10 Classes in 5 Days: A Week in the Life of a Flywheel and SLT Instructor

Alanna Gardner teaches at Philly fitness studios alongside her full-time job as a therapist.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of 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 ccunningham@phillymag.com with details. 

Who I am: Alanna Gardner (@alannagthemft), 31

What I do: I’m an individual and relationship therapist with Philadelphia MFT, as well as a fitness instructor with Flywheel Sports and SLT.

What role health and wellness plays in my life: Wellness is an overall passion for me, and I believe it’s the key to having the mental, emotional, and physical endurance needed in life. I love finding new ways to improve my wellness whether it be through fitness, therapy, or food; I make it a point to stay curious and open not only for myself but for my clients as well.

Health memberships: None. I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the fitness community here in Philadelphia so that gives me the privilege to have free access to some boutique fitness studios in the city.


Photographs courtesy Alanna Gardner.

7 a.m. — I wake up and immediately reach for my five-minute journal. I’ve recently started using it and found it EXTREMELY helpful in envisioning my day and what I’m grateful for. I typically follow this up with meditation using the Headspace app. A clear mind allows me to be focused for the day! I run downstairs and drink a combo of hot water, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. I was inspired by my friend and nutritionist Brooke Slade to incorporate this into my morning wellness routine.

8 a.m. — I eat breakfast. It’s typically something quick, like eggs and turkey bacon.

8:30 a.m. — I catch the train into the city. (I’m a Jersey girl for now.)

11 a.m. — I play around before my SLT class and teach my own routine to myself.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

12:30 p.m. — I teach the 12:30 SLT class to a bunch of awesome mega babes!

1:30 p.m. — I close down the SLT studio and head to my office to eat lunch. I packed baked chicken thigh and a salad with all the veggies.

2 p.m. — While eating lunch, I look for new music and create my playlist for Flywheel.

4:15 p.m. — I leave for Flywheel.

4:45 p.m. — I teach the 4:45 Flywheel to a room filled with incredible athletes of all different fitness levels.

5:30 p.m. — Afterwards, I drink a protein smoothie filled with berries, collagen, and plant protein.

6 p.m. — I teach a private SLT client. It’s really been enjoyable to work with this client because I can see her growth and changes in her body. She’s also the sweetest woman ever!

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

7 p.m. — I head home to make dinner. Its meatless Monday, so I make a really tasty dish: vegan Cajun alfredo pasta.

9 p.m. — Relaxing with my husband till bed.

Daily total: $0


7 a.m. — I do my five-minute journal and meditation. I have a little extra time, so I make oatmeal filled with berries.

8:30 a.m. — I take the train into the city and look over my notes for a radio interview.

10:30 a.m. — I arrive at the radio station and chat with the director of marketing for Philly’s American Heart Association. We go over speaking points for the interview and catch up on life; she’s really sweet! I had a heart attack and open-heart surgery six years ago on April 15. The American Heart Association graciously asked me to help them promote their upcoming Home Runs for Heart Event and also share my own heart story.

11 a.m. — Record the interview for WOGL’s Marilyn Russell’s Remarkable Women show.

12 p.m. — I get an iced coffee at La Colombe and sit and do work ($3.25).

1 p.m. — My friend joins me at La Colombe, and we go to Sweetgreen for lunch. I order Nancy’s Chopped Salad ($11.80). We head to my office to eat and finish catching up before my client at 2 p.m.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

2 p.m. — Until 8:30 p.m., I’m seeing back-to-back clients at Philadelphia MFT. I have ten-minute breaks between each session, so I use that time to respond to calls, emails, and to eat snacks (apples, Larabars, and smoothies).

9 p.m. — I head home and make dinner. I know some people aren’t fans of eating late, but I believe it’s important for me to fuel my body after a long day. I cook up a Thai peanut lentil bowl that is quick and easy to make.

10 p.m. —  I watch TV with my husband. We stay up late tonight to watch our favorite Desus & Mero.

Daily total: $15.05


Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

7 a.m. —  Morning journaling and meditating. Because my mornings start earlier on Wednesdays, my breakfast is typically a Larabar and smoothie.

9 a.m. —  I arrive at SLT and prepare to teach the 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. classes.

9:30 a.m. —  I teach a SOLID two classes filled with some bad-ass hardworking women! Their energy makes me feel great and ready to tackle the work-heavy day in front of me.

11:30 a.m. — I catch up with fellow SLT and Flywheel instructor Kate DeGenarro. I typically would stay for her 12:30 class but today was going to be exercise heavy, so I save my strength.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

12:30 p.m. — I make my Flywheel playlists while eating lunch.

1:30 p.m. — I have Flywheel form training with one of the master instructors from NYC, Adam Wasserman. It’s great to work for a company that continues to push you to be great at what you do. I learned a lot as well as rode A LOT. Talk about ass and legs on fire!

3:30 p.m. — Our lead Flywheel instructor Jackie Dragone, was nice enough to buy the team a post-training lunch. I have a chicken wrap from Just Salad that is SO DAMN GOOD with their spicy peanut dressing.

3:45 p.m. — I run out and get some accessories for my Coachella ride at Flywheel, then I book it back to the studio to prepare for class.

4:45 p.m. — Time to teach.

5:30 p.m. — My festival ride was BOMB! A great playlist with great energy from the riders.

5:45 p.m. — I run to Sip-N-Glo for a smoothie! One of my favorites is the Blue Sky ($8.95).

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

6:15 p.m. — Back at Flywheel, I welcome new riders and prepare for my Flybeats class.

6:45 p.m. — It’s go time! I teach the Beats class; one of my favorites to teach because it’s so fun.

7:30 p.m. — I hop the PATCO back home!

8:30 p.m. — I shower, change, and make dinner — tonight is stir fry.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

10 p.m. — I spend some time with my five-minute journal and head to bed.

Daily total: $8.95


7 a.m. — New day, same morning routine. Five-minute journal, meditation, and breakfast.

9:30 a.m. — An SLT private session reschedules at the last minute, so I get to take Stephanie Barone’s SLT class, and I’m SO happy I did.

10:30 a.m. — I change and head to clinical supervision.

11 a.m. — I meet with another therapist who gives me feedback on how my client cases are going. It’s extremely helpful for my growth as a therapist and for my clients as well to have an outside perspective.

12 p.m. — Walk to my office to eat lunch (another day, another homemade salad), make calls, send emails, and plan for my therapy cases.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

1 p.m. — I see clients until 8 p.m. I make sure I take moments between clients to meditate (using Headspace), drink plenty of water, connect with friends via text, and move my body since I’m sitting for so long. Plus I snack, snack, snack — including whole-wheat rice cakes with guacamole and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning.

9 p.m. — My husband picks me up and we grab Honeygrow before heading home. I ordered the Shiso Basil Pesto and Better Off Red juice ($16.98).

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

9:30 p.m. — At home, we eat, I shower, and then we spend some quality time before bed.

11 p.m. — Five-minute journal, then bed.

Daily total: $16.98


Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

9 a.m. — My Friday this week is light, so I sleep in. Feeling super refreshed, I do my Headspace and five-minute journal routine, then eat eggs and bacon for breakfast.

11 a.m. — I head into the city.

12 p.m. — I arrive at SLT to take Emma Lippert’s class!

1:30 p.m. — The class is super challenging. After, I change to eat lunch.

3 p.m. — I’m with therapy clients until 7 p.m.

7 p.m. — I head to Sephora to grab some makeup. A friend asked me and my husband and some friends to surprise her husband at their wedding. He’s a huge Bowie fan, so we all are dressing up as different version of Bowie.

8 p.m. — I get ready, change into my outfit, and do my Bowie makeup.

Photograph courtesy Alanna Gardner.

10 p.m. — The Bowie surprise is a success, and I have SO MUCH FUN doing it. I eat a couple slices of pizza, cookies, and have one drink.

11 p.m. — Quick change, then head to another friend’s birthday party.

1 a.m. — I’m beat, but I still journal and shower, then it’s time to sleep.

Daily total: $0

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $40.98

Flywheel classes taught: 3

SLT classes taught: 4

Workout classes taken: 3

Meditation sessions: 6

Healthy smoothies: 4

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: