I’m under no illusion that I’m a dancer or boxer, but after spending hours dancing and boxing my way through FitXR testing on my Meta Quest 2 headset, I could see why this app would be a favorite among fans of the best VR workout apps and games.
After recently exploring the most popular fitness game on Meta Quest 2 and Liteboxer VR for Meta Quest 2, my appetite for VR workouts has grown. I’m still dubious about those branding FitXR “the most intense VR workout.” VR fitness is still in its infancy, and I wouldn’t replace my current exercise regime altogether, just yet.
But while I’m unconvinced that the fitness app — and others of its kind — are visually and physically complete, they still offer a diverse home workout with plenty to keep you entertained. Is VR fitness “the future of fitness?” I think there’s room to improve, but that doesn’t mean it’s not unbelievably fun, and this one still got me singing, puffing, and dancing. Here’s what happened when I tested FitXR workout app on Meta Quest 2.
What is the FitXR workout app on Meta Quest 2?
FitXR combines box, combat, sculpt, HIIT, and dance into one app with a backbone of fairly generic music and basic visuals. Alongside a partner smartphone app to track your progress, FitXR gives you access to hundreds of workouts spanning five studios and multiplayer voice chat.
You can access a seven-day free trial, and the subscription costs $9.99 per month on one of the best VR headsets — the Meta Quest 2 (find our Meta Quest 2 review here). You can learn to box, dance, and more without any previous skill or experience, and the app has pulled in 4 stars on the Meta Quest store, with users praising how diverse the offerings are and the results they’ve noticed.
I tested the FitXR workout app on Meta Quest 2 — here’s what happened
I put the FitXR VR fitness app through its paces. Here’s what happened.
1. My VR headset was all over the place
While boxing, I found it easy to keep my headset in place. But during HIIT and dance workouts that require more physicality, it was a nightmare. It’s not news that these headsets aren’t where they need to be yet, but I found the constant readjustments more exhausting than the workout itself, and it’s hard to find your flow with the constant stop-start.
This isn’t a gripe with the app, but until VR headsets are more developed, these apps could struggle to deliver their full potential and are forced to scale back on the scope of exercises.
I get it — the benefits of accessing VR fitness workouts at home far outweigh a dodgy headset, but for those who love nothing more than to burpee their way to better fitness, some content could be lacking and safe.
2. I was puffing
According to one calorie calculator, you can expect to burn 300 to 800 calories per hour dancing — depending on factors like weight and intensity. For example, a 200lb person might burn more than 400 calories after one hour of tap dancing compared with 700 calories during aerobic dance classes. And someone weighing less would expect to burn less.
I doubt I burned anything close to that, but I still felt my entire body working throughout the dance classes. Moreover, the boxing and dancing kept me engaged, and I could’ve spent hours channeling my inner Gaga — which I’m sure my neighbors just loved. These classes are when you’re more likely to burn calories and build overall strength and fitness.
The boxing classes are formatted so that you need to punch sufficiently for it to count toward your streak, and you can practice your duck, too. Admittedly, I found this far more tiring than the other VR boxing classes I’ve tried. I liked that the targets fly toward you, as it makes the classes far more immersive and expansive than simply hitting pads with an instructor. It reminded me of the VR meditation app Tripp which adopts the same immersive techniques to relax you (but without the punching).
3. Pilates and Barre additions were necessary
These classes are designed to build strength and deliver a full-body burn using low-impact and high-burn workouts, but the Barre and Pilates-inspired additions were necessary to diversify this app from its competitors.
The Barre-inspired classes are challenging, and you can add the best ankle weights and adjustable dumbbells to add intensity. I enjoyed the classes, but because of the headset limitations, the full potential of these classes got lost. That aside, the subtle yet fiery pulsing movements fired up my smaller, neglected muscles — similar to how a popular at-home Pilates workout would.
4. I felt calmer afterward
We know exercise positively impacts mental health, improving anxiety and reducing stress levels. But I did some digging on boxing, dancing, and mental health. Research like this study found that non-contact boxing “provided a cathartic release of anger and stress,” and evidence has shown it could improve mood, confidence, concentration, strength, and coordination.
Moreover, Better Help recommends dance therapy to help people get more physical and improve their relationship with "self." Moving to music can improve mood, coordination, and cognition, and help people connect to their bodies and others.
Unfortunately, I think the current dance routines in FitXR are limited, and advanced exercisers and dancers might find them unchallenging. I suspect the routines are limited (again) by the bulky headsets, but I felt calmer and more energized for moving my body between long stints at my desk.
FitXR on Meta Quest 2: Verdict
FitXR is a great concept that's sadly restricted by the current Meta Quest 2 design, although I found some of the workouts fun and challenging. In a year or so, I could see this being a far more competitive home workout solution for those who want to head into the metaverse for a quick workout. I’m just not convinced it’s making waves for many fitness fanatics yet.