Physiclo Resistance bands

Physiclo founders Frank Yao, a former New York University medical student, and Keeth Smart, an Olympic Silver Medalist fencer, want to bring resistance tights to the masses.

Compression tights have been widely accepted by athletes along with general customers, but workout pants with built-in resistance is an open category that Smart and Yao are hoping to jump-start.

According to Yao, right now in the space there are two types of competitors: companies that make ankle weights and other brands that have created leggings with built-in resistance bands that attach to the waist, which he said is problematic because it interferes with movement. The resistance bands in Physiclo leggings are positioned to target specific muscle groups and don’t restrict movement. The men’s and women’s pants retail from $110 to $125.

The concept started in 2013 when Yao was studying at NYU and thought about putting resistance bands in apparel to help rehabilitate patients. They raised $150,000 on Indiegogo — their goal was $30,000 — and introduced the product to the market. The leggings have been a hit with athletes including Carmelo Anthony, tennis pro Patrick McEnroe and New York Giant Brandon London, but going forward the founders want to expand the brand’s reach.

“We want to get to people at all fitness levels,” said Yao. “Our goal is to focus on our marketing. Improve our storytelling and get the messaging out there that this is something anybody can use whether you are doing a 20 minute walk or running a 5k every morning.”

Yao is hoping to educate customers with studies to show the effects of wearing Physiclo leggings. In a recent study he found that marathon runners who trained in Physiclo saw an eight-minute improvement in their times.

He also wants to grow outside of leggings and will introduce a new line of pants and tops for spring that can be worn every day and will be more affordable than their original collection. For now the leggings are available on Physiclo’s e-commerce site, but there are plans to do wholesale in the future.