New Year, new classes. So why not give the new Frame Bandits class a go? Rebecca Bryant throws herself in to see what all the fuss is about.
After Christmas I thought to myself - why not book yourself in for first thing on the Monday morning that London is back on it? Start the week and the working year as you mean to go on. We'll be eased in gently to this new class (or so I thought).
Arriving for the 7:30am class at Bank, I headed down to the Frame area (for those who don't know Gymbox, the Frame area looks just like an adult climbing frame) where I was greeted by Nima Jam, the brains behind Frame Bandits.
He explained that not only does Frame Bandits combine HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with resistance work so that you can go faster for longer but it also works on the principles of RAM. Isn't that something to do with IT? I hear you say. Well, yes and no.
RAM stands for pulse Rate, muscle Activation and Mobility. By upping your pulse rate, activating your muscles (and your mind) while moving repetitively, your body will become a leaner, stronger machine. It definitely made sense in theory but what does this really mean in practisc?
Well, the class is broken down into three sections. The first is a HIIT-style warm-up using mobility exercise interspersed with burpees. In other words, 40 seconds of high-knees or equivalent exercises, two burpees, rest for 10 seconds and repeat. This certainly gets the old ticker going and you soon find you're building up a sweat.
Then you get introduced to the resistance bands. If you think working out with a stretchy bit of elastic is easy, then you have to try Frame Bandits. The repetitive movements included one exercise that made desk bound workers like me sit up and notice in that it really helps to release hunched shoulders and relieve tension caused by the so-called computer neck. Yes, it was tough, but in a 'hello muscles' kinda way.
Next we were looping two different resistance bands around the Frame or 'anchoring the bands' for an alternating set of punches on each arm and 10 tugs of war. This is particularly good for any pent-up aggression and uses a bit of skill to get the hang of. Thankfully Nima is there to ensure your body placement is accurate and you are shifting weight correctly so you're working your core.
Once you get the hang of it, it feels really satisfying in terms of upping your heart rate and generally relieving stress. After a series of 10 alternating sets, which are marked off on the board, you're onto the next and final explosive exercise.
This again is a series of two explosive power-based exercises but this time you buddy up with someone and work as a team. One of you anchors the larger resistance band around the Frame and places the loop around their hips and their task is repetitively sprint until they feel stress on the resistance band, tag the other team member who then does a burpee and then person one returns back to where they started. You do ten rounds and each round is twenty seconds long or as Nima said the same length of time as a YouTube ad (quite like this analogy). Believe me; it sounds a way lot easier. On the final round, you're sweating but feeling awake physically and mentally, moreover, you're ready to face the world. Not bad for 45 minutes - or one and a half episodes of Hollyoaks.
Whether you're looking for a wake-up call or stress relief, Frame Bandits really is an all-over body workout to improve your power, strength and endurance. Why not try something new in 2015 and become a Bandit at Frame? You'll be a fan in no time.
Go on, book yourself in!