Y,IWO (aka Yeah, I Work Out) is a clothing label inspired by the beefcake titans of the golden age of bodybuilding. Paying homage to the iconography of Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach in the late ’70s and ’80s, it has built a rep for producing no-frills gym wear inspired by legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Serge Nubret, and Franco Columbu. Think T-shirts, sweatpants and tank tops with tongue-in-cheek, punk graphics and playful slogans (‘Squat ‘til You Puke’ being our personal fave).
For their latest collection, Y,IWO has teamed up with one of the biggest names on the circuit: Ric Drasin. A former workout buddy of Arnie and the designer of Gold Gym’s now iconic logo, Drasin was instrumental in defining the style of 1980s bodybuilding: going on to create his own label, Big Boy Clothing, and adding World Gym’s gorilla logo to his already impressive roster.
For the collaboration, Y,IWO founder Jason Thome has resurrected three of Drasin’s most recognised designs. Illustrations of a gym bro lounging on a deckchair under the words ‘Lifestyles of the Ripped and Aimless’, a macho guy leaning against a palm tree on top of the phrase ‘Gym Bums of California’, and the namesake ’Club Sweat’ slogan, will all be featured on an assortment of made-in-the-USA cotton tees and baggy nylon beach shorts. Y,IWO’s signature Stay Pumped stringer tank tops will drop alongside the collection, as well as new motivational Pump Iron Today tees.
As always, the capsule is about practicality over style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look fly while you shred. Just remember: posers and #GymSelfie enthusiasts stay away.
What’s your favourite memory of Muscle Beach back in its 80s heyday?
My favourite memory of Muscle Beach was the feeling in the gym, the beach, sun, air, and sand, and a complete feeling of freedom. There’s been nothing like it since. The smell of the ocean back then has always stuck with me as a good memory.
What was it like to work out with Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Arnold was fun to work out with. We were good friends and he had a good sense of humour so we laughed a lot but at the same time we took our workouts seriously, always trying to step it up.
Did you ever bench press more than him?
I did bench press more than Arnold, he was at about 440 lbs and I was at 455lbs and it just made me push harder.
Who had the best quads on the scene?
No doubt about it that Tom Platz had the best quads over anyone. I’ve never seen anyone train them as hard as him.
How did you meet Joe Gold and how did you two start working together on Gold’s Gym?
I walked in the back door of Gold’s Gym in 1969 and I met Joe and Arnold and most of the guys in the magazines. Before long, I became one of that group in the magazines. None of the gyms had T-shirts and they knew that I would like to draw cartoons of muscle guys on napkins at lunch so asked me to come up with a character for the gym logo.
Where did your inspiration come from?
I drew a cartoon muscleman on a napkin at Zucky’s Deli and I made him bald. I always thought that one day I’d shave my head and look like that so I did. I had a thing about shaved heads. Two years later Joe asked me to draw another iconic logo for his world gym. That’s where the gorilla holding the weights came from.
Have you noticed other people being influenced by your design since?
So many gyms around the world have tried to copy my designs and style but none have come close.
How did the collaboration with Y,IWO come about?
Jason Thome of Y,IWO knew of me and set up a meeting to bring back some of the ’80s designs that I had run in Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness magazine back then. We picked three for now but there must be at least another 50 designs that we will eventually re-release.
What do you and Y,IWO have in common?
I think the beach lifestyle is what we share: healthy food, hard training, clean life and good results.