Sweat Diaries: The Gym Owner Who Does SoulCycle and Solidcore on Her Day Off

Inside the week of Katie Graham, the owner of RIDE Spin, Barre & TRX.

Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

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 a week 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: Katie Graham (@thebabeandthebalance), 27, from Huntingdon Valley

What I do: I have recently stepped out of my nine-to-five grind in the corporate world and into a new role as a full-time business co-owner and instructor. I teach between nine to 15 classes a week at my studio, RIDE Spin, Barre & TRX.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Healthy living is what makes my world go around. More so mentally, than physically. I can live without the abs, but I cannot live without the endorphins! To me, healthy living is so much more than surface level. It’s about feeling like your very best self in your mind, body, and soul. When you feel your best, you can give your best, and better yet, you can remember that you deserve the best.

Health memberships: Perk of owning your own fitness studio: FREE WORKOUTS! Jokes aside, I have a strong belief that an instructor’s biggest downfall is when they stop taking classes outside of their own class. You’ll find me taking drop-in classes elsewhere in my free time at places like SoulCycle ($30), Solidcore ($32), Fast Twitch Training ($20), or getting my butt kicked by my very own instructors at RIDE! I also pay $12 monthly for ClassPass.


Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

7 a.m. — Alarm. My pup is perfectly snuggled up to me, and I decide to hit snooze. I have an hour and a half until I teach my first class of the day.

7:30 a.m. — I’m finally up and decide to make my own coffee this morning. I pour it with cream and two Truvia sweeteners and head to my room to get ready for the morning.

8:00 a.m. — Face washed, teeth brushed, and I’m dressed in my daily uniform: Lululemon pants, APL sneaks, Apple Watch, and a baseball hat. I top off my S’well bottle with water (I don’t leave home without it) and head to the studio.

8:15 a.m. — The crew starts to trickle in. I love seeing these faces at the start of my Monday!

9:15 a.m. — Class is over. My barre babes did great, and some of them are sticking around for a double and taking the 9:30 spin class with Chris.

10 a.m. — I run home from the studio to let my dog out. I also grab a quick snack: black cherries and walnuts.

10:30 a.m. — Back at the studio, I greet the clients coming out of the 9:30 class. I sweep the studio and do some tidying.

11:15 a.m. — I’m back home again and make myself a late, but yummy, breakfast: three eggs with feta cheese and homegrown tomatoes with a side of breakfast potatoes.

1 p.m. — I’m feeling the afternoon slump, and I have to head up to King of Prussia with my fiancé to help him with an errand. We stop at Starbucks for a cold brew with two pumps of vanilla and cream ($3.25). I also insist on stopping at Honeygrow since we don’t have one around our home. I build my own stir fry and get two pressed juices to take home ($26.66).

5:30 p.m. — After spending the afternoon doing some social media content for RIDE and planning classes, it’s time for me to head back to the studio. Tonight I teach a double: 6 p.m. Barre and 7 p.m. RIDE/TRX Fusion.

6 p.m. — Barre starts.

6:50 p.m. — Barre was so awesome. Everyone had been chatting about having the “Monday-est of Mondays,” so I decided to do a Booty Barre tonight to liven the mood. I chug some BCAA’s to give my endurance a boost for my next class.

7 p.m. — RIDE/TRX starts.

Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

8:45 p.m. — Class numero tres of the day is done. Tonight I was twinning one of my regulars in our matching RIDE leggings and barre shirts!

9:30 p.m. — My best friend Brooke comes up from the city for the night and brings Sweetgreen with her for dinner — my hero. I get the Hummus Tahina ($11.80).

11 p.m. — I’m finally showered and tucked in to bed.

Daily total: $41.71


Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

4:53 a.m. — My first alarm goes off.

5:05 a.m. — I’m up and dressed for class. I head to my kitchen to fill up two water bottles: a S’well bottle with plain water and a shaker with BCAA’s.

5:10 a.m. — Since Brooke slept over, she is coming to my class. We head to the studio for 5:30 a.m. RIDE & Abs.

6:30 a.m. — I’m SOAKED.

7:10 a.m. — The last client trickles out, and Brooke and I are jonesin’ for some Starbs. I have three more classes to teach today, so go for a Venti Cold Brew with three pumps of vanilla and cream ($3.98). I have a reward to use so I splurge and get a breakfast sandwich ($0)!

7:30 a.m. — We are back at my house, and I take my pup Harper out in the yard while I drink my coffee. I am subbing the 9:30 a.m. Rhythm RIDE so I have to head back to the studio shortly. I climb into my bed for a quick puppy snuggle before leaving again.

9:15 a.m. — I’m back at the studio for the 9:30 class. I mingle with clients and help them get set up in the spin room.

10:30 a.m. — We are DONE, and they killed it.

11 a.m. — I head home for a quick snack. At home I eat a bowl of Wheaties (not my choice of cereal) with coconut milk ($0). I am not amused with this snack.

11:40 a.m. — I refill my water bottle for the third time of the day and grab a green juice from Honeygrow that I bought the day prior. Back to the studio I go!

12 p.m. — TRX HIIT begins.

12:50 p.m. — Class is done and my clients are TIRED (but happy)!

1:15 p.m. — I’m sitting at the front desk doing some RIDE administrative work. My tummy is growling at me. I head to Wawa (not my norm) and get a grilled chicken sandwich and beef jerky ($12.53).

2 p.m. — I’m home. My busy morning has caught up to me, so I let myself take a quick snooze on the couch.

4:30 p.m. — I’ve spent the last hour preparing for my TRX 101 class. I also decide to shower now, since my fiancé wants to take me on a date after class.

5:45 p.m. — I head back to the studio for round four of the day.

6:50 p.m. — TRX 101 was great. I visit with my front desk girl for a few after and pop in to the spin room to chat with the clients, then I rush home to change into real pants for date night!

7:30 p.m. — Honey and I are out the door to go to a local restaurant called Steam Pub for a drink and some grubbin’. I order a cucumber jalapeño margarita and fish tacos. He’s buying!

10 p.m. — Home, face washed, and in bed. I turn on Dexter and watch until I feel tired enough to sleep.

10:45 p.m. — Lights out.

Daily total: $16.51


Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

9 a.m. — Up and dressed for my TRX class. I grab a Starbucks Cold Brew that’s been in my fridge and put together the workout for class.

10:25 a.m. — I head to the studio. I’m greeted by sweaty clients coming out of the 9:30 spin class with Bret. Some of them are staying for a double with me.

10:45 a.m. — TRX class begins!

11:30 a.m. — Class is done and they were awesome. I start to feel a migraine coming on…lovely.

12:30 p.m. — My migraine is in full swing, but I know I need to eat something with substance. At home, I whip up a smoothie bowl with matcha powder in hopes that it helps my head. But despite my efforts, I’m out for the count, so I make an ice-pack head wrap. I have struggled with migraines since I was young; it’s probably the biggest hindrance in my active lifestyle.

4 p.m. — I’ve finally gotten control of my migraine, thanks to medicine, and have my appetite back. I order sushi and noodles from GrubHub ($25.03).

6:30 p.m. — Time to head back to the studio for my barre class.

7 p.m. — Time for barre class! I have some fun in store for them tonight with weighted chairs. I can feel the glares already.

Daily total: $25.03


Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

5:07 a.m. — I have to be on a 5:44 train into the city to make Ryan Lewis’s SoulCycle class. Blurry eyed, I think of every excuse to hit permanent snooze and bail, but I come to my senses and get my booty out of bed. Today is my only day off of teaching at RIDE and I’m going to spend it taking classes from some amazing instructors.

5:25 a.m. — Face washed, teeth brushed, and dressed. I top off my water bottle and grab my backpack.

5:44 a.m. — I’m on the train headed to the city.

6:17 a.m. — I’ve arrived at Suburban Station. My hunt begins for Starbucks. Grande cold brew with cream and two vanilla with a This Bar Saves Lives ($6.23). I walk back to the studio to get settled in before class at 7 a.m. ($30).

7:45 a.m. — Class is over. Holy MOLY, I am dripping in sweat and beaming.

8:15 a.m. — Brooke and I opt for coffee number two and head to La Colombe. I get a Black & Tan ($3.75). Then it’s off to Sip-N-Glo Juicery for a smoothie and a wheatgrass shot ($8.62).

8:45 a.m. — Our next stop of the day is Solidcore with Kayla ($32).

10:20 a.m. — Class is over, and I am officially dead. I can barely hold my water bottle because my arms are shaking so bad (I love it).

Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

1045 a.m. — At this point, I’m starving but I have to start walking back to the train to make an 11:20. I stop at Wiki Poké and get a salmon poke bowl ($10.25).

12 p.m. — I’m home. What a morning! It feels like it’s 5 p.m. already. Time to relax for a few.

3:30 p.m. — I heat up a Trader Joe’s quinoa burger from my freezer for a snack and eat it while I run payroll for my studio.

5 p.m. — I haven’t been to RIDE yet today, and I don’t go a full day without being there unless I’m out of town. I have some stuff to drop off there anyway. While I’m there, I check on everything and chat with my front desk girl.

6 p.m. — I finally head to the grocery store. It only took me all week to get here ($95).

7:30 p.m. — Dinner time. I make pasta and meatballs. This girl could use some carbs after the day I’ve had!

9:30 p.m. — I climb into bed to make playlists and find new tunes.

11 p.m. — Lights out.

Daily total: $185.85


Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

5:03 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I’m off to the studio for the 5:30 RIDE/Barre Fusion class.

5:20 a.m. — It’s National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, WTRMLN WTR has spoiled us by sending a bunch of yummy flavors to give out to our clients. I start handing out the free bottles before class.

5:30 a.m. — Class is in session!

6:30 a.m. — That was a sweaty one! After class I visit with my clients in the lobby for a little. We chat, then I go set up for the TRX class.

7:45 a.m. — I head home for some breakfast. At home, I make avocado toast on multigrain bread with red pepper flakes and drink a WTRMLN WTR. I put on some music while doing dishes and programing for my 10:45 a.m. TRX class.

Photograph courtesy Katie Graham.

9:45 a.m. — I head back to the studio. Before I go, I grab a Hi Ball sparkling energy drink and a bag of Epic bison jerky for a mid-morning snack.

10 a.m. — I’m at the studio and pouring shots (it’s just juice!!).

10:45 a.m. — Teaching my TRX class.

11:30 a.m. — Class is over and this class did #WERK. After the clients leave, I do some cleaning, wash towels, and set up for my RIDE & Abs class tomorrow morning.

1:30 p.m. — I’m home, showered, and eat some left over pasta from Thursday night as a snack. It’s storming like crazy right now, but I take the plunge and head out for an afternoon appointment.

3 p.m. — After my appointment, I meet a friend at Bernie’s for a Spicy Margarita because #Friday. I pick up the tab for hers ($14).

5 p.m. — I’m en route to my studio for the final time of the day to switch over some towels in the wash and to decorate my instructor’s bike for my 7 a.m. class tomorrow. She always takes my 7 a.m. on Saturdays and it’s her birthday, so we HAVE to do it up!

6:30 p.m. — Back home, and it’s time for dinner!  I cook up ground beef with bell peppers and onions with a side of jasmine rice. For dessert, I enjoy some Cotton Candy grapes that I’ve put in the freezer.

9 p.m. — I have Jane the Virgin on in the background while simultaneously making playlists on my phone. My Friday nights are typically low key because I teach three classes on Saturdays starting at 7 a.m. and two classes on Sundays.

12 a.m. — I’ve binge watched Jane the Virgin later than I should and force myself to turn it off. Goodnight, Friday!

Daily total: $14

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $283.10

Classes taught: 11

Classes taken: 2

Cups of coffee: 6

Smoothies/Bowls: 2

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