Frequently Asked Questions


What is Virtual Active?
Virtual Active is a first-person, forward-motion video experience designed to enhance your cardio workout.  The programs are designed to be played in front of your treadmill, bike, elliptical, or stepper to give you the feeling you are running, hiking, or cycling through iconic destinations, such as the Grand Canyon and the streets of Venice.

What’s the difference between Guided and Basic workouts?
Virtual Active Guided workouts include helpful instructions from a professional trainer, while the Basic workouts allow you to set your own pace and enjoy the scenery.  Watch this video to learn more about how Virtual Active workouts are structured.

What formats are Virtual Active available in?
Virtual Active workouts are currently available on DVD and as SD or HD digital downloads that can play on a variety of platforms.

Will Virtual Active release future content on DVD?

Videos that are available on DVD will continue to be available, but as of Jan 2015, we will not be releasing future content on DVD. 

What format are the digital downloads?
Virtual Active's digital downloads are available as standard definition 640 x 360 mp4 video files with h.264 encoding and high definition (HD) 1280 x 720 mp4 video files with h.264 encoding.  They are compatible with most personal computers, iOS devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad) and some set-top media players, such as Apple TV or the Sony PS3.

What's the difference between SD downloads and HD downloads?

In short, HD downloads look much, much better than regular downloads.  Regular downloads are optimized to be viewed on a small device, such as an iPhone or iPad, to download quickly, and to take up the minimum amount of storage on your device (though they are still rather big).  HD downloads are optimized to look good on your big flatscreen HDTV, with less regard for download time and storage.  HD downloads are approximately twice the file size of standard downloads, and will take significantly longer to download.  They also will use up significantly more storage on your iPad, PC, or other device.  That being said, they are much more beautiful and immersive and we highly recommend them to those with a good internet connection and/or a lot of patience.

Which should I choose, the App or the digital downloads?

If you are using Virtual Active on an iPad and are interested in speed interactivity, we recommend the app.  If you are on any other platform, or highly value the workout coaching included in the guided videos, we recommend the digital downloads.

Are the digital downloads compatible with iPad/iPhone App?
No.  Content compatible with the App can only be purchased from within the App.  Digital downloads will play on the iPad's video player non-interactively.

Will the motion make me sick?
Not likely.  Virtual Active is produced using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, including custom hardware and software designed explicitly to create the smoothest forward-motion video in the world.  Those who are highly susceptible to motion sickness while watching other video content or playing video games may experience similar effects with Virtual Active.  However, we have spent years on research and development and settled on an approach that will be comfortable for the vast majority of users.

Can I return my DVD purchase?
All purchases of media products are final. Defective product will be exchanged if returned to the following address within 30 days:

Virtual Active Fulfillment
350 Sonic Ave.
Livermore, CA 94551

If you need to send the DVD back or for questions or concerns regarding your purchase, please email support@vafitness.com with your order number in the subject line before returning.

Do you have Blu-Rays?
No, but we now have beautiful HD downloads available.

Can I play my own music with Virtual Active?
The Options menu of each DVD includes the ability to turn music off, leaving only ambient sound, so that you can play your own music on another device, or simply enjoy the natural soundscapes.  The Options menu also features the ability to turn on subtitles, so you can receive instruction even with the DVD sound turned off.

What is the difference between the Run series and the Hike series?
The Run series is optimized for exercisers running on a treadmill or elliptical, while the Hike series is optimized for exercisers walking on a treadmill, elliptical, or stepper.  The differences are found in the perceived speed of movement through the environments and in the instructions given in the guided workouts.  Runs are photographed at eight to twelve miles an hour, and include instructions that suggest rates of perceived exertion between five and nine.  Hikes are photographed at three to six miles per hour, and include instructions that suggest rates of perceived exertion between four and eight.

Is there any reason to purchase both Run and Hike programs?
The content of companion Run and Hike programs, such as American Southwest Run and American Southwest Hike, is completely different.  Although many Hike and Run segments share destinations, such as Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, they generally take different routes or explore different sections of the location.  In other words, you will see different parts of Bryce Canyon on the Hike than you will on the Run.  Though they are intended for walking, many find it enjoyable to run while viewing our Hike series, which often visits destinations that are exciting, but too steep, treacherous, or crowded to produce Run segments.

Are the virtual trails produced with real photography or computer generated?
Everything you see is real.  The virtual trails are captured on location using state-of-the-art HD digital cinema techniques pioneered by Virtual Active.  The footage is not sped up or slowed down.  While computer generated imagery is improving, nothing beats the fidelity of real cinematography, the beauty of real natural landscapes, or the serendipity of a real American buffalo crossing your path.

What is RPE?
RPE stands for “rate of perceived exertion.”  It is a one to ten measurement of how hard you are exercising, with one being an easily sustainable effort and ten being the edge of your physical limitation.  The Guided workouts in the Virtual Active Run and Hike series use RPE as a way to monitor your effort.  Watch this video for more about RPE.  

Can these be used in a studio setting?
The Virtual Active workouts are designed to be licensed to a single user.  Use by a commercial fitness facility without written consent is a violation of federal copyright law.  If you manage or work at a fitness facility and would like to use our videos, please contact support@vafitness.com for information regarding a commercial license.