- Roger Frampton, 33, is a model and personal trainer.
- His new book ‘The Flexible Body’ proposes that by practicing a sequence of movements based on stretches and gymnastics for 10 minutes a day, you’ll get back to moving like you did as a child.
- Long-term benefits of the method include gaining strength and flexibility, avoiding injury, and living longer, he says.
33-year-old model and personal trainer Roger Frampton is chiselled, bright-eyed, and, surprisingly, even more handsome in real life than his photos suggest. But when we met after January’s London Fashion Week Men’s wrapped up, it was not to discuss his good looks nor his international modelling career.
Instead, it was to talk about his new book “The Flexible Body.”
For many people stretching is an after thought, one that all too many of us forget – or can’t be bothered – to do before or after a workout.
But for Frampton, it forms one of the main bases of his workout, which he terms “The Method.”
“The best description of what I’m doing is teaching people to move how they moved when they were three years old,” he told Business Insider.
His book, released in January, promises to get you moving like you used to by spending just 10 minutes a day working through a sequence of movements based on a combination of stretches and gymnastics. And there’s no gym membership or equipment required.
By learning to “move better” and “the way we were designed to,” you’ll build strength and flexibility, burn fat, lose weight, avoid injury, and live longer, according to Frampton.
He’s certainly pretty flexible…
…But he hasn’t always been like this.
“I was never really into exercise at school,” he told us. “You’d never have found me in a PE class, you’d have found me smoking behind the bike sheds.”
It was when he was living in east London as a late teen he started going to a “Rocky-style” gym in Stratford. “I got really into Arnold Schwarzenegger and I just wanted to get as big as I possibly could,” he said.
That all changed, though, when at 19 a model scout spotted him in a bar while he was working towards a carpentry apprenticeship.
Back then the modelling industry was pretty rigid in terms of measurements, he says, and he was told to trim down. “I realised I couldn’t lift weights anymore and that’s when I came across body weight training.”
Frampton looked to gymnastics for inspiration.
“Gymnasts are phenomenal athletes,” he said. “Super strong, really bendy, but don’t use any weights.”
At a kids gymnastics class he realised how stiff he was. “I was a typical guy, really tight, with a crazy-strong chest, but couldn’t touch my toes, and barely my knees.
“The teacher told me that we’re all born flexible, I’d just lost it. He said: ‘You can get it back, you just need to spend some time doing it.’ And I said alright, so I wrote a book on it,” he laughed.
Now a qualified personal trainer, when he’s not in front of the camera, Frampton trains other models, celebrities, and, lately, lots of couples, he says.
Start with baby steps
“The Flexible Body” is divided into nine movements, which are broken down into 10 “support exercises.” Each exercise involves a one minute movement and one minute hold, so each day he suggests you pick five of these.
“It’s 10 minutes every day so it will become a habit,” he said. “I prefer people to be more consistent rather than beat their bodies up for an hour.”
He says he’s trying to tap into people who sit at a desk eight hours a day, or those who wouldn’t normally go to the gym.
“Most gymnastics concepts are too extreme for most people so I’ve just really dampened down all of the exercises.”
The book begins with an overhead squat from where you’ll gradually work towards more challenging movements like a frog stand or headstand.
“The time transition between exercise 1 and 10 of a movement could take some people a few years,” he warned. “It’s a movement goal, not a change how my body looks goal.”
Luckily, a smiling Frampton will guide you every step of the way, from the way you position your feet, to the angle of your ankle.
It’s part of the mindfulness movement
Frampton’s method belongs to a mindfulness exercise movement that’s currently gaining traction following HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) overload.
“I’m really conscious of how I feel at any given time but especially when I’m training,” he said. “The issue with [HIIT] is you become disconnected with how you feel unless, say, you’ve been training as a sprint athlete for years.”
And it’s not just hardcore exercise that he has swapped out in favour of his method. “I wouldn’t do cardio now because I can’t recognise how I feel when I do that, then I’d be prioritising my heartbeat over how I move,” he said.
His method is about consciousness, learning, focusing, and engagement, he says, rather than short-term goals, such as weight-loss or fitness.
“I don’t want people to aspire to a particular body image. There are lots of body transformations about at the moment but that’s not what I’m about. I want you to learn some skills and then your body changes with it, just like athletes.”
In it for the long term
And he’s really not joking about it being no quick fix. The book points out that you have a lifetime to master all nine moves.
Frampton told Business Insider that he believes we’re all going to live until about 90 years old, so why the rush? “People consider themselves old at 30, but that’s really just a third of your life, you’ve got two times your life left,” he said.
He added: “Whether you like [fitness] or not, if you don’t start moving how you were designed to move, you’re going to be getting your hips replaced at 45 or 50. And I find that quite sad.”
So, only one question remains: can Frampton do the splits?
“No! Not yet,” he laughed. “But by the time I’m 75 I will! Jean-Claude Van Damme style.”