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Black Box Fitness members come to the gym from all sorts of backgrounds, and many have had at least some experience in gaming, but that wasn’t the case with Shane Larson. He’s a fitness enthusiast and formal employee with Bodybuilding.com as well as traditional sports such as basketball, track, and football, but he was a newcomer to gaming when he started his Black Box Fitness journey.

Shane shared how he was introduced to Black Box Fitness and what he thinks about it now.

BBVR: Hey Shane! Thanks for taking some time to chat with us. We love to hear from our members and learn how Black Box Fitness has improved their wellbeing, but first, could you please tell us a bit about yourself? 

Shane: I’m a project manager for a local software/marketing company called ClickFunnels. I also am a podcaster and run three different shows, one of my own called The Gametime Guru Podcast, where I interview sports figures from all over the world, one that’s YouTube-based called Ohio State Football with Scarlet and Great, and another podcast which is for ClickFunnels called One Funnel Away: Stories

BBVR: How did you find out about Black Box Fitness, and what made you want to try it out?

Shane: I knew about Black Box Fitness because I worked for Bodybuilding.com from 2013-2017, and when Ryan left, I had been following his business ventures ever since. [Editor’s note: Ryan DeLuca, CEO, and Co-Founder of Black Box Fitness, was also Founder of Bodybuilding.com.]

That said, I really didn’t know much until one of the Black Box Fitness members, Barrett Law, had mentioned something to me about going there for quite some time. However, it wasn’t until months and months later that I actually dove into the BBVR scene for the first time when Black Box employee, Sterling reached out about doing a Vlog. We combined platforms for The Gametime Guru and BBVR to get some content out there and do our thing. 

BBVR: Tell us about the first time you entered the private booth, put on the VR headset, and entered the Black Box Fitness VR world. 

Shane: Super intrigued but confused. You have to understand that I’m not a gamer AT ALL, so to me, it was confusing because I had no clue how to do everything. However, I did think it was super intriguing. I guess I had never really comprehended the whole VR Workout thing. Quite honestly, I was so naive that I truly thought maybe the scene inside the VR headset was an actual “gym” setting, and maybe I was lifting virtual weights on a virtual bench press or something. I literally had no clue that it was a game that was incentivized by the weights being lifted [in physical reality]. 

BBVR: What are your favorite features of the Black Box VR fitness experience?

Shane: I love the app. I love how it tracks the data for you and obviously shows you all your stats, but I also love the community feel to the whole experience and have grown to enjoy the gamification that comes with the app. I think the app is super innovative and helps everyone stay super engaged with it EVEN WHEN YOU’VE LEFT THE GYM!! It makes you want to come back for more workouts (which I’m sure is the whole point of it of course). 

BBVR: How does Black Box Fitness compare with other workout programs you’ve done?

Shane: While it’s limited to just six (truly eight) different exercises, it’s also the most effective workout you’ll get in a 30-minute window. It gets the job done. It’s convenient for timing because it’s not long in the grand scheme of things, but it also forces you to get in and get to work. There are no breaks to check my phone and do all those things I’d do in a normal gym during my “rest periods.” No, instead of checking my phone, I’m either trying to catch my breath before the next champion is deployed on me, or I’m trying to deploy my own champions in the game. It’s super effective for what it is. You can’t find something more intense and heavier lifting in a 30-minute window. 

BBVR: Do you do any other physical activities to boost your fitness results?

Shane: Yes, I still play basketball at least twice a week and I run and do my boxing training still pretty consistently. I’m a big believer in cross-training. While the three workouts a week at BlackBox VR are great workouts for the strength/resistance training, I do indeed take part in other activities to keep my body moving throughout the week. 

BBVR: Nutrition is an essential part of health and wellness. What sort of eating habits do you incorporate into your everyday life? 

Shane: This is where I lack discipline the most… I’m just like the majority of people in this regard. I wish I had more discipline when it comes to diet, but I’m not disciplined at all. I’m much better than I used to be, but for some reason, I don’t focus too much on my diet besides being able to NOT eat past a certain time in the evenings. I’m fully aware that eating habits play a major role in fitness goals, though, and I need to focus more on this. I would LOVE to see that incorporated into the app at some point. Maybe a meal plan/fitness challenge within the community that incentivizes the meals that we eat and what not – much like the BodySpace App and the different nutrition overviews we’d have there.  

BBVR: Thanks for the ideas! Luckily we have the two people who designed BodySpace at Black Box Fitness. I’m sure we will see some cool features in the future. What are your favorite exercises in the Black Box Fitness workout?

Shane: I love the squats and the chest presses within the booth. For me, they target the muscles the best out of all the exercises available.

BBVR: What kind of results have you had since you started going to Black Box Fitness? 

Shane: Increase in my overall endurance has been amazing. My muscular strength and endurance has been off the charts, and it’s directly impacted my basketball performance as well as running. I feel like I have a stronger base and don’t get tired as quickly when playing defense in basketball because of these workouts. It’s actually really cool to see how the workouts at BBVR apply to my other activities outside of the Black Box booth. 

BBVR: What are your favorite champions in the game, and how do you use them?

Shane: I really like the Champion, Aquafit, as he acts kind of like a tank champion. I usually deploy a few of those with an archer like Skadi behind them or even a Sunbird. It really depends on the game itself that day and what the opponent is throwing at me that will determine what champions I throw out and when. 

BBVR: As you play the Black Box Fitness game, every member unlocks achievements based on their fitness performance. What are your achievements that you are most proud of and why?

Shane: When I’ve seen the volume of weight, I’ve been able to push overall with my legs, it’s been super impressive. I used to hate squatting, so when I see how much I’ve been doing with squats and deadlifts within this game (like I think it’s been over a million or more in squat volume), I’m like, WOW!! That’s actually a TON of weight that’s been pushed with my legs! 

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?

Shane: As mentioned before, I really like the accountability of the app. I love how it tracks everything, but I truly enjoy the community aspect. I love how there are incentives and how you can comment on threads because even if someone is doing that “just for the points,” you still get the interaction with other members, which turns into authentic reactions and relationships over time. It’s actually really cool! The app is the best part of the gym, in my opinion. 

BBVR: Do you have any advice for people on the fence about trying Black Box Fitness?

Shane: Do a free trial. Just stop hesitating and do the free trial. Give yourself the two weeks, finish onboarding within that time frame, and you’ll know by then if it’s for you! Anyone that I’ve known who has gotten through the six workouts will find out how impactful and effective it can be! You won’t understand it until you do it. 

You can read through these interviews. You can watch Vlogs and follow social media featuring Black Box VR content all you want, but you will never fully understand it until you do it. And once you do, you’ll see why those who are members here absolutely love it! 

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.

Shane: Thank you for chatting with me. I would love to see athletes and former athletes like myself in the BBVR gyms all over! It will give you all a competitive advantage. I promise! 

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!