By Alex Churton on May 29 2013
I love blogging about food so it’s probably only sensible to balance that out with some talk of fitness. And with summer around the corner (supposedly) we’ve found you the coolest gym in town. Why do we love them? Because they are breaking all the rules of fitness…
Pip and Joan set up Frame in 2 railway arches in East London in March 2009. With a huge and varied selection of classes all under one roof, you can use Frame however you wish. Whether it’s one Saturday a month on a ‘drop-in’ basis with friends before tucking into eggs and Bloody Marys, once a week using a ‘Frame Card’ (their version of the Oyster Card) when the guilt of the weekend’s excesses becomes too much, or on a daily basis with a membership which covers all the pilates, yoga, dance and fitness classes you could ever dream of… (If this was any normal gym I’d take option one, but I think this could be the one to convert me!)
We just love the concept and with recent expansion, Frame moves west, we jumped at the chance to chat with Pip to find out where it all started.
What inspired you to set up Frame?
We were inspired by the distinct lack of ‘inspiration’ in the fitness industry back in 2007! Joan and I had just met on a weekend away through friends and were both pretty disillusioned by what was out there. Joan is from NZ and grew up with fitness being an essential part of everyone’s lifestyles, and we had both spent the majority of our lives playing top-level sport and seeing the benefits of regular exercise. We both hated the gym, and with jobs in the Advertising Industry were unable to commit to playing team sports.
Over a good number of gins, we gradually began to hatch the plan for Frame. We spent so long discussing what we wished someone else would provide, that we ended up just going for it, and setting it up ourselves!
What is Frame’s motto?
Frame was born from the simple mantra that “Getting fit should not be a chore”. We aim to make our customer’s LOOK and FEEL good, and I think that they both go together hand in hand. It’s not about being super skinny or being the fastest runner or being able to do a handstand in yoga. It’s about leaving Frame with a spring in your step, with feel good endorphins rushing through your body, pumped and ready for what the day has to throw at you.
What sets Frame apart from other gyms and health clubs?
We don’t think of ourselves as being a ‘gym’ due to the massively negative connotations associated with it. We are all about fun, effectiveness and efficiency, and only offer classes, so you always have the motivation of a teacher to push you harder, and the company of friends.
Each location (Shoreditch and Queens Park) has 4 studios offering over 400 classes/week so there is huge variety with everything under one roof.
We are all about a balanced lifestyle and try to instil this in everything that we do. Keeping fit should be a regular part of your lifestyle, but we totally appreciate that you also need dedicate sufficient time to seeing friends & family, eating, drinking, shopping and all your other interests. If you worked out every day but never partied til the early hours, life would get pretty dull. We hope that this mindset comes across in everything that we do.
What’s the best part of running your own business?
Freedom and not being told what to do. We both love being able to make and act on decisions really quickly and to make things happen. I would find it so hard having to wait for decisions to go through different levels of management before being given the go-ahead!
And the worst?
The hours. Losing your life for a few years. Thankfully we’re now at the stage where Frame is running brilliantly and we are able to plan fun times with family and friends, rather than constantly having to say “sorry I’d love to, but I’m working!” it gets pretty demoralising after a while!
**What’s in the pipeline for Frame? **
We are expanding Shoreditch to take over the railway arch next door, so we’ll have 2 swanky new studios which means even more classes.
We’re bringing Rebounding (aerobics on mini trampolines) to Queens Park, which is possibly the most fun you can have in 45 minutes, whilst still getting an intense workout. We are also launching a new class Sweat Factory, which will be a combo of treadmill and bike intervals, with plyometric exercises, based on the HIIT methods of training.
Whatever workout style you go for – pay as you go, top up card or all inc membership, who doesn’t want one of these (I do)…