West Cook YMCA

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West Cook YMCA Closed Sunday, August 18th- Monday, September 2nd - More Details >>



Interested in Personal Training? Let us know: Healthyliving@westcookymca.org


AnesiAmy Anesi
Fitness Instructor

Teaching at the Y since October of 2004. I have always been a Y member, and when I moved to River Forest, the Y was the only place that offered Indoor Cycling at 6AM on several mornings. I love the Y members, and helping folks get a good "sweat on” to begin their day.

Certifications: YMCA Certified Spin and Group Exercise Instructor



BennettAlex Bennett
Personal Trainer

I've been a trainer at the Y since 2015, though I'm also a former lifeguard, swim instructor, and skating instructor. I came to the Y for the sense of community here: that's why I knew I wanted to work here, too---to give back to that community. I love coaching and working with clients to achieve their goals because it's so rewarding to see them making progress, and because we have fun together doing it!

I'm currently working toward my Corrective Exercise Specialist certification (NASM) and my Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. I'm also a triathlete and 2-time Ironman finisher, with #3 planned for the future.

Certifications: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Livestrong Instructor


Sam Bertrams
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

I began working at the West Cook YMCA as a personal trainer and fitness instructor in May of 2016. The best part about the Y is the strong sense of community we have here.  I have met so many amazing people in my time training and teaching classes here.  My greatest passion is helping people live a healthier lifestyle and achieve a greater sense of well-being.  To me, fitness is not just a hobby or an interest, it is a way of life.  My goal is to help all of my clients and participants become healthier so they can live life to the fullest and feel better than they ever have before.

Certifications: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor, Enhance Fitness Instructor, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor, Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach


BridgeKatie Bridge

I have been teaching since October 2016, but have been exercising my entire life and I've been a YMCA member since 2012. After a few years of being a member, some fellow fitness instructors encouraged me to join the team. I was excited for this opportunity because I believe in the YMCA's great mission and it has been a wonderful community and value for myself and my family. My philosophy is that exercise should be fun and goal oriented. People have different exercise related goals: weight loss, heart health, balance and coordination, athletic competition, stress relief, socialization, or recreation to name a few. Identifying that goal and enjoying the process is what keeps us coming back to nurture this healthy habit!

Certifications: Certified Group Exercise Instructor from the Athletics and Fitness Association of America, Strength Train Together Certified Instructor


DreverNiki Drever
Fitness instructor

I have been a fitness instructor at the YMCA for over 10 years. My family and I joined the YMCA almost 20 years ago and I regularly attended classes. I got started teaching through a former instructor asking if I’d be interested. I enjoy the challenge of teaching, challenging my body & mind to push myself to different levels. I thoroughly enjoy the integration with music, both creating my own playlists as well as learning choreography to music that is provided. Continuing challenging myself physically and mentally is overall positive in all aspects of my life.

Certifications: Certified Cycling and Group Exercise, Spinning™ Certification


FairweatherLiz Fairweather
Aquatics & Fitness Instructor

I have been an aquatics and fitness instructor at the West Cook YMCA since 2018, but a fitness and sports enthusiast my entire life, from gymnastics and diving to sailing and skiing. My primary focus was gymnastics, where I earned a record ten state titles in Wisconsin and then was twice named an All-American at the U.S. Air Force Academy. I have recently transitioned my interests to distance running and triathlons, and currently serve on the board of Best Foot Forward (BFF), an Oak Park women’s running group. When I first moved to Oak Park two years ago with my family, I was seeking both a new calling and community; I was fortunate to find both at the West Cook YMCA with its holistic focus on one’s mind, body, and spirit. I have enjoyed sharing my passion for health and wellness with fellow Y members, and I look forward to bringing my experience and enthusiasm to the Y community.

Certifications: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional, YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, Healthy Weight and Your Child Leader, Weight Loss Program Facilitator


FosterMegan Foster
Fitness Instructor

I began working out at the YMCA 7 years ago when I began private boxing lessons. This led to my love of all types of exercise and a passion for helping others achieve their goals. I have come to know so many people in the Y community and am proud to be a part of it!

Certifications: Ace Certified personal trainer



PagniLila Pagni
Fitness Instructor

Exercise? Not me. I wasn't much into sports or exercise while growing but I always loved riding my bike, and I wouldn't have learned to swim without my lessons at the Lakeview YMCA in Chicago. But it was through the influence of my husband that I began taking Tae Kwon Do and became a Registered 2nd Degree Black Belt in my 50s that I learned to enjoy exercise and working out. We returned to the Chicago area and sought a place to exercise that was economical and had a sense of community. West Cook YMCA offered both and I began to participate in the Fit Over 50 classes. After I began to substitute teach if necessary, I was encouraged to become a Silver Sneakers instructor. I have been teaching those classes for the past 4 years and enjoy the participants who make my day!

Besides the Wellness activities, the YMCA offers so much more. I am proud and privileged to have been a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the activities and work that was accomplished.

Certifications: Silver Sneakers Classic (Range of Motion & Muscle Strengthening); Circuit; Yoga; Splash, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor


PenaJaime Pena

I have been teaching since July of 2016. My passion for health and nutrition brought me to the Y in March of 2016 looking to become a Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach. Little did I know that I would start teaching classes and become a fitness instructor. My philosophy around teaching is more about the person who comes to the class. I want each member to leave with the mindset of having achieved another step toward a healthier and happier lifestyle, and add some Latino twist to it to make it fun.

Certifications: Certified Holistic Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Diabetes Self-Management Program Certification by Standford University, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Certification by Standford University, Tomando control de su Salud (Take Charge of your Health) and Tomando control de su Diabetes (Take Charge of your Diabetes) Certifications by Standford University, Certified Active Together Instructor by MOSSA


PerezSergio Perez
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

I have been a certified personal trainer since 2007. The sense of family and community drew me to the YMCA organization. I get the most enjoyment being able to teach clients/members about physical fitness and how to customize their workouts according to their needs.

Certifications: ACE Personal Trainer, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified), Battle ropes Certified (John Brookfield), Functional Movement Screen Certified, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Y-Balance Test Certified, HKC (Hard style Kettlebell Certified), Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor, Enhance Fitness Instructor


PieartNicki Pieart

I have been a certified athletic trainer for 11 years and teaching classes at the YMCA for 1.5 years. I moved to the area 9 years ago. I was looking for a gym where the focus was on community. The Y fit the bill perfectly. I enjoy all of the people at the Y, from the front desk staff to the class members to the residents. I have enjoyed having the Y as a part of my daily routine. I started at the Y as a member and quickly felt at home. I was challenged by the classes and made many fitness friends who were pushing me to reach new fitness goals. As I got more ingrained in the WCY, I decided I wanted to contribute to others success! So I started teaching group ex classes and have loved taking my class participants on their fitness journeys.

Certifications: MSEd--Exercise Physiology, Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer


ValdiviaKathy Valdivia
Fitness instructor

I’m very happy to be part of the YMCA family and to be able to offer my knowledge and experiences as a Zumba Instructor. I have just joined this great family, but I am sure it will be a great start to plans and programs for the service of the community

I’m Peruvian and been a Folkloric Dance teacher for 30 years, I have a ton of experience in the dance stages because I belonged to a dance group for many years back in Peru and here in the United States.

I decided to train as a Zumba instructor 2 years ago with the intention of approaching people who like to dance and enjoy music. My purpose is to guide them towards a basic development of easy steps and movements for them to enjoy a fun and relaxing class. My experience as a dancer has led me to understand that it is not necessary to be a professional or expert in difficult steps to live and feel the music. It’s the inner feeling that comes out to express itself in a way that brings life from the music and makes one happy.

Certifications: Professor of Art in Folklore Dance, Zumba ZIN MEMBER Instructor


Suarez-AbrihamAnthony Suarez-Abraham
Fitness Instructor

I have been training as a road cyclist for over two decades. It has become a source of deep joy for me to now apply this knowledge as a Certified Spinning Instructor. We have been members of the Y for about eight years. I believe in the mission of the Y to work towards the betterment of the common good. As such I couldn’t think of a better place to continue building a culture of strong and healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. I am intensely passionate about training/teaching! Why? Because trainers/teachers have been—and continue to be—among the most influential persons in my life. Inspired by their generosity and greatness, I cherish the sacred opportunity to help shape the dreams of those interested in personal growth and development in the area of fitness.

Certifications: Certified Spinning Instructor (Level 3); Certified Spin Power Instructor


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