A Week in the Life of Fitness Trainer and CHOP Health-Care Worker Lonnie Perry

When he’s not working with patients at CHOP or training clients with Get In Lon Fitness, Perry stays energized with smoothies and black bean burgers from local spots, plus meditating and burning sage once a week.

Lonnie Perry demonstrates an outdoor workout. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

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 he or she eats, all the exercise he or she gets, and the money he or she spends on both.

Who I am: Lonnie Perry (@_getinlon), 33

Where I live: Southwest Philadelphia

What I do: I’m a certified personal trainer and health enthusiast, and the owner of Get In Lon Fitness. I’m a patient services representative at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I’m also currently studying for my Pennsylvania real estate license.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Living healthfully plays a major role in my life. For me it’s a daily form of self-care and therapy. During this pandemic I realized that living a healthy lifestyle goes way beyond exercise or eating properly. It’s about the quality time spent with my family and friends. This is something we as humans take for granted at times. I prioritize my days that way. Healthy living has also played a huge role for my mental health. It has allowed me to take on life-changing events without becoming overwhelmingly stressed. For me, living a healthy lifestyle is about finding balance.

Health memberships: Title Boxing Club, $80, and Planet Fitness, $20


Perry is always on-the-go, working out indoors and hosting outdoor boot camps in the region. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

5:25 a.m. — It’s the last day of my time off from work. The alarm goes off and I snooze it immediately to get a few more minutes of shut eye.

5:34 a.m. — I take pre-workout in a drink before I host my HIIT (high intensity interval training) class at Clark Park.

6 a.m. — It’s go time! Class is underway. My Tuesday morning class is mainly body weight exercises focusing on all muscle groups. Today was a small group of three very dedicated individuals. The format of the workout was 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.

7 a.m. — I travel to St. Francis de Sales Church to count my blessings for another opportunity at this thing called life. The weekday services are fairly short compared to the weekend services.

8 a.m. — For some reason I’m having a sweet tooth this morning. I drove down the street to get some coffee and donuts from a donut shop called Dottie’s Donuts. Don’t worry they are vegan!

11 a.m. — I finally finished the last chapter of a book I’ve been reading on real estate investing. It took longer than expected to finish the book, due to the peak season of personal training. However, this book is a good read. It provided more insight for me on how I want my portfolio to look once I get started with real estate.

1:30 p.m. — I decided to have a nutritious lunch, and I ordered a a smoothie from Sweet Treat Hut, a Black-owned juice bar and health store in West Philadelphia. I got a “Miami Vice,” which consisted of pineapples, coconut, strawberries, lemon, and almond milk.

4 p.m. — I arrive to train my client. This is her first time in the gym in over five months. Our session today is more of a tutorial to get her mind and body acclimated to working out again.

5:30 p.m. — My second class of the day. On Tuesday evenings I teach class at a gym in Bala Cynwyd called AFC Fitness. I usually don’t work out with this group, but today I decided to join. It was by far the best decision I made all day. I felt amazing afterwards.

6:45 p.m. — I have my last client of the day. This young lady is more consistent when it comes to exercising. She’s been working out with me on and off for a few months now, and wants to increase her stamina.

8:40 p.m. — Home sweet home! I shower and get myself together for the long day ahead of me tomorrow.

Daily Total: $19.75


Perry takes a quick photo after a tough workout. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

5:30 a.m. — Rise and grind! Today is the first day back to work after being off for a week. I’m an early bird so I try to make the most of my day before work starts at 8:30 a.m.

6:30 a.m. — I have my first client of the day. This gentleman has been working out with me for about a week. I already see improvement in his posture and form. When I’m starting out with a new client there are a few basics that I pay close attention. Posture and form are crucial!

8:30 a.m. — I clock in at work. My weekdays are kind of repetitive, minus a few hiccups. Sometimes coming back to work after having time off I’m a bit sluggish. However, my vibe is very energetic today.

10 a.m. — I begin the first chapter of a book titled Relationship Goals. I’ve heard so many great things about this book. I hope it lives up to all the hype.

This week Perry is reading the book Relationship Goals by Michael Todd. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

12 p.m. — On Wednesdays, my coworkers and I order lunch from Copabanana in University City. They have half-off burgers on Wednesdays. My go-to is the black bean burger with garlic spinach and provolone cheese with a side order of Spanish fries.

2:30 p.m. — After having such a hefty meal, I went for a brisk walk around the block. The temperature was in the low 30’s so you can imagine how fast I was walking. I’m not a fan of cold weather.

3:45 p.m. — I walked to our cafe to get some hot water for my green tea. I find that green tea helps regulate my digestion after big meals.

5:30 p.m. — I have my second client of the day.

7 p.m. — As I drove past Subway, I thought about the last time I had a sub from there and how I really enjoyed it. I made a U-turn to order a foot-long tuna sub with Sun Chips.

8:30 p.m. — I meditate and burn sage to cleanse my space. This is a once a week thing for me.

9 p.m. — I catch the second half of the Sixers game. Sports before bed is a must for me.

Daily Total: $18.15


Perry keeps track of his workouts to make sure he’s meeting his goals. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

5:25 a.m. — My alarm goes off. Surprisingly, I didn’t hit the snooze button this morning. I think the meditation from last night gave me some positive energy.

6 a.m. — Time for our Tone Up Thursday Boot Camp. On Thursdays we utilize light weights and/or resistance bands. We focus more so on toning the muscles and put less emphasis on cardio. There were a total of eight women that attended class this morning.

7:15 a.m. — I train my first client of the day. As she begins her warm-up, I write up a workout that corresponds with her fitness level. I give all of my clients homework to help them along their journey. The goal is that each session should be better than the previous one.

8:20 a.m. — I have my smoothie that I prepared last night. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more conservative when it comes to spending money on food. I feel like that’s where 80 percent of my money goes during the week.

8:30 a.m. — I arrive at work. My first task of the day is scanning and faxing the providers paperwork from the previous day. This is a fairly easy task. but can be tedious if I allow the paperwork to pile up.

11:30 a.m. — I grab lunch from another Black-owned restaurant in North Philadelphia, Ummi Dee’s Burger Bistro. I will literally travel from anywhere in the city to eat at this spot. The quality of their food and customer service is top notch! I order a large salmon cheesesteak with a side order of sweet potato fries. So good!

1 p.m. — My eyes are starting to get heavy. I step away from my desk to chat with some coworkers upstairs.

4:45 p.m. — I clock out of work 15 minutes early to help reduce the travel time to my eye exam. Center City is horrible when it comes to finding parking so I traveled on SEPTA. I started to have some nostalgia as I thought about all the times I traveled on SEPTA during my high school years.

7 p.m. — I have my last client of the day. By this point I’m drained physically and mentally. However,  I have to make sure my client gets the best service.

9 p.m. — I start getting myself ready for the work day tomorrow as I briefly watch the Warriors versus Clippers game.

Daily Total: $21.10


Perry wears a Get In Lon Fitness hoodie. | Photo courtesy of Lonnie Perry

6 a.m. — For some reason my bed felt more comfortable than usual this morning. So comfortable that I turned off my alarm and slept for another hour! The life of a personal trainer can be taxing at times.

7 a.m. — I scroll up and down my timeline on Instagram for about 20 minutes. It’s mind-blowing how much time I spend on social media within a day. Some days I delete the entire app off my phone just to channel my time and energy to something more productive.

8 a.m. — As I get myself ready for work, I remember today is casual Friday. I take off my uniform to put on something a bit more comfortable.

8:30 a.m. — I arrive at work. Two things are happening: it’s Friday and it’s payday, so the energy is at an all time high at work this morning! Also, the schedule for today looks light so it should be an easy day.

9 a.m. — My coworkers tempt me to purchase breakfast, but I decide to hold off until lunch.

11:30 a.m. — I send a few workout routines to my clients. During this time I create a variety of workout routines based on the fitness level of each individual I’m training.

1 p.m. — I took a late lunch today. I ate two black bean burgers that I purchased from BJ’s a few weeks ago. As you can see, black bean burgers are one of my favorite things to eat.

3:15 p.m. — I wash down my lunch with Fiji water that I purchased from Acme. Lately, I’ve been trying to drink at least one gallon of water a day to stay hydrated.

5:30 p.m. — I clock out of work. Let the weekend festivities begin.

Daily Total: $3


8:30 a.m. — The weekend is normally the only time that I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn. I cherish any moment that I get to sleep in. Sleep is so underrated. During this time I write up workout plan for my bootcamp class that I host every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

10 a.m. — The air is very crisp and the sun is shinning bright. The excitement of exercise fills the Art Museum steps. As members of the boot camp begin to arrive, I break down the dynamics of the workout before we get started.

11:30 a.m. — My girlfriend and I make a pit stop at Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee. She is usually a Starbucks fanatic but this will suffice for now, as we have dinner reservations later this evening.

3:30 p.m. — I travel to the King of Prussia mall where I purchase an outfit. I try to be very strategic when coming to this mall. There are so many options! I get what I need and I leave. This is my first time spending money on clothes in a very long time. I was overdue for some retail therapy.

4 p.m. — Before leaving the mall I fulfill my guilty pleasure by getting ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. It’s almost automatic that I come here any time I’m at this mall.

6:45 p.m. — Bon appétit! Dinner at Eddie V’s to celebrate my birthday. I ordered an eight ounce filet mignon with King Crab. Let’s just say I didn’t have to come out of pocket for this delicious meal!

Daily Total: $375.00 (The majority was spent on clothes!)

Weekly Totals

Money Spent: $437 (too much!)

Classes Taught: 4

Workouts Completed: 4

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A previous version of this article mentioned a personal training session at Planet Fitness. However, they do not permit training from non-employees.