Category Archives: Spring Into Change Challenge

Spring Into Change Challenge: 70 Days of Inspiration from 300+ Cyc Riders

We never could have anticipated how inspiring one 10 week Challenge could be — not just for our riders, but for our entire Cyc family. Beginning on March 23rd, Cyc riders across the country accepted the Spring Into Change Challenge Powered by Vitafusion to ride 4+ times per week, dedicating themselves to becoming healthier and stronger in the process.

Though we knew we had a lot of dedicated athletes ready to take on the Challenge, the outpouring of encouragement, affirmations, and unbelievable results from all of our riders was an incredible surprise. It was also incredibly inspiring. Here are some of our favorite quotes and stories our challengers shared with us…

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Kate Mann’s before and after snapshots

“Not to sound dramatic, but the Spring Into Change Challenge with Cyc honestly changed my life. Prior to the Challenge you would have never seen me in a gym (and if you did, I would not be happy to be there). I hated exercise, and had sworn off everything in the fitness industry as being intimidating and scary, and swore I’d never be one of ‘those people’ who loves working out and talks about it all the time. I was overweight, depressed, and lazy and had pretty much given up on the idea of ever changing. I’ve always had body image issues, but had never had any success no matter what trendy workout or diet I tried. I accepted that I would always be a chubby girl, and that I could never be fit. I tried Cyc once or twice before the Challenge and enjoyed it more than anything else I’d tried, so when I got the email I decided to go for it since I had nothing to lose. After that I was hooked. Everyone at the studio was incredibly nice, friendly, and supportive and I felt like they really cared about my progress and wanted me to do well. I felt myself getting stronger and faster (a feeling I was unfamiliar with) and was amazed at what I could push my body to do. I was exponentially happier and had way more energy. My first ride I couldn’t keep tempo to a single song and now I can keep up for almost all of class. My outlook on life has changed and I love my new healthy lifestyle and am so bummed out on days when I don’t get to work out. As I graduate from the UW this semester and start job hunting, I’m looking for a job somewhere fitness related, so I can incorporate my new found passion into work somehow. I’ve never been happier, more confident, or felt more comfortable in my own skin. I don’t even recognize the person I was before, and I’m so thankful I took this challenge.”
– Kate Mann, Cyc Madison rider

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Joshua Hall and Keoni Hudoba (at the end of the Challenge), Joshua Hall and Savannah Dew (a month prior)

“Not only has the Challenge been a physical journey but a mental one as well. At the beginning of the Challenge I thought of it as just a really good workout. But after 4 classes a week for 10 straight weeks my perspective drastically changed. Due to the frequency of classes it takes more planning and coordination… this ‘hobby’ of a workout became much more engaging physically and mentally.”
-Joshua Hall, Cyc Astor rider

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Megan Bawden Westphal and Cycologist Jenny DeMain

“My Cyc change story can be summed up by this quote: “Don’t forget to be AWESOME”… Throughout the Challenge I’ve seen great improvements. I’ve lost about 10 pounds so far and keep on losing. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and crept up closer to the front row in class (I even sat there once) and have increased my weights for all weighted sectors. Last class I was pushing the 3-4 pounders like it was my job! My Cyc rides bring a smile to my face and give me something to look forward to during my busy day of computer work. Cyc’s a place where I can focus on me (which is the whole reason for my goal declaration).”
-Megan Bawden Westphal, rider at Cyc Madison

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Amalia Goldberg’s progress

“The Spring Into Change Challenge has pushed me to a new level of physical wellness that I never dreamed I’d ever see again. After a few weeks, I noticed that I was becoming stronger. My clothes were suddenly a bit looser. People began commenting on how healthy I looked. I began to feel good about my rides, and how I could do less modified moves and actually keep up with the music. Physically, I started liking the way I looked. My eating habits became healthier and I stopped binge eating. I began to feel confident in my own skin and actually see muscles forming. I liked who I was becoming and my confidence came shining through. While the weight on the scale has only fluctuated a pound or two, I’ve lost over 3 inches off of my thighs and an inch and a half off my waist. I’ve also become an inspiration to my friends and family, and more importantly, to myself. I CAN do things if I set my mind to it! I’ve proven it to myself, and I now have the confidence to take on any challenge.”
-Amalia Goldberg, Cyc Madison rider

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Lauren Patrick and Cyc Buckhead Cycologist Annie Czarnecki

“This summer I’m turning 30, which made me do a reality check in regards to how out of shape I’ve become. Since I got married almost five years ago, I put on 20 pounds and just didn’t feel like my best self. So I set out on a quest to lose 15 pounds before my 30th birthday, calling it my #15in15. (You can read more about it here.) When I heard about the Spring Into Change Challenge, I was motivated to see the results I could achieve over 10 weeks. This has been an awesome journey.”
-Lauren Patrick, Cyc Buckhead rider

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Lauren Unger’s before and after snapshots

“This Challenge is just what I needed! I haven’t missed a ride, and as a matter of fact, I’ve even added on rides because I feel so good when I’m on the bike. During this Challenge I took the majority of my rides with Natalie and I’m so grateful for her. She is a rockstar both on and off the bike and is committed to her riders and making sure we’re getting what we need. I’d mentioned to Natalie how I wanted to tone my arms and she made sure we did just that!!!”
-Lauren Unger, Cyc Astor rider

“I give total credit to my Cycologists, particularly Caroline, Lillian, and Julianna. I do most of their classes and feel pushed in every class because of their amazing playlists and passion for the job. I finish each class feeling much better about my day and stronger about life in general.”
-Joe Morelli, Cyc Buckhead rider

“At my first ride, my goal was just to make it through class! A month later, I did two classes back-to-back and made it through both of them. (You can bet I didn’t drop those weights!) My reason for even going to my first ride was to regain the self esteem I had lost. It’s been a process but I’m gaining it back. My body is stronger and healthier, and my energy is higher than it’s been in years. Cyc has helped me reach my goals in a healthy and exciting way.”
-Fiona Wakefield, Cyc Madison rider

And many, many more…

Thank you, Cyc family, for your dedication and constant inspiration!

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Healthy Memorial Day BBQ Recipes from Sports Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield

20150511_NUTRITION Developed in partnership with the Spring into Change Challenge, which is sponsored by the makers of Vitafusion™, the #1 adult gummy vitamin brand.

Barbecue season is here! But wait, you’ve worked so hard these past several weeks on whipping your body into insane shape. Not to worry, you can still eat your favorite summer dishes and continue looking and feeling great. Sports Dietitian, Rebecca Scritchfield shares two of her healthy BBQ favorites.

Festive Red White and Blue Burger

Who doesn’t love an All American Burger? These days you can make one with lean ground beef, bison, turkey and more protein rich sources. Add a whole wheat or gluten free bun and the combo provides the perfect balance of carbohydrates to replace glycogen from your ride and protein to rebuild and repair muscles so you’ll be stronger for your next workout.

Click here for the full recipe >>

Healthy Summer Slaw

A slight tweak to the staple by swapping out the mayo and adding lime and cilantro turns cole slaw into a vegetarian side that’s both healthy and refreshing! Cabbage supports digestive health with fiber providing 1.5 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving.

Click here for the full recipe >>

Source: USDA Nutrient Database, SRR 27

Despite our best intentions, we don’t always get what we need through a healthy diet. For a great way to support energy metabolism through the summer, try vitafusion B12 – each serving of two delicious gummies provides an excellent source of this important nutrient.** A sweet way to kick off the season!

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

– Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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Healthy Brunch Recipes from Sports Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield

healthy-brunch-mothers-day-recipes-nutrition-tips-rebecca-scritchfield Developed in partnership with the Spring into Change Challenge, which is sponsored by the makers of Vitafusion™, the #1 adult gummy vitamin brand.

Stumped as to the best way to shower Mom with love this Mother’s Day? Celebrate the healthy way by treating her to a complimentary Cyc ride* followed by a delicious homemade brunch. Sports dietitian and nutrition expert Rebecca Scritchfield shares her three favorite healthy recipes that are excellent options after a morning sweat session!


The Tofu Scramble

Some people don’t consider brunch complete without eggs- whether they’re scrambled, fried or hardboiled. But for those of us who don’t like eggs or choose not to eat them, a tofu scramble can even be better than the “real thing.”

Why’s this a good ‘recovery’ treat?
You want to eat something that combines proteins and carbohydrates shortly after working out to help your body rebuild muscle fibers and refill energy stores. Tofu is a great vegetarian source of protein, plus it provides iron and calcium. Serve with a side of whole wheat toast.

Click here for the recipe >> 

PB+J Fruit Skewer
These fruit skewers with peanut butter yogurt dip are both easy to make and a great, grab-able treat.

Why’s this a good ‘recovery’ treat? 
The fruit delivers carbohydrates the body can quickly absorb plus fiber, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C which supports your immune system and the Greek yogurt provides the protein you need for recovery, plus calcium, and “good bacteria” for digestive health.

Click here for the recipe >>


Mango Lassi Smoothie

Made complete with freshly diced mango, lemon juice, honey and mint, this smoothie is a great way to cool down on a warm afternoon. Add some ‘spirits’ and make it a low calorie frozen cocktail!

Why is this a good ‘recovery’ treat? 
It’s always smart to have a smoothie after a workout because you’ll rehydrate and refuel your muscles. This Mango Lassi one is refreshing and functional. You’ll get nutritious carbohydrates from the mango and oats, plus protein, vitamins and minerals from the milk. Your muscles will drink up these nutrients and rebuild, which will help to reduce soreness.

Click here for full the recipe >>

Despite our best intentions, we don’t always get what we need through a healthy diet. Vitafusion Women’s gummy vitamins are a delicious way for you and Mom to cover your bases. A two gummy serving supports energy metabolism, bone health** and provides an excellent source of vitamins A, C and D. A sweet, nutritious end to a healthy Mother’s Day morning!


*Bring your mom to ride at Cyc on Mother’s Day, and her ride is free! Redeem at the front desk, valid for walk-in rides only, cannot be booked ahead of time.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

– Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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Spring into Change Q+A with Jenny DeMain

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In our latest Spring into Change Q+A, Jenny DeMain of Cyc Madison opens up about how she found Cyc and discovered her passion for teaching fitness:

Cyc Fitness: As a Cycologist for several years now, you’ve become pretty well known within the Cyc Madison community. Tell us something that your riders don’t know about you…

JD: I graduated with a Vocal Performance degree from University of Wisconsin on track to become an Opera Singer, similar to Keoni actually! My first love was acting on the stage, but my dream is to ultimately act on screen.

CF: With a focus in music and vocals, how did you end up teaching fitness?

JD: Well I always knew I wanted to do something in music and performing, maybe even directing. When I was a sophomore in college I started teaching fitness classes on the side for part-time work, and I became addicted to helping people reach their goals, while stretching myself to meet my own. The moment I knew I wanted to turn my addiction to Cyc into a career was when I started to realize that my heart was 100% into my work at Cyc, and only 70% elsewhere. I honestly get the same adrenaline rush from teaching as I do when I perform on stage. I love being in control of the lights, the music, and the message, creating my own little 45 minute show, 6 times a week… At first I felt a little bit guilty for wanting to switch career paths, but I knew deep down that it was what I really wanted. It’s the perfect complement to my two passions, and I feel truly lucky to have found it.

CF: You’ve said that when you took your first class at Cyc, you were going through the ending of a serious relationship. What role, if any did this play in getting through this difficult period for you?

JD: During that time in my life I was looking for distractions everywhere. The tough part was finding ones that were positive, when all I really wanted to do was stay in bed. A friend of mine suggested I try Cyc. I was apprehensive, but went for it, knowing this could be the healthy outlet that I so badly needed. It turned out to be the best advice! I loved that I could take a class for 45 minutes, sit in front of the mirror and watch myself get stronger. Riding became a really important part of my day. Later, when I decided to become a Cycologist, I met a whole new group of friends. Riding, training and all the support is what got me through this time.

CF: As a Cycologist, you’ve become known for your awesome playlists. How important is the music component in your classes?

JD: It’s everything! Music elicits emotion, which gives me a lot of power as an instructor. I think different genres work really well for different sectors of class. For the weighted portion, I love to use trap remixes, or melodic dubstep. Progressive house works really well for jumps, while deep house is fun for swimming. My favorite band is Coldplay, but I’m also a huge fan of female vocalists like Robyn, Florence + The Machine and Sia. If I could do a theme ride combining the three of them I think my life would be complete!

CF: If there’s one message you could instill in your riders what would it be?

JD: I often say “push at least eight counts past your comfort zone”. Because when you succeed by pushing past that initial impulse to give up when things get challenging — that’s how you get stronger mentally and physically. I tell my riders to be proud of what they’ve accomplished at the end of every class. Cyc is not just a workout, it’s a chance to really better yourself.

CF: Cyc prides itself in building communities in each studio. Do you think the Spring into Change Challenge has helped you meet and interact with some of your riders on a more personal level? 

JD: Definitely. Our goal at Cyc is to make every rider feel like they’re part of the Cyc family. I always joke that without them I’m just a girl sitting on a bike talking to herself. Two of my regular riders met and became friends through the Spring Into Change Challenge. They kept signing up for the same classes, so I introduced them, and now they’re halfway through the challenge and they ride together constantly. They became instant friends, and they may not have even met if it weren’t for the challenge. That’s what it’s all about!

– Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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Two Friends, One Challenge: A Cyc Change Story Featuring Ali Stone and Lauren Felix

We spoke with two of our riders who signed up to take on the Spring Into Change Challenge together to motivate and hold each other accountable throughout The Challenge. Now 5 weeks in, Ali Stone and Lauren Felix sat down to share their progress and what they ultimately hope to get out of The Challenge. ALILAUREN Cyc Fitness: What was your goal in signing up for the challenge?

Lauren Felix: My goal in doing the challenge is to lose weight, but most importantly to feel healthier! I launched my own business last year and working out has fallen low on my priority list. Now I know how important it is to feel balanced and happy!

Ali Stone: My goal in joining the challenge was to get stronger and feel healthier!

Cyc: How is riding together better than alone?

Lauren: It’s awesome to have another person to keep you motivated. Ali’s been going to CYC for awhile, so having her there for moral support has been a huge help. The first class can be especially confusing for a newbie, so Ali and our Cycologist, Jenny, made sure I’d understand the flow of class and how to get my bike set up.

Ali: It’s so much more fun having a friend to push through the challenge with! We definitely motivate each other. We have a constant flow of text messages scheduling rides. Getting a text that Lauren is going to ride is definitely motivating to get myself there also. Knowing we get to ride with each other gives me something extra to look forward to with my workouts!

Ali, Jenny and Lauren after a Cyc ride. (credit: La Petite Fashionista Instagram)

Ali, Jenny and Lauren after a Cyc ride. (credit: La Petite Fashionista Instagram)

Cyc: So now that you’re halfway through The Challenge, have you noticed any changes in yourself?

Lauren: I feel stronger and I’ve built endurance. I get excited to work out now!  

Ali: Riding four times a week, I am definitely feeling stronger and more energized.

Cyc: What kind of change do you hope to see by the end of The Challenge?

Lauren: My goal is to make a change to a healthier lifestyle where fitness is equally as important as my growing business. I’m seeing the change already and it’s so rewarding. It actually gives me more energy to pour into my entrepreneurial pursuits!

Ali: By the end of the challenge I hope mostly to feel my best. Toning up a bit won’t hurt either!

Cyc: How will you continue the momentum after The Challenge is over?

Lauren:  I’ll continue taking classes at Cyc (with Ali as my workout partner, of course!) and focus on my health and achieving a better work-life balance. Change isn’t instantaneous, there is always a new goal or challenge you can push yourself towards.

Ali: After the challenge is over, I hope Lauren and I will keep motivating each other and riding together to keep in the great shape this challenge will whip us into!

Lauren Felix honed her skills as a Merchandiser before launching La Petite Fashionista, a blog related to all things fashion.

Ali Stone is a freelance photographer and jewelry designer, and recently featured Cyc on her blog, Those White Walls. TWW aims to inspire individuals to wear and do what they love.

– Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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This piece was edited on April 24, 2015, after its original publication to more accurately reflect Lauren Felix and Ali Stone’s original sentiments.

Nutrition Tips from Sports Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield: Fueling Your Ride

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Developed in partnership with the Spring into Change Challenge, sponsored by the makers of Vitafusion, the #1 gummy vitamin brand.

We talked to sports dietitian and health expert Rebecca Scritchfield about the most enjoyable ways to fulfill your nutrient needs when you’re spinning 3-4 times per week. Follow these tips on what to eat before and after a workout to fuel up the right way.

Rebecca Scritchfield

Rebecca Scritchfield

  • Don’t ride on “empty”: If you think you perform better on an empty stomach, think again. I’m forever amazed at how many people “exercise to eat” rather than “eat to exercise”. Pre-exercise fuel should hydrate your body, fuel your muscles and settle your stomach. Choose foods with high carbohydrates and moderate protein that are lower in fat and fiber. Try this: a bagel with a dollop of nut butter or a yogurt and granola parfait with banana or berries.
  • Start off on the right foot: Have a hard time waking up for your morning ride? Before you go to bed, place a piece of whole fruit—like a banana, apple or pear—and an English muffin topped with almond butter on your nightstand. Set it beside some great-tasting Vitafusion MultiVites for a wake-up call that will feel more delicious than dreaded.
  • Put Omega-3s on the menu: When you think about protein, consider if it also contains omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats), which may alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation and improve joint health. These healthy fats can be eaten anytime of day. My favorite options include tuna, salmon, anchovies and lamb.
  • Choose healthy on-the-go options: There are lots of on-the-go fitness bars out there, but not all are healthy. Always look at the nutrition label before making your selection, and choose something with wholesome ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and honey, which give athletes the energy they need. You can also try my 2-Minute Peanut Butter Rice Squares, which have just three ingredients and require no refrigeration– just prep and go!
  • Get your “nutrient C”: Usually with endurance athletes, the nutrient most lacking is carbohydrates. I’m constantly asking my athletes to increase “nutrient C”. Eating too much high-protein and high-fat food shortly before exercise can cause an upset stomach and delay glycogen uptake in your muscles. Healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, keep your body going. Pre-fuel 60-90 minutes before a workout and refuel within 60 minutes of exercising. Try a recovery bowl with two scrambled eggs, vegetables, half an avocado and brown rice or beans.

-Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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Spring Into Change Q+A With Jess Clark

Austin’s healthy girl-about-town, Jess Clark, knows a thing or two about making change happen. A few years ago, this fearless Cycologist chose to leave her role as Marketing Director for a large firm to start her own health and wellness business. What she has learned can’t be taught behind a desk. It took a ton of work and even more courage to get to where Jess is today: founder of Pump & Shred, and one of Austin’s hottest Cycologists! We talked with Jess about how she made her dreams a reality:

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Cyc Fitness: What does being a Cycologist mean to you?

Jess Clark: Teaching classes at Cyc gives me an outlet for coaching that is just as much about having fun as it is about getting a great workout. I love that Cyc encourages balance and places a great deal of importance on the social aspect of fitness. Cyc is a place where we can come as we are, and dance, sing, sweat, and leave feeling like the best version of ourselves. No judgement, no competition, just good vibes.

CF: What are you hoping to get out of the Spring into Change Challenge?

JC: I am hoping to get to know more of our riders and help them achieve their health and fitness goals throughout the challenge. I want to provide more support to our tribe in Austin and guide them through change and overcoming obstacles. In return, I hope to gain a new group of fit friends to help me reach my personal fitness goals. By going at it together we can increase our chance for success exponentially. Accountability is what this challenge is all about.

CF: One of your biggest life changes was to leave a safe corporate job to pursue your dream career in health and wellness. How was this challenging for you?

JC: The decision to pursue my dream career in health and wellness was super challenging. First of all, it was tough explaining my feelings to family and friends who were more traditional in their beliefs about career and life. I got the vibe that everyone thought I was crazy but deep down I trusted my gut and decided to take the plunge with or without their support. I think the hardest part was learning not to second guess myself. Learning how to trust my instincts and not rely too much on what other people think has been transformative. And best of all is that I wake up every day knowing that I’m doing what I love and helping others improve their health and wellness!

CF: You said that once you started teaching group fitness your outlook on life improved, as if you were happy for the first time; your physical and emotional self was in harmony. Can you explain that a bit?

JC: When I started coaching group fitness I didn’t know if I’d be any good at it. But I learned that mentoring and coaching come naturally to me, and I really get so much out of it. I love seeing my clients get the results they’re looking for. Whether it’s a big or small change, I’m helping transform people’s lives for the better. Once I started helping my clients I noticed that I developed a greater appreciation of others. Seeing vulnerability in my clients revealed to me my own weaknesses and the more I help other’s the more accepting and kind I become to myself.

CF: Starting over professionally couldn’t have been easy. What were some of the most difficult things starting out?

JC: I think the most difficult part of starting anything new is the fear of failure. Risk is scary because you’re afraid of what will happen to you if it doesn’t work out. And most of the time settling for ‘good enough’ is easy, comforting and familiar, but there’s nothing exciting or great about it! I also feared being judged by my peers; I used to think that people would think less of me if my business didn’t work out. There are setbacks, for sure, but you learn so much from these experiences. What I’ve learned is to keep believing in myself, to continue working hard and to never give up on the things that matter to me. Be fearless.

-Compiled by Leslie Steinberg

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