When Jeff sat down to focus on web development at a local workshare as he had done many times in the past, he never anticipated that one particular day would change his life, and he would, in turn, impact thousands of others who have made a commitment to improved wellness.
Once a touring/recording musician, Jeff enjoys being around people as he thrives on that energy. When Ryan DeLuca, CEO of Black Box Fitness, did a presentation near his workspace, Jeff made the decision to learn more.
Fortunately for the rest of us, that chance encounter led to an opportunity for both Jeff and Black Box Fitness as Jeff is a game dev and now helps build the fantastic experiences Black Box members enjoy every day.
BBVR: Hey, Jeff, What is your role at Black Box Fitness, and what made you want to join the team?
Jeff: I’m a Game Developer, which means I work on the Black Box game that everyone plays! I’ve worked here for a few years now, and it has been such a blast creating this experience for everyone.
I used to do web development work for various companies and worked from home. I really like the energy of working around people downtown and would work at a workshare place called Trailhead. Ryan DeLuca (Black Box CEO) did a presentation about Black Box one day while I was working there, and my mind was blown. I didn’t know a company in little old Boise was doing something like this! I immediately went up to him afterward and gave him my contact info and to let me know if they were ever hiring. I already was into VR at the time, but I went home and immediately starting doing a ton of research on all the ins and outs of VR and started making prototype games. I even made a boxing demo for the Oculus Quest that I was going to use as a pitch piece to join the company!
BBVR: What’s it like working at Black Box Fitness?
Jeff: Working at Black Box Fitness is one of the most unique jobs I’ve ever had. I wake up every day to work on virtual reality gyms. It is honestly one of the coolest jobs. It’s such an easy conversation starter as well!
One of the things I am most thankful about at Black Box is the fact that we’re working on something that betters people’s lives. I’m not creating some boring widget designed to siphon money out of people. I’m creating something that benefits people’s health and wellbeing, as well as my own. The features I add to the Black Box experience directly benefit me, my friends and my loved ones. It’s so awesome.
BBVR: Well that’s a great segway into discussing the Black Box Fitness experience. Tell us about the first time you put on the VR headset and entered the Black Box Fitness VR world. What was it like for you?
Jeff: By the time I tried Black Box for the first time, I had already done a ton of research on the company and what the workout would be like, but when I walked into the gym, put the headset on, and did my first workout, I was completely blown away. The work, the team, had done to create the experience was amazing. I was working out in a virtual world! The future had arrived!
BBVR: How many workouts have you completed, and what league are you currently in?
Jeff: I just checked my app, and it looks like I have 163 workouts completed! I maybe have a handful of extra workouts on some test accounts that I use to develop with. Right now, I’m in the Silver league!
BBVR: How does the Black Box Fitness workout fit into your weekly routine?
Jeff: I am on a pretty steady 3 workouts a week in the Black Box. I go Monday, Thursday, and Friday, with Tuesday being a day where I do some specific arm/hand/wrist strengthening to keep my programming fingers in tip-top shape!
BBVR: How does Black Box Fitness compare with other workout programs you have done?
Jeff: I’ve been going to the gym/lifting weights on and off since high school. Black Box certainly is a different beast in the realm of fitness. It feels more like a sport than a routine, club, or machine to me. It keeps you moving and motivated with a purpose other than just picking up something and putting it down. There is nothing like taking down your foe with lasers coming out of your chest from doing a chest press!
BBVR: Do you currently do any other physical activities to boost your fitness results?
Jeff: I currently play Beat Saber on my Oculus Quest when I’m at home, do semi-regular pull-ups on my pull-up bar at home in between programming sessions.
BBVR: Nutrition is an essential part of health and wellness. What sort of eating habits do you incorporate into your everyday life, and do you track your calorie intake?
Jeff: While I usually don’t have a big issue with workout consistency, nutrition has always been challenging for me. I just love food way too much. 2020 was a year where my diet was all over the place, but in 2021 I’ve tried to be more consistent. I’ve been using an app called Calory on my iPhone/Apple Watch, and it has been awesome to help me track calories and macros. Just seeing how many wasted calories I was eating on a day-to-day basis is a good reminder to get back on track. I tend to track calories pretty hardcore every few months to help me stay on track. Lately, I’ve been trying to increase my protein, which is tough sometimes because I’d rather eat carbs a lot of the time.
BBVR: What kind of results have you had since you started going to Black Box Fitness?
Jeff: My fitness results have been a bit of a roller coaster the past few years, in good and bad ways. When I first started Black Box, my strength was increasing, and it was awesome! I was feeling great. But then the pandemic happened. I slowed down my gym frequency due to staying at home a lot more. I had pretty bad anxiety about the whole thing.
Then later, I sustained some hand and wrist injuries from being so inactive and programming on my computer 12 hours a day to keep distracted. This was really hard as I had to take a break from working out for a bit. But after re-balancing my weights at Black Box and doing some physical therapy, my fitness has been leveling up! I’m increasing my strength quite consistently, and it feels awesome! The consistency of strength training and doing Black Box have been VERY HELPFUL in keeping the pain away and letting me continue to do the things I love, which is creating.
BBVR: What are your favorite exercises in the Black Box fitness experience and why?
Jeff: I really like Lat Pulldowns lately. And Deadlifts!! Lat Pulldowns and Deadlifts keep my back in tip-top shape (which is also important as I sit a decent amount as a programmer)!
BBVR: What are your favorite champions in the game, and how do you use them?
Jeff: I’m a big fan of Minion Crew and Hammer Time right now. Deploying tons of Minion Crews to keep the enemy distracted and load up on Hammer Times and Rock Dudes to finish them off!
BBVR: What types of strategies do you have when it comes to the Black Box Fitness gameplay?
Jeff: I try to pace myself as I go. I start with Light/Medium reps, and at about the 20-minute remaining mark, I load up to Medium/Heavy. Some days I switch it up as I go, and other days I try to focus on specific exercises like push exercises or pulls.
BBVR: What are the Black Box Fitness achievements you are most proud of and why?
Jeff: I’m proud of my consistent push to get stronger in Black Box. I’m not an easy gainer, so every increased pound in my exercises makes me proud!
BBVR: The Black Box Fitness app tracks all fitness performance, battle logs, quests and has a fantastic community helping to cheer you on. What’s your favorite feature of the app, and why?
Jeff: My favorite feature is definitely the Battle Logs and Performance Charts. I always check my battle logs after a workout to compare my Volume/Work and such. I love how the app keeps track of everything for you. As a person who loves data, it’s amazing!
BBVR: Do you have any advice for people on the fence about trying Black Box Fitness?
Jeff: I know it can be a little intimidating out there for some people who are used to more traditional fitness, but you really just got to give it a try. It will kick your ass. In a good way!! Connecting with other members is a great way to get tips and tricks as well! Reach out to me. My name is “donutdude246” in the app.
BBVR: Thank you for taking the time to share your fitness journey with us. We appreciate you and look forward to seeing your future workout battles.
Jeff: Thank you for having me!!
If you’re interested in trying Black Box Fitness for FREE, find a location near you, and unlock fast fitness results!
We’ll see you in the arena soon!