Supernatural is a VR fitness app for Oculus Quest that promises to gamify your weekly exercise routine with an expansive library of cardio, boxing, meditation and recovery workouts.
Available exclusively for the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, this app takes advantage of the technology’s improved specs to drop you smack-dab in the middle of the Galápagos Islands, the ruins of Machu Picchu, and even Mars (among many other picturesque environments), where you’re guided through an array of fun fitness activities.
Is Supernatural worth the monthly subscription? There’s only one way to find out.
Supernatural pricing and availability
Supernatural is available exclusively for Meta’s Oculus Quest platform. We recommend playing the VR app on the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, the latest model. It normally retails for $299 (128GB) and $399 (256GB).
Supernatural lets you try out their app for free, but it’ll cost you $19 per month ($180 per year) when the trial ends. This is almost double the price of FitXR ($10 per month), another Editor’s Choice-winning VR app that includes many of the same fitness elements, in addition to dynamic multiplayer action. If you don’t have the cash for an Oculus Quest VR headset, the webcam-powered Kemtai Adaptive Home Exercise Platform also costs $19 per month, and all you need to get started is your laptop.
Supernatural user interface
Setting up Supernatural is a cinch. Just download the app to your Oculus Quest headset (via your phone or the headset itself), set up a new user profile, and you’re good to go. When you open up the app, Supernatural sets the pace for your VR experience right away by perching you on top of a beautiful mountaintop environment with floating menus.
On the home screen, you’ll find four colorful, easy-to-navigate menus: New Today (showcases new workouts), For You (recommendations based on your workout history), Details (briefly describes whichever workout you select), and Performance (keeps track of leaderboards and your connected devices).
Supernatural is also compatible with the Apple Smart Watch Series 2+, Wear OS 2.0+ devices, and any heart rate tracker that uses BLE connectivity. We weren’t able to test out this feature, but owning the right wearable instantly adds value to this training platform, allowing you keep track of personal stats at a glance. You can also use Supernatural’s complementary smartphone app to check your stats, access music playlists on Spotify, and more without even putting on the Oculus Quest headset
Part of the allure for such VR fitness apps is the ability to work out from the comfort of your own living room, while simultaneously simulating a personal training session somewhere else. We suspect the company name comes into play here somewhat, since the natural environments that Supernatural has created are downright superb. From meditating on a beach to boxing in the desert, it’s hard to get bored with your ultra-realistic surroundings, which feel incredibly immersive. (Note: the larger your play area, the more expansive each environment feels.)
But that’s not all. If you miss the community of your local gym, Supernatural comes with its own Facebook community, a 24,000+ strong crew of pure inspiration, motivation, and ant-procrastination.
As of this writing, there were more than 800 classes to choose from, created in collaboration with Supernatural’s professional team of athletic coaches. Similar to FitXR (which only offers around 250 classes thus far) you can filter these classes by type, music genre, difficulty level, and duration. In short, this app is intuitive as hell.
Prior to this review, we met up with health coach Leanne Pedante (Supernatural’s Head of Fitness) who showed us the ropes before letting us loose to box, bounce and meditate our way to better wellness. And since Laptop Mag’s Senior Writer Kimberly Gedeon has been playing around with Supernatural all year, she and I decided to tag-team this review together.
All right, enough jibber-jabber. It’s time to put our money where our mouths — err, eyeballs — are.
To put Supernatural (and incidentally ourselves) through the proper paces, Kim and I tried out a variety of Box, Flow, Meditate, and Recover classes. Here are our knee-jerk impressions:
Kim — Forget the punching bag and stop screaming into your pillow. If you want to release pent-up aggression in a more graceful manner, Supernatural’s boxing modality is a highly recommended outlet. A vexatious argument was still fresh in my mind, so I harnessed that inner anger to smash the ever living daylights out of aerial artifacts and watched them satisfyingly explode upon impact. Boy did that feel good! Better a VR workout app than their face, am I right? (Editor’s note: she is.)
Similar to Supernatural’s Flow workout (we’ll talk about this later), Boxing consists of incoming orbs that invite you to deliver your best punches. Some of the orbs point upward, prompting you to employ uppercuts. Others point to the side, inciting you to strike them with powerful hooks. There are also round orbs — sans directional indicators — that require straight-forward jabs. While I leveraged all that inner frustration to land powerful punches, I still ended up feeling a sense of peace while taking in Supernatural’s breathtaking, 360-degree locale. Hovering over Peru’s historical Machu Picchu site while jamming to Panic! At the Disco would relax anyone.
In addition to those orbs, there are wayward batons that impel you to bob and weave as they fly at your face. I can’t quite grasp if I’m doing this part of the workout right; I would have preferred a rod that ran parallel to the virtual ground and prompted me to squat. After spending hours upon hours sitting in one place for work, my derriere is in desperate need of help.
TJ — Kim’s not wrong. If you’re looking to turn the latest holiday-season argument into a tangible calorie count, look no further than Supernatural’s swell selection of boxing workouts. Proper boxing form is something I’ve been wanting to learn for a while now, and while there’s no substitute for a good ol’ fashioned punching bag over at Gleason’s, I was pleasantly surprised by how detailed Coach Doc’s instructions were, and how his tweaks helped improve my overall form.
Throwing punches at floating orbs in the middle of nowhere is a surprisingly zen experience, by the way, and boxing workouts are inevitably a full-body affair. After just five minutes or so, every single muscle group from the neck down was wide awake, and I could feel a fresh dopamine dump with each successful strike. Hands down (or up), this was my favorite kind of class to play with throughout our testing.
Note: In the Settings menu, you can calibrate your Oculus Quest headset so that targets, triangles and dodges are properly aligned with your height.
Kim — Flow is the crux of the Supernatural platform and it’s often compared to an ultra-popular VR game called Beat Saber. Why? Flow arms you with wands to swat at fast-moving targets with directional indicators, which is similar to Beat Saber’s premise.
The main difference, however, is that Beat Saber isn’t a workout app. It’s a game that tests your focus and concentration — and it will dock points if you miss the incoming cubes. Flow, on the other hand, is designed to help you lose calories and it won’t penalize you for missing targets. When I expressed worry over not getting the hang of the high-intensity workouts (Flow’s most difficult exercises) Jonny Ahdout, Supernatural’s Creative Leader and Marketer, assured me that “winning” isn’t the goal. If you’re moving and grooving, that’s all that matters.
Before diving into Flow, I thought that I’d lean toward the modern pop tracks. I figured upbeat tunes would be the most motivating tracks, but I was wrong. As it turned out, Sweat Symphony is my favorite arm of the whole workout app, let alone Flow. Sweat Symphony workouts feature classical music playlists that make me feel like a badass maestro while smacking orbs away in the middle of some exotic, scenic landscape — it doesn’t get any better than that!
TJ — While I’ve never tried Beat Saber myself, I know enough about the game to spot the similarities, and Flow is a lot more fun than I expected it to be. (Hey, I’m over the age of 35 and don’t like change, dammit.) The workouts forced me to turn 360 degrees in both directions as it progressed, utilizing wide arm swings and dynamic squats to smash orbs while also staying inside the floating triangles as they approached.
One thing I really appreciate about each workout is how the coaches lead you through brief warmups and cooldowns. If you’re just flailing around with improper form, it could be easy enough for the uninitiated to sprain a muscle. This is a nice, organic way to help prevent injuries as you torch through those calories. And as Kim mentioned above, swinging your arms about in relative abandon is all part of the experience, and even when it felt like my form was garbage, I was still sweating buckets by the end of each class.
Kim — The Recover modality is what is known as “the cooldown”https://www.laptopmag.com/” in the workout world. This is a skippable part of the workout (and I admittedly forgo it sometimes), but you’re encouraged to follow through with it. Why? Because after all the arm swinging, lunges and squats, you’ve likely pushed your muscles to the limit. As such, you’ll want to slowly transition into a steady state of rest as opposed to an abrupt stop. This is a moment where I really love to take in the gorgeous scenery as my Supernatural trainer coaches me into a reduced heart rate, a cooler body temperature and regulated blood flow. This is also the moment where I get to give my body a good stretch and pat myself on the back for completing Flow or Boxing.
TJ — If I had the appropriate wearable, this is probably around the time that I’d check in on those stats, and I definitely appreciate the opportunity to stretch out at the end of any vigorous workout; punching the daylights out of virtual bubbles takes a toll, after all. Flexibility is also something I’ve been trying to be more vigilant about of late, and it’s easy to skip your end-of-workout stretches without the proper motivation. This is where Supernatural’s coaches come in.
As Kim mentions above, Recover allows you to appreciate those gorgeous surroundings the most because you’re moving around the least. Stretching out on a mountaintop, beach, or desert oasis is pretty damn cool, and Supernatural’s production team has done a fantastically meticulous job of curating those environments to feel as lifelike as possible
Kim — Woosah! The Meditate modality is ideal for those moments when your mind — not your body — needs some tender love and care. It’s most beneficial for users who want to practice mindfulness and inner peace while sitting cross-legged in a peaceful, scenic VR environment.
Unfortunately, I don’t get to appreciate the beautiful surroundings much; I prefer to close my eyes while one of Supernatural’s full-time coaches take me on a guided mental vacation with their meditative words. My favorite meditation is an experience titled “Gratitude.” We often take our fortunate lives for granted; the Gratitude meditation reminds us to reflect on everything that we do have rather than focusing on what we lack.
TJ — In the time of COVID, mindful meditation has remained an ever-elusive practice for me, and I’m always trying out new ways to settle my noggin at the end of the workday. Supernatural keeps your mental health top-of-mind, though, and Meditate quickly became my second-favorite aspect of the app.
While Kim prefers to keep her eyes closed during mindfulness exercises, walking in the woods is often my favorite form of meditation, so taking these classes in the solitude of nature was right up my alley. The environment allowed my mind and eyes to wander while also softly focusing on the topic at hand. It was an incredibly empowering (yet calming) experience, for example, to recline in front of the Temple of Horus while Coach Doc led me through a short meditation on personal power.
The life of a tech journalist in NYC is an eclectic one, and sometimes I need all the help I can get to slow my brain down for a hot second. Mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness, and I dig how Supernatural lets you ease into the practice of meditation at a moment’s notice.
You can work out your whole body (and brain!) in less than an hour, and I highly recommend wrapping the whole thing up with mindful meditation as your heart rate slows down. Woosah, indeed, Kim. Woosah, indeed.
Supernatural is the perfect name for this Oculus Quest app, as it combines a top-tier VR fitness experience with breathtaking views that are more than just an escape. Their team of coaches has created a comprehensive library of full-body workout routines, and this app handily represents the ideal blend of cutting edge mobile tech and traditional fitness principles. It’s a platform we’ll be keeping our eyes on over the next few years, and as far as I can tell, this is the future of fitness, folks.
Supernatural VR was played using the Oculus Quest 2