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When it comes to fitness, I am anything but consistent. I am one of those masochists that thoroughly enjoys working out, but I have trouble staying motivated once the novelty of a new workout method wears off. Be it yoga, kickboxing, barre, HIIT–– I’ll try something, do it diligently and obsessively for a month, then go completely inactive until the next thing sparks my interest. I come from a very athletic family and have always tried to prioritize movement in my life, but I always find myself searching for the class or the gym that’ll stick.
A year of gym-less COVID life has forced me to confront how psychologically unhealthy this pattern can be. My pursuit of the “perfect” mode of exercise comes from a more insidious question: What can I do to look a certain way the quickest? I recognized that both my relationship to my body and approach to taking care of it could use a change.
When I first heard about P.volve, I was immediately taken by its approach. The at-home workout system is rooted in “functional movement,” meaning that each movement is based on how your body operates in real-life situations (like walking up the stairs or reaching something from the top shelf). From its equipment to its routines, P.volve has meticulously designed a program to increase strength, balance, and mobility. Rather than weight loss, the program highlights results like improved posture and pain reduction. By focusing on the often-overlooked benefits of getting in shape (rather than a singular number or aesthetic goal), P.volve seemed like a promising way for me to honor my health while also staying, well, healthy.
How It Works
Let’s break it down.
Equipment: P.volve offers a unique range of patented, cutting edge, resistance-based equipment. Each of the pieces are super versatile and aim to sculpt and tone even the hardest-to-reach muscles with a focus on increasing joint mobility.
Digital Membership: With the purchase of an equipment kit, you also receive a digital membership. This means immediate and unlimited access to both P.volve’s on-demand platform and Live Virtual Studio. The on-demand library has hundreds of videos, with options to filter by fitness level, length, class type, target area, health benefit, and trainer so you can curate a uniquely personalized routine for yourself.
If, like me, you are more motivated by the energy of an in-person studio (and cannot make it to one of P.volve’s three physical locations in New York, LA, or Chicago), the Live Virtual Studio sessions might be more your speed. Live Studio classes offer the opportunity to connect in real-time with trainers and other P.volve members, and booking a class is super easy.
Booty on Fire
I got The Starter Kit ($134.99), which includes gliders, ankle weights, an ankle band, plus Pvolve’s signature P.band (two weight-lifting gloves connected by a light resistance band) and P.ball (a small, inflated ball that sits between your legs, attached by a heavy resistance thigh band). I was also fortunate enough to have an hour-long training session with P.volve trainer, Dani Coleman. She was immediately warm and friendly and managed to be a perfect balance of fun and informative –– even with my awkward Zoom camera angle, she was able to help me adjust my form in ways that were incredibly helpful. It felt like we were hanging out, which took my mind off the fact that my ass was on fire.
Full disclosure: I wasn’t sure that I’d be into P.volve’s low-impact method. The workouts I gravitate towards are often cardio heavy –– I’m hooked on the very tangible satisfaction of a soaked shirt. I very much fall for the (often inaccurate) notion that more sweat = better workout. I was skeptical that this type of movement would leave me with the same sort of triumphant glow when I finished. Boy, was I wrong. Dani kicked my ass. While wearing lipstick, too! Like the queen she is.
It was remarkable how few reps were necessary for each movement. While working my triceps with the P.band, we both laughed at how quickly we felt the burn. As she was quick to remind me, it’s about working smarter, not harder. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym upping your rep count in order to get your muscles working. Even a few minutes at a time, when done thoughtfully, can help prepare your body to move through life more comfortably. By the time we were finished, I felt loose, energized, and ready to take on the rest of my day. For the next week, I was sore in places I didn’t even realize we had worked. Though the session with Dani was about an hour, I left feeling confident that I could tailor the routine to fit my busy schedule while still feeling like I’d gotten a great workout.
P.volve is an incredibly multidimensional program –– there are many ways that you can utilize its workouts, depending on what motivates you best. I was really impressed by the full range of equipment, but in my opinion, P.volve’s magnum opus is the P.ball. It was able to target my inner thighs, outer thighs, glutes, and lower abs all in one move. Plus, Dani showed me how to use it to work my upper body as well. It’s a perfect size to travel with, if you ever need a full-body workout on the go.
Though I’m not yet comfortable with returning to in-person gyms, I’m excited to one day go back with a renewed outlook on how to use my time more efficiently and thoughtfully. No more guilt, no more pushing my body to the limit. My health doesn’t need to look like I just took a shower with all my clothes on, and it sure as hell doesn’t require that I look a certain way by an arbitrary deadline. It’s as simple as standing up straighter when I walk down the street. P.volve is helping me build a routine and mindset that I want to continue, and not out of self-imposed pressure or masochism. It just feels good. Hell, I might even start putting on a little lipstick while I do it. Like the queen I am.