When was the last time you did a handstand? Up until recently, it had been a few decades since my days of carefree gymnastics but there I was attempting to do a series of them in a class called ‘Power of the Body,’ under the guidance of international male model, TedX speaker and movement coach Roger Frampton.
As a Personal Trainer I’m regularly encouraging my clients to push themselves and believe their bodies will do more than they ever give them credit for, so I wanted to see what my own could do. Roger’s class is the perfect mix of challenging, empowering and fun. Throughout the class, as he demonstrates, we witness the insane level of control and strength he has over his own body that means he can hold quite startling gravity-defying poses. Check out his Instagram for some jaw-dropping pictures.
We begin with squats, which we hold for a challenging two minutes at a time. With heels on the floor or slightly raised, we focus on keeping the back straight, not letting the knees fall in, glutes engaged and feeling the power course throughout our bodies. It’s not easy but with Roger’s tweaks and guidance, it’s entirely manageable and a revelation.
As children we could sit in this position for lengthy periods of time but after years of sitting on chairs we have unlearned a basic position. Roger’s recent TedX talk, which has so far clocked up over 600k views, discusses how chairs are your enemy, how attitudes towards exercise are flawed and suggests an alternative way to look at how our bodies can become strong and agile.
The pace of the two-hour Power of the Body is slower than other workouts, but no less challenging for it. From squats, we move onto static ab crunches (shoulders off the ground and legs raised) for two minutes, and then it’s time for handstands, followed by bridges.
It’s surprised me what I could do so easily as a child, I was now physically and mentally challenged to attempt it. Roger focuses on regenerating the body into the form we once all had, using body-weight training consisting of controlled slow movements to get you there. We spent the hour hand standing and it was a lot of fun.
What was great about Roger’s class was that those of us there had a variety of abilities with everybody good at different parts. I overcame some initial pain, fell over (safely) quite a bit and laughed a lot. I left with a great sense of achievement, and have since practiced at home and committed to attending more classes. After the first class I sat down and talked to Roger about the Frampton Method.
How did you go about constructing the Frampton Method? How is each Power of the Body class different?
The Frampton Method came about by breaking down regular exercises into their finer detail. The movements learnt need to make sense to ‘how humans move’, be relevant to the person and translate into more complex exercises.
The classes vary depending on the people attending. I like the freedom of not planning classes, which allows me to tailor the movement to the guests on the day. We tend to spend time looking at sections of the body, posture, squatting, the spine, handstands, balances, core work and mobility.
Is this a class for everyone or do you need to have a certain level of fitness first?
The class is for absolutely anyone, I’ve had PT’s, yoga teachers, groups of models and a 63 year old lady walk through the doors, as long as you want to improve your body and are open to being shown in depth techniques then you will fit right in.
Three things someone will learn from your class?
- That there is a finer detail in every exercise you do.
- Pain is useful tool and a welcomed guest.
- You are capable of far more than you think.
Who are your inspirations within the movement culture? Ido Portal?
Ido Portal is great at what he does. I’m inspired by anything that can be done with control, slow motion and that has taken years to master. I’m a fan of the snail’s pace approach to training which is why I favour gymnastics.
Visit www.roger.coach for more information on ‘The Frampton Method’