Category Archives: SYNCSTUDIO

Pertaining to happenings, people, events, ideas and just about anything coming out of this awesome studio and its amazing community of people.

Baby Steps to Giant Leaps: Candace’s Journey to “Fitness”

My story starts out like so many others.  I’ve never been a skinny girl.  Well, there are plenty pictures of me in cute bikinis through, say, age 6, but after that, I generally looked like a little sausage encased in my spandex dance recital outfits.  It wasn’t until middle school that I began to sense that my heftier frame was the reason I didn’t fit in; by high school this sense had turned into a painful awareness of my jiggly thunder thighs every time I tried to wear cute shorts from Abercrombie & Fitch like my daintier peers.  Although my parents encouraged me to play sports (which, I did, if you define ‘playing’ by riding the bench), I’m not sure they really knew how to instill to me the fitness-related values of a healthy lifestyle.  I spent the majority of those years eating as I pleased without consistent exercise and was thus a thick girl who didn’t seem to fit in… although, maybe that’s how we all tend to feel at that age, regardless of how we look.

And so, at some point, I arrived at the thought that getting to the gym was my best bet to try to ‘fix’ my issue.  I began to work out at the local Y around age 16, and though my visits were consistent and full of hard work and sweat, I was more or less blind; working out with no goal in mind and certainly not altering my diet.  Nothing really changed, but I felt better.  Although I didn’t want to admit it or make the change, the missing piece at this point in my life was control over what I ate.  I had a vague idea of what ‘healthy’ was, but certainly didn’t practice it with any consistency, and was a mindless snacker.  Not to mention the near quarter-cup of sugar I added to my new habit of coffee in the mornings (I was a grown up!).

Although I generally continued to ‘work out’ throughout college and after, my constant struggle was always with food.  I did hire a personal trainer my senior year of college who turned me into the lean machine I always knew I could be; but the weight quickly returned when I graduated from school.  All of a sudden I found myself with no money to pay for a trainer, sitting behind a desk all day instead of being on my feet waiting tables, and partaking in whatever yummy snacks happened to be in the office kitchen.  Blech.

Even though most of these years didn’t really ‘get’ me anywhere in terms of looking different (Which, let’s be honest, isn’t that why most of us start a fitness journey? By not liking how we look?), I feel that the redundant circle of eating unhealthily and working out was an important one, especially in reflection.  It showed me that the limiting factor in any plan is almost always diet, and that, for me, diet was always going to be the hard part.  Putting in hard work at the gym was relatively easy and the resulting endorphins gave me reason to be consistent with it; it was the other part which eluded me.  I think many people struggle with either one or the other; and it’s finding balance that is key.

I finally was able to at least approach this balance when, post-marriage, I was suddenly staring at a number that was upwards of 170 on the scale.  SAY WHAT?!  For me, weight was always ‘just a number,’ as my generally muscular frame always kept me around 150-155 even though you may have guessed me to be lighter than that.  Even at a weight of 135 where I was working my tail off, I was just considered ‘healthy’ by BMI standards.  But, seeing that number really hit a nerve.  I know a lot of women tend to gain weight after getting married, and this was just another case, but I made the decision to NOT be okay with it.  I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to feel beautiful, I wanted something different for my life.  I needed a drastic change.

I threw caution to the wind, signed up for a half-marathon, and started running.  Running isn’t for everyone, and it was AWFUL to start; I could barely run a quarter mile.  There was a lot of walking, a lot of soreness, and a LOT of chafing – but once I crossed that finish line, I was CONVINCED this was my key to success.  I bought a scale and began tracking my weight.  I learned about food and calories.  I began logging what I ate and holding myself accountable for the decisions I made when it came to food.  I got back to the gym to start strength training (read: LIFTING per Leigh Ann Yeager).  By 2012, I’d lost the 20 pounds I put on in 2009 (plus 5-10 more), ran a 2 hour half marathon, and completed a full marathon in October.  Some CRAZY achievements given my starting point.

I’ve managed to keep all of that weight off by making sure I weigh myself 2-3 times a week, and making adjustments where it’s needed.  I always expect to gain 5-8lbs over the holidays, but instead of grimacing at the scale when I see that elevated number in January, I suck it up, eat less (and better), and work out more.  The formula for that is simple, and if you have the commitment and know that you’ll be happier once you make the changes, it’s 100% worth it.

So far, I’ve relayed my struggles with weight loss, food, and the scale.  Even though this was where my journey started, today it is such a small part of what fitness means to me.  While there is a LOT to be said for finding a happy weight and being able to embrace and sustain it, living well has brought more meaning to my life than I could have ever asked for.  For example, a funny thing happened when I ran that first half-marathon in 2010: random friends started running and training, telling me I was their inspiration – I became the reason: “well, if she can do it, I can.”  You can’t imagine how uplifting it is when your actions cause other people to make positive changes in their life – I had at least four friends complete half-marathons over the next couple of years who started training because of me.  It was during that time that I thought maybe, just maybe, there was something more to fitness for me than personal growth.

It was around 2012 that I began frequenting a local fitness spot called SYNCSTUDIO.  I fell in love with the energy, the people, the support, the laughs, and the community-mindedness.  As I grew to know many of the other members, it took me no time to realize that I wanted to make SYNCSTUDIO my new home.  If you’ve ever been through the circles of hell trying to get your fitness on track, you know it’s SUPER important to surround yourself with like-minded, kick-a** people on whom you can lean.  SYNCSTUDIO and their crazy style of cycling was so invigorating and fun, I took the leap to join their TYRO program and become a SYNCCYCLING instructor.  Not long after, I was encouraged to obtain my AFAA personal training certification, to begin to teach SYNCWELLNESS classes, and eventually become a personal trainer (the next leap I plan to take).

Nowadays, fitness is a main focus in my life not only for myself, but for others.  I believe that my journey to this point makes me someone who can help others find inner strength through health and wellness – and this, in turn, keeps me on track.  I want to show friends and clients that, whether a novice or an expert, there is always going to be something else that can challenge you and push you to new limits – and it’s at that place where the definition of ‘you’ changes, evolves, and becomes stronger.  Fitness enables you to learn your strengths and weaknesses and have fun doing it – those are some kind of powerful weapons to have when going through the craziness of life.  One of my favorite quotes is ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’: I want to always remember this in my journey, and know that if I embody it, others will follow.

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My SYNCFIX: Marit Weitnauer

How do you get your SYNCFIX?! We feel so fortunate to have the most enthusiastic students and want to share their stories with you – giving real meaning to “I DO THIS EVERYDAY.”

[BKLYN] babe, Marit Weitnauer, discovered her SYNCFIX the very first day of opening…read on to learn why!

“I decided it was time to start getting stronger and healthier on a consistent basis even before I saw signs appear in the window of a sparkling new yoga and cycling studio down the street from my apartment. I was overjoyed when they finally opened the doors and I’ve been hooked since opening day (literally). It turns out that getting ripped and in shape has been easier than I thought!

ImageI’ve been so impressed with the crew of instructors that Karla and Ashley assembled. Everyone is incredibly friendly, talented and they all have great taste in music so it’s impossible to not enjoy the classes. They’ve created an energetic atmosphere that feels quite a bit more personal and tight knit than studios and gyms that I’ve tried in the past.

I practice a lot of yoga at SYNCSTUDIO and I especially love the zen hour of the 6:45am class. I can’t imagine a better way to start a busy day. I also try to make it to as many of Javi’s Cardio Circuit clases as I possibly can. They’re over in a quick 45 minutes flat and leave you covered in sweat, knowing that you’ve worked every important muscle group. I’d do it every day if I could! I feel like I’m in the best shape that I have been in since high school when I was training almost every day and I know it can only get better from here.”

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Weekly Jamz- July 19

In anticipation of a weekly release of our latest obsessions and inspirations here at SYNCSTUDIO [BKLYN], we are sending this one out to you a bit early.  Going forward you will see a post on Fridays sharing what is on repeat for the week at the [BKLYN] studio.

Keep your ears and souls happy…subscribe to both the blog and  playlist!

July 19 Jamz link go now—>

CHECK OUT THE PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY!

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My SYNCFIX: Kristin Anderson

How do you get your SYNCFIX?! We feel so fortunate to have the most enthusiastic students and want to share their stories with you. Positivity, inspiration, motivation: I CAN. I WILL.

Read on to discover how SYNCSTUDIO all-star, Kristin Anderson, discovered her SYNCFIX…

SYNCSTUDIO has literally changed my life and I love it! I came to the SYNCSTUDIO family over a year ago when their second studio opened down the street from my house in Durham. They offered the first week free and I couldn’t resist such a great deal, so I signed

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“A little SYNCADDICT in the making!”

up for six classes (and I’m a recovering couch potato!) My first class was SYNCCYCLING® [The Basics] with Ashley and it rocked my world. I seriously fell in love with the whole vibe. I couldn’t stand up for more than 30 seconds during that first class, but was as if I had found my people. The music, the bike dancing, the community- it was amazing. I joke that I’m a SYNCADDICT and it is true. I still remember how encouraging and supportive Ashley was throughout those first few weeks when I struggled…and all of the instructors are like that. Now, I look forward to going to class – it’s fun and empowering. I’ve made great friends through SYNCSTUDIO and look forward to many more years with my favorite people dancing on the bike!”

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[Meet LifEKiT Lifestyle Co.]

Sometimes we get lucky and people come into our lives that serve as a reminder to do what you love, love what you do and to believe in the power of positive thinking.  We couldn’t be more excited to introduce a collective of positive influencers, thinkers and creators….MEET LifEKiT!

1. Clue us in: Who are you? What is LifEKiT Lifestyle? Why do you create?

LifEKiT Lifestyle Co. is a lifestyle brand based here, in the beautiful city of Durham, N.C. We specialize in handmade accessories, quality apparel and a select offering of suitable lifestyle items. The production all of products are fueled by the company’s four principles of Love, Energy, Knowledge & Time. We create because we believe in the mission and the principles by which the company was founded. We use that substance to identify with others who live by the same principles. Lifers.

2. What is a typical day in the life of a LKLS Collective member?

Typical day…let’s see. There’s everything from making mail runs to filling web orders. There’s meetings and important decisions. Then there’s product development and customer service, all the way down to back porch conversations about the next undertakings of the company. We talk. We debate. We love. We laugh. And that’s a full day, every day. Running a company grants you freedom, yet at the same time it really doesn’t.

3. Favorite restaurant in Durham?

One of our favorite Durham eateries is Roy’s Kitchen. It’s a small family-owned breakfast and southern cuisine restaurant. It’s located not to too far from where we all attended college. Roy’s is like home for most of us.

4. Where will we see The Collective out in Durham? What do you do for fun?

Well, of course we’ll be in attendance for the SYNCSTUDIO Downtown Block Party! We also hope to host a few more events of our own before year’s end. We’re an eclectic energetic bunch who never shies away from a good experience. What’s great is that Durham now offers an opportunity to connect people with movement. Activities such as festivals and concerts are an excellent space to take a gander at. As a collective, we’re everywhere. We just try to make living fun.

5. MUSIC:

What are you listening to in your car right now?

Right now, it’s the Knowledge Quarter Mixtape. It’s a compilation album of distinct artists across multiple genres. It’s actually a LifEKiT production.

What do you listen to when you cook?

We love culinary preparation; it’s an art, so something soothing and creative like old Blues or classic Hip-Hop.

What do you sing in the shower?

In the shower it’s old-school Soul ballads, hands down, or the last thing that comes to mind, I guess.

What is making you dance right now?

You wouldn’t believe it, but we love those BMW commercials. They’re like the cool epitome of vintage garage rock. Oh, and anything by Santigold.

Favorite song to exercise to?

One single song is tough, but anything by Kendrick Lamar is good to exercise to. He’s like “The Man,” multiplied by two!

6. What is the STAY HUMBLE movement and what does it mean to you?

The Stay Humble Campaign is a branch of LifEKiT Lifestyle that encourages sustainable living, social awareness and humility across a range of issues. The campaign means a lot to the brand. It’s a very significant part of our company and movement. It gives us an opportunity to not just speak on the issues we identify with, but also a chance to garner support and raise awareness by getting our friends involved.  We can all use some “Stay Humble.”

7. Biggest perk to running your own lifestyle company?

The biggest perk is freedom – freedom to create – freedom to speak – freedom to engage.

8. What does it mean to be a Lifer?

To be a Lifer is to identify with the principles, movements and messages of the brand. It’s like the final stage of when a supporter becomes one who embraces the principles of LifEKiT as their own. Lifers take true flight.

9. What is the collective’s biggest accomplishment to date?

The biggest accomplishment to date is driving our entire company to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2012 Magic Show. We were first year participants in the Pool Trade Exhibition. The Magic Show was a week-long waltz of high end fashion, new trends and the competitive drive it takes to make it. Such exposure to fashion and entrepreneurship on a global level was priceless. It was a huge undertaking. As a brand, we really grew-up fast in one week. There were nine of us in a fifteen passenger van, operating on fumes and a shoe string budget. We can go anywhere now and KNOW that we belong. It was a huge accomplishment, but growing every day, week and year is an accomplishment in itself.

10. Who in the collective is going to be the next SYNCCYCLING® instructor?

(Laughing) I think we ALL want a shot at that one! I think most of us would even do it for free.

11. What are you reading right now?

Interesting you should ask that. Two of us are reading a book right now called Life of Pi. Someone else just finished a book called The 4-Hour Work Week, and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. We’re almost all finished with The Alchemist. We also just picked up the new GQ. Denzel Washington is on the front cover. Fast Company is another magazine that stays on the rack. With reading, we keep it diverse and always positive.

12. What/Who is the greatest influence in your life?

It’s family. It’s friends. It’s experiences. That’s all you need.

13. What do you think makes Durham a unique place to be right now?

We look at Durham as one big urban cooperative, a cultural bed of art, intellectualism and creativity. You merge that with Research Triangle Park and you’ve got some real energy. As business owners, we’re seeing the growth every day. I guess you can say we’re living it. We hope to continue that unique spin through LifEKiT Lifestyle.

14. What can we look forward to next from LKLS?

Up next are some awesome Fall products in the realm of apparel – new textures, new colors, new designs, as well as some new lifestyle items. All we can say for now is “Please, stay tuned y’all!”

Follow LifEKiT on

[Tumblr] [Facebook] [LifEKiT Store] [Instagram] [@LifEKiT]

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[Meet Jim]

Jim might be the new kid on the block, but his roots with SYNC go way back!  We’re elated that he’s officially part of the SYNCCYCLING™ team, and we hope you get a chance to check out one of his classes.

Any projects you are working on right now?

I actually have two things going on right now I’m pretty excited about.  The first is that I am co-stage managing an upcoming play called Richie – a modern/alternate universe interpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard II focused on the “royalty” of celebrity rather than of kings and queens.  It’s going to be funky and highly entertaining.  It’s a promenade piece, meaning that the performance will be played out over several different locations in downtown Durham (15 in all, most of which are bars, restaurants and other watering holes).  You can find out more about that at littlegreenpig.com.  The other cool side project is that I have been asked to co-write a script for a video game based on a female comic book character of some repute.  That’s really all I can say about that one for now, but it should be awesome.

What are you listening to in your car right now?

NPR.  This may sound odd to most people, but since I’ve become an instructor at the Studio I hardly ever listen to music over the radio.  If not NPR, I’m listening to my current playlist or candidates for my next playlist on Spotify.

Favorite song to dance alone to?

I’ll never tell!

Favorite place you have traveled to?  Place you want to travel to next?

Ireland.  I took my mom there a few years ago.  She always wanted to go see “the Motherland” (yep, I’m Irish), and it really was as green and lush and beautiful as you would imagine it to be.  We were lucky, too, in that it was unseasonably warm and sunny for the whole trip.  For my next trip, I feel the pull towards coastal California.

Favorite SYNCCYCLING™ move?

Travel.  It’s hard to beat the classics.

Favorite place in Durham?

Fullsteam Brewery

Favorite place in Raleigh?

It’s a tie between Cafe Helios and Hayes Barton Cafe

Top 3 Favorite movies?

This is really tough!  I can’t say these are my three absolute favorites, because I have so many, but I love It Happened One NightHeat and The Shawshank Redemption.

If you could make a movie, what would it be about and who would the lead roles be played by?

It would be a period piece murder mystery taking place on a great estate in 18th century England.  All of my friends from SYNCSTUDIO would be in the cast.  Ashley would be the mysterious lady of the house who is found dead in Act I.  Matty, Kyle, Cathy, Laurissa and Leigh Ann would definitely all be suspects.  I would wish to either play the super sleuth who solves the crime, or the sweet friendly one with a dark secret that you never-saw-coming as the murderer.  Ha!

What is the best dish you can cook?

I confess little talent in this area.  But I do make a pretty good lasagna.

Best moment in this year’s Olympics?

The men’s 4×100 relay finals was the most thrilling thing I saw.  The speed and grace of the athletes takes your breath away.

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[Meet Stephanie]

The secret is out!  Classes at SYNCSTUDIO taught by [Stephanie Lybarger] are challenging, motivating, and full of “magic!”  People are hooked on Stephanie like phonics!  Let’s spell out a little bit about our awesome lady…
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Any projects you are working on right now?
My garden – it’s my first one and I’m still trying to figure some things out.
What are you growing in your garden?
Cucumbers (although the heat has nearly killed them), tomatoes (roma and golden cherry tomatoes), Thai hot peppers, basil, watermelon, green beans (but the aphids killed those), multi-colored carrots, swiss chard and buttercrunch lettuce.

Best thing about having two sweet bambinos?

Seeing their own little personalities develop.  Cooper has a lot of empathy and is a really caring kid and Bridgette is very assertive and bright.  I like to think they both got those traits from me.
What are you listening to in your car right now?
I actually have a playlist on my iPhone called “Car” (no really, I’m not making that up) and it has a variety on it:  Kid Rock, Michael Franti, Eminem, P.O.D., Gym Class Heroes, Ke$ha, Linkin Park, and a few others.
Music for class?
For yoga I really like Michael Franti and Marc Broussard and for cycling my favorite is a mixture of cheesy pop music and angry rock.
Favorite song to dance alone to:
“Dancing with Myself” by Billy Idol.  Just kidding–I don’t dance.
What is your favorite SYNCCYCLING™ move?
Swing – because I can’t dance and that move makes me feel like I can (at least on a bike).
Strangest place you’ve practiced yoga?
My office – I was really stressed one day so I just shut the door and practiced in between a filing cabinet and my desk chair.
What posture do you do to relax?
Supta Bada Konasana with my feet bound with a blanket and a bolster under by back.
What posture do you do to get energized?
My favorites to build energy are Warrior 2 and Half Moon
What is your favorite dessert?
I really can’t name just one – how ’bout I give you a top five?  These are in no particular order:
  1. Hagen Daas plain chocolate ice cream
  2. crème brûlée
  3. monster cookies (which I prefer to make myself)
  4. chocolate peanut butter cheesecake (from my own kitchen)
  5. fresh peaches
You just did a Magic Mike themed SYNCCOMBO (SYNCCYCLING™ + Yoga Fusion) class… Tell us, who is your favorite Magic Mike stripper?  And what song goes with him?
First of all, I love that you’re asking me this question.  This is a tough call– if we’re going just with physical appearance then Joe Maganiello (who dances to “Can I” by Tank… and you can see exactly why his stage name is “Big Dick Richie”).  If we’re factoring in dancing ability here, then the answer is clearly Channing Tatum (who dances to “Pony” by Ginuwine and “Calypso” by Excision & Datsik).
If you could choose any character in any movie/book to be in real life, who would it be?
Lisabeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Yeah, she’s a little effed up but she’s crazy smart, resourceful and strong and she has her own beliefs and morals that she follows in a completely unwavering capacity.
Okay, so we know you are a Computerized Coke Machine aficionado. What is the best combo?
Diet Coke with lime and the Cherry Diet Coke to make Cherry Limeade Diet Coke!
Biggest accomplishment in your life so far?
Completely changing the direction of my life at the age of 30.  It was a scary thing to give up the security and familiarity I had to get divorced, give up going to law school and become a yoga teacher but it was, without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made.  I just decided that no one was going to come around and ask if I wanted to be happy so I figured I had to get that way on my own.

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