Insider Interviews: Stephen Pasterino, P.volve Founder
On building a fitness empire, the key moves to get results & the wellness products he relies onby Amy Wilson Wyles
Job Title: Founder of P.volve & celebrity trainer
Location: The original P.volve studio is in New York City & they now have two further locations in Chicago & LA. P.volve also has an online streaming platform with 200+ videos, so anyone, anywhere can experience the method.
Famous For: Creating a revolutionary fitness method that combines functional science & physical therapy with form-focused movements & cutting-edge equipment to transform & sculpt the body.
Clients/Fans Include: Bethenny Frankel, Vanessa Hudgens, Catt Sadler, Aurora Culpo, Devin Brugman, Cara Santana, Ashley Iaconetti, Riverdale’s Madelaine Petsch, VS Angels Devon Windsor, Nadine Leopold, Romee Strijd & many more.
Years in the Industry: 16
I have been immersed in the fitness world for 16 years and studied at The Gray Institute, which is where I learned the importance of functional science and how authentic, natural movements strengthen the body to create a proportionate, toned physique.
I moved to NY several years ago to become a trainer and women kept coming to me confused by how their body was reacting to high-intensity workouts; they were bulking up instead of getting leaner and often suffering from back and knee injuries.
After observing different workouts and personal training sessions, I realized that many of these women were being trained like men – how I used to train for football and I became obsessed with defining a methodology that worked with your body, not against it. Hence, P.volve was born – which is rooted in functional science.
At P.volve our aim is to educate you on how the body and all its muscles and joints work together. You don’t need to hurt yourself to transform your body; what you need are safe, sustainable movements – and our cutting-edge, patented fitness equipment – that creates incredible tone and definition without damaging, straining or bulking muscles.
This is a workout you can easily do every day and continuously evolve with. Each movement has been carefully developed over time to push muscles past the plateau points, trimming bulk and creating visible definition. As my clients begin to master the moves, they find the workout getting harder because they’re learning how to properly activate the glutes, taking the pressure out of the legs (which counteracts a lot of popular workout methods!) and see more range of motion in the hips, which helps reduce any inflammation.
Most people are surprised that they don’t feel exhausted afterwards, but rather, they feel taller, leaner, stretched out, and most importantly – they feel good! In P.volve, we aren’t breaking down your body, we are working with your body, so we’re engaging every muscle group to its fullest potential in a safe, sustainable way.
With many other workouts and classes, people find themselves feeling sore and exhausted, which can actually be dangerous. The pain you’re feeling in your body is it signalling that muscles are breaking down, which is why with my approach, you will excite the muscles, but do so in a way that takes care of them.
After a few years of HIIT stealing headlines, lower impact exercise is gaining traction. Finally! It’s exciting to see low-impact workouts becoming more popular and the industry putting an emphasis on pre-habilitation, like stretching and recovery. I see so many clients with injuries from HIIT and repetitive intense exercises, so I needed to create a healthy, sustainable program that’s all about long-term results.
I created P.volve to crush the fallacy that pain and damage is a requirement of progress and to enlighten people to the power and strength that comes from a transformational fitness method. Our goal is to share this with as many people as we can and to start changing the culture of fitness as well as the way women approach their day-to-day workouts and how they feel about their bodies.
Alongside P.volve, I advise my clients to also look at:
Nutrition: my nutrition philosophy is similar to my workout – focuse on sustainable, long-term care of your body. Learn how to enjoy all-natural, clean foods and focus on ones that aid in digestion and get rid of inflammation and bloating, like avocado, asparagus, onion, flax seeds, fish and sweet potato. Just avoid dairy and anything in a package!
Fitness: you don’t need to kill yourself working out 7 days/week. If you’re workouts are highly focused and effective, then you can get in, and stay in, great shape by working out 3-4 days/week.
Overall: focus on sustainable, long-term care of your body with no ‘quick fixes.’ It’s all about consistency and finding a way to work nutrition and exercise into your daily life without drastic changes that feel like deprivation.
My Top 5 leg/bum toning moves are:
1.Bend N’ Glide
- Start in a seated position with knees even and feet staggered. Place the glider foot one-third of the way out.
- Stabilize using the standing leg and push backwards through the opposite side butt.
- When the glider foot hits the end of range of motion, engage and squeeze the butt with your leg fully extended.
- Slowly drag the extended foot back in two-thirds of the way while engaging and squeezing the opposite side glute.
- End the motion with a small 2-inch squat.
- Keep the glider leg locked out straight and the glute engaged, begin to push back from standing leg. Be sure to push back from your glute and not the quads.
- Reach your foot back on the glider 4–5 inches until you feel that side of your butt completely engage.
- When reaching the end range, squeeze your glutes together and begin bringing the foot back in 4–5 inches using the glute on the standing leg (not your quads).
3.Banded Leg Lift
- Start with one forearm to the floor and the opposite legs starting an inch below butt height. The knee has to be positioned at 90 degrees throughout the entire exercise.
- Driving from the knee, use your glute to elevate the lifted foot 2–3 inches towards the ceiling and hold for a half second second.
- As the leg lifts towards the ceiling, be sure to pull your abdomen in at the same time to activate your lower stomach, which will help protect the lower back.
- Lower the foot 2–3 inches down all while holding the 90-degree angle at the knee.
- Repeat 8–10 times.
4.Shallow Rear step with Toe Reach – This move helps turn on the glute, giving it full range of motion while also expanding your range of motion.
5.Step back – This is one of my signature (and favorite) moves, as it’s very simple, but highly effective. Stepping one leg back, locked out and heel up, immediately activates the middle glute; this is a functional exercise and something you do everyday when walking and running.
All of these moves put your body in three important planes of motion (frontal, sagittal and transverse), which is essential to getting your glutes lifted and strong, and will also lean out your thighs without the bulking. With P.volve (and these exercises!), focusing on how the glutes actually operate, turning them on and keeping them on through functional rather than isometric exercises, will transform the body from head to toe.
Start on your path to tighter bum today by hitting this workout 3–4 times a week for 2–3 sets
- P.volve equipment – I’m always carrying my workout equipment with me; my two favorite pieces are the P.band and Light Ankle Band to get a quick arm and leg workout in.
- Water canteen – I don’t use anything plastic, so canteens are the best way to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Supplement: I take L-Arginine tablets every day; it’s an amino acid that helps the body build protein.
- Socks: Classic black Knee High Nike’s – my favorite look with shorts or training barefoot on the gym floor and the compression feels great.