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sweatshirt A.Sauvage, shorts
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The Frampton Workout
Long before appearing in advertising for Ralph Lauren or walking down the catwalk for labels such as Missoni and Vivienne Westwood, Roger Frampton was a young teen with a habit. Frampton confesses, “I was that kid behind the bike sheds at school. I was a smoker and I really enjoyed it.” However when it came to activities like sports day, he would find himself winded, consistently coming in last. On a chance day while visiting his grandmother, he was inspired to run, igniting his love for fitness. “Every day I would do the same route trying to beat my time even if just by a sec each week,” he remembers. “I got faster and faster. It is crazy what the body can achieve over time when you take it to its limit. Now I’m running under five minute miles.”
Embracing the challenge that comes with regular exercise, Frampton enjoys pushing himself and seeing others working towards their goals. He explains, “It’s just the rush of breaking down the body each time. Yes, at times, you may struggle and it may feel horrible but when you leave the track knowing you pushed your body and mind way past its limit, it feels great.” Frampton associates a sense of freedom and power with fitness.
Working as a personal teacher, Frampton hopes to help others find that personal strength.
Originally a fashion model, Frampton’s love for fitness came in hand as the job demanded that he be in top form. Traveling the world, especially for fashion week in New York, Milan and Paris, people always inquired as to how he kept in such great shape. He recalls discussing his workout plan to much surprise, “Many were surprised that my method didn’t require using weights or gym equipment.” Seeing an opportunity to educate others about a new method of training “without the need for any equipment – simply taking advantage of the most powerful; and ironically free, tool ever, the human body”, Frampton decided to look into a new career and thus ‘Frampton's Fitness’ was born.
Initially focusing on models and looking to create a fitness plan that could be accomplished anywhere, from the park to even backstage at shows, Frampton developed plans using the body to work out. One day when a model friend expressed “Oy Roger can you Re-Model-Me me?” a new name for his endeavours was solidified, ‘Re-Model-Me’. It was catchy and appropriate for his initial clients; models, but it still works
now as he has remodelled training for those ready to escape the boredom of gyms.
Leaving the heavy weights behind, Re-Model-Me teaches a full body exercise. Frampton explains that “Lifting weights in one directional movement like you would see in most gym environments is like still believing that muscle isolation exists.” He reiterates seeing the human body as one big muscle that is linked. Training certain areas to be stronger than others leads to imbalance. “Every single exercise that Re-Model-Me teaches, is a full body exercise. We don’t do ‘leg days’, ‘arm days’ or ‘core’ workouts. Every single exercise trains the body as a unit which is exactly the way it’s meant to be trained. As a consequence there is less scope for injury and weakness in certain areas of the body as everything is supporting each other.”
While weights are still an excellent tool to achieve muscle growth, Re-Model-Me emphasises that you don’t need to lift weights. “Your training regime is about personal preference and we aim to show that you can achieve an amazing look without entering a gym or picking up one piece of equipment.” Frampton continues with an appropriate mantra, “Gyms are
business. Re-Model-Me is fitness.” It’s important what training method you employ as it will dictate your look “so if you lift weights like a weight-lifter, make sure that is the look you actually want to achieve! If you want the speed of a sprinter, the strength and balance of a gymnast, the flexibility of a yogi, well it’s been here with you the whole time...‘the human body’, the most sophisticated machine known to man .”
Much like his training methods, Frampton recommends a simple diet, making sure to point out that “healthy is not always skinny and skinny is not always healthy. Eating healthy is about consuming a balanced diet and eating the right foods for you.
Keeping it fresh, Frampton suggests that you put down “the energy drink or that crap protein shake”, instead opting for vegetables. At the end of the day, he explains the importance of remembering that “your food is your fuel and that fuel affects your engine which will ultimately affect your performance.”
Thinking ahead to spring and its warmer weather, if not already working on your fitness, it’s the perfect time to start. If anything can be learned from Re-Model-Me, it’s to focus on your unique path, embracing a diet and exercise techniques that are right for you.
“Jumping recruits all the major
muscles of the lower Body and
the heart. It is one of the most efficient and quickest ways to improve fitness and burn fat."
Roger wears sweatshirt Katie
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Roger wears track pants
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Grooming Franco Vallelonga @
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The male model workout
Who do the professionals turn to for a runway-ready body?
Giles Hattersley meets the model turned trainer Roger Frampton
Would you like a sure-fire way to feel absolutely terrible about yourself? It costs a bit, but if you really want to invest in an ego-kicking that will scar you for life, it can’t be beaten. Here’s what to do: stand in your sitting room, take your top off and exhale deeply, letting your gut hang out to its fullest, most gruesome limit. Then permit an extremely handsome, extremely buff, internationally renowned catwalk model to grab bits of your fat and measure them with a scary pincering device.
“I actually want to die,” I think, averting my eyes from my defiant “one-pack” and fixing my appalled gaze on a far corner of the room. Has it come to this? Male models are bad enough for the soul when they’re confined to flexing in magazines or prancing their eight-packs down a catwalk in the swimwear section of a DSquared show. Let one loose in your home to judge and “improve” you, however, and it’s humiliation on a grand scale. Yet this is the new service offered by Re-Model-Me, a company founded by the model and personal trainer Roger Frampton, 28. Frampton — who has been in campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Thomas Pink and walked every catwalk from McQueen to Armani — has a bold claim to make. He promises that, with enough time and calorie restriction, he can give anyone the body of a fashion model. “Not skinny nor bulky, but lean, toned and defined,” he says. “Those toned figures and ripped torsos aren’t the result of genetics, but hard work.”
To which I reply: “Tosh.” Even from the neck down, models are born, not made. Even male ones who, unlike their female counterparts, don’t also need a profoundly odd skeletal make-up to begin with. Anyway, even if they are made, I’m guessing the process involves an eating disorder, not cottage cheese and jogging. But Frampton is insistent. He likens himself to a plastic surgeon of fitness. Tell him exactly what you want your body to look like, and — short of adding 4in to your legs — he says he’ll make it happen.
To be fair, he’s been the fashion industry’s secret weapon for a while, and a nicer alternative to its not-so-secret weapon: anorexia. Perhaps his greatest success story is himself. When he started out, he was signed to Storm and, annoyed he wasn’t getting more work, sought his agent’s advice. “They told me I was too big,” he says, as posh designers don’t want huge muscles, more classy definition with a hint of biceps. Frampton asked them for the ideal body measurements and set about compacting his physique. A trained fitness instructor, his transformation — based on superfoods and some brilliant workout tricks — was so impressive, agencies started sending him their chubbier waifs and beer-loving himbos, whom he knocks into shape for catwalk season. He won’t name names, but let’s just say both rank and file and big names in the modelling world all need help keeping their guts in check.
Now, for the first time, he’s offering his services to nonmodels. But, honestly, can it be done? I’m 6ft 1in with a 32in waist, but I’m the wrong side of 30 and not sure my metabolism is up to letting my hip bones jut out. “Of course it is,” says Frampton, cheerfully measuring by body-fat percentage. “Hmm, 17%,” he says. I try not to pass out.
He devises a 12-week program. The secret, he says, is never to use weights, so he does 90% of his training using suspension cables hung from trees that you use to suspend your body weight. This is interspersed with complicated series of high-tempo “dynamic movements”, such as lunges and one-legged squats, which burn masses of fat. “This way you build lean, tight-fitting muscle,” he says. What he doesn’t say is how ridiculously hard it is. After a hefty warm-up that whacks your heart rate to the max, it’s a brutal hour of nonstop exercise. Imagine lifting your body weight up and down for 60 minutes while jogging.
Needless to say, during our first session, in a busy central London park, I start to feel distinctly woozy 10 minutes in. Then I black out. “Are you okay?” asks Frampton as I come to. He holds my legs in the air to “get the blood back to my head” while some secretaries point and laugh. I’ve never felt less like David Gandy. That night, I wake up at 3am in so much pain, I hallucinate that I’m in a hospital ward.
And we haven’t even started on the food. For the first week, Frampton makes me keep a food diary. When he sees I’ve written “six double vodkas” on a Saturday night, followed by “three bacon sandwiches” on a Sunday morning, he’s aghast. “The worst thing you can drink is beer. It goes straight here,” he says, slicing a finger along my chin, “and here,” he adds, pointing dismissively at my tummy. Safe to say, I haven’t had lager since. Obviously, he’s a big fan of protein and advocates loads of vegetables, nuts, quinoa and no bread. His big rule is no carbs after 6pm. “Try it, you wake up feeling thinner.” I did, and you do.
He acknowledges models have a terrible rep when it comes to food. “They get so much shit for size 0,” he says of the girls he works with. “So I said to their agents, ‘Give them to me and I’ll tell them how to eat right. I’ll teach them their vegetables.’” He actually thinks the best way to get thin is to activate muscle, as it “eats the fat off the rest of you”. This explains why, for the first three weeks, we mostly do leg work, as the muscles in your bum and thighs are the biggest in the body, and once they’re motoring away they help keep the rest of you trim. This sounded like hogwash to me, but a month in I started to notice a huge change. Having previously shared a metabolic rate with Johnny Vegas that meant merely glancing at a macaroon added a roll of fat to my face, suddenly food didn’t seem to touch me (even after the odd covert pork pie binge).
If you want results fast, Frampton recommends seeing him three times a week, but with our work schedules this never quite happened. Even so, as the weeks ticked by, I went from thinking this was a daft mission to entirely possible. Essentially, it became clear — as I knocked out 150 squats — that thinness is a matter of choice. Some will find it harder, some will find it easier, but it all boils down to what you’re willing to sacrifice. “I want you to try not eating breakfast,” Frampton says one day. Perhaps the ensuing conversation is a sign of how warped one’s brain can get.
“But, Roger,” I say, “if I’m not eating carbs after six and not eating anything till 1pm, that’s only five hours of the day in which to do any proper eating at all.”
“Just try it,” he says. “Instead of breakfast, drink two litres of water.”
“Water is not a meal. You’ll be telling me to skip lunch next.”
“Haha, yes,” he laughs. “The model diet. Just eat nothing at all.”
He’s joking, I hope, but I try it and more weight falls off. Hardly surprising. What’s more weird is that after a day or two of staring at the fridge like a plaintive labrador at 9am, I don’t even miss it. My energy rockets and I barely feel hungry any more. Maybe I’m high on starvation? Not high enough to kid myself I’m model buff at the end of the 12 weeks, alas. But, though I might not be troubling the casting directors at Dolce & Gabbana — or the Littlewoods catalogue — I do now have lines of muscle carved down my stomach, much niftier arms and I bought a pair of size-28 shorts in Topman. Even my hip bones pop out. Anyone can have a six-pack, it turns out. All you need is time, money and a ruthless trainer. “You see,” Frampton says, delighted. I’m sad to say I do.
A model of fitness
When it comes to results, technique is key. Frampton favours “perfectly executed” squats and press-ups that you can do at home to build lean, model-worthy muscle. So take some time to learn your stuff.
Rather than obsessing about your weight, aim for fitness goals and the aesthetics should take care of themselves, Frampton says. “They don’t have to be big goals, just doing an extra rep is an improvement. Be nice to yourself and be patient, but push yourself to improve.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fasting every now and then, we’re not exactly starving these days,” he says. “I regularly skip breakfast and have light evening meals. Eat natural, full-fat foods, no protein shakes, no gimmicks, no fads. Good, colourful, home-cooked food is best.”
Good news if you’re time-poor. Slogging away for hours on a treadmill isn’t necessarily the best way to shed pounds. “Intensity during a workout over length of workout, any day,” he says. “A good workout can be 20 minutes if you put everything into it. Interval and circuit training are effective.”
“There is no quick fix, this takes time and effort,” Frampton says. “Eat less, train more.” But the good news is that once you’re happy with your body, maintaining it is far easier. “Motor memory will always be there if you build your foundation,” he says.