The all-in-one immersive fitness platform is available now via the Oculus Store.
Today marks the launch of Supernatural on Oculus Quest, a brand new title from VR/AR developer WITHIN that promises users an “unforgettable on-demand workout” experience unlike anything available on VR headsets at the moment. This week I was able to go hands-on with several of these high-intensity cardio workouts prior to the apps launch, and I’m happy to report that each and every routine thoroughly kicked my butt.
As I type this my thighs ache from multiple rounds of rapid-fire squats. If it weren’t for the armrests of my chair, both of my arms would be draped at my sides like wet noodles. Put simply, Supernatural succeeds at providing an effective full-body workout hidden behind an incredibly fun gamified experience.
Similar to existing VR rhythm games such as Beat Saber, Supernatural has you destroying waves of monochromatic targets to the beat of a motivational soundtrack. WITHIN’s fitness-focused experience takes this concept several steps further, offering real-time coaching, a regular stream of daily workout regiments, progress tracking, a dedicated smartphone app, and numerous other health-related features.
Getting started is fairly painless: simply download the Supernatural app on your Oculus Quest headset and pair it with the dedicated smartphone app available on both iOS and Android. Upon opening the app you’ll be instructed to pair the app with any heart-monitoring wearable devices you may have, such as the Apple Watch, via Bluetooth. From here, you can begin entering some personal information; weight, level of physical activity, fitness goals, etc.
Once calibrated you’re then free to enjoy over two dozen high-intensity workout routines, each of which featuring their own real-time coaching and customized set list. Looking to work on your endurance and stamina? Perhaps consider a low impact 30 minute session. Interested in working on your power and upper-body strength? Your best bet may be one of the more intense 15 minute workouts. Guiding you through these VR regiments is a rotating staff of professional trainers. These virtual instructors perform each workout, keeping you motivate throughout the routine with some encouraging voice over.
It may sound like a gimmick, but hearing each trainer pant and breathe in sync with my own movements definitely helped me connect with them on a more personal level; so much so I now find myself selecting workouts depending on who’s coaching. Personally, I prefer the soothing, approachable demeanor of Leanne, though you my find yourself gravitating towards a different style of instruction. In terms of music, Supernatural is packed with an extremely impressive catalogue of motivational tunes from popular artists such as Lizzo, Lady Gaga, One Republic, Kendrick Lamar, Ramones, Macklemore, and Panic! At The Disco as part of a partnership with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a snowy mountain range flowing to the beat of a funky electronica track; other times you’ll be slicing targets over an active volcano to an aggressive trap anthem.
Further setting itself apart from existing VR titles, users can download Supernatural for free and access daily workouts via a monthly subscription. Users will start off with a 30-day free trial, after which they’ll begin paying a founding member rate of $19.99 per month. That’s… not exactly cheap. You’re essentially paying the same price you would for a cheap gym membership, minus the access to expensive equipment and other in-person benefits. Founding members will receive a free sweat-proof liner (while supplies last) to help combat sweat, so there’s that at least.
“We’ve taken everything we know and love about moving to music in VR and paired it with everything we wanted from in-home fitness: expert guidance, real-time metrics and results, while leaving out everything we don’t—mainly the rowing, running and cycling in place,” said WITHIN co-founder, Aaron Koblin, in an official release. “It’s both incredibly fun, and rooted in healthy movement.”
So, is the price worth it? Honestly, that’s up to you and your current workout goals. Those looking for an effective cardio workout while under lockdown may find this to be a perfect alternative to the gym, while others more focused on building muscle may find themselves longing for conventional weights and resistance machines. Luckily WITHIN is offering a free trial to new users, allowing you to test out a few routines before making the plunge.
In terms of VR fitness, Supernatural is by far the most effective and comprehensive experience we’ve tried so far. The virtual coaching, dedicated companion app, and daily workouts come together to offer an all-in-one VR fitness platform unlike anything available at the moment. The big question now is whether or not these daily workouts will be enough to keep subscribers happy.
Supernatural is available now on Oculus Quest. Users can download the app free-of-charge and enjoy a one month free trial.
Image Credit: WITHIN