We are all very busy. Let’s make that clear first. And some days* going to the gym doesn’t fit into the busy plan. But it turns out our pre-prepared ‘I don’t have an hour to go to class’ excuse isn’t going to wash anymore. Frame opened the extremely trendy doors to their exposed brick work studio in Shoreditch in 2009. They are best known for being the hot hangout for East London’s fit scene and specialise (rather refreshingly) in fun, original pay-as-you-go classes.
Since the first studio set up shop, a further three have been opened across town, with the most recent location setting up business in Victoria. So between there, Shoreditch, Kings Cross and Queens Park, they’ve got London more or less covered. With the new studio, comes a new concept: the 30-minute workout. The classes are aimed at time-poor Londoners who want to smash out a workout. To find out more and see how to make 30 minutes’ burn, we spoke to co-founder Joan Murphy.
If you only have 30 minutes to exercise what are the essentials to pack in?
To maximise a short workout it’s important to use whole body movements to ensure you are using maximum muscle and weight as much as possible. This is where simple moves such as lunges, squats, burpees, star jumps, skipping are really beneficial because they use your large muscle groups, heart and lungs to the maximum. This doesn't mean it has to high impact, you can also go for yoga moves downward dog, sun salutations, warrior poses, using body weight but in a low impact environment.
Can you really get fitter and stronger and a full workout in 30 minutes?
Of course you can, the fastest way to get fitter and stronger is to do little and often. 5 x 30 minute is better 3 x 1 hour workouts in many instances.
We like the idea of it all being over a done within 30 minutes – is there any research that proves it works as well as an hour?
Some research shows that the highest level of health benefits come in the first 20 minutes of physical activity. This is because the brain reacts to trigger the benefits. The benefits include increase in productivity due to increased ATP, the chemical your body produces to produce energy. We all know that endorphins are the positive bi-product of exercise, which come in 20 minutes of starting exercising, it is a mood boosting chemical. It does depend on your goal for the workout, as there is no point running for 30 minutes if you are training for a half marathon. But regular 30 minutes will produce lots of benefits. The more regular you work out the more physical benefits you'll also get such as muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular.
Can you give us a routine we can try at home when we don't have time to make the gym?
Again a 30 minute workout at home probably means you're stretched for time. It's more important to put on a banging playlist to getting a good routine.
Here is a 5-exercise circuit you can do at home, you choose the reps. Download a free fitness timer app so you can enjoy the music, that way you don't need to count. Repeat all exercises for 30 seconds for beginners, intermediate 1 minute, advanced do the most you can in a minute. Do star jumps, reverse lunges (alternating legs), butt kicks, squats, press-ups, high knees, tricep dips, burpees and plank. Then take a rest and repeat 3 times.
How can you make sure you warm-up and cool down in this short time, is there a routine to try?
Warm up and cool down depends on the exercise you are about to perform. It could be a matter of taking the exercises you are doing in the workout slower or building them up more intense positions. It is really important to take the time to mobilise and work through the joints and muscles that are going to be used. At Frame we prefer dynamic warm up and stretches. The cool down doesn’t have to be long, if you've been doing high intensity exercise it's important to bring the heart rate down slowly and not instantly. Could be as simple as walking on the spot, you don't have to stretch every muscle to cool down it's about the muscles you have used.
What is special about Frame's 30 min classes? Can you tell us more?
We have a wide variety of Frame 30 minute classes. They are structured classes to maximise the time you are in there. These classes range from HIIT training through to fusion classes such as Energy Shot, which combine the best exercises and cross exercise genres such as dance and Pilates. Rebounding, which is a low impact cardiovascular workout, is great for your lymphatic system. The main thing is they are all there to maximise your time, to a banging playlist with an enthusiastic teacher.