West Cook YMCA

personal Training


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



ApplebaumDan Applebaum
Personal Trainer

I’ve been a member at the West Cook YMCA for as long as I can remember. I took swimming lessons here when I was a kid, and I worked out here while I was home from college. I’ve always been a part of the Y, but more recently I have put a lot of effort into improving my overall health, and the Y was the place that provided me everything I needed to do so. After consistently working out for the past 3 years I found myself getting immersed in the art of improving myself as well as others. I have played and coached lacrosse for 12 years now and have found coaching extremely enjoyable and since personal training is another type of coaching, it made sense to get involved in it. I became certified as a personal trainer in June, but was a NCAA Division II lacrosse player from 2011-2013 and was always involved in sports throughout my entire life. My personal philosophy around training is just like my philosophy around coaching; I want to put you in a position to succeed and become the absolute best version of yourself that you can be. Watching someone improve their abilities over time is extremely rewarding and even more so when those abilities translate to a healthier and happier lifestyle. I have seen the improvements I have made both physically and mentally through working out consistently, and that has inspired me to help other people do the same by instructing them to properly set goals, educate them about overall health and wellness, and provide motivation along the way.

Certifications: ACE Personal Trainer



BennettAlex Bennett
Personal Trainer

I've been a trainer at the Y since September, 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!

Working toward becoming an ACSM Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer. I'm also a 2-time Ironman finisher, with #3 planned for 2017.

Certifications: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer



BertramsSam Bertrams
Personal Trainer

I grew up going to the YMCA to play basketball, swim and exercise in my hometown, Dayton, Ohio. I always loved the fun, friendly atmosphere at the Y. I have always been an athlete so fitness has always been a big part of my life. My philosophy about training is that everyone should have a plan unique to their own needs. My biggest goal as a personal trainer is to help people achieve their own goals, but I also like to make it fun. I don't want my clients to dread going to the gym. I want them to look forward to it!

Certifications: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer



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



JellinekAlyssa Jelinek
Fitness Instructor

Fitness instructor at Y for 5 years. I started taking a few classes at the Y and loved the community and positive atmosphere. I decided to become an instructor and you can find me here almost everyday. I am passionate about healthy living and fitness and enjoy sharing that passion with the wonderful Y community! I have made great friendships here and the Y is one my favorite places!

Certifications: ACE Group Fitness Instructor



MillerSherry Miller

I am in my 12th year of teaching at West Cook YMCA. Three years prior to teaching, I won a family membership for a year through an annual drawing the YMCA held. We continued the membership after that year and maintained since then. Basketball and swimming were good programs for my sons. I attended group exercise and other classes — and was enticed by an instructor to become one myself.  I love sport and competition—even more so with a group than individually. I swam competitively in high school and for a period of time in college. As a social activity, I joined a cycling group post-graduation, which led to cycle racing, and competitive running and triathlon races. Although these sports are individual, I have always enjoyed the group or team workouts — the comradery and shared knowledge. Staying healthy through physical activity and good eating habits developed through this early period of my life and I have reaped the benefits throughout the years. I know it is a lifestyle choice that works for me and I like to share this outlook with others.

Certifications: Certified Cycling and Group Exercise Instructor, Certified Active Together Instructor



OlszewskiLaura Olszewski
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

I have currently been training at the Y since August, but have been a Certified Personal Trainer for 8 years. The West Cook Y is my first YMCA and I could not be happier! The Y can help in any and every way possible to improve your overall well-being. What I enjoy most about this profession is that I can help empower people, both physically and mentally, and through this work, I am gifted with building relationships with very amazing people.

Certifications: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM Inclusive Trainer, Certified SPINNING Instructor, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, Y-Balance Certified, YMCA's Diabetes' Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor, Enhance Fitness Instructor



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.Then we returned to the Chicago area we looked for the place to exercise that would give us the most for our money. West Cook YMCA won and I began to participate in the Fit Over 50 classes. I offered to substitute teach if necessary and later was encouraged to become a Silver Sneakers instructor. I have been teaching those classes for the past 3 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 was born and raised in Mexico. I came to Chicago in 2008.Ever since I was a child had struggled with my weight and in 2005 I started to learn more about nutrition and different diets to help me stay healthy. However in 2013, I decided to take full control of my health. In 2014, a friend of mine mentioned to me about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I graduated in 2015 as a Certified Health Coach. My motivation is to help people become healthier and happier in all areas of their lives, whether the goal is to lose weight, increase energy or sleep better at night. I joined the West Cook YMCA family in March of 2016 as a Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach and I was also offered the opportunity to become a personal trainer.

Certifications: Certified Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Take Charge of Your Diabetes Certification, ACE Certified Personal Trainer (In Progress)



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), Battleropes Certified (John Brookfield), Functional Movement Screen Certified, Selective Functional Movement Assesment, Y-Balance Test Certified, HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certified), Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor, Enhance Fitness Instructor



PetersenAbby Petersen

This is my first time ever training Group Exercise! We recently moved to Oak Park but had been members at other Ys before and loved it so we were happy to try out a new facility. My philosophy is to make every class I teach fun and safe for every participant, regardless of their skill level or ability.

Certifications: Certified Active Together Instructor



PieartNicki Pieart
Fitness Instructor

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



RamangkhounRassanee Ramangkhoun

I've been teaching Yoga at the YMCA for one year. I've always wanted to teach in an environment where I was able to reach people from all walks of life. Working at the Y allows me to do that. The Y has a rich history of being community driven and passion to serve others with many resources that they may not have convenient access to. I'm very excited and proud to be able to be a part of this kind of community. I believe in working towards cultivating a connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Strengthening the physical body while connecting and balancing mental integrity and clarity is how I frame my classes. Challenging your whole self to get to your BEST self is my philosophy.

Certifications: RYT 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher), Licensed Massage Therapist



RodriguezAAdriana Rodriguez

Former soccer player, group instructor and kickboxing instructor, Crossfit coach and personal trainer. Fitness is a very important part of the wellbeing of an individual has always been a passionate topic during my entire life. Discovering new physical skills, exploring new activities, methodologies, and the different philosophy behind them in order to understand how to better produce an effective result.

Certifications: Certified Group Exercise and Kickboxing Instructor through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America. Certified Crossfit Coach. Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise.



RodriguezJuan Rodriguez

The Y gave me an opportunity which no other gym thought of doing and that is to help others achieve their fitness goals. I believe as a Personal Trainer it is my responsibility to know the importance of my role. Not only are we training our members to become stronger, but leading them through a journey. A journey they encounter the moment they decide to make a change in their life. It is in our hands to point and lead the way. We are their guide they have trusted us with their health, now it’s our turn to show them the way. Throughout out years of increasing my well-being, I believe that our body needs more than just a run at the park, weight lifting, or a repetitive movement. Our body needs a mind and body connection where both work together synchronizing their energy in harmony to reach greater heights. I am eager to train, teach, and learn in this journey.

Certifications: Certified Personal Trainer, Sport Nutrition Specialist, and Strength Coach from the National Council on Strength and Fitness



SavianoJames Saviano
Personal Trainer

I recently graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport & Fitness. I did my internship at the YMCA in the Fall 2016 and absolutely enjoyed my time here. The whole YMCA staff is incredible and the members really make you feel welcomed. I was honored enough to be offered a job upon graduation to be a Personal Trainer at the Y. I have been involved in sports pretty much all my life up until college. This is where I discovered my love for fitness and decided I wanted to make a career out of it. I want to be a Personal Trainer that not only helps people achieve their goals but also make them feel good about themselves as well.

Certifications: Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (In-progress)



SegoviaJorge Segovia

January will be my first-time instructing fitness classes. What drew my attention to the YMCA, is the environment this facility has created allowing members and its employees to feel welcomed and valued. My philosophy for training and teaching is to inspire and be inspired by those who want to make active changes in their lives through exercising.

Certifications: Certified Strength Train Together Instructor



StelzerJenny Jocks Stelzer
Personal Trainer / Fitness Instructor

Group Fit Instructor since October 2014. Personal Trainer since February 2015. I grew up swimming at my hometown YMCA in Saginaw, MI. So, when I found my home in Oak Park, I found my Y, too. I love helping people find the joy in working to be their best.

Certifications: AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer



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 six 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 of 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 greatness, I cherish the sacred opportunity to help shape the dreams of those interested in personal growth and development.

Certifications: Certified Spinning Instructor



TreeseErik Treese
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

I have been teaching Group Fitness for 4 years, and Personal Training for 3 years. I grew up in a YMCA on the south side of Chicago so becoming a part of the West Cook family felt like coming home!   I was a new father (of 3 daughters now) and wanted a place to exercise as well as find fun things for my kids to do. I was also 80 lbs over weight and needed a supportive environment to get my health under control.  The Y helped me change my life! My mission is to create a safe and healthy world by leading consciously and the fitness and exercise business is the perfect place to live my mission! Also the 2012 West Cook YMCA Employee of the Year!

Certifications: NASM CPT, AFAA Group Fitness, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor



UlmanClaire Ulman

I have worked out consistently for 3 years, since having my right hip replaced, and off and on for the past several years. I Love it! I have been training for couple of months to lead a "Strength Train Together" class. Was looking for a gym that was relatively close to my home that had an environment I liked. There are a few close-by.  But, I liked the "feel" of the Y environment, the staff who worked here and the people who were working-out here.  Not a lot of hype or froo-froo & very family friendly.  A pool, a nice area with free weights, several fitness classes, and a few perks of a "spa" ... all of which I was looking for. It's important, I think, to have fitness classes be challenging as well as be fun, or people won't continue.  Consistency is the key to staying healthy and getting stronger, so helping each person find the right kind of work-out is key.  Offering encouragement is essential to keeping people motivated and excited to come back for more! My certification is the blood, sweat and tears earned over many years of working out often!

Certifications: Certified Strength Train Together Instructor (In Progress)



WeissLinda Weiss
Personal Trainer

I have been training for over 10 years. I came to work at the Y because I like what it stands for, the Y is unique. I love being a trainer because I help people accomplish their goals. Generally my clients become good friends and they stay with me a long time.

Certifications: Certified Personal Trainer through the National Federation of Personal Trainers



WoodsonFelicity Woodson
Personal Trainer / Fitness Instructor

I received a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and Fitness Management from Concordia University Chicago. My bachelor's program brought me into the West Cook YMCA as an intern in 2013. As an intern I fell in love with the Y community and decide to become a fitness instructor for the Y. During my three years of fitness experience I have had the opportunity of working with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Through personal training and group fitness I have been able to educate and motivate others about healthy living. My ultimate goal is to encourage individuals and their families to find themselves in Freedom, Love and Optimism through Healthy Living.

Certifications: ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certfieid Group Fitness Instructor, SilverSneakers Certified Instructor, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certified Instructor, EnhanceFitness Instructor



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