Gym Jean-ius? Denim Designs for Athletes, by Athletes

Low rise. High rise. Boot-cut. Skinny. Slim fit. Boyfriend. The varieties of denim cuts that are available in your average mall seem endless.

But for the big-boned, athletic-bodied among us, jeans that fit over super-toned thighs are actually quite limited.  And the too tight, ill-fitting jean problem plagues more than a few Americans.

Frustrated with retailers for failing their fitness-minded consumers, a group of friends in Nevada decided they could do better.  The group of entrepreneurs, made up of snowboarders, weight lifters and rock climbers, created a denim jean prototype using their own bodies (and those of a few helpful gym-goers) as models for the measurements.

Then it was time to re-design the American classic.

In an interview on Fox Business, Barbell Apparel co-founder Hunter Molzen says their re-designed jeans “have a little bit of spandex, but at their core they are still a denim jean. They feel like denim, they look like denim and they will act like denim. The biggest change has less to do with spandex and more to with the actual fit. We gutted a basic, normal fit between the waste and the knee. We started from the ground up. There is now more room in the thigh, more room in the butt and it’s just built for more athletic people.”

The group turned to Kickstarter, a crowd funding website, to help raise money to launch the company. Their target: raise $15,000 in 45 days. They met their goal in 47 minutes. And with 23 days still left in their campaign, the company now has over half a million dollars in its coffers.

After such a successful fundraising exercise, Barbell Apparel is adjusting its business plan accordingly.

“We launched Kickstarter focusing on denim, and we were planning to grow slowly and boot strap our way into other products, but with the amount of funding and support we have received, we are planning to branch out into other clothing to give people who are more active and more muscular more options,” says Molzen.

Barbell Apparel is currently sourcing their products overseas, but according to Molzen, the influx of cash from Kickstarter will also allow the company to start exploring production options here in the U.S.

As for the 5,000 pairs of jeans on pre-order, Molzen expects to start shipping in July and with a co-founder that specializes in production and logistics, he’s “confident we will be able to meet future demand.”

The Barbell Apparel Kickstarter campaign ends on May 25th.