When it comes to working out, Jennifer Aniston is leaving the “no pain, no gain” mentality behind.
“I used to torture myself,” she tells ELLE.com of her previous approach to exercise. “I’d get up so early in the morning so I could get that hour of a workout in, and you would just be burnt out by the end of the day. And your body just doesn’t need to work that hard.”
So when Aniston was nursing a bad back injury in 2021, she was intrigued when a friend recommended Pvolve, a fitness brand rooted in functional movement (which is based on the moves you make in everyday life) and resistance-based equipment. A frequent exerciser, Aniston didn’t feel like herself when she couldn’t work out, so she tried streaming virtual classes from home—and got hooked.
“It is way more sustainable than any other workout that I have done,” she says via Zoom from Los Angeles. Rather take an intense, straining approach, the Pvolve method is “low-impact” and “very mindful of your movements,” Aniston says. “It was a game changer for me.”
She was so hooked, in fact, that she stuck with her training post-recovery and announced today that she’s partnering with the brand. Along with being an actress, producer, and haircare entrepreneur, the multi-hyphenate will advise Pvolve in areas like product development and marketing and programming strategy. She’ll appear in ad campaigns too.
Founder Rachel Katzman was surprised to discover the Friends and Morning Show star was a fan. “I was blown away when I found out that Jennifer Aniston was a secret streamer and doing the workouts at home,” she said in a statement. The actress has even gone on to take in-person training with the brand’s head trainer, Dani Coleman.
Changing up her workout style has allowed Aniston to put less pressure on herself. “What’s changed for me in a big way was, if I didn’t get that five to six day a week workout in and it wasn’t a good solid hour of sweating, I’d feel I’ve failed myself,” she says. “So it’s all this dialogue that we have to shift and change.”
Now an avid Pvolve user, Aniston says her favorite features include the Strength & Sculpt class and equipment like the P. band and gliders. (You can scope out her faves in the “Jen’s Picks” collection on pvolve.com.) While the company is her main fitness focus now, she still loves a hike or a Pilates workout. And as for exercise tunes, she doesn’t have a fixed workout playlist—she loves a “random mix”—but listens to anything and everything. “I love ’90s hip-hop. I love Lizzo, obviously,” she gushes.
The ever-fit Aniston is aware that there have been a lot of fitness and wellness fads through the years. “I mean, didn’t we do a grapefruit diet at one point?” she laughs, adding, “Those VersaClimber classes are kind of insane.” But Pvolve, she says, is universal. “This workout really speaks to the everybody. And also no matter what level you’re at, it’ll help you build.” If you’re intimidated, take Aniston’s advice: “Just start small.”
Sure enough, I tried out a class over the weekend, and the moves were easy to follow as a first-timer. Granted, for someone who hasn’t attended an in-person exercise class in years, the full-body workout kicked my butt (while toning it at the same time) but didn’t feel extreme, excessive, or intimidating. If you’re familiar with using resistance bands, you’ll have no problem getting used to the movements, which, in the Strength & Sculpt program, targeted the glutes, hips, and back.
Aniston has always been active, dating back to the dance classes she took while attending LaGuardia High School. “Even though I was a drama major, I would also take jazz class after school with my friends,” she remembers. But she became a lot more aware of workout culture when she moved to California. Looking back at her fitness journey, her main takeaway is this: “I think the big thing is—I wish I’d known this 20 years ago—that you don’t have to break your body.”
Of course, wellness doesn’t start and end with sweat. When it comes to self-care after a long day on set, Aniston has no problem winding down. “It’s usually the same: I come home, I collapse with my dogs, I’ll turn on the news, which I shouldn’t do, but I just relax,” she says. “I’m not one of those [people] that says that it’s really hard for me to relax. I’m a professional relaxer.”
And as for food, well, we all know about the hubbub over the viral TikTok salad Aniston supposedly made while filming Friends (which she later debunked). These days, her go-to is a chopped salad. “Today, we had chicken, tomato, cucumbers, [a] couple [of] garbanzo beans, [a] little Parmesan cheese, [a] little vinaigrette,” she says, peeking off-screen to look at her lunch.
“That salad, by the way, was not made by me during Friends; way too many garbanzo beans,” the actress reiterates. “I don’t know about you, but my stomach cannot handle that many garbanzo beans. Nobody should. Very gassy and bloating.”
Aniston says her diet now is “very 80/20,” but don’t worry: “Everything’s got flavors.” It’s important to “enjoy yourself” too. “I always give myself some burger and fries or pizza or Mexican food,” she adds. “You must have balance.”
New Pvolve customers can start with a Signature Bundle, which includes the P.ball, P.band, Precision Mat, and one month of free streaming classes for $199.99; or go all-out with the Total Transformation Bundle, which features 13 pieces of equipment and a year of free streaming for $624.99. You can also sign up for just a $14.99 streaming membership with a seven-day free trial.
Aside from the live and on-demand online classes (there are literally over 1,000 to choose from), classes are offered in-person at Pvolve studios in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Diego. More locations are set to open this year.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.