This Is the Functional Fitness Workout Jennifer Aniston Swears By for Building Strength in Her 50s

Photo: Pvolve
Over the course of Jennifer Aniston's 30-plus–year career, her workout routine has become the stuff of celebrity fitness lore. As a teen growing up in the early 2000s, I vividly remember taking her magazine tips as commandments, and am fairly certain that she was the first person to introduce me to Pilates. In three decades, she's tried countless different modalities, but for years her mindset remained the same whether she was boxing, jumping rope, or getting up at 5 a.m. to run on the treadmill: No pain, no gain.

Now that Aniston is in her 50s, though, that attitude has shifted. "I lived and I learned," she told me recently over Zoom. "Working out the way I used to is just not sustainable for my body—and I don't think for most bodies—because eventually, it will just break down."

"Working out the way I used to is just not sustainable for my body—and I don't think for most bodies." —Jennifer Aniston

To coincide with this changing approach, Aniston has found a new workout she swears by—one that she says delivers results without beating up her body, and (most importantly) is something she genuinely enjoys.

You may already be familiar with Pvolve from its countless other celebrity fans—Molly Sims, Kate Bosworth, and a slew of supermodels have previously professed their love for it. Aniston joins their ranks not only as a fan, but as a brand ambassador.

The first Pvolve studio opened in New York City in 2017 (it has since expanded throughout the U.S. and Canada, and launched an online platform) with a workout that felt totally revolutionary. The low-impact classes use specialized resistance equipment and expert-designed micro-movements to target the smaller (and frequently underused) muscles in our bodies to improve strength, stability, and balance, and to help us move more easily throughout our daily lives.

Simply put, it's a focused form of "functional fitness."

"Functional fitness is working out in such a way that prepares you for real-life movements and scenarios," Dan Castillo, an instructor at GRIT Bxng, previously told Well+Good. "These movements are easily transferred over to real-life scenarios such as getting out of bed, which is rising in a squat, walking up a flight of stairs, which involves lunges."

At 54, Aniston has a new appreciation for this type of movement. "Balance is one thing we need, especially when we're older; our core is extremely important; our bones get brittle, so we have to keep our bone health strong," she says. "Pvolve addresses all of those little micro muscles that are ignored most of the time when you're doing these big, exhausting runs or going to spin classes or doing CrossFit or whatever the fad is. These are all great methods, but...eventually, over time, the body and the joints can only take so much. And Pvolve is about keeping our bodies moving so that we're thriving, not crumbling and shrinking."

"Pvolve is about keeping our bodies moving so that we're thriving, not crumbling and shrinking." -Jennifer Aniston

As someone who subscribed to the "go hard or go home" edict for much of her life, Aniston initially doubted that a low-impact workout would give her the results she was after.

"It's hard to re-train your brain to say, 'This is going to be enough,'" she admits. "I used to get up God knows how many hours before work to get an hour of cardio in—I thought it had to hurt or that we were supposed to feel like we were going to pass out, but that's incorrect messaging," she says. That's not to say she blames her old trainers—she points out that most of us simply didn't know any better at the time. "But as technology and science evolve, physical fitness is evolving," she says.

And she sees Pvolve as the future of where fitness is headed. "After my very first Pvolve workout, I couldn't believe how energized I was, how drenched in sweat I was, and that my body wasn't hurting," she says. "It's a whole philosophy that I didn't quite understand."

Aniston adds that she has seen major changes in her body since she started Pvolve. "I have incredible results, if not better than anything I’ve ever done before without the aches and injuries. I've had knee injuries, and going up and down stairs has always been tricky for me, and I've noticed definition in parts of my body that I hadn't really ever seen before, especially in my abs and legs," she says. "I don't weigh myself, but when I go to the doctor for my physical, my body fat is lower than it's ever been and I weigh more than I've ever weighed, so it just goes to show you that you really are working out layers and layers of muscles that have been ignored forever."

Unlike many celebrity workouts, which are far too expensive to be enjoyed by the average athlete (or are exclusively offered in ritzy studios in New York and Los Angeles), Pvolve's entire streaming platform costs just $15 a month.

Aniston sees it as an investment in a program you'll actually want to go back to again and again. "It's not intimidating, and I do not dread it—I look forward to it," says Aniston. "It’s so good and kind to the body."

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