Fed up with jeans that don't accommodate their strong legs and great booties, a team of weight lifters, snowboarders, and rock climbers in Nevada created Barbell Denim--a new line of jeans designed for active people.

“We wanted jeans that were built for strong, powerful legs that would allow us to move completely freely and still look and feel like fashionable denim,” Hunter Molzen, co-owner of Barbell Apparrel, tells Co.Design.

“Even for active people whose legs aren't particularly muscular, we wanted to give them a denim option that allows them to have amazing flexibility and freedom of movement.”

They began by taking the average measurements of their athletic friends and families and even from strangers who agreed to participate.

After crunching the averages, they found that for these types of people, the ratio between waist, thigh, and butt measurements was much different from that found in the typical denim cut.

Using those rough averages, they began several months of testing and designed fits that accommodated athletic body types but which were still form-fitting.

Co.Design

Barbell Denim: Jeans Built To Fit Big, Muscly Legs

Fed up with jeans that don't accommodate strong legs and a great booty, a group of athletes decided to make their own denim.

The same jeans that look divine when you're posing in front of a dressing room mirror often turn into restrictive, unwearable leg-vices when you take them home and try to bend over or sit. Those with athletic bodies--sporting bulky calves, quads, and butts--have an especially hard time finding jeans that don’t cramp their active lifestyles.

That’s what inspired a team of weight lifters, snowboarders, and rock climbers in Nevada to create Barbell Denim--a new line of jeans designed for active people. “We wanted jeans that were built for strong, powerful legs that would allow us to move completely freely and still look and feel like fashionable denim,” Hunter Molzen, co-owner of Barbell Apparrel, tells Co.Design. “Even for active people whose legs aren't particularly muscular, we wanted to give them a denim option that allows them to have amazing flexibility and freedom of movement.” After tossing around the idea in their local gym and among family and friends, they decided to do it.

Unlike jeggings (for the uninitiated, these are jeans fused with leggings) or other stretchy jeans, Molzen says Barbell Denim is still a “classic jean” at its core. “For us, it was never enough to just take normal jeans, make them a bit more flexible, and say mission accomplished,” he says. “We knew there was something proportionally wrong at the heart of denim design.”

They began by taking the average measurements of their athletic friends and families and even from strangers who agreed to participate. After crunching the averages, they found that for these types of people, the ratio between waist, thigh, and butt measurements was much different from that found in the typical denim cut.

Then they went to the drawing board. They started with the basic measurements of a modern denim cut for men and women's jeans, then gutted everything between the waist and knee--the area that largely dictates how comfortably you can move. Using those rough averages, they began several months of testing and designed fits that accommodated athletic body types but which were still form-fitting. “When I wear Barbell Denim, it almost feels like I’m wearing nothing,” Molzen says. If you're a gym rat or if you too have a great booty, perhaps you'll feel the same.

The team has already raised $76,247 for Barbell Denim on Kickstarter--far above their $15,000 goal--with 38 days left in their campaign. Go here to order a pair of Barbell jeans.

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22 Comments

  • Jessica Boyd

    So are there plans to expand sizing now that you;re funded?! I'd LOVE a pair but i do not have a 33 waist! :/

  • William Kai-Shun Siu

    The concept is good, and I would seriously consider it, but the images that go with the article utterly reduces the kickstarter's apparent research, prototyping and overall credibility to nil.

    Not to be harsh, but using non-athletic models to push an athletic concept... well, would you hire a business coach that was sunk in debt? A fat personal trainer?

    Be careful guys, all your hard work could go to waste if you don't market the idea properly. All the best.

  • Kimberly Lisa Kurz

    OMG could you do shorts too???? That is such a huge problem if you have muscular and larger thighs

  • Brooke Harmony Reynolds

    Too bad about the leather label... do you have them without for us vegan body builders (veganbodybuilding.com)

  • Rece WitherDoom Davies

    OK this is rad, I am an athlete and have a hard time fitting into jean...however my BIGGEST problem is shorts...can someone please make flattering shorts for women with bigger thighs/butts?? I end up wearing skirts all the time, and get chafed because shorts end up ridding up my thighs/butt...if they fit my waist they sure the heck don't fit my butt, it's freaking annoying. Anyways I like where you are going with this...just get on those shorts please.

  • Hunter Molzen

    Hi Rece!

    Shorts are definitely in our sights. We want to make lots of options for people with athletic builds, and denim is just the beginning!

  • Sarah Belanus

    I don't see the women's model as having big thighs, at all! Why not use an actual bodybuilder or competitive cyclist? That would lend a bit more credibility to the design idea...most of my cycling friends love the concept (we have big muscular thighs and tiny waists that don't fit into ANY jeans).

  • Hunter Molzen

    Hey Sarah,

    We started this project with a limited number of prototypes and resources.

    For our models we were mostly working with willing friends and family.

    We're doing everything we can to get some fresh denim prototypes and another photoshoot lined up with some seriously athletic girls!

  • Michelle Pinsky

    Not really a fan for the women's. I hate skinny jeans something awful. Plus, waist size when it rests on the hips? Not an accurate measurement for those of us with really high waists.

  • Squats turn "dad jeans" into skinny jeans; perhaps these are the answer. Though I don't see anything too convincing in the example pictures above.

  • I support this , I'm sick and tired of walking into stores and returning jeans or even shopping and trying all sorts of sizes that really don't fit. Instead of feeling good about my body because of it's muscles it makes me feel like there is something wrong with it

  • Joseph Van Alstyne

    I disagree. Most guys who have large enough thighs to warrant this specialty denim are probably better off with a straight cut so they don't end up looking like they have drumsticks (the chicken kind) for legs. At least that's what would likely happen with a slim/skinny cut. Boot cut would probably just make it look even more like they came from Kansas, since that's apparently a problem.