Regulars at Richard Simmons' Slimmons Studio could sense that something was wrong when he taught his last Saturday class in February 2014

By Gabrielle Olya
March 23, 2017 09:27 AM
Richard Simmons
David A. Walega/WireImage

Even though Richard Simmons gave no warning that he was going to stop teaching at his famed Beverly Hills Slimmons Studio in February 2014, regulars at his last Saturday class could sense that something was different when the fitness guru showed up that day.

“He just didn’t seem like himself and we had a feeling something wasn’t right,” Ava Minett, one half of the Double Time Twins and a regular at Simmons’ workout classes, tells PEOPLE.

Even though “he looked like Richard,” arriving to class in signature Simmons style with a red tank top and matching red shorts, Minett says he seemed off.

“He missed his ‘talk’ before class, he was late, he didn’t make many jokes,” she says. “His energy was different — like he wasn’t physically present in the room with us.”

At the end of the class, Simmons gave no indication that that Saturday afternoon class would be his last.

  • What happened to Richard Simmons? Close family and friends give PEOPLE the real scoop on the beloved fitness guru’s mindset during his three years out of the spotlight in the latest issue, on stands Friday.

“Everything was business as usual,” says Minett. “[My sister and I] asked him how he was doing after class before we left, and he said everything was fine, but you know when you just know that something isn’t right? We just knew.”

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Minett vividly recalls what ended up being their last goodbye.

“We gave each other hugs and kisses and said, ‘We’ll see you next Saturday Richard!’ and he said, ‘Yes girls,’ and gave us another hug. And that was it.”

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