.

Evaluation:
8/10

Price:
$18.99 per month

Here’s what we like

  • I loved the workout experience
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Much cheaper than Liteboxer Starter Pack

And what we don’t do

  • Forced to buy a Meta Quest 2 (Oculus Quest 2)
  • There’s nowhere for all your sweat to escape until you take the helmet off
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