If you haven’t heard of P.volve yet, don’t be surprised when it becomes the next thing you hear about or see on social media.
P.Volve is a low-impact total body workout that focuses on leaning out the muscles – toning rather than bulking – by using small movements that focus on opening up the hips and reaching hard-to-reach muscles to get that long, lean physique. I first heard about P.Volve and its founder, Stephen Pasterino, AKA “P.”, on The Skinny Confidential’s podcast back in March (episode 105). He’s known for training Victoria’s Secret Angels and models on the reg, so you know he knows a thing or two when it comes to long and lean. He states that his method is a “pre-hab” approach. He discusses the importance of opening up the hips, and doing eccentric movements rather than concentric movements to lean out rather build up or bulk up the muscles. Let’s break this down: concentric movements are movements that involve shortening the muscle – think: flexing your biceps, sprints, cycling, etc.. These movements are common in sports, and whenever a lot of force or exertion is needed. The opposite would be eccentric movements, which is what P.Volve focuses on. These movements elongate the muscle – think: a lowered extension after lifting a weight, leg lifts in which the leg is straight, going down stairs, etc. Overall, both build muscle, but eccentric movements are the focus of P.Volve to help lean and tone rather than bulk.
What I personally think is great about P.Volve is that it’s great for woman specifically who have a fast paced lifestyle, are under a lot of stress, and put their bodies under more stress with intense workouts pounding on the body, like Crossfit, HIIT, running and sprinting, etc. Overtime, the muscles break down and are build up even bigger and stronger than before, which is wonderful for gaining strength. But for some woman, they desire a leaner look, and this is what P.Volve is great for. A workout that calms the body down, decreasing inflammation throughout the legs especially, getting a leaner look he touts that a lot of woman desire.
According to the founder,
“Performing consistent high intensity, high endurance training creates pressure on major joints, such as the knees and ankles, and inflammation in muscle groups that tend to bulk easily, such as the quads. Without incorporating functional training exercises, the smaller muscle groups that support the larger muscles and joints get neglected, leading to tightness, restricted range of motion, and injury. Additionally, this sort of intense exercise can, over time, cause physical (and emotional) stress on the body, increasing cortisol levels which then cause further inflammation, and greater levels of fat storage.”
I personally find P.Volve to be great for working the bum, and leaning out the legs. The ankle weights are my favorite piece of equipment, as well as the awkward P.Ball (shown above ↑) The equipment really does work wonders, because it trains you to focus on working your butt and core, instead of keeping the work in your thighs, leading to muscle building where you want it.
Another great thing I’ve noticed with P.Volve? I haven’t been starving in between meals, my hunger feels relatively steady and normal and I feel so much more connected to my hunger and fullness signals. Ever feel like you could eat an arm and a leg after a hard workout? And then you inhale everything in sight? Since this workout is targeted toning that is slowed down, you don’t get that overly I’m-doing-to-die-if-I-dont-eat-an-elephant kind of feeling you get with intense workouts non stop.
This workout isn’t for everyone, but it is great for those that feel like they’re killing themselves at the gym with intense workout and not seeing the results they want. I used to feel like I had to be dripping sweat and feeling like I was dying to see results, when that isn’t the case (trust me, I realize that now!) I work full-time and have a lot on my plate, so forcing myself to get to a HIIT class straight from work only increases my stress levels. By slowing down my workout routine, my body feels more relaxed, my cortisol levels likely have dropped, and my body feels more long and lean overall. I am HOOKED to say the least. Even my boyfriend noticed the difference (in both mind and body!) The best part, is I don’t have to leave my house to do it (let’s be real – when you first try P.Volve you’ll feel like a weirdo doing some of the moves). Their streaming service allows you to get in a solid workout right at home.
All in all, I believe people should do what workout makes them HAPPY and FEEL GOOD. So if Crossfit gets you out of bed in the morning and gets you active, that’s awesome! If you hate the gym and feel frustrated not seeing any progress, and feel stressed out to the max, it may be worth trying a lower impact workout like a barre class or P.Volve to slow it down, decrease your cortisol levels, and let your body naturally find balance with smaller, more isometric and eccentric movements. Whatever you do, DO YOU.
According the “P.”, P.Volve works best 4-5 times per week (there are classes online ranging from 15 minutes to 55 minutes) paired with walking on an incline, hiking, or rowing, to help activate the muscles we want to activate (booty, abs), and help us train ourselves to keep the work out of our thighs. All in all, I’ve stopped doing HIIT and running for now (I needed a break!) and focused solely on P.Volve, fast paced walking, and Pure Barre, and it’s safe to say that I’m never looking back. 🙂