There are few people in the world whose fitness, diet, and general wellness habits are as closely examined (and copied) as Jennifer Aniston’s. The actor’s lifestyle cultivates an interest that borders on obsession, whether in the form of TikTok’s new fascination with the “Jennifer Aniston Salad” that she didn’t even eat or Google surfacing 3,020,000 results if you search “Jennifer Aniston diet,” nearly enough content for the entire population of Puerto Rico to get a fresh JenAn story each.
So what is she actually doing behind the scenes, behind all the fuss? The IRL tips, hints, and magic tricks up her sleeve? It turns out that during the height of the pandemic, Jennifer was…looking up simple home workout videos online—much like everyone else—before ultimately finding her footing with functional fitness brand Pvolve. “One of the many things I fell in love with is that you can curate your own workout depending on what equipment you feel like using, what your body feels like today, and what injury you might be dealing with,” she told Cosmopolitan on a Zoom call last week. “It’s good muscle confusion.”
In the years since, Jen has gone from Pvolve superfan to the brand’s new partner, and she sat down with Cosmo to mark the occasion by dissecting her oft-copied wellness routines. Ready your notebooks.
Hi, Jen! Let’s dive right in: Walk me through your fitness routine.
There are different fitness routines, depending on the day and depending on what I’m feeling. Basically, at least three or four days a week of working out is my ideal. And Pvolve is so fun because it never has to be the exact same thing, so it sort of keeps you on your toes, which is what I love.
Libras like me are famously indecisive, so being able to choose something different every day sounds great.
That must be why I love it, because I’m a Libra rising! Maybe that’s why it serves me very well.
There you go—it’s all in the stars. How did you discover Pvolve in the first place?
I discovered it through my friend. Well, okay, so first of all, the pandemic happened. We didn’t see anybody for a long time. I then saw my friend, and her entire body had changed. And I’ve known her for years and years and years! And it was like, “What on earth are you doing?” And she said, “Pvolve.” I said, “What the hell is Pvolve?” Or I didn’t say hell…or maybe I did. [laughs] And she tried to explain it to me.
Then I went away on a movie, and I came back from this job with a back injury—I was in this harness, flying up and down an Eiffel Tower—and she said, “You should try Pvolve, because it will work with wherever your body is at.” Because I get so frustrated if I can’t [exercise], and my body is like one walking piece of Kinesio Tape at this point.
So she set me up on my computer, which was also great. I just remember doing my first class—I started easy, I did 20 minutes, and I was drenched and felt incredible. It was like I didn’t even understand that I just worked out. So from that moment, it was hook, line, and sinker. I, of course, like I love to do, told every single friend I have about it because then people started seeing my physical changes and asked, “What are you doing?” The domino effect.
That’s the best, when fitness is fun. Is your back okay now?
Oh yeah, oh yeah. My trainer at Pvolve Dani [Coleman, director of training] was very aware of my issue, so she could curate the workout around that and strengthen muscles around the injury. For me, it expedited the healing, I believe that.
When you’re working out typically, are you somebody who likes to have gym buddies or a trainer, or do you prefer to exercise solo?
I really love gym buddies. The pandemic, as we know, changed that for us, but I love having someone in the room because the energy feels good. I also love to invite a girlfriend or two over to partake. They hate it, but I love it. I love it!
What’s your favorite workout gear to wear? Are there any styles or brands or even colors you gravitate toward?
Oh, I love dark colors. I love a black, although I do love lavenders and bright colors as we get into spring. And functional! If it’s a sports bra that’s got 5,000 little strings on the back…you know those? They’ve gotten really creative over there at the workout companies, the clothing brands, but I just like a sports bra that really works and a good legging that has good compression, you know? Makes you just feel tight.
I’m with you on the little strings. I’m a figure skater and I’ve caught my skates in leggings with them before.
It’s a challenge just getting into your workout gear!
How do you find time to work out when things get really busy, like when you’re filming something?
That’s a little bit of a…it’s not a challenge, you just have to commit to it. But the good news about Pvolve is if you only have 10, 15, 20 minutes, you can get an extraordinary workout in that amount of time and honestly don’t feel like you’ve skipped a day.
I used to wake up so early just to get in that full hour, and it just breaks your body down. There’s only so much you can do before a 15-hour workday when you’re out on your feet.
I’ve read that you’ve been up filming at like 3 o’clock in the morning and still fit in a workout first, which, talk about stamina!
I was really impressive. I’ve never done that. [laughs] But more like 4:30, definitely. I’m not a morning person.
Has fitness always been a priority of yours? When did you first learn that you enjoy building fitness into your routine?
I went to a high school of performing arts and we had dance class, which I love. I’d never taken dance. In high school, my girlfriends and I would start to take jazz class after school—so ’80s—at this place called Steps. At the time, it was like aerobics! And then I moved to California and everybody was doing workouts. It’s just been a part of me.
I was always a little roly, a little round, a little pudgy, and I wasn’t really health conscious about what was going in my body. I just sort of had whatever I wanted, and then I had an agent one time mention to me that I was a little roly-poly—not rol, chubby. Chubby—anyway, I became way more mindful about not eating, like, egg salad sandwiches and tuna sandwiches and french fries and gravy and all the things I had as a teenager all the time.
And then I just got really addicted to physical activity and mindful eating and healthy eating, which is changing every year. It’s always evolving; what’s better, what’s good for you, what’s not good for you. And then you’re like, Okay, well, now that’s not good for you? Well, what is good for you? You’re just trying to keep up with the times.
It pays off because when you’re in your 20s, you never think, Oh, this is going to be really good when I’m in my 40s or in my 50s. Because I remember my mom or my dad in their 50s, they were like old people, they couldn’t move. They just didn’t have that in their sphere, it wasn’t in the world, it wasn’t in their consciousness to eat healthy and work out. Well, my mom had a bit more of a health kick than my dad did. He would just eat absolute crap. Still lived to be 89 years old despite never working out and eating crap, but that’s probably just, I don’t know, the Greek in us.
Outside of working out, what does your general morning routine look like?
I wake up. Wash my face, lotions and potions. Take the dogs out. Feed the dogs. Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in room-temp water, which is something I’ve started to do in the last couple months—game changer! Then meditate. And then I look at the phone and go into that world.
It’s great that you create space before inviting in tech. I read a lot of advice telling me to do that, but it’s easier said than done.
If you really focus and say, “Let’s just do it for this week,” you start to feel how good you feel and your brain feels, and your stress levels aren’t through the roof. It is easier said than done but worth it.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
News and Pop Culture Director
Alexandra Whittaker oversees all of Cosmo’s news and entertainment digital coverage—follow her on Instagram here. As the lead of two teams, Alexandra manages stellar writers and editors who deliver your daily dose of celebrity, TV, movie, book, general entertainment and pop culture news. She’s known for her strategic coverage calls and celebrity interviewing skills. Awards shows are her favorite thing, and she’s a proud Northwestern and Marquette alumna.