BitGym’s Virtual Active iOS app is meant to help people stay motivated and get a change of scenery while working out on various cardio machines like treadmills and stationary bikes. The app displays a high resolution video of a first-person trip through various terrain types, from routes in the Pacific Northwest to urban areas like Los Angeles. The desired effect is that you will go on a “virtual run” through these terrains without ever having to book a plane ticket. Does it work though? Find out in our review, after the break!
The app itself is free to download and comes with one virtual run video set in the American Southwest. Additional videos run $7.99 and each include sequences ranging from ten minutes to an entire hour. There are even videos of runs through other countries like Italy to choose from. It
Setting up the app is pretty simple – just select your video and cardio machine type, then set the iOS device on the magazine tray and begin running, pedaling, or stepping. The app detects the vibration and motion of your cardio machine and adjusts the speed of the video accordingly. Pedal slow and the video slows down – pedal or run quickly, and the video will speed up. This virtual run is most effective on larger screens, so you can export the display through the iOS device to HDMI adapter to big monitors for an even more engrossing experience.
If you do any cardio workout enough times, you will undoubtedly get to understand what it means to be “in the zone” – a condition where you become somewhat detached from the pain and fatigue you are experiencing and are just moving. This is a great place to be in as it helps you keep going when your brain would have told you to give up long before.
Virtual Active helps keep you in the zone by trying to trick your brain you are exercising in some of the most beautiful terrain on the planet. Even if you have not reached “the zone”, Virtual Active will help you pass the time more quickly by the use of visualization. Really try and put yourself into your screen and the scenery being displayed. It all might sound a little new age-y, but to my surprise it really helped!
Overall, I highly recommend Virtual Active to help you with your cardio machine workouts. You owe it to yourself to at least download and try the sample run. Once you do, I dare you NOT to pickup one of the full-length workouts.