Athos is an athletic clothing company whose products provide athletes with muscle activity based feedback. Their wearable athlete performance system measures the wearer’s effort and power output. By integrating electromyography (EMG), a technology that can track the activity of your muscles, into clothing, Athos has given athletes garments that can measure their fitness progress.
The resulting research has allowed trainers and athletes to cue muscle activations, evaluate movement, and observe the amount of stress placed on muscles during performance training. According to the company, the products are most useful for professional, collegiate, and major league athletes, though they are currently expanding into a market of competitive high school sports.
Athos was founded in 2012 by Dhananja Jayalath and Chris Wiebe, who are the company’s Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. As athletes themselves, the founders sought to create a company that would help them improve their athletic performance and get the most out of their training.
Several studies have been conducted on the accuracy of the wearable performance system, and the company partners with various coaches and sports scientists to promote their products and receive feedback.
Athos produces shirts, shorts, and leggings for men and women that incorporate the EMG technology. The company claims that the components of the garments are conducive to high athletic performance and muscle research.
Materials and Fabrics
The men’s and women’s shirts, shorts, and leggings are all made of compression, sweat-wicking material that molds to your body. The garments come in various sizes.
The Athos Core is a piece of snap-on hardware that processes the EMG data from the garments and transfers the data to the user’s smartphone.
When choosing your apparel, some packages come with two Athos cores, while others come with just one. Each garment has a place for the core to snap in and record and analyze your athletic performance. For Athos shirts, the core snaps into a spot on the chest, and for Athos shorts and leggings, the core fits into a spot on the outer thigh. They are compatible with all Athos garments, have a built-in accelerometer, are water-resistant, have a wireless range of 200 feet, and weigh 0.78 ounces.
The core receives data from sensors located throughout the garments about muscle activity, heart rate, calorie expenditure, and performance during rest time and active time. In the shirts, these sensors are located near the biceps, triceps, pecs, deltoids, laterals, and trapezius muscles. The leggings and shorts have the sensors near the inner quads, outer quads, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles.
Athos offers a free iOS app that displays information gathered from the Core in a user-friendly interface.
Athletes can view their exercise data in real-time and are able to make adjustments during workouts. In fact, the data sent from the core to the iPhone app reveals an athlete’s left and right balance and the output from specific muscles. These features can help athletes and coaches determine if poor form is forcing some muscles to work harder than others.
According to Athos, the EMG technology will calibrate your muscle composition and strength, provide you with prompt data, and help you analyze needed improvements on an individual or team level. After the system calibrates, it will take into account the athlete’s specific strength and muscle mass to process data.
Athos provides coaches with an online Training Center to keep track of their athletes’ performances, design programs, and present visual displays of team muscle performance data. According to Athos, this technology allows for more informed decision-making and creates less potential for injury.
The men’s compression shirt with an Athos Core is $398/set. The men’s 2.0 compression shorts and the women’s 2.0 compression leggings and core are $348/set. The men’s full body kit with one core is $547/set, while the men’s full body kit with two cores is $696/set. A core can be purchased separately for $199.
Studies on Validity and Reliability
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine revealed information about the validity and reliability of the data that Athos generates. The study found that “over a range of dynamic contractions Athos provides measures of sEMG that are consistent with controlled, research grade technologies and techniques.” In other words, this study concluded that Athos provides comparable data to research grade surface EMG devices.
Athos offers a 90-day warranty on the apparel and a one-year warranty on the Athos core hardware. The company also provides customers with a 14-day, no-hassle return policy. If you’re unsatisfied with your garment, Athos will give you a full refund and free return shipping as long as the return is within the 14 day period. Customers are limited to two exchanges each, and you can contact Athos for help choosing the right fit. As long as the returned products are not damaged, an exchange or refund will be provided.