It has been weeks since my London trip and I haven’t told you about the one true crash I did while there. I searched high and low for a place that would offer a no-joke workout in a location convenient to where I was staying. Our days were absolutely filled to the brim with touring around, and sneaking in a formal workout proved to be a bit harder than I had anticipated. So I was over the moon when I stumbled upon Frame, a boutique studio in the Queen’s Park neighborhood. After pouring over their crazy-awesome class selection (trampoline workout or 80s aerobics, anyone?), I decided to check out one of their signature classes called Frame Camp.
The lobby is bright and airy with fun chalkboard walls and a great collection of magazines. A very chic front desk attendant in a slouchy sweater and darling British accent welcomed me to the space and helped me sign in.The drop-in price for a class is 13 pounds (almost $20)…more expensive than I would have liked, but I chalked it up to investing in a fun new experience. And to be honest, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get the fish and chips kicked out of me for 30 minutes at a trendy London boutique like this, could I?
So what is Frame Camp all about? It’s a high intensity 30 minute class combining 15 minutes of treadmill intervals with 15 minutes of plyometric conditioning. Think squats, push ups, free weights, etc. There were five of us in the class and we split up into two groups. I started out with the plyometrics portion and was crying uncle within just a few moments. I thought 15 minutes would be a breeze…but holy smokes was I mistaken. There was no rest in between sets and we just plowed through. As everything in my body started to shake, the instructor turned up the music and just kept going. Beast. The bell went off to signal the mid-point, and I hobbled over to the treadmill.
Let’s get one thing straight. Words cannot describe how much I abhor these torture devices. Very little makes me hate exercising…but these puppies come dangerously close. So you can imagine my excitement about the second half of the workout involving 15 minutes of treadmill intervals. See this? This is me hitting snooze and excusing myself from class. Bor-ing. But since I was in a foreign country and had already forked over my pub fare for a sweat, I decided to play nice and go with it. It was 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes.
Let the record show that I was horribly wrong about the treadmill. At least in one respect. While it was still as entertaining as watching paint dry, I found the 30 second intervals to be a worthwhile challenge. Check out the photo and try it sometime, I promise you’ll be in a pool of sweat at the end. The competitive type in me overshot my target “base” pace by quite a bit, so I ended up having a few moments of panic as I realized my feet may not be able to keep up with the belt. But in my mind I was winning. Winning what? Not sure, but it felt good.
Would I regularly pay $20 in the US for a similar class? Probably not, because I like to do circuit training on my own. But it was a great (and time-effective) workout while on the road. I got cardio and weight training, left a tired and sweaty mess (see exhibit A above), and felt re-energized to tackle a couple more days of touring the city. If you are traveling to London and need a fun option to get you out of the hotel gym, definitely check out Frame. If this isn’t your thing, I recommend browsing my new website obsession, Fitness Freak. It’s DC Fit Crasher on steroids and your one-stop shop to working out in London. Even if you aren’t planning a trip any time soon, just checking out the crazy-fun events and studios they feature is entertainment enough. Enjoy!