West Cook YMCA



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



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

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 

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 

Alex gutierrez
FITNESS expert

We are all going to have a different start to our fitness journey. Whether you want to improve your sports performance or reduce health risks, we are here to help. My journey started when I was 10 years old playing on the community soccer team. My role is to motivate, enable, and make training a fun and rewarding experience.

Certifications: Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, CPR Certification, AED Certification, First Aid Certification, Senior Exercise Specialist


Luis Ibarra

I believe that physical fitness can improve every aspect of our lives! Regardless of your age, body type, gender, or background, I’d love to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. I have been a personal trainer for nearly three years and I have loved every second of it.  I really enjoy the sense of community at the YMCA and I’m eager to play my role as a fitness trainer in this big family!

My personal hobbies include rock-climbing, playing guitar, long-boarding, and cross-fit training. If you ever see me walking around please don’t hesitate to stop me for a chat!

Certifications: Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CPR/First Aid/AED Certified 

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




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