14 Classes in 5 Days: A Week in the Life of a Full-Time Barre, Yoga, and Pilates Instructor
This week's Sweat Diary.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend five days tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Who I am: Alyssa Beerger, 28, @nolalyss6
What I do: I’m a full-time barre, Pilates, and yoga instructor in the Philadelphia area. I teach at three different studios, Twisters Wellness Centers, SoulBeat Studio, and DanceTime Dance Academy. I also work with many private clients, teach pop-up classes in my community, host workshops at many other studios, lead Wellness Retreats with Twisters Travel and generally am always on the go in my leggings, ponytail and sneakers!
What role health and fitness plays in my life: Boutique studio fitness has always been a passion of mine. I began taking yoga and barre classes in New Orleans during college. It felt so good to be doing something positive for my mind and body. I loved how “in the moment” I felt while taking class — such a stress reliever for me. Since then, I’ve been in the health and wellness industry since 2012, racking up certification after certification. I love the lifestyle working in this industry affords me. I like that my “job” often times can make someone’s day a little bit better.
Health memberships: One of the many perks of my job is that I don’t have to pay for a membership in any of the studios I work for. I’m able to take any classes I want for free. However, I do like to bounce around and experience other studios in the area. When I do, I’ll pay for a drop-in here or there!
6:30 a.m. — Woke up, came downstairs to make coffee. I love strong coffee, and usually get mine from Whole Foods (their 365 brand). While that’s going, I drink a big cup of water. Next, I make my breakfast. I love Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream yogurt with a little granola on top to start my day when I have to get out of the house in a hurry.
7:40 a.m. — I hop into my car with my coffee to go, and pop on my most recent Spotify barre playlist. I like listening to my music before going to teach a class — barre is so musically driven, its important to teach on the beat. It feels like prep to me.
8 a.m. — I arrive at Twisters Wellness centers in Erdenheim. I’ve been teaching at Twisters since 2012, and it feels like home. I teach my hour-long barre class, which is followed by a 15-minute break. Breaks between classes are fun — no one in the studio ever seems to have a case of the “Mondays.” Everyone is always happy to be there — which I love. My clients feel more like friends.
9:30 a.m. — Next up, I teach an hour-long 30/30 Pilates Mat + Barre class. This is one of my favorite classes to teach. It’s a blend of 30 minutes Pilates-inspired sequences on the mat, followed by 30 minutes of your more typical barre moves. I still teach everything to the beat of the music — I find classes to be more fun and motivating that way.
10:35 a.m. — After class, I gather up my various items (I can never remember where I put my water bottle!) and head back out to my car. After teaching two back-to-back classes, I need a refuel. I decide to drive over to Bryn & Dane’s in Plymouth Meeting for a smoothie.
11 a.m. — I order the Grasshopper smoothie ($7.95) its my favorite one. I take a sip — it’s so good.
11:15 a.m. — I pop back into my car and head for home. I live in Roxborough (with my husband Zach and my dog Ghost) and most of the studios I teach at are located in the suburbs of Philly, so I spend quite a bit of time in my car. It’s okay though! I’ve grown to love that time — it’s my alone time.
11:45 a.m. — I get home and then hop onto my laptop to take care of some emails. I get a lot of sub requests from various co-workers at various studios. It’s also nice to be able to sub a class for someone who subs for you in return — and it’s a great way to make a little extra cash.
12:30 p.m. — I need to take the dog for a walk. Ghost is a five-year-old lab mix — she’s adorable, has big personality, and a lot of energy. I take Ghost for a quick 15-minute walk around the neighborhood. I’m happy it’s sunny outside but I’m so ready for some warmer weather. Once we get back, I’m hungry and need to make lunch. Because I’m a full time instructor, I have a really flexible schedule, which is one of the things I love most about my career. I’m able to eat at home most days and take time to prepare my meals which is such a luxury. Today, I’m making a big spinach salad, with black beans, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I don’t go light on the dressing today. And I grab a piece of French bread to go with it. I feel like this is a solid lunch.
1:45 p.m. — I make sure to drink a lot of water today while I’m home because I’m planning on going to my friend Michele’s Hot Pilates class at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon before I teach my last class of the day.
2 p.m. — I take a shower. I’m often showering in the afternoons because during the week I teach at night for the “after work” crowd. The afternoon is my down time. I step out of the shower, do my “get ready” routine, and come back down to my laptop.
3 p.m. — I open up Spotify and finalize my playlist and class plan for tonight. I’ve got one more class to teach today, and Monday night is always a big crowd. I also browse around on Instagram and Facebook.
4:30 p.m. — Michele’s Hot Pilates class takes place in Twisters’ hot yoga room, and guys, they are not joking. It. Is. Hot. I sweat my face off. Michele teaches an amazing class — she’s one of my favorite instructors! I realize I didn’t drink enough water, even though I tried. After class, I have 15 minutes before I have to teach my own class. I have wipes and a change of clothes. I brush my hair and apply deodorant, and I’m work ready — just like that!
5:45 p.m. — I teach my last class of the day — its 30/30 Pilates + Barre again.
7 p.m. — I arrive home. My wonderful, amazing husband has cooked dinner for us tonight, and it’s ready and waiting when I walk in the door. We eat a chicken and green bean stir-fry. It’s delicious.
8 p.m. — The Bachelor finale is on! My group text with my fantasy league is blowing up. It’s the most dramatic season ever.
10 p.m. — I brush my teeth, wash my face, and hop into bed.
Daily total: $7.95
6:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off, I hit snooze. I’m sleepy from staying up late watching The Bachelor.
6:55 a.m. — I finally roll out of bed. I don’t really have a ton of time to eat and get ready. I put on my uniform: black leggings, sports bra, grey racerback, hoodie, baseball cap, and sneakers. I brush my teeth, apply some CC cream, throw my hair in a ponytail, and run downstairs.
7:10 a.m. — I grab a banana, put some peanut butter on it, and run out the door! No time to make coffee today. I get into my car and drive off to Twisters in Ambler.
7:55 a.m. — Im listening to the radio in the car and the news is talking about a potential big winter storm hitting Wednesday. I think maybe I should film an at-home workout for my fitness friends.
8:15 a.m. — I arrive at Twisters and teach my level II/III Barre class. It’s always fun to teach a more advanced class to a strong group!
9:30 a.m. — Time to teach my second class of the day. I like teaching back-to-back.
10:45 a.m. — My morning classes are done, and I need coffee. I walk down the block to Alice Bakery & Confectionary and order a large iced coffee with almond milk ($3.11). I also get a piece of their house quiche; it has portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and chives and comes with a side salad ($10.75). I sit down to eat and get out my little idea notebook. I start to write up an at-home cardio and strength circuit workout.
11:30 a.m. — I walk back over to Twisters to film my workout in their studio space on my iPhone’s camera. After filming one round of my workout (which, BTW, is so hard!), I pack up my stuff and head for home.
12:30 p.m. — I arrive home and I take Ghost for a walk. I love our afternoon walks together, and so does she!
1 p.m. — I edit my workout video and schedule my posts to go up the next morning. I’ve decided to ask my fitness tribe to send me a sweaty selfie of themselves after completing the workout — accountability! I also make a Spotify playlist for while they do the workout. I hop into the shower, do the get-ready ritual. And I’m hungry again! I raid my kitchen, find an avocado and some bread, and I quickly make some avocado toast.
4:15 p.m. — I arrive at Twisters in Erdenheim to teach my Early Bird Barre class.
5:45 p.m. — I teach my 30/30 Barre + Yoga class. It’s a blend of 30 minutes classic barre and 30 minutes vinyasa flow. I LOVE teaching it.
7 p.m. — After finishing class, I hop into my car and drive over to DanceTime Dance Academy for my last class of the evening. I teach children’s dance here one day a week. The kids are so cute!
9 p.m. — I arrive home after my long day. Zach has made a pesto pasta bake for dinner with artichoke, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Maybe it’s not the healthiest meal but it’s so good.
9:15 p.m. — I get an email saying the studio will be closed tomorrow for the snow storm! Snow day! We pop open some wine, pop on Netflix, and enjoy the night.
11:15 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily total: $13.86
8 a.m. — SNOW DAY! Waking up late because I deserve to sleep in and I’m definitely not going anywhere. I usually teach three classes and work one-on-one with two clients, but everything is canceled!
8:15 a.m. — I post my workout video and directions to social media. I’m excited to see if my clients do their workout from home — will they send me a sweaty selfie or not!?
9:30 a.m. — Since I’m at home for the day, I decide to cook breakfast. I make a spinach and tomato frittata — three eggs, one cup spinach chopped, and like eight cherry tomatoes cut in half. I fry it up and then cover it in hot sauce. I make these a lot, but I love them.
10:30 a.m. — With my unexpected free time, I take the opportunity to do all of the chores I can never find the time (or motivation) to do. Laundry, vacuuming, organizing, decluttering etc. It takes me quite a while, but it feels good to get it done.
12:45 p.m. — I’ve been getting SO many sweaty selfies and comments on my at-home workout! My clients are crushing it! It’s time for me to give it a try — I told them, to be fair, I’d post my sweaty selfie for them too.
1 p.m. — I’m two rounds in to my four-round workout. I’ve got my music blasting. I know I created this, but DAMN it’s kicking my butt. I think I need more cardio in my rotation.
1:15 p.m. — I FINISHED IT! I’m dead. It was only 32 minutes! I need water and food.
1:30 p.m. — I make lunch. I’ve got some avocados, tomato, chicken, and spinach. I make that into a big salad and dress with one of my fave dressings, Garlic Expressions. I love garlic everything.
2:30 p.m. — I shower off, get back into my comfy clothes and pop on a movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Rom-com classic.
5 p.m. — Time to do snow stuff, like shovel out the cars, etc.
6:30 p.m. — We’re making vegetarian enchiladas. We put black beans, mushrooms, avocado, and a little cheese inside, and then enchilada sauce and a lot of cheese on top. We make some rice on the side. It’s just as good, if not better, than meat enchiladas.
9:35 p.m. — Read and unwind. Shortly after, we fall asleep.
Daily total: $0
7:30 a.m. — I wake up. I usually have Thursday mornings off from teaching, unless I’m subbing. This Thursday morning I have off, so I’m planning on walking down to HotBox Yoga in Manayunk. It’s about a mile walk from my house. I eat a quick breakfast: wheat toast, peanut butter, and sliced-up bananas.
9:15 a.m. — I arrive at HotBox, sign in, and pay for class ($18). Nothing feels better than walking into a warm room during winter. I really like practicing at studios I don’t work at. It’s nice to be anonymous. Class is fantastic.
10:45 a.m. — After finishing savasana, I walk downstairs in a yoga bliss. I decide to walk down the street to Boostin’ Bowls for an açai bowl to refuel. I get the Bootella Bowl (that means they put Nutella on top!) and add banana ($11.59). This might be my new favorite place.
12:15 p.m. — I arrive home, take the pup for a walk. We take the long way.
1 p.m. — I jump in the shower, then open my laptop to take care of emails. I also finalize my playlists for classes tonight.
2 p.m. — I need a snack before heading back to the studio. I raid the fridge and eat one leftover enchilada.
3 p.m. — Driving to meet my clients for a make-up session after yesterday’s snow day cancellation.
4:30 p.m. — Taught early bird barre class. It’s a butt-kicker today, but it’s good because everyone seems happy to be out of their houses after yesterday’s snow day.
5:45 p.m. — Last class of the day, my 30/30 Barre + Yoga class. I love ending the work day with a savasana and a namaste.
7:15 p.m. — I arrive home, feeling pretty tired tonight. We order out for dinner tonight from The Couch Tomato in Manayunk. I get the Santorini Salad: grape tomato, chickpea, quinoa mix, feta, falafel, toasted almond, and lemon vinaigrette ($9.99). Zach gets a buffalo chicken pizza ($17.99). I have a piece…or two.
10 p.m. — I crawl into bed exhausted.
Daily total: $57.57
7 a.m. — Alarm goes off. It’s Friday! I always love that Friday feeling. I go downstairs, make some coffee, and eat my staple breakfast: yogurt with a little granola on top.
8:30 a.m. — I have to get into the car and go. On Fridays I teach out at SoulBeat Studio in Audubon. It’s the furthest away studio I teach at, but I love it there. Time to pop on my playlist for the ride.
9:15 a.m. — My friend and co-worker Kristin greets me. She is the sunniest person; we’ve been working together for years on Friday mornings, and it’s the best. At 9:30, Kristen teaches spin while I teach barre. Today we’re subbing the 10:30 Fusion class. Kristin will teach 30 minutes of spin, then we’ll head to the barre room where I will teach 30 minutes. Kristin asks me to ride on the stage with her. I think about it, but ultimately say no because really I’m not that great at spin even though I love it. I take Kristin’s half of the class. It’s super upbeat, and I leave one song early, drenched in sweat, to go teach my half.
12 p.m. — I leave SoulBeat after purchasing another pair of Sticky Be Socks ($10). Anyone who takes barre needs a pair of these socks. I need to grab a bite to eat before my next client. I go to Tropical Smoothie Cafe and order the Thai chicken wrap ($7).
1:30 p.m. — I meet up with another private client who got canceled on Wednesday.
4:15 p.m. — My last client of the day. I teach a private class for a pharmaceutical company bi-weekly. It’s like a happy hour class. Take barre, then go to happy hour.
6 p.m. — All the in-laws are coming over tonight — Zach’s brother is in town and we’re all getting together to catch up. I arrive home, and everyone starts to show up around 6:30. We’re making burgers tonight, because balance. We have a nice time eating, drinking, and catching up.
11:30 p.m. — I head to bed after everyone leaves. I have to teach a class at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Goodnight!
Daily total: $17
Money spent: $96.38
Classes taught: 14
Cups of coffee: 3
Meals eaten out: 5
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