The company founded in 2016 by fitness fanatics Ryan DeLuca and Preston Lewis, Black Box VR, is on a mission to bring fitness into virtual reality through gaming.
“Being fit and healthy helps you become your best self for your family, your friends, your work, and society. You become the greatest version of you.”
That is the principle that everyone at Black Box VR believes in, and it is very similar to CrossFit’s core beliefs.
“It’s funny you mention CrossFit because that has been my vision from the beginning,” said Preston Lewis. “Basically combining the CrossFit Games with an Esports tournament where virtual sport athletes are competing for glory in an epic game environment.”
The experience built by the company requires the athlete to walk into a black box and put on virtual reality glasses to enter a virtual arena wherein they compete with the computer. The objective is to destroy the computer’s gate at the other end of the arena.
But destroying the gate is no easy feat. You need to use your muscles while performing a set of predefined workouts using the cables inside the black box.
“We designed our workout battles to include 6 compound movements – chest press, shoulder press, back row, lat pulldown, squat and deadlift – and two single-joint movements – bicep curl and triceps pushdown”, Preston explained. “Anything you can do with a cable machine, you can pretty much do with the Black Box VR Dynamic Resistance Machine.”
You must exercise your body to do direct damage to the opponent in various exciting formats. For example, an overhead press will release a meteor strike, while a chest press will send a fire beam.
The entire workout is designed for 30 minutes, and the apparatus tracks over 50,000 data points in each activity. As a player builds endurance and becomes stronger, the system automatically progresses and puts across more formidable opponents. Preston is also looking forward to putting two athletes in front of each other for head-to-head competition in the future.
At the moment, you can visit a Black Box VR facility in Arizona (Peoria, Tempe, and Scottsdale), California (Oceanside and San Francisco), and Idaho (Boise). The company plans to expand to other US cities soon.
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