Woman Sues SoulCycle for ‘Workout Shaming’

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Woman Sues SoulCycle for ‘Workout Shaming’ featured image

Ever felt like you can’t keep up in your fitness class and you just want to call it quits and sneak out the back? If you did stop midway through, how would you expect your instructor to react? In this case, things got a little out of control. A California woman, Carmen Farias, is suing SoulCycle, a popular indoor cycling studio, and one of its lead instructors, Angela Davis, for allegedly “shaming” her for not being able to keep up with the workout

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According to court documents acquired by People, Carmen Farias felt her legs begin to weaken about 20 minutes into her first class at SoulCycle’s Beverly Hills location. Farias claims that when she tried to slow down, Davis “mocked” her and said “we don’t take breaks.” Farias’s lawyer says that this public “shaming” led to her pedaling faster, which ultimately caused her to fall off her bike and “catastrophically injure” herself by dislocating her ankle.

Farias also claims that neither SoulCycle or Davis instructed her or the rest of the class on how to use the bike and stop it from spinning or remove her shoes from the attached clips. SoulCycle says they “don’t comment on ongoing litigation.”

As new fitness studios are popping up across the country every day, let’s take this as a lesson learned. If you ever begin a new class, make sure to give the instructor a heads up beforehand if you’re unsure of the type of workout so he or she is aware. “Just be honest and tell the instructor you are new and you want to make sure you’re doing things right,” says John Rowley, certified personal trainer and ISSA director of wellness. If you are embarrassed, get to the class early and meet with the instructor privately. Instructors appreciate newcomers letting them know they are new so they can ensure proper techniques are being used for effectiveness and to avoid injury.” Also make sure to sign a waiver if there is one and ask for one if one is not presented to you. 

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Another tip: Do some research on the type of workout you’re trying by looking to YouTube or other social media channels for an idea of what to expect. And lastly, know when you’re pushing your body too far, which can lead to potential injury. “If your joints start hurting, your tendons are getting sore or you have any pain other than some muscle soreness, you can be putting yourself in danger of a serious injury,” says Rowley. “Exercise should be empowering and make you stronger and more vibrant. If you are exhausted or feeling pain, you could be training too much or improperly. Find something that you enjoy and don’t let anyone judge you for it—you are taking the best steps for you in being healthy.”

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