For someone fully committed to fitness and a healthy lifestyle, my general attitude about working out at home (or anywhere by myself) is really no different than that of a six-year-old being dragged to Home Depot by parents who must buy a new toilet. There’s no choice in the matter, but I’m not going to like it, and I’ll kick and scream my way through it.
Injuries and my crazy schedule never stopped me from getting my sweat on, until a pandemic did. Here’s the journey of how I learned to stop hating at-home workouts.
When the shutdown began, I optimistically assumed it would last two weeks and not what felt like five years. I was also recovering from a back injury that was the result of a slip and fall accident unrelated to exercise. So the timing, at least, seemed like a silver lining.
To be completely honest, I didn’t work out entirely alone at home. I went to physical therapy, which was essentially a private Pilates session, one or two days a week during part of the quarantine. I was also a brand ambassador for LiveKick which gave me private Zoom yoga sessions with Kelsey Ravlich once a week. The other days, I took long walks around the Silver Lake Reservoir or fumbled through YouTube videos with resistance bands. I hated every moment of working out by myself and my entire body was in pain much of the time. While I understand why we had to shut down, I still felt robbed of my body autonomy.
When Platefit opened back up again, it was the first time I felt good in months. I finally had mental clarity and less physical pain. The classes were very small, socially distanced, and incredibly clean. For a month, I exercised five days a week, indoors, wearing a mask. Until the second shut down…
Here we go again: How I learned to stop hating at-home workouts
But at a certain point, my husband and I realized it was time to leave LA for a while. So, we went to his family’s house in the Hamptons and had no idea how long we would stay. I realized I’d have to stop hating exercise and find a home program that would work for me.
I went with P.volve because Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential mentioned doing it after having her baby, and she’s #goals for me. I was also drawn to the p.ball, which is an inflatable ball that attaches to an elastic band that goes around your thighs. This patented piece of equipment is designed to activate and tone the glutes, thighs, and core.
Step #1: Find a program with enough variety for you.
What I like about P.volve is that while any workout feels repetitive after a while, this one uses lots of different equipment, so it’s easy to keep things fresh. In addition to the ball, there’s a myriad of items designed exclusively for P.volve, including the patented p.band, which has two fingerless gloves that are attached through a resistance band, the p.3 trainer, precision mat, and slant board.
Some of the workouts also use 1.5 and 3-pound ankle weights, light and heavy leg resistance bands, 2-pound hand weights, gliders and mat. These items can be purchased from P.volve or someplace else for a slightly better price.
You also can take some liberty with the equipment. For example, it’s totally fine to use the heavy ankle weights for light ankle weight exercises and vice versa. Same with the bands. Don’t like using hand weights? You don’t need to!
Step #2: Find something that fits your needs (and your lifestyle).
While I personally appreciate the variety because it gives me a feeling of autonomy over my workout, all these choices could be overwhelming for someone beginning a fitness journey or lifestyle change. Luckily, the large streaming video library has plenty of filters, so you can easily work with what you have on hand.
The workout is truly customizable. There are structured programs, but you can also choose any of the 321 videos on-demand of various lengths. If you only have 25 minutes to squeeze in something quick and effective, you can do that. If you want to exercise longer, some classes are nearly an hour.
In my option, P.volve is a combination of strength training and barre. However, the moves are more precise than typical strength training and less balletic than barre. It reminds me in some ways of Modelfit, which was a studio in New York and Los Angeles that closed and pivoted to online-only before COVID.
There’s also a major focus on the glutes. P.volve is even said to lift your butt like Victoria’s Secret model.
Step #3: Find something you can easily replicate at home (without a trainer’s eye).
What surprised me the most about P.volve is how specific the moves are. Because there isn’t a trainer correcting you, it can take a few weeks to get the hang of it all. I was only sure I was doing it right because I finally felt sore. Having a mirror around or taking a selfie video can also go a long way in double-checking your own form.
Another notch in the pro column: P.volve doesn’t require any heavy equipment that requires a freight elevator, so it’s easy to do in your home or on the road. And yet, even with the lack of traditional cardio equipment, P.volve is high intensity and low impact—just what I needed throughout my injury recovery. Because P.volve is rooted in prehabilitation exercises, it’s ideal for anyone who is still recovering from an injury. Sometimes I was sore, but I was never in the kind of pain Advil couldn’t fix.
After two months of P.volve, I’m proud of myself for sticking to it. I even strangely look forward to it because I feel so good when it’s over—it’s gone a long way in helping me to stop hating at-home workouts. And because we’re potentially coming back to the East Coast for another two months for the holidays, I’m planning on bringing my P.volve equipment with me and potentially ordering more. While I’m 100 percent sure I’ll never be someone who exclusively exercises at home, at least I found something I can commit to and like doing in the meantime.