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Supernatural VR Fitness Is A Misanthrope’s Dream Home Workout

I’m not the sporty type. The only sport I ever excelled in was middle school cross country because I figured out that if you ran faster than everyone else, you got to be alone on the trail. But with recent spinal surgery and 40-something-year-old bones, I haven’t been a trail runner for years. I’m also a busy work-from-home mom, so though I partake in the occasional group fitness class, my default is the solo at-home workout — but I get bored quickly. All of this is my long, excuse-ridden way of saying that I really needed to try something new that would be exciting, effective, and readily available whenever I was. Magic pill, anyone?

When I heard about Supernatural, a virtual reality fitness app you use with the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest 3, I decided to try it. After all, an estimated 1 to 2 million people work out in virtual reality every month; who am I to argue?

How Supernatural Works

Supernatural is an immersive virtual reality workout you subscribe to for the Meta Quest 2, 3, or Pro. You choose from a huge assortment of workouts labeled as flow, box, or stretch. Additionally, you can choose guided meditations to help center and calm. Each fitness routine is rated as L for low intensity, M for medium, or H for high, and “real” virtual fitness coaches lead the workouts.

In the boxing exercises, you use the controllers to smash targets. The targets come at you at different angles, prompting you to do classic boxing moves like the uppercut. There are also triangle shapes that you are meant to stay in, which result in you squatting, ducking, and weaving.

The flow classes are similar, but instead of punching, you hold virtual batons and use these to strike down, up, or sideways at targets while squatting, stepping side to side, and moving.

Photo: Amber Guetebier

The Pros

The VR element allows you to disconnect from reality and stay focused on the targets in front of you. The result? Your heart gets pumping, and sweat starts flowing. You can even sync the Supernatural app with a heart-rate monitoring device, like a smartwatch.

The target-smashing allows for personal feedback since your accuracy increases the faster you move and the more you hit. This brings an element missing from other virtual workouts: You can track your progress beyond “completed.”

Arguably, the real show-stopper with Supernatural is the graphics. They are stunning. Each workout segment is set in a beautiful, iconic place somewhere in the world. (Think the Temple of Hathor in Egypt or Machu Picchu.)

Courtesy: Supernatural

Then there’s the fact that Supernatural spared no expense when it comes to music.

Each workout is set to tracks by the original artists, not just shoddy covers, and they run the gamut from punk rock to classical. You’ll find songs from Billie Elish, Metallica, The Pixies, (the artist formerly known as) The Weeknd, and so many more. I did an ’80s roller-skating-themed workout that had me calling, “Gloria!” My son did a high-intensity workout set to the symphonic classical piece Kan-Kan.

I also like that Supernatural lets you set fitness parameters with a calibration feature. This helps the robots in the machine scan you for height as well as your squat and lunge stances (you can opt out if you can’t squat or lunge safely).

I didn’t try it myself, but I imagine that one could even do them seated, making them more accessible to all levels of ability and fitness.

The Cons

The issues I had with using Supernatural had less to do with the program and more to do with wearing the Meta Quest 2 headset. There was definitely a learning curve for me getting used to the device and controllers.

Courtesy: Supernatural

Trying to do a guided meditation with a device strapped to my head was just uncomfortable. Ditto with the stretching: The heavier headpiece just felt cumbersome. Plus, I found wearing it for more than 30 minutes at a time uncomfortable. [Note: This might be improved with the Meta Quest 3, as it’s supposed to be lighter, but I haven’t tried that system yet.] Fortunately, you can pause workouts to take a break from the headset.

As a final piece of advice, I highly recommend going through the Supernatural tutorials before working out. I did one quick tutorial and dove right into a workout — then wound up a little lost. So, I ended up going back and doing the tutorials. They’re still workouts, just with more explanations, and they’re only a few minutes long.

The Verdict

The million-dollar question: Is it worth it? If you (or a kid in your household) already have a Meta Quest 2, Supernatural itself is 100% worth it. There’s a free trial, after which it costs $9.99/month or $99.99 for an entire year, which is less than a lot of monthly virtual subscriptions.

If you don’t already have a Meta Quest, it’s a hefty additional investment. The recent price drop brings the Meta Quest 2 down to $299.98, but the Meta Quest 3 still rings in at a hefty $550+.

Of course, the Meta offers many other apps and features, so it’s all about how much you think you’ll use it.

If you do decide to purchase Supernatural, spring for a three-pack of silicone covers that go around the Meta Quest’s foam insert. These covers, only $29 for a three-pack, are designed to keep the foam from getting soaked with sweat.

Ultimately, if you want something unique, easy to access, and fun to add to your regime, I feel like Supernatural is a worthwhile investment. I could see myself doing it multiple times a week when I have 15 or 20 minutes during the day and not getting bored.

The system should work well for anyone who is more homebound, whether due to the elements, circumstance (e.g., a bunch of kids at home with you), or accessibility. Even those with higher fitness levels will find intense, challenging workouts.

While it’s never going to replace the great outdoors or one-on-one personal trainers, it’s definitely a solid step in any fitness journey.

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