Popular Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby apologized to the owner of a local cycling studio for calling her classes "unsafe and a joke"
- Cody Rigsby has apologized publicly and privately for denigrating a fellow fitness entrepreneur.
- Kristina Girod has become a TikTok star in her own right for her vigorously-choreographed rides.
Beloved Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby, who's known for his irreverent quips and pop culture asides during rides, has garnered substantial backlash after denigrating a fellow fitness entrepreneur.
The controversy, causing a ripple effect across a corner of TikTok known as #SpinTok, involves Kristina Girod, the founder of an Arizona-based "rhythm cycling" studio called Power+Flow. Girod has amassed a substantial following of her own with videos of her moodily-lit and vigorously-choreographed rides that have accrued tens of millions of views.
But when a viewer suggested Peloton incorporate Power+Flow's stylings, Rigsby wasn't having it.
Last week, a user tagged him in the comment section of one of Girod's videos, saying, "We want these classes from Peloton and your [sic] the person to do it." Rigsby shot back, "Absolutely not," per a screenshot of the exchange shared by Girod. "This shit is unsafe and a joke."
@thekristinagirod Replying to @terrell0813 A call out to @cody_rigsby and @onepeloton to do better. And a shoutout to every one of you who have loved and supported my small business and the magic we create. ♥️ #spinningclasses #spinclass #rhythmcycling #indoorcycling #powerandflow ♬ original sound - Kristina Girod
It is unclear what Rigsby meant by the characterization. Peloton did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Girod proceeded to respond on TikTok, where she counts 1.4 million followers – far more than Rigsby's 394,000.
"Really disappointing to see you talking about a locally-owned, black-owned, women-owned business who's just out here trying to change the game," she said, addressing Rigsby. "So I'm going to encourage you to keep this energy out of my way."
She also noted the skewed power discrepancy between Peloton and her own business, explaining that she and her husband "cleaned out our savings account" to launch their company two years ago.
As the skirmish continued to snowball on social media, Rigsby apologized on Tuesday, saying he wanted to "address it directly" and hold himself accountable.
"I know that my words have impact, I know that they matter and I will definitely do better as I move forward," he said. He concluded his apology with a plug: "To anybody in Scottsdale, Arizona that's looking for a fitness space, please check out Kristina and the Power + Flow studio."
@cody_rigsby @thekristinagirod ♬ original sound - Cody Rigsby
In a follow-up TikTok Girod shared that same day, she said that she and Rigsby had spoken privately.
She added that while the two agreed Rigsby was entitled to his opinion, sharing it on his platform ran the risk of damaging a small business. She also assured viewers that Power+Flow is safe to practice, noting that riders must familiarize themselves with the basics for "weeks, months, or years" before attempting choreography out of the saddle.
When reached, a Power+Flow rep declined Insider's request for comment, but added that "Kristina is honored and thankful for your interest in covering this situation."
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