Table of Contents
- 1 FitXR vs. Supernatural: Price
- 2 FitXR vs. Supernatural: The workouts
- 3 FitXR vs. Supernatural: Music
- 4 FitXR vs. Supernatural: Community and Competition
- 5 FitXR vs. Supernatural: Location
- 6 FitXR vs. Supernatural: The coaches
- 7 FitXR vs. Supernatural: User interface
- 8 FitXR vs. Supernatural: Stats
- 9 Overall Winner: FitXR
FitXR vs. Supernatural is the ferocious face-off you’ve been waiting for, especially if you’re a VR fitness fan. FitXR incites me to punch the ever-living daylights out of glowing orbs — hiya! — on a ritzy balcony with breathtaking views. Supernatural, on the other hand, whisks me away to picturesque locales, spurring me to swing at fast-approaching balloons while listening to Lil Uzi Vert wail “All my friends are dead!”
But which one is best?
I began working out with Supernatural last November and I became a FitXR member in April, so I have an ample amount of experience with both apps to determine which one reigns supreme. Truth be told, they’re both excellent VR fitness platforms. At this point, it’s not a matter of whether I’d recommend FitXR and Supernatural (I’d vouch for the duo in a heartbeat) — the better question is who is best suited for each app.
In a perfect world, I’d subscribe to both platforms, but money doesn’t grow on trees, so I have no choice but to choose one app. Read on to find out which app I ultimately chose as my primary VR fitness app — the winner may surprise you.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: Price
FitXR and Supernatural are subscription-based apps and both release new workouts daily, but one is more expensive than the other.
FitXR costs $9.99 a month and comes with Box, Dance and Hiit (high intensity interval training) workout sessions (I’ll dive into what hiit is later), as well as 3D avatar coaches who are embodiments of real trainers. Supernatural will set you back $18.99 a month (or $179.99 a year), and offers Beat Saber-esque workouts, heart-stopping, scenic destinations, live-action coaches and a recognizable catalog of music playlists.
You may be wondering, “Why is Supernatural more expensive than FitXR?” Where Supernatural differs from FitXR is that it secures ongoing music licensing rights to play chart-topping, widely known songs. If working out to music you know and love is important to you, paying an extra nine bucks per month may be worth it.
Personally, I dig the subscription-based model. One-time payment apps like Dance Central and Beat Saber helped me work up a sweat, but after a while, I got bored of cycling through the same ol’ routines and songs. My motivation to workout dwindled and I eventually lost interest. Not even their DLCs reinvigorated my passion for Dance Central and Beat Saber. FitXR and Supernatural, on the other hand, gifts you with new workouts and songs every day, which maintains the apps’ freshness and allure.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: The workouts
The FitXR team appears to be more focused on keeping VR fitness users engaged by rolling out a wider range of workout packages. I can hear someone in the boardroom saying, “If we want to keep our members, we need to give ‘em variety! Make ‘em dance! Throw in some boxing classes!”
Supernatural, on the other hand, doesn’t offer variety with its workout routines, but it aims to keep you addicted by transporting you to jaw-dropping, exotic locations and hypnotizes you with its rhythmic catalog of music playlists.
FitXR features three types of workouts: Dance, Box and Hiit. FitXR’s Dance classes are reminiscent of Dance Central and the Just Dance series. A 3D avatar will appear in front of you and you’ll need to mimic its movements. Words like “Awesome!” flash before your eyes each time you nail a move, but if your sprinkler looks more like a broken garden hose, all you’ll get is a frigid “OK.” One major benefit of FitXR’s Dance classes is that they’re full-body workouts — all your muscle groups will get stimulated.
FitXR Box isn’t what you’re thinking. No, you won’t be striking a VR punching bag with your fists or decking a 3D avatar in the face (though that would be fun). Instead, fast-approaching balls will come toward you, and you’ll need to punch them with all your might.
Blue balls call for left-handed punches and the yellow balls signal right-handed punches. Successful jabs lead to visually satisfying, mini explosions. Some balls have glowing trails that point downward or sideways; the former incites you to unleash uppercuts and the latter spurs you to perform cross jabs.The harder you punch, the more points you get. For squats or side lunges, surfboard-like VR artifacts will come flying toward you. With all that punching and dodging, I can’t help but feel like Lara Croft or any other kickass female character.
Hiit is a variant of Box — and it’s just as fun. Instead of balls flying at you, you’ll be presented with stationary glowing orbs that you’ll have to smash.
The way these orbs are positioned forces you to engage in certain waist-trimming, shoulder-burning exercises.
I’m obsessed with one particular Hiit routine, which positions the orbs in such a way that I end up doing torso twists (an exercise that targets my obliques). Goodbye muffin top! I also enjoy Hiit’s Light Speed rounds, which asks you to hit as many purple orbs as you can before time runs out.
Supernatural’s workouts are not varied. You’re technically stuck with one way of exercising, which many say is similar to Beat Saber.
I agree with that sentiment. Like Beat Saber, you must slice incoming cubes to the beat of the music with lightsabers. Supernatural arms you with bats, instead of lightsabers, to hit incoming black-and-white balloons; black is for left-handed strikes and white is for right-handed hits. Each one has a transparent cone on it, indicating how you should hit them (e.g. cones pointing upward means you should smash ‘em from the bottom up). There are also fast-approaching human-sized triangles that prompt you to squat or lunge.
Don’t get me wrong, each Supernatural workout is carefully mapped to match the music you’re listening to, so each routine feels different. However, unlike FitXR, you can’t say, “Hm, I’m not feeling the balloon-swatting stuff right now. I think I’ll try a dance class today.” You’re stuck with a whole lot of balloon swatting whether you like it or not.
So how effective are Supernatural’s workouts? Like FitXR, I always find myself dripping in sweat after exercising, but I feel as if the routines primarily target my arms, shoulders and back. Yes, my core, legs and glutes get stimulated, too, but not like the aforementioned three.
One edge Supernatural has over FitXR is that it offers skippable warm-up and cool-down sessions for each workout. The former is important for preparing your muscles for high-intensity exercises and the latter offers a gradual recovery back to your pre-workout heart rate. Supernatural also has independent meditation and stretching sessions, so you can sharpen your state of mindfulness.
You can also choose your preferred level of difficulty for both apps. FitXR’s three tiers are beginner, intermediate and advanced; Supernatural’s stratas are broken down to low, medium and high intensity workouts. For example, if hitting the Dougie in FitXR’s advanced dance class is too complicated, you can simplify the moves by choosing a beginner class instead. The same goes for Supernatural; high-intensity workouts may overwhelm you with complex, fast-moving patterns so you can take it down a notch with medium or low intensity workouts.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: Music
Music is where Supernatural shines! Each workout features curated playlists with well-recognized songs. If you dig old-school jams, there’s a playlist for you. If you prefer pop divas like Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish, there’s something for you, too. There’s something for everybody. There are seven genres you can choose from: Pop, Rock, Classical. Hip Hop, Country, R&B and Electronic.
There’s a sweet-sounding, Supernatural playlist that features the most popular classical scores. It’s called “Sweat Symphony” — what an ear orgasm! Working out to Sweat Symphony makes me feel like one of those animated maestros who conduct live orchestras, waving their batons with grace and aplomb. Supernatural’s popular music feature isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, though. I do have some complaints, but I suspect Supernatural may not be able to rectify these issues due to their licensing contracts.
Firstly, you can’t customize playlists. So if you want to make your own playlist with a dash of Eminem, a splash of Marvin Gaye, a smattering of Lizzo and a whole lot of Beethoven, it’s not happening. You have to settle for Supernatural’s curated playlists, which are set in stone. Secondly, you can’t rearrange the order of the tracks nor remove any unwanted songs. For example, one day, I really wanted to smash some balloons to The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” but unfortunately, it was at the very bottom of the playlist. As such, I had to suffer through Flo Rida’s “In the Ayer,” and other torturous songs, before I could finally get to The Weeknd.
Thirdly, I hated that some of the songs I wanted were only featured in high-intensity workouts, which are so convoluted and complex that I’m convinced no human can possibly achieve a decent score on this tier of difficulty. Why should I have to break my back just to workout to Cardi B’s “WAP”?
When I played FitXR for the first time, I thought, “Ugh, I’m going to hate working out to a bunch of songs I’ve never heard of!” But you know what? The music isn’t that bad. FitXR definitely helped expand my music palette, too; I found myself preferring to throw punches to heavy metal. Nothing is more satisfying than landing uppercuts and jabs to chaotic electric guitar riffs — it makes me feel like such a badass! The four genres of music you can find on FitXR are Pop, Electronic, Hip Hop and Rock. Each workout is labeled with one of the four aforementioned genres, so you’ll know what type of music you’ll be diving into. Unlike Supernatural, however, you can’t see an itemized list of all the songs featured in the workout. You wouldn’t know them, anyway!
In Supernatural, I found myself spending too much time searching for a playlist I liked. In FitXR, I jumped right into workouts without suffering from analysis paralysis. Still, there’s a special charm in working out to songs you know and love.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: Community and Competition
There’s a reason why I’m more successful at losing weight when I attend a gym regularly as opposed to relying on the treadmill that’s collecting dust at my place. I’ve always been a competitor. As such, watching others outperform me inspires me to do better and reminds me that the improbable is possible. “If she can run on a treadmill at full speed for an hour, so can I — I may die, but it’s OK!” is what crosses my mind at the gym.
That being said, it’s important — no, it’s crucial — for me to have a competitive element in my VR fitness app to successfully achieve my workout goals. This is where FitXR excels. Whether you’re playing Box, Hiit or Dance, you can see transparent blue avatars (six in total) that are personifications of real players’ previously recorded sessions.
You can see their hand and head movements, as well as their scores, during each workout. During one session of Hiit, I found myself competing with a user called “ChildOfChaos.” “There is no way in hell I’m going to let some devil child outdo me!” I thought. I put up a good fight, but unfortunately, I ended up losing to this ChildofChaos character. It’s no big deal, though. I felt compelled to try to beat their score next time. This is the type of stuff I live for!
FitXR also has a multiplayer feature that lets you compete with other Oculus Quest players, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Supernatural doesn’t have previously recorded avatars of real users nor does it have a multiplayer feature, but thanks to the mobile companion app, you can follow other Supernatural members and compare your scores. Supernatural also has an incredible online community on Facebook with nearly 16,000 users (Supernatural introduces you to this community when you first sign up).
Supernatural members upload photos of their progress, post hilarious memes about their struggles with dieting, and more. Seeing others achieve their fitness goals is motivational. FitXR also has a Facebook community, but it’s not as active.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: Location
“The coldest story ever told,” Kanye West crooned as I smashed balloons while hovering over icy waters. “Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul — to a woman so heartless!” As West’s illustrative lyrics delved into a tale about a coldhearted woman, Supernatural couldn’t have picked a better location: a jaw-dropping, Icelandic landscape populated with massive glaciers.
Supernatural teleports you to breathtaking, scenic locales that look so picturesque, it feels as if you’re standing inside a landscape masterpiece. I’ve found myself working up a sweat in Ecuador’s postcard-perfect Galápagos Islands, Portugal’s unspoiled Praia Da Ursa beach, Iran’s arid Lut Desert, and more. Supernatural takes advantage of these panoramic, profoundly beautiful views during workout sessions, launching balloons at you from all angles so you can spin around and absorb the natural beauty that surrounds you.
For this round, FitXR might as well hop out of the ring and hang its head in shame. Its lame locations don’t come close to what Supernatural offers. The most you’ll get from FitXR is a swanky balcony that overlooks some islands, which looks nice, but it doesn’t come close to the stunning vistas in Supernatural.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: The coaches
As mentioned, Supernatural has live-action coaches while FitXR uses 3D avatars as representations of real-life trainers. The coaches on both apps have one thing in common: they’re total cornballs. I don’t mind their cheesiness, but less tolerant folks may find some of them to be cringey.
For example, Leanne Pedante, a Supernatural coach, definitely has some spunk and pizazz, but her commentary is like having a bee buzzing in your ear. You just want to smack it away. During one of my classical-music workouts, she felt the need to delve into a story about how she used to be a “flautist” (I don’t even know what that means). Unfortunately, users can’t turn off the coaches’ voices. Each workout has pre-recorded commentary, so after a while, hearing the same commentary gets old.
There is one Supernatural coach who I will likely never silence: Raneir Pollard. He’s the sassiest, most enjoyable trainer, often telling me to “get into it!” His energy is unmatched. Fortunately, on Supernatural, you can filter the workouts to find the coaches you love. Goodbye Leanne, hello Raneir!
FitXR’s coaches don’t have the same distinctive personalities as Supernatural’s spunky trainers, but they don’t go off on tangents about how they used to be flautists, so that’s a plus. Don’t be fooled, the coaches may manifest in FitXR as 3D avatars, but they are representations of real trainers. Like Supernatural, all the commentary is pre-recorded. Fortunately, there is an option to turn off voice commentary if you get sick of it (take notes Supernatural!)
FitXR vs. Supernatural: User interface
Supernatural’s user interface is smoother than FitXR’s. It has a companion app, too.
In Supernatural, there’s a floating home screen that shows you which workouts are trending among members — and it features curated workout collections, too. For example, I remember seeing a collection of workouts that target the abs. I also saw a collection called “Laugh While You Sweat,” a compilation of workouts with the most hilarious commentary.
The moment you land on the FitXR home screen, you’ll be greeted with a pop-up message telling you about the newest workout addition. FitXR’s interface may not be as seamless as Supernatural’s, but it does the job. My only regret is that FitXR doesn’t have a filter system. In Supernatural, for example, I can filter all 650 workouts by music genre, coach, duration and difficulty level. You can’t do the same with FitXR; you have to scroll through a never-ending virtual carousel to find workouts.
I also find FitXR’s “Favorites” feature to be buggy. I’d often “favorite” a workout so I could easily access it, but unfortunately, they’re often mysteriously missing from Favorites when I try to retrieve them. Supernatural, on the other hand, lets me add my favorite workouts to “My List” without any issues; I can access all of them without a hitch.
FitXR vs. Supernatural: Stats
What I love about FitXR is that it keeps track of your scores. For example, if you achieved a record-setting score (compared to your previous workouts), FitXR will tell you. I like to keep track of my high scores to see if I can outperform them. Supernatural, on the other hand, doesn’t keep a history of the scores you’ve earned in the game, so it’s more difficult to gauge how well you do compared to previous sessions.
However, Supernatural will give you stats on how well you performed after each workout. It gives you information on your accuracy (e.g. how many balloons you missed), the power behind your smashes and more. FitXR does the same.
Interestingly, Supernatural lets you pair your smartwatch with the VR app, allowing it to import your heart-rate data. Supernatural is the only VR fitness app that supports heart-rate tracking.
Overall Winner: FitXR
After experimenting with both subscription-based VR fitness apps, I decided to stick with FitXR and unsubscribe from Supernatural. Why? FitXR gamifies its workouts, which panders to my competitive nature and motivates me to workout consistently. FitXR’s previously recorded subscribers showing up as blue avatars in my workouts is the most alluring selling point. Without competition, I’ll lose interest.
If you’re like me and you can only muster up motivation to workout if there are challenges thrown at your feet, FitXR is the app for you. It’s also great for cheapskates (like myself) who don’t want to spend nearly $20 a month on yet another subscription. Plus, I found that I lost more weight with FitXR.
Supernatural is an excellent VR fitness app, too. If you don’t care about gamified workouts and facing competitors, and you’re willing to spend an extra $9 per month, you can’t go wrong with Supernatural. If you want to workout to chart-topping songs while hovering above beguiling, exotic destinations, I’d recommend this app in a heartbeat.
FitXR and Supernatural were played using the Oculus Quest 2