By Bex Fairbrother
Set beneath the railway arches of Shoreditch High Street, a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the City, amidst London’s urban trendy scene is the dance, fitness and holistic studio, Frame.
Launched in 2009, Frame is quickly becoming a household name, a force to be reckoned within the exercise world. The founders of Frame, Pip Black and Joan Murphy met through friends of friends on a surfing trip in Cornwall, coming up five years ago now. They hit it off as they had a passion for the same things – gin and sport! Their shared mantra that “getting fit shouldn’t be a chore,” which many can relate to, is where their success lies. At Frame, they keep things fresh, fun and flexible.
What sets Frame aside from other fitness establishments is the laid-back vibe that engulfs you upon entering the studio. That feeling of dread at knowing you have to work out quickly evaporates. They have created and are continuously developing their three signature classes: Frame-Method, Frame-Work and Frame-Barre. What is great about these classes is that they cater to everyone. Whether it’s wanting a hard-core workout, which uses muscles you didn’t even know existed, to improving your flexibility and balance or merely to have fun whilst pretending to be a ballet dancer, each of these classes will ensure to sculpt your body whilst giving you a high-intensity cardio workout.
These classes all use small isometric movements to tone muscles whilst burning fat around the muscle – leading to long, lean muscles rather than chunky muscles. Think small movements rather than too many large muscle exercises that you would get in a traditional Body Conditioning or weights class.
The Frame Method Class
As a self-confessed exercise junkie willing to try any new fitness fad whether it’s entangling yourself in pilates equipment suspended from the ceiling to sweating it out in a hot bikram studio, Frame Method comes in as my number one all time most enjoyable workout. I tried the Frame-Method class on Friday morning at 9.45am with Hayley Alexander and I have to say, it was amazing! I must admit I was slightly apprehensive when we started jumping around on our yoga mats with 3kg dumbbells how I was going to keep this up for an hour! Designed by Hayley herself, this class really is great fun. It is a series of simple isometric exercises that strengthen and stretches every muscle group in the body, using a combination of different equipment (dumbbells, yoga strap, pilates ball, ballet barre and Frame cushion).
Hayley mixes it up, changing sequences and moves every 10 minutes, focusing on different areas of the body and muscle groups. This keeps it fun and enables you not to lose focus. She also makes you utilise your own body to help strengthen, lengthen and tone specific ‘problem areas.’ What is also great about this class is that it is energetic but also low-impact at the same time, so will not aggravate knees and other joints.
What is fantastic about the Frame series is that they are all about achieving great results and packing as much into the hour as possible. They provide a safe yet challenging workout for everyone. Not only will you burn a large number of calories but by encouraging lean muscle mass you will increase your metabolic rate which in turn will result in you continuing more calories throughout the day. Variety is the key to keep your body guessing and to see better results. By mixing it up, trying new things, this keeps it fun whilst giving your body an all-over work out and this is the beauty of Frame.
They believe exercise should be fun and sociable. They successfully manage to create this environment through their carefully crafted music choices which tie in with the choreography. Music is, they believe integral to the classes as it is what gets us motivated and takes our minds away from the pain we’re going through!
For all of the classes including the Method, they work out the BPM of the class to keep the tempo at the right pace. They first plan the workout structure, and then find music they love which fits, so the workout comes first ensuring maximum results. They work hard to try and vary the music so that it will suit all people, and keep it a little less ‘pop’ so that it’s less cheesy and intense than a standard gym class.
It’s not only the classes themselves that deserve praise, the brains behind Frame have also catered to all your post-workout needs. There are spacious changing rooms with toilets and showers and provide shampoo and conditioner to all guests. As well as towels, hair dryers and hair straighteners (a great touch!) so if you are heading out after then do not fret. You can also rehydrate yourself with a number of drinks on sale including Coconut Water which is great for replacing any electrolytes lost during exercise.
Pay As You Go
If you are looking for a fun and flexible way to exercise then I would 100% recommend trying a class at Frame. They have a number of fantastic teachers who are all super friendly and passionate about what they do and happy to answer any queries you may have about the best ways to exercise. Unlike a number of gyms and fitness establishments, you are not signing yourself up to a lifetime of monthly direct debits. Instead you can pay-as-you-go and can purchase a Frame card upon visiting the studio which you use like an Oyster Card. The new Frame Mobile App also recently debuted, which allows you to book and pay wherever you are in the world.
And if East London is a bit too far to travel, Frame have now expanded out west into another of London’s trendy hotspots, Queen’s Park. So go on, why not give it a go..? Trust me, you will not regret it!