When the Liteboxer VR for Meta Quest 2 arrived on my doorstep, I wondered if virtual reality at-home boxing was punching above its weight class. Nope. This is the future of fitness, and I’m totally in.
If you’re unfamiliar with Liteboxer VR, our editor-in-chief gives a full run down in this Liteboxer VR review. The less techy answer? It's an at-home (and seriously addictive) shadowboxing workout-gaming experience. Using a virtual reality headset — the Meta Quest 2 — and two handheld controllers, you can transport yourself into a 360-degree boxing world for a seriously sweaty and energetic full-body boxing workout.
According to the Strength and Conditioning Journal, boxing can improve cardio fitness, increase strength, boost mood and more. With that in mind, I slipped my VR headset on, grabbed the controllers, and got to work punching my way to faster, better fitness.
Read on to find out why I’m still not over the famous Liteboxer VR — and never will be!
What is Liteboxer VR for Meta Quest 2?
Known as ‘the Peloton of boxing,’ the Liteboxer VR gives you VIP access to the Metaverse using a pair of VR goggles and two hand controllers. It took me about five minutes to set up an account via the headset and download the Liteboxer app to my smartphone. I paired my app to the Liteboxer VR and created a profile to ensure the metrics would be accurate during workouts. Done — I was ready to get punching.
There are two subscriptions: a free account and a Premium subscription ($19 per month). I don’t plan to use mine every day because the bulk of my training is CrossFit, but if you plan to use the Liteboxer VR daily, I recommend opting for Premium to access more content.
I tested the famous Liteboxer VR for Meta Quest 2 — and wow
I got to work testing the elite workout world of Liteboxer VR, and here’s what I noticed.
1. I was immersed from the first (dodgy) punch
The best way to describe the Liteboxer VR is an immersive boxing version of a dance machine. I was epic at dance machine back in the naughties (if I say so myself), but it turns out that I’m far better with my feet than my fists.
Until I got used to the punching combinations shouted at me by my virtual life size boxing coach, it was proving absolute chaos. My boyfriend found me frantically swinging punches in a bid to keep up while the dog retreated under the sofa — I was off to a good start — but I eventually found my groove and was instantly hooked.
Everything about the Liteboxer VR is entertaining, from the immersive screens to the flashing lights, endless playlists and inventive workouts. I won’t apologize for singing to Fall Out Boy between punches, ever.
2. I was dripping in sweat
When I put the Liteboxer VR headset on, I was greeted with the punching targets directly in front of me indicating where I should land my punches. To my left was a live feedback metrics board, and to my right was my very own boxing coach.
My coach worked alongside me, shouting punching combinations at speed— kind of reminiscent of a KOBOX class, except this time I didn’t have anyone to share exhausted glances with.
Workout length and intensity can scale to ability; on working-from-home days, I divvied up 10-minute workouts sporadically as gentle exercise and then opted into one longer, sweatier class on office days.
Shadowboxing packs efficiency and intensity into one short HIIT workout by ramping up your heart rate into the fat burning heart rate zone of 70-80% (check out this intense fat burning workout to learn more). I could read metrics like calorie burn in real-time and get instant feedback on my punch completion rate (how many I had landed, which was not as many as I'd hoped!) It was helpful for giving me a nudge if I was slacking and kept me on target during class.
But regardless of workout length, I always left as a sore and sweaty mess despite the lack of equipment.
3. I increased my daily step count
As a writer, I spend a lot of time at my desk. I’m always searching for ways to clock up steps throughout the day when taking a walk isn’t always possible, and the Literboxer VR could be a game-changer.
Daily calorie burn consists of several factors like your overall activity levels, also known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). In short, it means the amount of time spent active — including your step count. Some research tells us that we no longer need to hit the magical 10,000 steps a day to access health benefits, but it does tell us the value of regular movement.
I’ve vowed to keep the headset by my desk, and when my Oura ring nags me to stretch my legs, I can slip the Liteboxer VR on for a quick 10-minute sparring session and punch my writer's block away.
4. It’s a great stress reliever
The Liteboxer VR is a full-body physical and mental workout. Research highlights boxing as an effective stress reliever, proven to reduce anxiety and even symptoms of depression. I’m not surprised that hitting something hard could help release tension, but could shadowboxing have the same effect?
Turns out, yes, it can. Depending on your choice of class, you can slam (virtual) battle ropes, go rapid fire on the speed bag, or hone your technique on focus mitts, powering up just about every muscle in your body and punching your way to a calmer mind. I still felt like I was exerting myself and felt spent afterward.
The Liteboxer VR for Meta Quest 2 — my final verdict
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and like a true gamer, I could easily have spent an entire day exploring the Metaverse. However, I did start to crave an extra challenge.
While you can’t add intensity by holding dumbbells or sparring with a partner, I started experimenting with push-ups and squats between rounds. And because the music played to the room, my partner could hear the combinations in real-time and learn roughly where I would hit, so he (bravely) held focus mitts for me to punch. Granted, this took a bit of doing, but it actually worked — although I think he may have feared for his face a few times.
Next up: Try this killer full-body dumbbell workout, this calisthenics workout is our favorite, and our fitness editor walked 1000 steps a day for a month, here’s what happened.
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Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods. When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.