Photos from Bo Athletics
The beachfront is a relaxing place to be, but not when you’re doing circuit training.
The soft sand becomes unstable ground for sprints, the La Union sun starts to feel like a drought, and the waves lapping at the shore seem to mock you from a distance while you’re sweating like a sinner in church. But as the old adage goes, “No pain, no gain,” and this was the mentality we had to take on during the three-day fitness camp organized by Bo Athletics and Tao Tribe.
You might not be familiar with the name now but you soon will be — Bo Athletics is a sportswear brand designed for performance and athleisure, which sets itself from the rest of the market as a stylish alternative to more expensive, high-end workout clothes. This SM Men anchor brand currently offers basketball jersey tops, compression shorts, cotton tees, joggers, hoodies, and jackets — all the essentials for an outfit to look fly in at your next workout session.
Let’s get down to business: Bo Athletics’ basics look good in and out of the gym.
Tao Tribe might ring a bell for you if you like browsing on the fitness side of Instagram (or the thirst bait side, honestly). This collective of coaches, led by founder, Bo Athletics ambassador, model and yoga teacher Hideo Muraoka (the man’s actual resume is more extensive, and honestly deserves its own article) exists to promote fitness and living actively. And it was this tribe of trainers who pumped us up during out workouts at this beachside bootcamp.
And man, was this camp intense. While we did get the chance to stay at the lovely Flotsam & Jetsam hotel in La Union, the camp’s itinerary was packed with a lot of challenging workouts, which would prove to be an ideal testing ground for the quality of Bo Athletics’ threads.
Battle ground: We stayed at Flotsam & Jetsam, a walk away from the beachfront where most of our workouts took place.
Team spirit: Workout sessions included games, circuit training, and a whole lot of cardio.
The first day’s session involved a lot of sprinting and cardio in the form of modified team games. (Imagine a bunch of rounds of Ice Ice Water, but you play specifically to target your quads.) The next day we got to work out twice (which, by the way is a viable regimen for weight loss, since it spikes your metabolism two times in a day!), with a Vinyasa Yoga morning session at Flotsam, led by Hideo, and circuit training in the afternoon on the beachfront in what was basically an obstacle course. High intensity interval training was the name of the game for this session — Tao Tribe’s coaches got us pumped with jump squats, ab exercises with resistance bands, and kettle bell raises. By the end of it, I had a tiny existential crisis, realizing how out of shape I was, and I already work out like thrice a week. Even after that, we found the time to unwind with some free surfing lessons! Though “unwind” isn’t quite the right word, since paddling out to sea on your board actually does a number on your back. On the last day, we kind of took it easy with a few rounds of beach volleyball, before returning to life in Manila, which is tiring in a very different way.
Breathe in, breathe out: The coaches of Tao Tribe kept us pumped and performing during all our workouts.
All throughout this gauntlet, I made it a point to wear the basics that Bo Athletics gave us, their cotton tees. My experience with athletic wear in the past hasn’t been great — I tend to chafe with pretty much anything, and pieces like the shirts they give you when you join 5K fun runs, for example, are just so itchy that you’re unable to focus on powering through. Most sportswear brands that go for low price points tend to suffer from those drawbacks. Exercise is already uncomfortable, why should your clothing give you additional discomfort?
These tees though have braved sand, saltwater air, and the toughest high intensity cardio workout I’ve ever done that didn’t involve a stationary bike, and they felt great. We can probably thank Bo Athletics’ clothing technology for that — the shirts I wore were made of quality cotton, but they have pieces that also make use of dry-fit technology. It certainly helps that the fit is flattering, so the clothes are easy to integrate into your wardrobe, “Whether you want to wear it in the gym, or just casually,” says Mariel Ardiente, vice president for marketing for SM Men and SM Youth. And as annoying as the term “athleisure” can be (the idea of athletic wear that you can relax in is just ridiculous to me), maybe the real “leisure” comes from the comfort and ease of movement that quality sportswear can give you. Wearability and performance, it turns out, are two sides of the same coin.
I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things since the bootcamp. One, I seriously need to stop skipping leg day. And two, whether I’m going to the gym or doing calisthenics at home, maybe it’s just not enough to throw on any pambahay shirt and not give a crap about the threads I’m working out in. Yeah, it’s true that no pain equals no gain. But a little extra comfort never hurt anyone’s regime.
Bo Athletics is available in all SM Men department stores in The SM Store nationwide. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram at @BoAthletics.