Crytek’s VR climbing simulator offers a killer upper-body workout disguised as a game.
Try as I might, I struggled for months to find a comfortable way of integrating VR into my daily workout regiment. It wasn’t a lack of options per se; the Oculus Quest alone offers a generous selection of fitness apps specifically designed to get your body moving. Rather, it was my lack of motivation. I’ve always found conventional workouts relatively boring. I’ll do them, but it’s by no means an enjoyable process for me.
It’s for these reasons—among others—that I’ve recently begun incorporating several “non-fitness” VR apps into my workouts; my favorite of late being Crytek’s The Climb 2, a VR rock climbing simulator that’s as physically challenging as it is vertigo-inducing.
It should be noted that I am by no means a health or fitness professional, just a borderline fitness enthusiast looking to avoid conventional exercise at any cost.
Available now on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets, The Climb 2 is a direct sequel to 2016’s The Climb and features gameplay nearly identical to that of the original. Players have access to five real-world environments, each featuring its own set of challenging climbs. The sequel adds 15 additional maps, including a new urban location that has you dangling above traffic as you navigate between towering skyscrapers. You can also find dynamic objects such as ladders, ropes, and hanging containers scattered throughout certain maps which add a bit of variety to your climbs.
The Climb 2 is so engaging, in fact, you don’t often notice the workout you’re getting as you scale your way throughout each locale. Similar to actual mountain climbing, The Climb 2 does a fairly decent job at working out your upper body, specifically your triceps and shoulders. Obviously, the workout you receive in The Climb 2 pails in comparison to actual mountain climbing or bouldering. Still, much like bodyweight exercises, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply replicating the movements.
By maintaining a set pace and contracting specific muscles as I climb, I’ve found The Climb 2 to be an excellent tool for working out the triceps, shoulders, even the abs if you really commit to the roleplay. For an additional challenge, you can add wrist weights to your climbs. I myself have been using a pair of vintage pastel weights from the late 1980s, but you can find plenty of modern alternatives on Amazon as well, though not nearly as radical. You may also want to consider setting up Oculus Move. Available free to all Quest users, this nifty fitness tracker monitors the calories you burn while you play.
So, while it’s true that fitness-focused apps such as Supernatural and FitXR may provide more effective workouts designed to target specific muscle groups, The Climb 2 offers those bored by conventional exercise an upper-body workout disguised as a globe-trotting VR adventure; which, in my opinion, is worth its weight in gold.
The Climb 2 is available now on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 headsets for $29.99.
Feature Image Credit: Crytek