High-intensity | Uses weights | Full body | Sweaty | Conditioning
Class - HIIT Strength
Instructor - Charlotte Clarke
Suitable for - Anyone, but if you're new to weight training it might be too challenging
Fitness/Workout level - Intermediate
Length - 45 minutes
Equipment - All provided except a towel, unless you’re a FRAME member (£1 to hire if not)
Perks - Very reasonably priced, fun and killer class plus great facilities
Drawbacks - Studio can be very hot in warmer weather, so bag a spot near a fan. Changing rooms are small and busy
Cost - £13
Location - 29 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY
Website - https://moveyourframe.com/
I confess, I’m a sucker for a HIIT class. If you’re going to set aside precious time for a workout you may as well go full throttle, right? The good news is, whether you want to push your body to the limit with high-intensity interval training or you’d rather indulge in more restorative forms of exercise, FRAME has a plethora of options on offer.
Having dabbled with many of their classes, I committed my Saturday morning energy to HIIT Strength; a decision largely driven by the instructor, Charlotte Clarke, who I’d been following on Instagram for quite a while (@charlotteclarkeuk). Charlotte is a PT, blogger and fitness model with an infectiously positive energy.
The class is marketed to “work the main muscle groups using heavy weights and calisthenics to grow your glutes, shoulders and get the abs popping, with HIIT blasts in between sets.” A self-professed cardio junkie, strength training is a little further out of my comfort zone. As I waited outside the studio sizing up my ten fellow HIIT Strengthers, I was excited to see what Charlotte had in store.
The studio, though spacious, was a little on the warm side (we were experiencing on this particular day a rare glimpse of the great British summer). I took stock of my surroundings and decided to position myself in full view at the front of the studio next to a rather large fan – a wise move it so transpired, and I’m not just talking about the sweat...
The warm-up consisted of various full body exercises, such as walkouts, high knees, heel flicks and planks. Charlotte then took us through the class structure - three sets of work, each set made up of two different exercises performed over four two-minute rounds (that’s a minute per exercise, and a lot of rounds). The sets consisted of one resistance-based exercise; think goblet squats into thrusters and kettlebell swings, along with one explosive cardio component, such as burpees with a push-up or jumping lunges. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried doing jumping lunges for a full minute four times over, but if not, I wouldn’t advise doing so if you’d like to retain use of your legs for the rest of the day.
Thanks to Charlotte’s encouraging and enthusiastic interjections, I was feeling remarkably self-assured as we began the class. All confidence quashed by the third round of set one, it was time to dig deep. Thankfully, the blaring music served both to motivate and to mask the pained groans of the exhausted collective as we peeled our sweat-doused bodies off the floor during our FOURTH AND FINAL round of burpees. If by some unfathomable miracle you haven’t quite managed to exhaust every fibre of your being after forty minutes, never fear, you’ve still got a three-minute abs finisher to go. Staggering jelly-legged to the changing rooms, I was heartened to overhear an exchange between two girls from the class: “That was so good and SO bad all at the same time.” A fitting summary, on reflection.
Conclusion: A great full body workout; the combination of brief, high-intensity bursts of cardio and strength training is optimal for burning body fat. Try to push yourself when selecting your weights and give some heavier ones a try – you can always drop down. Don’t be fooled into thinking that heavy lifting will ‘bulk you up’ as so many women profess; it’s a myth. The calorific after burn post-HIIT and heavy resistance training is greater compared to steady state cardio due to the exercise intensity, which maximises the “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”, or EPOC. This means increased metabolism for a longer period of time after your workout, so make sure to refuel with plenty of protein and healthy carbs to replenish glycogen stores. What's more, lifting weights improves bone density thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis; a specific concern for women post-menopause. It also improves posture, strengthening joints to reduce the loss of bone tissue as you age, as well as reducing the risk of injury.
Details: Founded by two ambitious women with a mantra that being fit should never be a chore, classes are targeted at the busy, working woman whose time is at a premium. FRAME opened their doors in Shoreditch in 2009 and have since expanded to various other London locations, including Queen’s Park, Victoria, Kings Cross, and just last month Fitzrovia and Hammersmith. The Shoreditch studio is located just off the high street, a 5-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street Overground, or 8 minutes from Old Street Underground. It has a cool, urban feel and is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing of the four – housed in a renovated warehouse beneath a railway arch with brick interiors and lashings of bright colour.
FRAME have a drop-in, pay-as-you-go model. Classes are individually priced, and their timetable is pretty jam-packed, though there may be waitlists on a weekend for more popular sessions. They even offer ‘Forgot Your Kit’ workout gear for five pounds. Trainers without socks? We’ve all been there, but don’t do it…
To find out more about FRAME and book your class, visit the website here.
Picture Credits: Move Your Frame / FRAME Studios