Pvolve is the low-impact workout Jennifer Aniston loves - here's what happened when I tried it myself

Writer Susan Griffin signed up to try the Jennifer Aniston workout method to improve her strength and flexibility. After two weeks, there were some surprising results

Three panel collage including images of Jennifer Aniston workout tester Susan Griffin holding the P.ball, the workout mat, and promotional image of Jennifer Aniston doing workout in photo studio
(Image credit: Future / Pvolve)

Jennifer Aniston is as famous for her toned physique as she is for her iconic hair, which is why, at 55, she remains an aspirational figure for millions of women who want to feel strong and supple whatever their age. So, there was understandably huge interest when she announced that she was partnering with a workout method that combines low-impact functional fitness with resistance-based equipment.

After a back injury prompted her to rethink her workout regime and incorporate more full-body Pilates workouts and yoga, Aniston started streaming Pvolve classes - unbeknown to Rachel Katzman, who founded the workout platform in 2017. “I had a friend who had already been doing Pvolve and not only did I notice her complete transformation, physically in her energy level, but she also explained that Pvolve is functional fitness that respects where your body is at and allows you to work around your current limitations. It is completely different from anything I had tried before and that is what made me want to get involved with the company,” Aniston said upon joining the programme as an ambassador. 

Obviously, it's important to be realistic with celebrity workouts and routines, and the results we expect from them. As Chloe Thomas, personal trainer and founder of the online coaching platform Chloe Inspires, says: “People need to be aware that just because something works for a celebrity at the same stage of life, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work the same way for you. It is their job to look amazing day in and day out and many have PTs, gurus, personal chefs, and hair and make-up teams to ensure that happens.”

That is true - but having seen the results from Pvolve myself, I was curious to find out whether I could achieve (at least similar) results. Whether it is the decades-long connection we have with Aniston via Friends, or simply blind faith in a woman we feel we know, we want to trust Aniston when she recommends a workout. Maybe, just maybe, we too can hone our bodies if we follow the same method. The fact it is an at-home workout with minimal equipment also makes it feel doable, which is why I signed myself up - Aniston’s arms, here I come...hopefully.

What is Pvolve?

In a nutshell, Pvolve aims to get your body moving in all sorts of wonderful - if initially uncomfortable - ways. It is not about moving frantically, but ‘future-proofing’ your body using low-impact movements to improve strength and mobility using full ranges of motion.

Classes can be taken in-studio (in the US and Canada), or on demand, or as part of a two-way Live Virtual Studio, through their streaming membership for $14.99 (approximately £11.85) per month. At home, you'll need the Pvolve equipment. I was sent the Signature Bundle, priced $199.99 (approx. £158). This included: the Precision Mat, a numbered mat that resembles a cross between a Twister and Hopscotch mat and helps you position your feet, hands, and hips; a P.ball that has an adjustable strap which creates a loop either side to step into (moving this from your ankles to your thighs proves a workout in itself); a P.band with gloves so you can pull the band to engage your arm muscles; and a month’s free membership to the digital platform.

Other options to purchase individually or as part of a package, such as gliders, a cushioned mat, hand and ankle weights, and a slant board.

Pvolve Home Trial Bundles - from $199.99 (£156)

Pvolve Home Trial Bundles - from $199.99 (£156)
The Pvolve Home Trial Bundles include options for every goal - including the Signature Bundle that Susan Griffin used during her three-week workout plan. Other options offer longer memberships and more Pvolve resistance tools. 

On the digital platform, which can be linked to a smart television or viewed on an iPad or similar device, there are series you can follow - such as Women’s Wellness, Full Body Strength and Movement Therapy, as well as individual classes you can dip into that range from around five to 50 minutes. These include Strength&Sculpt to keep joints supple and improve balance, Sculpt&Burn to strengthen the heart and maintain bone density, Mat Definition for the core, as well as Recover & Stretch, and Meditation to quieten the mind and ease stress.

There are also Progressive Weight Training classes. As highlighted in a healthy ageing study from the University of Exeter, women experience a 3 to 8% decline in lean muscle mass per decade from their late 30s. “So, these [strength training workouts] combat the loss of muscle mass and strength that begins in the late 30s and help mitigate body composition changes that often begin in the 40s,” says Antonietta Vicario, the chief training officer at Pvolve. 

In conjunction with Pvolve, a 12-week Healthy Ageing Calendar was made to mirror the study. 

I tried Pvolve for two weeks - here's how it went

As Aniston has said herself, Pvolve is unlike anything else in the rather saturated fitness market. I am only at the start of my Pvolve experience, but so far, the experience has felt entirely new - and pretty uncomfortable, in a good way. I'm aching more than I expected to, given that I do a barbell weights class twice a week and was feeling pretty strong going into my Pvolve trial. 

Aniston has shared clips of her Pvolve workouts with her 44 million followers. One post ends with her sprawled on the mat after an intense session. Having now tried Pvolve myself, I get where she is coming from. A word of warning: do not be fooled by the modest equipment and seemingly simple movements. This is not a cardio workout so don’t expect to sweat but, goodness, do you feel it in your muscles. Just pulling the resistance band a few times made me realise there was much work to be done.

Over the two weeks, I tried various classes - including the Mat Lower Body Sculpt, a slow-paced workout that focuses on your glutes and thighs and requires the P.ball, which you wear between your thighs, and the faster-paced Lower Body Sculpt & Burn to get my heart rate going. Mistakenly though, I thought I'd begin with a 30-minute Upper Body Sculpting session as I regularly do lunges, squats, tricep dips and bicep curls during my gym classes, so I thought it would be fine. However, resistance equipment is new to me - and it was a shock to my muscles. 

So, I changed tack, watched the introductory videos again, and started small. There are plenty of short, five, 10 and 15-minute classes, such as the Mat Upper Body Sculpt, to choose from and I was drawn to these. Not only did these help get my body accustomed to the movement, but they felt more management when life was busy.

These shorter sessions involve light hand weights and incorporate plenty of arm stretches and rotations - up, back and to the sides to activate the triceps and biceps. You'll need a pair of dumbbells for this workout, or you can improvise with tins or water bottles. The plank is also asked of you, as well as push-ups, and leg lifts while you balance on your arms. Trust me, 15 minutes of this as a beginner and you're done for the day. 

Susan Griffin trying out the Pvolve Jennifer Aniston workout at home with P.Ball and Pvolve mat

You'll need to invest in the Pvolve Signature Set to get started - but some workouts are available with no equipment. 

(Image credit: Future)

Patience is a virtue - a lesson I quickly learnt with Pvolve - because these micromovements are hard work, especially when using resistance equipment. My advice is to be patient, build up gradually, and don't underestimate the workouts just because you are not jumping about, and be realistic about results in a short space of time.

Vicaro also notes that any fitness routine - whether it's the Jennifer Aniston workout or not - needs to be paired with a healthy diet to see results. "Fitness is a lifestyle, and my philosophy is we should try to incorporate movement into every day. Whether a long walk, some sport you love, or selecting one of our short workouts on busy days, you should try incorporating movement into your day to get your blood flowing and release all those feel-good endorphins that moving stimulates."

What do the experts think?

It's a thumbs up from the personal trainers I spoke to about Pvolve, who are not associated with the fitness platform. "I think we've seen a real push towards 'functional fitness' - as in moving our bodies in a way that mimics or supports our everyday movement in the world - and much more emphasis on mobility and agility as a fitness trend," says Eloise Skinner, a fitness instructor and psychotherapist. "I think Pvolve incorporates these aspects and introduces new ways to connect our fitness activities to everyday life. 

“The sequences work a range of movements, challenging our flexibility, mobility, strength, agility and balance. They are also largely low-impact, which can be supportive over a long period and reduce the risk of injury or overtraining. There are also curated workouts for more specific focuses - for example, working with certain body parts, or with a particular intention (such as weight loss). As with any form of fitness, it's good to explore different styles, so your body can experience a range of challenges.”

Thomas also notes that Pvolve reflects the growing popularity of low-impact exercise - especially for those over 40. "It's important for women over 40 to avoid spiking hormones like cortisol as this can make it very hard to shift belly fat," says Skinner. Other signs of high cortisol levels include disrupted levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which can be particularly troublesome for those in or approaching perimenopause.

The Jennifer Aniston workout, Pvolve, is also a form of exercise snacking, says the PT, which can be useful if you don't have a lot of time to workout. "Low-impact is also good if you have joint issues or injuries. It can be done at home, you get a full body workout and it's adaptable for all abilities and ages. You can also do it in short bursts of time, which is a definite pro too." 

Any downsides? "There's not much cardio involved [in Pvolve] and some people may want to lift heavier weights than it allows, so there's not much room for progressive overload. It may not get the results people want or would expect as it's mainly for sculpting and toning, which won’t work as effectively without the right diet in tandem," she warns. 

How often should I do Pvolve?

Of course, it is not enough to simply buy the equipment. Whether it's using a walking pad for a couple of weeks or committing to regular yoga mat workouts, exercise consistency is key. Vicario recommends using Pvolve at least three times per week, to begin with.

“For those new to Pvolve, my biggest tip would be to give yourself grace, as you truly are learning a new language! We say it takes a few classes for our Method to click, as we take the body through unique movements that will feel foreign at first. With consistency, you get deeper into our exercises and become more familiar with the Method and our equipment, which will actually lead to a more effective workout,” says Vicario, who recommends beginning with the 'Get Started' classes or series.

“We also have goal-based calendars such as our Weight Loss, Healthy Ageing and Brand-New Beginner calendars specific to a goal you may be looking to achieve. I also recommend switching between all the class types to cross-train and give your body everything it needs to look and feel strong, inside and out!" she says.

If you seriously want to see progress with the Jennifer Aniston workout - or any workout for that matter - consistency is key. "Book your workout into your diary as if it were a meeting. That way, it's scheduled in, it’s a priority, and you are far more likely to make it happen,” suggests Thomas.

“And find a dedicated space, even if it's just a corner of a room. Creating a specific space for your home practice can help it to feel more formal and intentional,” adds Skinner. “If you can, you can check your form in a mirror, or pay extra attention to the physical sensations to make sure you're engaging the correct muscle groups.”

Susan Griffin

A journalist with two decades of experience, Susan interviewed A-list names in film and TV before going freelance and focusing on health, wellbeing, and lifestyle features. She has since spoken to world-renowned experts on the most innovative and effective ways to look after your mind and body; her work appearing in publications such as Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Metro, Fabulous and The Telegraph. When Susan isn’t working on her laptop, she is most content hiking in the Peak District or finding quiet camping spots to while away a weekend and knows first-hand the restorative benefits of being outdoors.