Graphic Shapes, Cardio Moves & Caribbean Colours

For the last week I have been hanging out at FRAME fitness studio in Shoreditch. I tend to give gyms a wide berth as I sail around my usual outdoor pursuits of running, cycling, football and swimming. But their newly painted façade has sucked me straight in. Like a moth to the flame, this Running Rainbow recognised the cosmic signature spray-paint of mural artist Lakwena and had to investigate.

Thanks to the NIKE “BetterForIt” campaign, the artist and studio came together for an entire multi-colour metamorphosis from the outside shell to the interior arch ceiling. The unveiling launch of Lakwena’s latest epic canvas brought together London’s female fitness bloggers to experience FRAME’s exclusive classes. One room stepped up to a ballet Barre workout and the others were put through their paces for a session of Plyometrics. I spent the hour keeping up with the high-speed transitions of Barre, which switched between props such as belts, balls and mini barbells. FRAMES’s mantra of “No Ifs…..Just Great Butts!” is certainly true of this body sculpting cardio which is going to be the class of choice for peachy beach-ready bums this summer!

Luckily for me I got to return the following day to try my hand at the Plyometrics via my running crew partnering with the practise to compliment our training. In a specially designed session just for us, there were three sections of cross-fit disciplines. Treadmill sprints, climbs and intervals improve speed and aerobic boxing punch combos build lean muscle mass. Squat jumps, push-ups and leg raises all based on a box improve body strength, making it toned through building muscle. Explosive jumping like this initially felt wrong to me but the method in this scientific madness comes from exercises developed by athletes to shock muscle contractions. Over time the body performs more efficiently to also aid increasing speed and power. These techniques of using your own body weight result in stripping fat and set you up to be sprinting the finish of your next race. If any weight was lost with me it could have been through the sheer amount of sweat I shed like no other workout or spin class I have encountered before! The fact I was in a dark room in Shoreditch with flashing lights and Drum’n’Bass led to flashbacks of nights at The Blue Note.….. especially in the company of RunDemCrew founder Charlie Dark who previously played to sweaty dancefloors under his Attica Blues & Blacktronica incarnations.

His new night “Bun&Cheese” is a selection of Dancehall 7” and siren signals. A fitting soundtrack for a feature about Lakwena, who I collaborated with on the identity of a Carnival sound-system last year. Meanwhile simultaneously a neighbouring fashion label “Riyka” who hail from the same Ridley Road studios, referenced 1970’’s “the Rockers” Jamaican film in their SS15 collection. The season’s palette came from the exotic vibes of the film’s Caribbean setting with green, yellow & blue. The sports influenced line has contrasting colours and linear graphic cuts both complimentary to Lakwena’s shapes. As they all work above Dalston’s thriving West Indie’s market, perhaps it’s no coincidence they pick up on the culture and produce fun & playful work. I particularly loved the soft velour bomber jacket and panels that are echoed in the leggings. This athletic aesthetic from the “The Rockers” original Kingston Reggae artists was perfect to wear against FRAME’s new chevron patterned wall.

Visit the street-art to see for yourself and step inside to enquire about the variety of classes on the roster to start a balanced regime of fitness, dance, yoga and pilates.