How a Magic P.Ball, a 90 Day Challenge, and Instagram Stalking Helped Me Get My Groove Back

A moment of silence for my abs in college…working towards the same strongass core as I had back then.

A moment of silence for my abs in college…working towards the same strongass core as I had back then.

I first found out about P.volve through some really out-of-control stalking of a high school classmate’s sister’s friend. (We’ve all been there…right?…Right?) I don’t even know how I got to her Instagram, and to this day I couldn’t tell you her name. Nonetheless, she was approximately two months post-baby, and her body…well, this woman looked like a sculpted goddess. In this particular photo, she was lunging back in a brick-wall studio, her obliques defined as her spine arched back. I thought, “How the hell can I get back to that?! I had that type of body once!)

The studio was tagged as P.volve. At the time, it only had about 1.5k followers.

Let’s go back a little bit. You see, until I was 13, I thought that would be a professional ballet dancer. I started my ballet journey in Russia. (There, at four years old, you don’t “have fun” in the ballet studio prancing around in your cute new skirt. Nope. You get smacked with a specific wooden pointer if your leg isn’t straight or your back isn’t arched well. Wonder why Russian ballet dancers are world renowned? We have been beaten and bullied into perfection from a young age.)

February 8th, the last day of the first 30 Days of the 90 Day Challenge. Still fueled by potatoes, beef, and burgers, but with some new baby butt muscles. Hello barely-there-but-more-than-before butt. Welcome to the world.

February 8th, the last day of the first 30 Days of the 90 Day Challenge. Still fueled by potatoes, beef, and burgers, but with some new baby butt muscles. Hello barely-there-but-more-than-before butt. Welcome to the world.

Until 13-years-old, in addition to ballet, I did gymnastics, yoga, and occasionally went to the gym with my dad. So you could say that I have a somewhat extensive background in fitness.

And then, a fall straight on my knee ruined everything. It was a month of not being able to lock out my knee. And two years of no other physical activity after that.

Instead of working out and feeling good and strong in my body, I took a 180 and decided the way to really feel good in my body was to starve it and smoke it into submission. I missed that specific discipline and instead hurt myself thinking it was the structure I needed. Needless to say, being 15-years-old was not fun.

When I was 17, I somehow crawled my way out of the pits of anorexia and brooding self-hate and finally started exercising again. And it was beautiful.

I quickly got back to the same place where my body felt strongest; the summer before college I ran 6 miles a day and spent 1-2 hours after my run doing HIIT. I loved it. In college, I did spinning, yoga, walked for miles, did more HIIT.

And then, I found Crossfit.

Super bloated, post-food photo of me on the first day of the 90 Day Challenge. January 10th. Post all that happy holiday food. (Worth every damn bite).

I loved the community, I loved the challenges, I loved that I could do 1000 sit-ups in a row without breaking a sweat. I learned how to do pull-ups, I could squat for 30 minutes straight. Some days I couldn’t lift my arms. Some days I couldn’t sit or get out of bed without crying. Ah, the memories.

I felt so strong…until I didn't. The problem was my thighs. I put on muscle easily, and I got my legs to such a bulky point that I couldn’t fit my jeans, I felt heavy, and I felt…wrong. It wasn’t how I felt at my best. My body wasn’t comfortable with that much extra muscle weight on my body. Plus, the muscles were not toned and defined the way they used to be when I did ballet, yoga, and gymnastics. Something felt off.

So, after a whole year of obsessive Crossfit, I switched to Blogilates. Cassey’s workouts challenged me to use different muscles and think differently about strength. But, it didn’t do much to lean my legs out to where I felt comfortable. Even though my abs and arms were defined, my legs were still bulky (for my body). A lot of the leg and cardio exercises were structured in such a way that they helped build up the muscles, but did nothing to tone. For me, a person who spent a big portion of her life training for a particular lean, concentrated strength, the combination of Crossfit and Blogilates did very little to get me to a point where I felt good in my own body.

First 30 Days done! Best feeling ever.

First 30 Days done! Best feeling ever.

Enter: the stalking.

I started following P.volve immediately. I was probably in their first 2,000 followers. I was away at college at that time, and stalked their Insta every day, dreaming of the time when I would be back home in New York and could take their classes.

I graduated and just when I thought that I would be able to start working out in that studio…I had to move to Prague. (Boyfriend, adventure, flexible freelancing…you get the deal. It made more sense). My P.volve dream was that much further away.

And then…P.volve streaming…came out…after what seemed like 10,000 long cold years of me following and lusting after their workouts (which were a mystery to me at that point). When I came back home October 2018 I bought all the equipment. I started streaming this past Thanksgiving, and let me tell you it changed my life.

My favorite piece of equipment: the P.ball. Just here to break up my obnoxious selfies. Sorry, but also…not sorry.

My favorite piece of equipment: the P.ball. Just here to break up my obnoxious selfies. Sorry, but also…not sorry.

Even though I started streaming after Thanksgiving, I didn’t fully get into a routine until I came back to Prague in January. (I was really busy eating between Thanksgiving and New Years, ok?) The first thing I packed in my suitcase was my P.volve equipment. That’s how obsessed I am.

In January, they announced a 90 Day Challenge starting January 10th and ending April 9th. The challenge is divided into three separate sections where you have to complete 16/16 workouts within 30 days.

Something else you should know about me is that I have never been a morning person. For years - and I mean years - my morning was about 12pm. Now, I leap out of bed at 7:30AM EXCITED TO DO P.VOLVE. It’s so out of character that the first week it happened consistently my dad called me every day, multiple times a day, super concerned about the change, asking me if I’m ok.

I took these bloated (yet holiday food-coma happy) picture of me on the first day of the challenge. The others are taken at the end of the first 30 days. The changes aren’t that obvious on camera I think, but I feel like I can fly. I feel so strong, toned, and powerful - and that’s with the Europe diet of meat and potatoes at every meal (vegetables here are basically just radish garnishes).

P.volve gives me the same leaned out feeling ballet used to give me but in about 5 hours less a day (maximum P.volve workout time is about an hour). The workout give you a lot of awareness of different muscles in your body - you’re constantly reminded to squeeze, tighten, pull in. It incredible.

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The main selling point of the workout program is the fact that it leans out legs (and your whole bod) and builds your butt at the same time. I’ve never been interested in the whole butt-craze - although I can tell you now, I have a butt! I’ve never really had a butt before. Through all the squatting and deadlifts I somehow minimized my butt and flattened it out. But now, to quote my boyfriend, “Your butt’s different…” (Thanks, boyfriend).

The pure joy I feel having found this workout program is unparalleled. I tell everyone about it. If you meet me in person and say anything about any single thing having to do with moving your body in any way I will try to get you to do P.volve.

It’s weird to thank a workout program for giving you your confidence back…but here I am, thanking P.volve from the bottom of my heart. I really didn’t think that I could get that same feeling of elegance, strength, and poise outside of my ballet past, but here I am, spending an hour (max) every day working muscles I have neglected for years. Thanks P, and thanks Rachel. You guys rock. And I can’t wait till I’m back in April for my first class IRL.

You can try 15 days free of P.volve through this link here. Enjoy. Please write to me about how your life changed. YOU CAN ALSO USE THE CODE OPAL FOR A DISCOUNT ON THE EQUIPMENT!

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Thanks for reading, Gem!

Daphna