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Day in the Life Tuesday: Fitness Pro & Yoga Teacher

Hey, hey. I have a day in the life post for you today because today was one of those “what happened to my entire day?” kind of days. I had so much work I wanted to get done for Metro and my blog but teaching and training took over and I just ran out of time. How does that happen? I like to share what different days look like for me because so many of you ask about careers in this industry. Today is a good glimpse at what it’s like.

Here’s the breakdown.

Rewind to last night at 7:30 p.m…get an email from my 5:30 a.m. client that he needs to cancel. Say a little hallelujah. Y’all it is HARD to do the 5:30 a.m. classes and clients. There is the biggest difference between getting up in the 4 o’clock hour and the 5 o’clock hour.

6:15 a.m. – train a client. I just did measurements with several of my clients since it’s the beginning of a new year. I’m super excited to share that this client lost 8 inches overall! She’s 9 months postpartum and kicking ass.


7 a.m. – come home for breakfast. I usually stay at the gym between this client and teaching my morning yoga class but I decided to come home because I wanted to get some clothes together for later in the day and make breakfast. Green smoothie with banana, frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapple, spinach, almond milk, almond butter, plain 2% greek yogurt and dates.

(It’s not usually like this…Thursday I have 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 clients…today was a treat)

8:10 a.m. – teach a power mixed class at Y2 Yoga.


9:30-10:45 a.m. – stayed after my class to get my own practice in. Practiced ashtanga again and it felt so amazing. I am so recommitting to my ashtanga practice.

11:15 a.m. – trained a client at Metro

12:30 p.m. – home for lunch


Carrot ginger soup and salad with mixed greens, spinach, turkey, carrots, tomatoes, feta and pumpkin seeds with a honey lemon dijon vinaigrette.

1 – 1:30 p.m. – social media work

1:30 p.m. – run to the store for household items and blog prize shipping stuff

2 p.m. – package up blog prizes (baked goods) and get them ready to ship out

3 p.m. – personal training client emails – put together everyone’s measurement, body fat and fitness test data and sent out

4 p.m. – post office to ship blog prizes (always a good time at the old USPS)

4:30 p.m. – gym for a strength training session. Do a circuit put together by another trainer. I seriously need to hire a trainer for myself. Seriously.

5:10 p.m. – shower

5:30 p.m. – personal training client. I’m SO excited to share that this client lost 11 inches and 6 percent body fat in the last year of working with me. She’s been one of my biggest transformations ever and I’m so proud of her.


6:30 p.m. – teach yoga at Metro

7:45 p.m. – meet a friend for dinner


I caught up with a friend who I haven’t seen in ages for dinner. I had a turkey burger with goat cheese and apples and sauteed brussels sprouts. One of my new year goals is to do a better job at being a friend and connecting with mine.

9 p.m. – Metro emails

9:30 p.m. – edit photos and write this blog post (I have been trying REALLY hard lately to get my blog done during the day so I’m not doing it late at night. Just didn’t work out today!)

10:15 p.m. – Metro CrossFit blog post (I usually try to get this done earlier in the night but dinner out got in the way of this)

So there it is…a lighter day but a busy, busy day! I want to keep writing about what life is like in this industry. Hope y’all like these posts. I will try to share as much as I can about it all with you!

{ 47 comments… add one }
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 21, 2014, 10:06 pm

    You have a long and busy day! I can’t believe you fit so much in 🙂 Hope you and rest and relax some now!

  • Kiki January 21, 2014, 10:08 pm

    Going back awhile you used to show more “dessert” type foods in your daily eats….. Would you say you don’t have any of these on a regular basis? I know you don’t post everything you eat so just curious.

    • Jen January 21, 2014, 10:10 pm

      Oh, I do. Today I sampled the baked goods as I packaged them…lots of them! 🙂 And in yesterday’s post you’ll see I posted that I had dessert with dinner. Most days I have a little bit of something…lately it’s been really good chocolate.

      • Anne January 22, 2014, 6:47 am

        Ok. Because as you show it, between 7am and 7:30pm, you had a smootie and a salad+soup, with a very active day… It is not like you stay at home in front of a computer.

        • Jen January 22, 2014, 8:06 am

          I have blogged so many times that I never show every bit I take and never will. Most snacks go undocumented because who really wants to be that maniacal about what they eat. This is one of the reasons that I have gone away from posting daily eats and giving a more holistic view of a few days instead. My intent has always been to provide ideas and a look at how I eat, not prescribe an eat like me plan. Everyone is different in their food and diet needs and what works for them.

          • Anne January 22, 2014, 12:55 pm

            Yes I have to remember this. I’m amazed how small are your portions… Maybe I eat too much ahah. Like you said, everyone is different.

  • Lara January 21, 2014, 10:24 pm

    You are amazing!

  • jennyv January 21, 2014, 10:47 pm

    Wish I could hire you for a trainer! (Can’t fly to CLT from IA weekly though!)

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:24 am

      haha, that would be fun if it were possible!

  • Danielle@LabelsAreForTinCans January 21, 2014, 11:10 pm

    I am impressed with your stamina! I really find these posts interesting – I haven’t really read elsewhere the real schedule of a fitness pro.

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope January 22, 2014, 4:23 am

    Definitely sounds busy, but sounds like a fitness professional’s dream! I’m so excited to get out into this world soon 🙂
    Question, how do you go about structuring your personal training sessions? Is there a specific overall focus and is there a typical “sequence” you use? NASM obviously has a very clear methodology, but I’ve seen so many other trainers use their own methods of sequencing and focus (body weight exercises vs equipments, etc) and was wondering what you used for your clients?

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:28 am

      well, it depends on the client but for a one hour session here is how i break it down…

      – 10 minute warm up (5 minute run/row/cardio, 5 minute dynamic stretch)
      – 15 minute stability/core work (single leg work, mini band work, core strengthening, bodyweight exercises, etc)
      – 20-30 minutes strength circuit (strength training with some cardio elements built in to keep heart rate up) this varies by client but i use everything from bodyweight to kettlebells to dumbbells…there might be running, rowing, stairs, burpees, etc involved, sometimes heavier barbell lifting. depends of focus of workout.
      – 5-10 minutes stretching/mobility

      i can send you some sample workouts if you’d like. i’ve really learned by doing and seeing. the NASM stuff is good but it’s different when you’re actually working with people. i’m very functional movement based and almost never put my clients on machines.

  • Madison January 22, 2014, 8:31 am

    You really do have a busy day–but it must make it a lot more fun because you LOVE what you do. 🙂

  • Taya January 22, 2014, 9:12 am

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve only been a personal trainer for a few months, and as there’s only one (male, very unfriendly) trainer at my gym, it’s nice to see how other trainers manage their schedules. I’ve found that there are pluses and minuses to a job without regular, set hours, and I like it better than a 9-4 grind. Right now I only have 7 clients, gym office hours in the evening, and teaching Zumba, but I still feel so busy! I can only imagine what it will be like when the number of clients hits the double digits.

    Thank you for being an inspiration!

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:33 am

      taya – that’s so great that you already have 7 clients. congratulations on that! you will figure out the right balance for you. just schedule your time wisely so you’re not scattered all over the place. good luck and wish you so much success!

  • Jen January 22, 2014, 9:20 am

    Hi Jen, I love your blog!! I am thinking about starting to work with a personal trainer, but I’m not really sure what a reasonable price would be. I understand it would differ depending on your geographical area, but would love a post that would provide insight on price and what a client should expect in terms of the training sessions, etc. Thanks!

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:34 am

      hey – that’s a great suggestion! i will definitely add a “what to consider/expect when hiring a trainer” post to the list!

  • Linda January 22, 2014, 9:30 am

    That picture of you in that yoga pose is amazing. What strength you have!!!

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:37 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Patti January 22, 2014, 9:41 am

    I’m extremely new to yoga (i.e. I’ve stopped in at the local hot yoga studio ~5 times in the past 3 months and I’ve tried a few at home DVDs). I’d love to do more but I can’t really afford too many more classes at the studio. How do I structure an at-home practice? I don’t feel I know enough to really gain anything on my own yet. Any suggestions?

    • shannon January 22, 2014, 2:40 pm

      Hi Patti – I’m not a trainer of any kind, but I have been practicing yoga at home since 2006 so I wanted to chime in. I stumbled across a tv show on fit tv called Namaste and I loved it. After lots of searching I was able to find their website and purchase seasons one and two of the show. Namaste.tv will get you to their site where you can read up on all the episodes and watch a full episode for free to see if you like the basic feel of it. Hope this helps! Enjoy!

      • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:41 am

        hi patti – i’m excited to hear that you’ve started practicing yoga. i know that studios can be expensive but be sure to check if any of the studios in your area offer discounted karma or donation based classes. those can be a great option if your budget is tight.

        as far as home practice, check out the following:
        http://www.amazon.com/Ashtanga-Yoga-Primary-Series-MacGregor/dp/B001XRTS9S – ashtanga led video. ashtanga is a set series and once you learn it you can do it all on your own!
        – yoga download – subscription based service with tons of podcasts and videos
        – yoga glo – same as above

        and thanks to shannon for her suggestion. i don’t have any experience with that but glad to hear it’s been good for you!

  • Amanda Bee January 22, 2014, 12:48 pm

    This makes me feel like I need to get my butt in gear! I like these posts, even as someone not in the fitness industry, because it helps me to see how other people with flexible/changing schedules manage their time.

    I do have to wonder, though, how do you manage to get showered/ready to work within 20 minutes of ending a workout? Do you have a routine that just goes really quickly or have any shortcuts you could share? I wonder because one of my barriers to working out in the morning consistently is how long it takes me to get showered, dressed, dry hair, makeup, etc. after a workout and needing to do all that before work.

    • tara January 23, 2014, 1:05 pm

      i am totally with you ! i normally get to work at 730 and if i do hot yoga in the am (530 class reasonably close to my home) then i dont get to work until 8 and that’s with pushing it (shaving legs the night before, keeping makeup basic, etc). its so hard to start the day already behind but i still like to workout in the AM a few times a week because at least its over. My days often last 11 hrs + so sometimes i have to miss workouts at night because of work or go run at 8 pm which is never fun. I’d love tips on getting ready but Jen is so cute i bet she lets her hair air dry and puts on lip gloss and is ready. if i went to work like that they would think i aged 20 years and went nuts 😉

      • Amanda Bee January 23, 2014, 8:21 pm

        I consider myself low maintenance but just drying my hair (which is super thick) takes 10+ minutes. I spend more time trying to look presentable after a workout than actually working out, lol. If I could get my post-workout getting ready routine down to 20-30 minutes, it’d be so much easier to get workouts in!

        • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:46 am

          amanda and tara –

          i hear you on getting ready. first, i’m super fortunate that i don’t have to get ready for work anymore in professional clothes. that definitely took me longer.

          a few tips that work for me…
          – get ready at the gym or yoga studio, going home inevitably adds 20-30 minutes onto your time in the AM
          – i don’t wash my hair every workout or even every day. there is a lot of baby powder, blow drying out sweat going on. my hair is actually healthier for it and less dry and damaged. this saves more time than anything
          – i keep my gym bag stocked at all times with the necessities i need to shower and get ready…hair stuff, body lotion, deodorant, make up, etc.
          – i make sure to plan out my outfits (even if they’re fitness outfits) ahead of time and pack my bag with a couple different options so i can always get ready on the go
          – make up is minimal, tinted moisturizer, a little concealer, blush, curl lashes and mascara

          hope that helps!

          • Amanda Bee January 24, 2014, 6:33 pm

            That does help, thanks! I guess I need to get more creative with my hair so I don’t have to wet it down as often, because that sucks up a lot of my time!

            If you’re ever in the mood for another beauty post, I’d love to see what necessities you keep in your gym bag for getting ready. I know we all have different needs, but I always like posts like that to give me ideas 🙂

  • Julie January 22, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Oh that yoga pose is amazing? What is it?? I can crow on a good day, but that looks incredibly challenging! That picture of you in the pose can go on a magazine cover!

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:48 am

      thanks julie! my legs are in lotus and my arms are in peacock pose. it’s actually an easier variation of full mayurasana.

  • Julie January 22, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Oh that yoga pose is amazing! What is it?? I can crow on a good day, but that looks incredibly challenging! That picture of you in the pose can go on a magazine cover!

  • karla @ finding my fit January 22, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Love these posts! Although this has me itching even more to get into the fitness industry. I admire that you are always on the go.. better than sitting at a computer and killing brain cells from 7:30-4…

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:48 am

      yes, i love it and it never feels like work!

  • Holly January 22, 2014, 3:15 pm

    I absolutely love ashtanga yoga. It is how I really connected with yoga in general. I used to always take a led class. I moved over a year ago and have not been able to find a good teacher / class. How do you motivate yourself to practice alone? I crave the assistance of a teacher to guide and challenge me. However, I miss practicing soo much.

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:50 am

      i guess as a teacher i really crave being alone on my mat sometimes with just my body and thoughts and not having to be motivated or motivate anyone else. i know that sounds crazy but it’s like sacred time for me. i also love assistance and cueing but sometimes it’s nice to just move and breathe and not worry about what you’re doing.

  • Amy January 22, 2014, 3:39 pm

    that yoga pose is amazing!

  • She Rocks Fitness January 22, 2014, 3:55 pm

    HUGE difference between waking up at 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM! It is like night and day. 🙂 On those super early mornings, I try to make sure I get a nap in wherever I can, even if it is 20 minutes. It always feels so good and definitely helps me get through the evening. Can’t wait to receive my goodies.

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:50 am

      i used to be so anti-nap but ever since taking on these really early clients i have come to appreciate them!

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run January 22, 2014, 4:57 pm

    A lighter day!? That sounds like an insanely BUSY day!! I don’t know how you do it all.

    Being a better friend is one of my 2014 goals as well 🙂

  • Pam January 22, 2014, 6:29 pm

    Starting a 5:30 am sunrise yoga class in the new studio in our town. I am going to have to go to bed a tiny bit earlier! Your day is amazing as you are! Love the Astanga pose!

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:51 am

      love it and hope it’s a success!

  • Alaina January 23, 2014, 11:32 am

    One of my goals this year is definitely to be a better friend. I’ve had to let some people go that I thought were my friends, but now I feel so much more fulfilled in the friends that I do have. I hold them tight. 🙂

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:51 am

      i hear you loud and clear. friendships are tricky things.

  • tara January 23, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Its so interesting for me to see this type of day ! i work an intense office job and often work 730-630 so all the posts about daily 8 hr grind are my dream ! i wish i was close enough to home to go home for lunch or had more time for lunch in general (meaning not shoveling my food in while reading your blog at my desk!). you do a lot of driving around which in a way probably seems exhausting but people like me are jealous of that because you can work in erroands when you do that since you are already out. Its funny to think that you are probably so tired at the end of the day from all the running around and i feel exhausted from all the mental work crap and the sitting. there are days when i would kill for an on my feet type of job with lots of running around but today its like -5 where i live so maybe not today : )

    I think its WONDERFUL that you have a goal to be a better friend. i wish my friends with kids would have a goal like this ! I’ve lost touch with several of them because of the kid situation and them not being available and to be honest…turning into total crap friends. What an admirable resolution that you have made !

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:53 am

      i have been so lucky to always live close enough to work to come home for lunch. even when i had an office job. it makes so much difference. trust me, i totally appreciate what my day looks like these days and am grateful every day for the opportunity to make this my career. i know how mentally draining it is to sit all day.

      the friendship thing is so hard to navigate…especially with big life changes like babies, marriages, breakups, etc.

  • Sierra January 24, 2014, 10:05 am

    I’m curious what you do with Sade when you are gone so much?

    • Jen January 24, 2014, 10:23 am

      do you mean sullie?

      i’m actually home most days for 4-6 hours in the middle of the day to do blog and computer work for metro. so she gets tons of attention and we try to fit a walk in during that time. i’m home with her more now than i have ever been in 7 years of her life. it’s pretty great! i feel lucky.

  • Cathleen January 26, 2014, 6:39 am

    Quite a few trips between the gym & home — what is your commute time like? I imagine it must be quick and convenient! (I am a grad student so I have similarly busy/hectic-yet-sometimes-flexible days… I commute on foot, but it’s a good 25-30 minute walk, so I can’t imagine using up that much time on going back home for lunch! Should probably get a bike. 🙂 Always nosy about other people’s commutes!)

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