Stan Browney is back at it with another 24-hour fitness challenge that really tests the limits of possibility. But for this challenge, he doesn’t need to leave his gym. In fact, he doesn’t even need to leave an area of three square metres. Because this challenge will happen completely in virtual reality.
During the challenge, Browney will not leave the virtual world for a whole 24 hours. He will eat, sleep, cook and work out in VR, and complete 24 workouts during this time. The aim of the challenge is for his virtual avatar to build as much muscle as possible. But there’s no such thing as resistance in the virtual world, so that leaves one option: cardio.
As the clock struck 12pm, Browney’s eyes took in their last bit of daylight for 24 hours before diving into the virtual world. And it didn’t take long before Browney was attempting his first workout, a game called “Beat Saber”.
The concept was simple. Stop the virtual flying objects from hitting you by swiping them away in the direction shown. It might sound simple, but it wasn’t easy. Browney failed within two seconds …
But he played the game for 30 minutes, and that’s what counts. During those 30 minutes, he burned 180 real life calories. Not wanting to stop there, he went straight into a game of “Gorilla Tag”. Again, simple: tag for gorillas.
Before he knew it, five hours had flown by, and the motion sickness was setting in. But Browney’s never been one to quit on a challenge, so he headed straight to gym. Virtually. Unsurprisingly the gym without resistance was completely empty. 15kg weights were floating mid-air, and Browney wasn’t having much luck with his squat form. Time to move on. But not before a quick re-fuel. Myprotein goodies to the rescue … in real life.
After the quick break it was straight into the boxing ring. Browney did some quick training before getting into his first fight, which he won. Another great workout in the bag.
Then, with the help of his brother, Browney ended up in an alternative universe. A leg day lover's dream land. The land where you have to squat to get anywhere. They played until their legs were numb, or until Browney won.
Later, after a few rounds of mini golf, Browney had worked up an appetite so took a spot of dinner. If you’ve never used a VR headset before, let me explain how it works. There’s a setting where you can see your surroundings — your real life surroundings. You see everything in black and white, and nothing is clear. So, Browney needed a quick, simple meal.
Find some of our favourites here, and psst, they’re vegan:
After a quick ab workout, it was time to hit the hay. Sleeping in VR goggles is about as comfortable as you’d imagine. Not very comfortable at all. The headset is heavy, and you can only sleep on your back.
And, by the way, Browney knows something you don’t … protein bars make an excellent midnight snack.
With just four hours to go until the end of the challenge, it was time for Browney to put his mind to it. He still had 16 workouts to get through. The list looked a little something like this:
- Table tennis
- More basketball
It feels a little strange to report on the physical changes seen in an avatar across 24 hours, but at least it keeps things interesting. During the challenge, the avatar put on some serious mass. I don’t know what the concept of time is like over in the virtual world, but I can assure you this level of gains takes months, not hours.
Take home message
In terms of Browney’s transformation, there was nothing to note apart from black eyes and messy hair. But, the workouts were actually more effective than he initially thought. Resistance training in VR was a non-starter: there’s no resistance, that says it all. Cardio, on the other hand, was a real success. When working consistently, you can burn around 300 calories an hour while in VR.
We’re not suggesting you switch the gym for the virtual world, but if you enjoy playing games, standing up, it’s a far more active method than just sitting and playing on your Xbox.
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