Models look the way they do because A) genetics and B) they dedicate the better part of their days to working out and eating the right things. And while I, at 5-foot-4, try my best to do both, I likely won’t be hitting another growth spurt anytime soon. I’ve been backstage at fashion shows but don’t plan to ever walk in one, and yet that still doesn’t stop my curiosity about what today’s strong, healthy models do to achieve bodies like that.
The answer? P.volve. Created by Stephen Pasterino, a trainer to Victoria’s Secret Angels, on the premise that all bodies are strong, P.volve is a strengthening and lengthening workout unlike anything else that achieves real results at home or in a studio. Done with a plethora of equipment that can be purchased through P.volve or on Amazon, like the famous thigh- and glute-toning P.ball, plus gliders, armbands and ankle weights, it uses Pasterino’s knowledge and training in applied functional science to ensure safe, effective movements.
I was first introduced to P.volve at an event hosted by Olivia Culpo and her sisters, Aurora and Sophia, at the new Soho flagship in Manhattan. (Side note: If you get the chance, you have to check it out. It’s probably the prettiest studio I’ve ever seen, which makes going to class even easier.) I’ll never turn down a free workout, but I wasn’t expecting to be so taken by it. As a former high school athlete and current Pilates obsessee, I wasn’t sold on whether these tiny, somewhat awkward movements would actually achieve results for someone who isn’t as genetically gifted as the Olivia Culpos of the world. But an hour later, I actually felt tighter and dare I say taller? Not to mention sweatier. A few minutes into the workout, which forces a bit of mind-body coordination, I was like, “Oh, this isn’t so bad.” Cut to 30 minutes in and I was sweating way more than I do in Pilates.
In the name of research, I decided to try the workout for the next three weeks from the comfort of my own apartment. All the products can be purchased online, and there’s a free two-week trial of the streaming service that delivers all those routines straight to your phone, TV or computer. After the trial ends, it’s just $20 per month for unlimited access—that’s less than one fancy workout class. And now that the weather is getting colder, working out without leaving my house seemed ideal.
Guess what? The streamed workouts were just as hard and sweaty as the in-person class, in the burns-so-good type of way. My favorite thing about them is both the convenience and the variety. If I only had 30 minutes, I just selected a 30-minute workout. If I wanted to target my arms, I could choose a routine that matched. I even started to notice my posture changing for the better and a bit more definition in my muscles overall. One thing to note: If you can make it to a class in the studio, it’s super helpful for form. Because the movements are so precise, it was beneficial for me to have a trainer there to correct me the first time so I could do them correctly going forward.
Now I’m thoroughly obsessed. I fully plan to continue my P.volve regimen this winter, from the warmth of my own home, supplemented by a few in-person classes here and there. I’m even planning to save a little space in my holiday carry-on for the P.ball (which deflates!) and a few other pieces of equipment so I can sneak in a workout amidst all the indulging. It’s that good.