Fashion

We Tested This Inexpensive Workout T-shirt in Surf Town

In the name of fitness, we survived three days of yoga, sand runs, volleyball, surfing, and Brazilian models.
IMAGE Bo Athletics
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Fitness is something I’ve embraced only fairly recently. Starting out with light walks on the treadmill and simple dumbbell exercises based on articles I’ve read online in 2013 in the small gym in my condominium, my weekly routine has now evolved into a serious regimen of CrossFit training five to six days a week, interjected with indoor cycling once a week and trekking or swimming out of the city to serve as active recovery during my rest days. 

Fitness is a way of life

With the wide variety of fitness options that have opened in the past few years—24-hour gyms, boxing, indoor rowing, muay Thai—as well as the vast workout templates available online that you could do in the comfort of your own home sans equipment, making the choice not to exercise can be straight-up lazy. 

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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With that taken into consideration, it’s perfectly understandable how costs can build up: that keto-friendly meal plan you signed up for, the five-pound tub of whey protein from Cash & Carry, and, oh, were those new Metcons you purchased just two days ago? 

Yes, it can get pricey, and then comes the ever-present question: What do I wear to workout

Your training partners include Brazilian models

Bo Athletics came into the picture as the active wear label of SM Department Store (now The SM Store) in 2011. It gained recognition among fitness enthusiasts, particularly those who frequented fun runs, which was a popular scene that same year. 

I personally was not aware of the brand until they sent an invitation to a three-day fitness bootcamp in San Juan, La Union. In partnership with local fitness group Tao Tribe Philippines, the camp was geared toward the following: workouts, yoga, team-building activities, and healthy food all by the beach. I said yes. 

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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

We were a diverse mix of around 20 people—Brazilian models, fitness personalities, social media influencers, representatives of different publications—barefoot or in flip-flops, with coconut water in hand, gathered at the common area of Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel. 

Hideo Muraoka, Bo Athletics ambassador, Tao Tribe founder, 200h Yogaworks Vinyasa Yoga Alliance teacher, certified Meta HIIT coach, and professional model, introduced himself and his fellow coaches, Sam Ajdani, Noel Agra, George Irineu, Eduardo Lara, and Guilherme Hasegawa, to us and then shared his game plan for three days in surf town. 

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The Bo Athletics training T-Shirt is compact

We proceeded to our rooms to change into our training tees. I requested for a small (which is usually my size in other active wear labels), and the shirt fit just how I like it—compact and wears close to the body without being too tight. 

IMAGE: Bo Athletics

Mine came in a solid gray raglan-sleeved crewneck tee with white shoulder piping in a standard nylon-spandex-polyester blend, a versatile style you can wear with almost any pair of shorts or sweatpants. 

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But the real test came later that afternoon via the workouts, which our coaches specifically designed to help us experience what Tao Tribe is really all about. 

The T-shirt flexes in yoga

The coaches of Tao Tribe Philippines specialize in different athletic fields such as yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), OCR (obstacle course racing), martial arts, football, among others. The group formulates workouts and exercises that make use of calisthenics and functional movements to promote a healthier lifestyle and provide a holistic balance of the body, mind, and soul. 

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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Our morning started with a one-hour Vinyasa yoga class headed by coach Hideo. Throughout the session, the tee stayed in place, did not bunch up, and kept its relaxed fit despite the different poses we found ourselves in. The flexibility of the shirt also allowed it to easily graze the body without friction.  

The T-shirt survives sand sprints

Shortly after, an obstacle course was set up on the Flotsam beachfront for the Tao Tribe workout we’ve all been waiting for. The course featured five workouts in different sections of the beach, each managed by one of the coaches, and the workouts focused mainly on core work, hip movements, and a lot of sprints. We were grouped into teams of four with two sets of partners, and instructed to transfer to the next section after each minute. 

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

Frankly, the course looked easy with most of the movements already regular fixtures in the CrossFit box I go to. It turns out the real obstacle here was the terrain. Typically a fan of sprinted cardiovascular movements, I had no idea that something as simple as a run could turn into hell when you do it on sand. 

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Think feet sinking at every step and the feeling of weights attached to your calves, while trying to finish a movement as quickly as possible. Not an easy feat.

IMAGE: Bo Athletics

The shirts held up well throughout the challenge. The stretch material allowed for mobility and prevented constriction during all the movements. And despite the relaxed fit, there was no issue of the fabric flapping around or the hem riding up (a pet peeve of mine). 

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The fabric also dealt with moisture well, remaining light and breathable and drying quickly even when it was drenched in sweat. 

The T-shirt makes fitness accessible

While fitness still comes off as an intimidating concept to some people, Bo Athletics helps change this notion by offering functional and affordable attire geared toward an active lifestyle. Its selection include performance tops, basketball jerseys, shorts, sweatpants, and jackets with prices ranging from as little as P349.75 to nothing beyond the P2,000 mark. 

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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Coach Hideo also takes part in the development of its products, so you have that seal of credibility from someone who lives the brand. 

With fitness becoming more and more accessible, it should be our own personal responsibility to take care of ourselves and get moving toward healthier, better lives—and now you know you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to make that happen. 

More scenes from the bootcamp

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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IMAGE: Bo Athletics

IMAGE: Bo Athletics
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The SM Store

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About The Author
Anton Miranda
Anton Miranda is a men’s wear stylist whose work has appeared in Esquire, Forbes, Town & Country, and other publications. His works present the idea of dressing well as breaking and making the rules of style according your taste and lifestyle.
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