Sweat Diaries

Sweat Diaries: Inside the Busy Week of The Wall Fitness’ Juliet Sabella

Juliet Sabella, owner of The Wall Fitness in Manayunk, spills on her 3:30 a.m. wake-ups, meal prepping, and more.


Juliet Sabella is the owner of The Wall Fitness in Manayunk. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

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. In Sweat Diaries, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. This week’s featured guest is Juliet Sabella of The Wall Fitness. Want to submit your own Sweat Diaries entry? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com with details. 

Who I am:  Juliet Sabella (@julietsabella), 33, Manayunk

What I do: I own The Wall Fitness Studio in Manayunk. I’m a barre and indoor cycling teacher, personal trainer, bridal shop owner, and mom to my little girl, Cecilia.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Fitness and healthy choices has always been a main priority to me, but after I had my baby, it really got turned up.  Not because I wanted to “lose the baby weight,” but because I want to be a role model to my daughter.  I want to show her how to have fun with fitness, how great veggies can be, and how awesome cake tastes when you don’t worry about calories or carbs. Fitness is also a major anxiety relief to me.  I have a very bad anxiety disorder that can, and has, spiraled into depressive moments.  Endorphins and veggies (and Lexapro) are what get me through the day and keep me feeling the best I have felt in years.

Health memberships: I work with a personal trainer ($330 for six sessions), I have a boxing app, FightCamp, my husband and I use (around $32 per month), and I can take all of the free spin, barre and TRX classes I want at The Wall. I also pay $250 per month for a three-month health coaching program with Reap Wellness.

Monday

juliet sabella the wall manayunk sweat diaries

Juliet Sabella works out with Kasey Manwaring at GoalsFit. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

4:30 a.m. — My first alarm goes off and I snooze until 4:45 a.m.  I get out of bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and head down to the coffee machine and make an espresso. I pop my meds and take my vitamins and head back upstairs and jump in the shower.

5:15 a.m. — I take my pre-made smoothie out of the fridge that I prepped the day before and plan my clients’ workouts for the day. (TIP: Freeze your smoothies! Then move them to the fridge the night before so they can defrost overnight.) My go-to smoothie recipe: Spinach, unsweetened almond milk, water, a tablespoon of almond butter, Vega Protein, hemp seeds, and blueberries.

7 a.m. — My two morning client workouts are prepared. I hug my husband Karl, our dogs Brooklyn and Hudson, and my baby Cecilia goodbye and head out to work.

7:15 a.m. — I set up my workout for my 8 a.m. client and start making my playlist for my 4:30 class.

7:50 a.m. — My client arrives right on time.

9 a.m. — Workout done. I head down the street to GoalsFit for my own workout.

9:10 a.m. — Kasey, owner of GoalsFit, kicks my butt right from the start. We do an awesome plyometric and resistance band workout ($55). I’m sweating profusely and happy this training session is OVER!

10:15 a.m. — Back at The Wall, my client arrives and we do a killer TRX-focused workout today.

11:15 a.m. — Client two is done for the day, and I quickly clean up and head out for the most important part of my day – lunch with Cecilia (CeCe)!

juliet sabella the wall manayunk sweat diaries

Juliet Sabella meal preps a giant salad on Sundays. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

11:30 a.m. — Home! I pull out our prepped lunches.

12:30 p.m. — After CeCe is down for a nap, I finally pull out my lunch: a spinach salad with a little Banza pasta, roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, radish, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon. I am ready for a nap myself.

2 p.m. — I’m up from my nap, jump in the shower, and get ready to head back to work for evening sessions and classes.

3 p.m. — Back at The Wall, my next training client comes in. She crushes her pregnancy-friendly workout.

4:30 p.m. — Spin/Barre Fusion. I’m so proud of my class and how hard they worked.

5:30 p.m. — Interview with two potential indoor cycling instructors. (They’re a cute brother/sister team!)

6 p.m. — I listen in on the spin and sculpt class going on. I love listening to my staff teach.  It’s a great way to give them praise but also help them trouble shoot should they need ideas or help for a future class.

6:05 p.m. — Still at the studio because I lost my keys.

6:20 p.m. — Our front desk team member finds my keys and as I’m about to walk out the door, she reminds me to take my phone with me.

6:30 p.m. — HOME! So happy to be back with Cecilia. For dinner, we’re making Beyond Meat burgers and heating up some prepped roasted Brussel sprouts.

6:50 p.m. — Karl is walking in the door and we eat.

7:45 p.m. — Karl and CeCe start their evening routine while I answer emails I didn’t get to earlier and prep for tomorrow’s classes.

8:15 p.m. — Hug Cecilia goodnight, quickly jump in the shower (yes, again) and I turn on Netflix.

8:30 p.m. — I get through 10 minutes of Netflix’s Sugar Rush show and am about to pass out. Tomorrow is an early day, so I head off to bed.

Daily total: $55

Tuesday

juliet sabella the wall manayunk sweat diaries

Juliet Sabella teaches barre at The Wall Fitness. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

3:32 a.m. — This is not a joke. I wake up with my alarm, do my morning routine and shower.

3:50 a.m. — I make an espresso, pull a smoothie out of the fridge, and go over my class roster one more time.

4:30 p.m. — It’s 4:30 a.m., so I’m driving the half mile to the studio. I’ve been arriving early to work like this since we opened 6.5 years ago. I like to walk through my workouts, make sure the mats are set up. I also am just convinced something will always go wrong and don’t want it to happen at the very last second.

4:50 a.m. — Everything is set up, and I just sit in the barre room in silence.

5 a.m. — Doors open up and people start filing in. We have Spin and Sculpt downstairs and Bardio Sculpt upstairs.

5:10 a.m. — Time for Bardio Sculpt: Tabata Tuesday.

6 a.m. — Clean up, head downstairs and chat with the next teacher and head home

6:15 a.m. — Home, grab another espresso, chat with my husband, and put on Bravo.

7 a.m. — Change into fresh clothes for barre and pack my bag.

7:30 a.m. — Cecilia’s nanny arrives and I head out to work.

7:45 a.m. — Arrive at the studio, vacuum the barre room, front lobby, set mats up, and go over the modifications I’ll need for a few women in class today that are in their second and third trimesters.

8:25 a.m. — Everything is cleaned and set up so I sit on the couch in silence and answer some emails.

9 a.m. — Barre time.

10:20 a.m. — After barre, I do a quick FightCamp workout, an at-home boxing app.

11 a.m. — I head home and get ready for lunch with Cecilia. We have leftover burgers, avocado, and Banza pasta.

12 p.m. — Nap time for us both, and it’s much needed.

2 p.m. — Up from a nap, I do some work on the computer and officially start panicking about the workout I have to go tonight: Track Practice with GoalsFit.

3:30 p.m. — After CeCe wakes up, I realize I’m not going to see her tonight before she goes to bed, so we sit down and have a piece of vanilla vegan cake from Whole Foods, left over from my husband’s birthday on Sunday.

4 p.m. — Her nanny arrives, and I’m headed to the studio. A rep, Rosie, is coming to give away some new grip and cycle socks, so we’re fully booked.

5:10 p.m. — Participants start to arrive, classes begin and people are buying our new product up like crazy.

juliet sabella the wall manayunk sweat diaries

Juliet Sabella attends Track Practice with Kasey Manwaring. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

6:10 p.m. — I’m headed to the Roxborough Track for my Tuesday run group and I’m extra nervous because tonight is the official start to the half-marathon program (part of a class package I bought last fall).

6:30 p.m. — Track starts. This isn’t that bad. But after a good 20-minute warm up, the 400’s start.  FML these are hard. I tell myself to know the difference between “not wanting to do something” and “not being able to do something”…I then think it sounds so much better when I tell my spin classes that.

7:30 p.m. — Back at the studio, I check in on things and quickly change out of my  drenched clothes.

7:45 p.m. — Finally in dry clothes, Rosie, studio manager Kellie, and I head to Jake’s and Cooper’s for dinner. We have a glass of wine and some apps ($53.96).

9:30 p.m. — I don’t know where time has gone, but I see how late it is, and I know I have to teach in the AM.

9:45 p.m. — Home, shower, jump into bed.

Daily total: $53.96

Wednesday

juliet sabella the wall manayunk sweat diaries

Juliet Sabella uses the FightCamp app for remote workouts. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

3:32 a.m. — Wake up.

3:50 a.m. — Showered, dressed, espresso, smoothie.

4:30 a.m. — Drive to the studio.

4:50 a.m. — Everything is set up. I enjoy my 10 minutes of silence.

5 a.m. — Door opens and my group of 20 show up ready to crush the class.

6 a.m. — Bardio done, I clean up and prep for my training client.

6:15 a.m. — Training one of my favorite people for her wedding.

7:15 a.m. — I do a quick FightCamp workout.

8:15 a.m. — My next training client arrives, crushes her workout, and I wrap up for the day at The Wall.

9:30 a.m. — Home, I pack my bag for tonight and spend time with CeCe.

11 a.m. — I head to Liberty & Lace, my bridal store, for a call with our dress sales rep and to pack up dresses for an hair and makeup event tonight.

2 p.m. — We arrive at Tendenza. The next several hours are spent getting hair and makeup done and dressing our models.

6 p.m. — We bring out our models, and the bridal event is a whirlwind.

8:45 p.m. — We’re finally out of there, and I realize I haven’t eaten ANYHINGGGGG all day. This is NOT normal for me and I don’t recommend this at all. The most frustrating thing is I had a shiitake mushroom/ lettuce cup “tacos” in my fridge prepped for the day and I forgot it.

9:30 p.m. — After returning all the dresses to the shop, we head over to Taqueria Feliz for a celebratory skinny margarita. We have two ($15).

10:45 p.m. — HOME and so happy to be in bed.

Daily total: $15

Thursday

6:30 a.m. — It’s no-alarm Thursday! I do my morning routine, pull out a smoothie, and make an espresso.

7:45 a.m. — I sit down for what seems like the first time all week. I turn on Bravo and watch Million Dollar Listing.

9:30 a.m. — Jump in the shower, get dressed, and answer some emails.

10:15 a.m. — Out the door and on my way to Riverwards Produce in Fishtown.

11 a.m. — I meet with my health coach from Reap Wellness and we go over the goals I have set and reached over the last three months.  We grocery shop, and I find a bag of tomatoes for a dollar ($30.23 total spent on groceries).

12:30 p.m. — Home, I put away my new veggies, and my dollar bag of tomatoes is being prepped for tonight’s dinner: spiralized zucchini noodles, Beyond Meat crumbles, homemade tomato sauce, and left over roasted veggies.

1:30 p.m. — Emails and prepping for my clients this weekend.

6 p.m. — Everyone is home, we eat dinner, I love on Cecilia, and we have one more small piece of vegan vanilla cake for dessert.

8:15 p.m. — After putting CeCe to bed, I re-watch Million Dollar Listing with Karl.

9:30 p.m. — Bed time.

Daily total: $30.23

Friday

Juliet Sabella goes running with her daughter. Photograph courtesy Juliet Sabella.

7:30 p.m. — Today is my full day off. I do my morning routine and make an espresso.

8:15 a.m. — I hear CeCe stirring around. We start our Friday ritual of a pancake party.

9:30 a.m. — After pancakes, we’re out the door, headed to the Manayunk Bridge for a two-mile run with the jogging stroller.

10 a.m. — CeCe starts to lose it, so I have to hold side of the stroller, while running next to her because she wants to hold hands…I know how crazy it sounds. This is definitely the best life I could be living, though. I wouldn’t change anything.

10:30 a.m. — We’re back home, but I have to leave for an appointment.

2:30 p.m. — Back from my appointment, Karl, CeCe, and I are going to Winnie’s Manayunk.  I have a salad and a cocktail ($29.11).

4:30 p.m. — We head to the park to play a little. I have to stop by the studio to see if we have enough towels for the weekend and then head home.

5 p.m. — I prep a little for staff meeting on Sunday.

6:30 p.m. — Dinner time: artichoke burgers on top of spinach with Banza pasta.

8:15 p.m. — After CeCe’s bedtime routine, we put on Netflix, watch The Office.  This has been such a hectic week. I’m exhausted.

9:30 p.m. —  I head up to bed!

Daily total: $29.11

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $183.30

Cups of espresso: 6

Smoothies: 4

Personal training clients taught: 4

Group classes taught: 4

Workouts: 5

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