Recently, I bought a Quest 2, Meta’s virtual reality headset, to check out Horizon Worlds aka the “metaverse.” Unfortunately, the metaverse turned out to be hot garbage, a buggy mess of an experience where you float around legless-ly with strangers in a world that looks worse than a 20-year-old video game.
Then I discovered Supernatural. It’s a virtual reality fitness experience that is so good that Meta bought Within, the company that makes Supernatural. The FTC recently sought to block that move because it thinks that Meta should compete on its own terms instead of trying to “buy its way to the top.”
As someone who did CrossFit for three years before the pandemic struck, I was skeptical about working out with a large white box jammed over my face. But Supernatural knocked the wind out of me. Within 10 minutes, I was on the floor in a pool of sweat, heart hammering madly — something I haven’t experienced since my last CrossFit workout a year or so ago.
The classic Supernatural workout is called “Flow.” When you fire one up, you’re immediately immersed into a breathtaking locale — on top of the Great Wall of China, for instance, or the Galapagos islands, or the Temple of Horus in Egypt — in gorgeous, photorealistic VR. Then you get your entire body to work, smashing targets flying at you with virtual clubs, squatting to dodge virtual triangles, lunging, and doing knee lifts in time to the beat.
The beat, by the way, comes courtesy of tracks from popular artists — Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, The Jackson Five, and many more. There are even songs from Broadway musicals, oldies from the 80s and the 90s, and Disney classics. (Nothing beats swinging your batons through the air and smashing some stuff while belting out “Circle of Life” at the same time.)
Flow isn’t the only kind of workout with Supernatural. You can also box, stretch, and meditate. (No target smashing here, just sitting and breathing and taking in the beautiful landscape around you.)
Admittedly, you do look completely ridiculous to anyone looking at you while you’re working out in VR. —P.D.
You can get a subscription to Supernatural for around $15 per month.
You can buy the Quest 2 VR Headset on Amazon for about $400.