What’s it like working out wearing a Vision Pro?


Me wearing workout clothes on a treadmill. Oh, and a Vision Pro on my face.
Is this the future of working out? Probably not.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

People have been spotted wearing Apple’s Vision Pro headset at gyms. I was curious whether they had unlocked a secret killer feature or whether they were bearing through aches and pains just to show off. What’s it really like working out wearing a Vision Pro?

To find out, I hopped on a treadmill, lifted some weights and did some crunches while wearing the headset to discover the pros and cons of wearing a Vision Pro while working out. Check out our latest YouTube video to see what it’s like first-person.

The overall experience proved unsurprisingly mixed — with one very surprising drawback.

What’s it like working out with a Vision Pro?

I took to the treadmill at a comfortable 4 mph jog. The first thing you notice isn’t the weight of the headset bouncing up and down — I feel like I’ve mastered how to adjust the straps so that the headset doesn’t bother my neck or forehead too much.

What you notice is the weight of the battery in your pocket. I had on some thick sweatpants, but if you were wearing basketball shorts, I bet that heavy metal battery would pull them down immediately. The cord tapping on my back was noticeable, but not distracting.

After a while, I could feel the sweat start to accumulate around the rubbery soft cushion that holds the Vision Pro against your face. While I (surprisingly) wasn’t fogging up inside the headset, the ring of moisture was getting worse the longer I went on.

Watching TV working out

Apple TV app floating in a living room
Distract yourself from the aches and pains of the gym with a giant, beautiful floating TV.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The real draw — what I imagine people want to experience — is to work out with a home theater-sized TV show in front of them instead of a little iPad.

While I was impressed with how well the user interface and app windows stayed grounded in the real world, even through all my bouncing around, the eye tracking and gestures were understandably acting up. It’s not easy to operate.

visionOS, much like the Apple TV, tells you what’s selected by making an item in a list or a movie poster in a grid slightly larger, brighter and highlighted. Some would say it’s hard enough to tell even when you’re stationary; I would say it takes many leaps of faith when you’re jogging up and down.

My internet connection was acting up, so I wasn’t able to actually play any videos in the Apple TV app. But just the act of poking around the user interface trying to make it work killed seven minutes before I even realized. That would never happen before, where I’m aware of every painful second.

But ultimately, it trades out discomfort by boredom for discomfort by sweat and headache.

I have a drinking problem

POV from my kitchen holding a cup in front of my face
I added a vignette to simulate what it’s like from my first-person perspective.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

When I was cooling down afterward, I filled up my mug of water only to discover that I couldn’t drink it without tilting my head back. The rim of the cup was tapping the bottom of the headset, which sits around my cheekbones.

The lid has a little door I can flip open to put a straw in, but that presented another problem.

The Vision Pro’s field of view is somewhat inset from my own. If you wear glasses, imagine if your peripheral vision outside your glasses wasn’t just blurry, but totally black.

So I was waving the cup around my mouth blindly, unable to see exactly where I was pointing the straw. It has a learning curve.

Should you be jealous of the guy in the gym with a Vision Pro?

No. I would honestly rather take an iPad like everybody else.

If you see someone trying to work out with a Vision Pro at Planet Fitness, they’re just showing off their expensive headset. They’re probably uncomfortable and sweaty in there, struggling to get much done.

While Vision Pro is a surprisingly capable productivity machine, it’s unsurprisingly mediocre gym equipment.


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