Frame: Mumhood Classes Review

At dinner with friends a few weeks back, I was lamenting on how hard it is to find "mummy and baby  fitness classes". For living in London I thought this seemed 'a bit off'. It seems like there are more classes further afield (Chiswick, Ealing, Greenwich, etc) but not as many closer to home. Why can't the bigger gyms (Fitness First or Virgin for example) offer these classes?

However there are some places that do cater to the fitness mum - one of them is Frame.

Storm Trooper outfit optional... but is it though?
Frame has multiple studios dotted across London: Shoreditch, Kings Cross, Fitzrovia, Victoria, Hammersmith, and Farringdon. They have been around since 2009 and would be classed under 'boutique gyms'. They dont have your classic gym floor with treadmills and weights, but they focus on different classes to keep people motivated.

I signed up for their introductory offer of two classes for £20 at their Shoreditch location. The normal cost varies depending on which subscription you decide up. PAYG (pay as you go) its £15, which is about normal for a 'drop-in' at these kinds of studios (a class at 1Rebel down the street is £16). The more you commit, the cheaper per class it becomes.

Mumhood Core Rehab (Phase 1)

Minimoose ready to get swol...
I got to my hour class a bit early to try and get the lay of the land. The class was at 2pm so it was relatively quiet at the studio. All the lockers are free and towels are also provided (yay!). The studio was very large so ample space for everyone and their kiddos. There were 6 of us in total. 

The instructor went to each of us and asked us about if this is our first time in the class, our fitness level, and how far postpartum we are. She also did a quick check to see if our abs had separated (diastasis recti). I found this a bit hilarious as when I asked my GP about this he said he could not check for some reason. Anyways, I found out I have a small separation below my belly button. She told me to stick to the basic moves, not the advanced variations she would show. 

I missed the first 20 minutes or so because minimoose needed a feed, but throughout the class there were other mums doing the same or changing nappies. Not once did I feel awkward or self conscious in doing so. 

The title of the class is basically that. Your body takes quite a beating having a baby, your core especially. The instructor did various moves to help strengthen the core area using body weight, a ball and a resistance band. I had minimoose on a mat next to me, but could have left him in the pram had he preferred it. 

Most of these moves could be done at home, and I will probably will be doing some later in the week. That's not really the point. The point is to learn to do the exercises correctly and in a group setting. To get out of the house. To have an adult conversation. All while helping to kick your fitness back into gear.  

I ended the class with a happy mum and bonus I had a happy baby. I felt like I worked some muscles I have not worked in a while, and I know will help me on my running journey.

... Then I went to Crosstown Donut and had a donut. Oops. 

Can I use the 500 calories breastfeeding line again?? Please?!

Mumhood Post-Natal Fitness (Phase 2)

The things I do to make my baby giggle...
This was more a 'normal' class. I worked up a sweat and felt justified in eating my Crosstown Donut.

The instructor again went to all the new mums and asked about where we were on our postpartum fitness journey. She recommended to me a physio as I noted I sometimes experience a 'heavy pelvis' -- which is its own barrel of monkeys. 

We used resistance bands and weights for this class. They were only 3kg but wow you could definitely feel it 40 minutes in! We worked pretty much every major area: legs, tummy (lightly), bum, shoulders, and arms. At the end we did a tabata like style work out which included fast movement (get them twitch muscles engaged!).

Minimoose was on the mat again -- and again was happy to just lay there and observe mommy sweating.

Gym Itself

Free lockers. Free water. WIN
I enjoy that Frame has little things which make a big difference when choosing a gym. Free lockers, free towels for showers, water with cups provided (metal cups, they are about reducing plastic). To be honest I am not sure the showers/locker rooms would be very baby friendly as space is a tad limited. However the classes are offered during 'off peak' hours so it's definitely quieter than normal.  There were always quite a few mums in the classes, so again it was great to get out and socialise. 

Verdict

So will I be joining up? I am still not sure. If I do PAYG and I take two classes a month that's £30 which seems a bit pricey. They offer 6 classes a month for £60 but requires a 3 month commitment. The main reason I would is the fact its baby friendly. I don't need to worry about who would watch Matt, getting milk ready, etc. I also get the added benefit of getting out of the house, getting some exercise in... and then (possibly) eating a donut. 

That's worth its weight in gold right there. 

I also liked how each instructor asked me questions about my birth. Was is assisted? C-Section? Complications? Based on my answers they would offer alternative workouts or give advice on when to take it easy. 

They also have baby friendly talks and nutrition workshops at the studio, so they obviously care about mums and their overall health and wellbeing. 

My only complaint is that it's a bit far from the flat  so in timing feeds right can be a bit tricky. However, that's an issue no matter where a mum goes, and you can change/feed the baby during class no worries.  

I highly recommend trying them out -- the instructors are great and there are different classes which fit every mum regardless of where they are postpartum wise. At the end of the day that's what counts. 

NOTE: I will be doing a post about staying in shape without a gym. It is definitely possible and no I am not going to say just YouTube it (although you can... but that seems obvious and also potentially dangerous if you have any issues post baby you are unaware of)

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