Auntie Fashion

I’m the fashion world’s most-enduring muse.

A Cautionary Tale . . .

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As anyone who reads my blog should know, I have many talents.  One of things that I’m good at is leading fitness classes — something I’ve been doing since the heyday of aerobics in the mid-eighties.  For more than a decade, I’ve also been leading indoor cycling classes.  I know that the classes are popular in metropolitan centers like New York City because they don’t require a lot of real estate.  Running a cycling studio in a city where the rent can be prohibitively expensive isn’t a bad gig.  Nevertheless, anyone who decides to embark upon this venture should read the article linked above from

Indoor cycling can be an overwhelming experience for someone who has never worked out.  I lead the so-called “advanced” classes at my gym where I have to constantly remind people of the symptoms of overdoing it; I don’t want anyone fainting or dropping dead in front of me.  It’s not really that tough on the instructor, though.  Where I live, the criteria to become certified to lead these classes is far less extensive than the criteria to lead choreographed classes.   For that reason, the instructors aren’t as good as they should be.  In fact, I see more inexperienced instruction in this particular discipline of fitness than in any other group fitness class.

The article reminded of that when I read this line from author Patricia Garcia recalling her first experience with an indoor cycling class: “I hated every minute of it.  I pedaled through the 45-minute class, sitting down a few times, and never listening when the instructor said to turn the resistance knob up (although at one point she came by and took care of that herself).”

The article goes on to describe Garcia’s subsequent battle with rhabdomyolisis, a potentially life-threatening condition sometimes caused by working out too hard.  While the author normally wouldn’t be able to blame anyone but herself for overdoing it, this isn’t a normal case.  I have never attended an indoor cycling class where the instructor has adjusted the resistance on a participant’s bike.  This is the ultimate no-no in group fitness instruction.  You always have to remind people that the resistance is in their own hands and encourage them to go at their own pace.

I live in Canada where people aren’t particularly litigious, but even up here this incident would provide grounds for a lawsuit.  In the U.S., I’m sure it would be settled by an insurance company before it ever got to court just because the instructor is clearly at fault.  She shouldn’t be teaching.

Anyway, I adore these classes and I hate to read that someone has had such a terrible experience with indoor cycling.  But this is all on the instructor.  I hope that Patricia Garcia realizes that.  Her experience was anything but typical.  Listen to your Auntie . . .


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July 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm

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