Class Action: Indoor cycling where you’re always out of the saddle

(Photo: SyncStudio)
(Photo: SyncStudio)
(Photo: Syncstudio)

Syncstudio Synccycling, $25
Where it’s offered: Syncstudio, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as well as South Durham and Downtown Durham, North Carolina

An indie fitness studio in Williamsburg is becoming a rare thing, as national workout brands like SoulCycle and Pure Barre move into Brooklyn. But what Syncstudio lacks in brand recognition, it makes up for in street cred, with a clientele of 20-somethings who line up for the no-frills, all-sweat classes in indoor cycling and yoga.

Syncstudio’s popularity is a reflection of its 28-year-old owners, Ashley Lively and Karla Misjan, who really get what people their age want—just effective, fun classes in a cool environment without a trendy price tag.

“It’s so easy to have a competitive and judgmental attitude about fitness and we feel proud to have bypassed that pitfall,” Misjan says. “We’re here to be your cheerleaders. To motivate you to feel good. Once students are in that mindset, the workout becomes engaging and fun.”

At a recent Synccycling class with Lively, the creator of the method, one bitter-cold Tuesday evening, we were surprised to find the class was completely sold out. (It turns out, not everyone in Williamsburg drinks craft beer or artisanal whiskey after work.)

“The entire ride will be out of the saddle,” said Lively, as are all of Syncstudio’s classes. It’s a point of difference and the studio’s anti-plateau practice. Still, the class was filled with tap-backs, corners, and sprints, and punctuated with choreographed arm moves, like dipping our shoulders forward and back, all while synchronizing pedal strokes to the electronic, hip hop, and dancehall beats (all seriously conducive to bike dancing).

There’s no stage for the instructor here, so Lively rode with us, front and center, in the pack. It imparts a feeling of solidarity but also makes it hard to follow her strokes. And class ends with an un-rushed, awesome five-minute stretching sequence. Then you can go have a beer. —Jamie McKillop

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