Chances are you’re sitting down reading this. Danny Walker and Jess Hatzis-Walker are counting on it.
Frame is the husband-and-wife team’s posture-first fitness studio on Dover Street, Cremorne, and it’s designed for office dwellers that could add professional sitter to their CV.
While Walker spent the last 15 years as a personal trainer, Hatzis-Walker has been sitting at her desk for just as long, both as co-founder and chief marketing officer for skincare brand Frank Body, while also running her branding agency Willow & Blake.
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Fitness is what brought the pair together. “I’d injured myself as a result of training inaccurately and got referred to Dan. So, we’re the biggest love-story cliché going around,” Hatzis-Walker says. “I started to see some immediate results, and not just in terms of the way my body looked, but a lot more in terms of how it felt.”
In May last year, they opened Frame, which focuses on their client’s long-term goals rather than get-fit-quick promises. “It’s about getting people out of that challenge mindset,” she says. “We’re trying to help people reframe that – pardon the pun.”
The couple run small group training sessions for people with hunched and rolled shoulders, hip tilts from sitting cross-legged, and glutes that don’t activate, as well as anyone looking to improve their overall strength and fitness.
“Poor posture and underperforming muscles for people that sit at a desk all day are key culprits in low energy, poor sleep, mental fatigue and general aches and pains,” Hatzis-Walker says. “People think [posture] is just about rolling back your shoulders, but it’s more than that … It has a ripple effect through the entire body.”
The fit-out is minimal. Natural light pours through large industrial-style windows and double sliding doors that open onto a quiet side street (which is sometimes used for classes on weather-appropriate days). You won’t find TVs, loud music or heavy weights here. Instead, the odd Frank Body freebie and greenery add to the casual feel of the space.
Classes – mainly run by Walker – are capped at 12 people. “Instead of paying anywhere between $70 and $100 for a single PT session, you pay $75 for unlimited sessions each week,” Hatzis-Walker says.
There are five classes to choose from. Strength + Sweat is a 45-minute, high-intensity resistance session that starts with mobility exercises (to help increase your range of movement), moves onto exercises using kettlebells and body weight, and ends with posture correction using resistance bands. Circuit Training is all about increasing muscular endurance, and Advanced Conditioning focuses on increasing muscle mass and strength training. There’s also a speedy lunchtime class, and a 30-minute stretch session.
“Those stretching classes are quite different to yoga and Pilates,” Hatzis-Walker says. “They’re specifically designed to address muscles that become tight as a result of sitting down all day.”
And that out-of-breath, could-almost-vomit, dripping-in-sweat result you may be accustomed to? That’s not really Frame’s schtick either.
“Danny takes a very considered approach to training. He’s not about that smash-and-grab, 45 minutes of soul-destroying cardio,” Hatzis-Walker says. “Exercise doesn’t have to be about punishing yourself. It’s really about rewarding your body and taking responsibility and accountability for all the things we put it through.”
Frame is located at 47 Dover Street, Cremorne. Single classes cost $28, and unlimited weekly passes cost $75. A $50 intro pack includes two weeks of unlimited training.