Fashion & Style

We Can Work it Out

WOD makes clothes for the really active woman

by EDDIE RIVERA, Editor, Living Section
Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 | 10:48 PM

CrossFit. No, it’s not a plumbing component. It’s a popular strength and conditioning program that improves muscular strength, your cardio-respiratory endurance, and your flexibility. Think of it as a combination of aerobics, gymnastics exercises, and some serious weight lifting.

The workouts include a warm-up, and then the high-intensity “workout of the day” or “WOD,” along with a period of individual stretching. There’s some competition involved, so it’s kinda like Spinning, except someone’s gonna win that bike race every day. WODs are scored to encourage competition and to track individual progress, thus encouraging a more strenuous workout and more improvement.

 Gabriel Pelino, who owns WOD Workout Gear in South Pasadena, was introduced to the sport in early 2010, when his wife bought him a gift certificate for it.

“I started going to CrossFit Pasadena, and immediately fell in love with it,” he said. “I had been running and that type of thing, but this was something new. ”

And then one day, in the midst of his new love affair with the CrossFit phenomenon, Pelino sees an article on Forbes.com that says CrossFit is the action sports industry to become a part of.

A selection of WOD gear.

Being an entrepreneur at heart, Pelino said, “Okay, let me think about this,” and  began to research what types of apparel brands were in the mix at the time. He saw only a few t-shirt companies. His goal then was to design and produce a line of CrossFit apparel—primarily for women— that would not only look great, but be comfortable and adaptable to all of the sport’s physical requirements.

“I wanted to have a full line for women, and be more than just a t-shirt line, but really be an active wear brand,” said Pelino. With that in mind, he reached out to his working partner Scott Slauson, who helped select the fabrics, the cuts and the design of the apparel.

It was a perfect fit, Pelino recalled, saying, “There was a real sense of natural evolution for me to handle our distribution because I know how to do it, because I’m in that everyday. (Pelino was working in e-commerce at the time.) So I just said to Scott, ‘Hey, this is what I am thinking. Do you want to dive in and be a part of this? And I’ll do the business end. You handle the creative,’ so we made it all unique to CrossFit. We were the first brand to come up with a full women’s line.”

The idea behind Scott’s creativeness, is “If this pant can endure and be shaped to a woman that can endure a CrossFit workout, it can endure Yoga, it can endure Pilates, it can endure anything that’s out there,” said Pelino. “So the stability factor of our product is amazing.”

Their single store on Mission Street now has an online outlet as well as wholesale clients in such faraway places as South America, Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia.

The company plans on marketing what they call “fast fashion,” a new style in the first quarter of the year, followed by a new line in the following quarter, and so on, an almost race-like metaphor for a company built on a competitive lifestyle.

“The beauty of CrossFit,” says Pelino, “is that there’s a real sense of community. So when you’re working out, you’re with a group of people, everybody’s encouraging each other, so you don’t feel alone. And even if you’re finishing last in whatever that movement or that specific workout is, people are cheering you on to the finish. So it doesn’t matter what size, shape, athletic ability, you’re being cheered on and you feel great, and that’s the beauty of CrossFit.”

Gabriel Pelino just wants to make sure you look terrific while you’re doing it.

WOD Gear Clothing is at 956 Mission Street, South Pasadena. (800) 850-6570. www.wodgearclothing.com

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