Personal Training at the YMCA
YMCA Personal Trainer Bios:
“The only currency required between an unhealthy lifestyle and a healthy one; is choice!”
After making his own change from an overweight and unhealthy lifestyle, to one that includes fruits, vegetables, and three workouts a day, Jim felt inspired to coach the Lose Big program at the YMCA. It was there he fell in love with helping others achieve their personal fitness goals. Both of his clients who participated in his first two Lose Big Programs/Competitions, came in 1st place. Although he felt great pride in helping them achieve a much healthier body fat percentage, it was more enjoyable for Jim to watch them break out of old habits and push themselves over and beyond what they thought was possible. He understands that change comes from within, not without, so to see positive change in others based on their own choices is very satisfying. Jim is certified Personal Trainer through AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America), and absolutely loves what he does. He is CPR/AED certified.
“I want to empower women to live their healthiest and happiest life.”
Gina has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer. She loves empowering other women of all ages to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. She has a Bachelor’s degree from U of I Champaign in Applied Health Science and has been certified by the American Council of Exercise since 1998.
She holds several certifications including Yoga instructor for children, pre-post pregnancy, senior citizens, training for those with arthritis and fibromyalgia. She was the first state-wide Wellness Coordinator for the Illinois State Police. She was a trainer & fitness instructor in Colorado for several years before moving to North Carolina to work as an Exercise Physiologist at a hospital. There, she created exercise programs for those in the cardiac rehab program. She has competed in over 100 races from triathlons and marathons to mountain biking. She has two little boys who love their active lifestyle.
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year’s worth of conversation.” – Plato
Alan is a military veteran with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado. His emphasis was in Fitness and Exercise with extended studies in Nutrition and Pedagogy. He began his career in hospital based fitness facilities performing stress tests, exercise prescriptions, body composition analysis, movement screens, lecturing and personal training. He has experience working with clients with fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. He has trained single and multi-sport athletes, amateur and professional, and children and adults.
Alan has been involved in the martial arts studying Shorin-Ryu Karate since 1976. He has achieved a fifth degree black belt. He continues to train and, on occassion, compete. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a USA Weightlifting Federation Level One Instructor. He’s previously held Life Guard and WSI certifications. He is currently CPR, AED, and First Aid certified.
Alan enjoys providing people with new, interesting, and appropriate ways to glean and benefit the values of exercise.
Jess is a certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also CPR/AED certified. She has made her own changes from living an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight into living a very healthy and active lifestyle. She is a bikini competitor and has competed throughout the Midwest in multiple competitions. To her working out is more than just something you do. Fitness is a lifestyle that anyone and everyone can enjoy and finding what works best for you is the most important aspect of it all. Jessica spends most of her time in the weight room and she wants to prove that the old stereotype of women lifting weights will make you bulky is false. She has also been teaching various classes including Ultimate Workout, TRX HIIT, TRX Basic, and Kettlebell and Ropes for over 2 years at the YMCA.
“Improving your level of physical fitness will lead to improved physical, mental, and emotional health.”
Angi has a degree in kinesiology with a Physical Education certification. She is a certified personal trainer through ACE (American Council on Exercise). She is also CPR/AED certified. Angi has worked as a wellness coach, taught Homeschool P.E., and teaches Silver Sneakers.
Angi believes that strengthening the body is a vital component in long-term health and well-being. Personalized exercise programs, along with proper nutrition can do wonders for long-term health benefits. She loves to help people learn how to achieve their goals and guide them on the path to health.
“Feel better, and look better. Be healthier. Be happier.”
Jennifer believes a gym should never be intimidating, and she wants to help make it your happy place. She is passionate about helping people find a fitness routine that they can look forward to and that fits their lives. Jennifer says, “Fitness is like taking care of your teeth. Sometimes you need more work done, sometimes its cosmetic, but no matter what, you have to brush and floss your teeth every day. If you don’t, there could be negative consequences.” Jennifer believes that fitness is detrimental to physical and mental health and that most people merely need the tools, instruction and a little motivation to start and maintain a healthier lifestyle. She would like to help you kick start a better you – in a way that works for you – today. There is no need to wait for your happier, stronger self.
Jennifer is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). She competed in a National Physique Committee (NPC) fitness competition in 2015. She has been lifting weights since 2013 and has competed in various races and triathlons. She is versed in weight lifting, HIIT, circuit training, plyometrics and running.
“She believed she could so she did.”
Jessica is a certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and is currently working on her Senior Fitness Specialist certification. She was hired at the Y as a Fitness Instructor and teaches several Aqua Fitness classes including Aqua Zumba. Jessica also teaches Silver Sneakers Yoga and enjoys it very much! She is currently certified in Pro CPR, First Aide and the use of an AED and Oxygen. She is also certified as a YMCA Lifeguard.
Jessica was an athlete all through school and a professional athlete up until having her second child. She knows what it’s like to struggle to get baby weight off and how discouraging it can be when trying to do it alone. Jessica has a strong desire to help and encourage others to do what she had to on her own. She believes that a support system is very important. Having someone to hold you accountable, push you and inspire you is key to success.
“Your fitness is 100% mental. Your body won’t go where your mind won’t push it.”
Although Cherish always had a passion for health and fitness, her journey began when she worked at Curves as a circuit coach. It was there she really learned the importance of nutrition and exercise, and how even small changes in our daily choices can have such a huge positive impact on our lives both physically and mentally.
Cherish started working in Health and Wellness here at the Y in 2016.
Wanting to further her education, she obtained her personal training certification through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) where she learned about correcting imbalances in the body and the importance of neuromuscular efficiency. Cherish is not focusing her studies on SMR (self myofascial release) and trigger point therapy. She is also CPR and AED certified as well.
Cherish is the mother of five amazing children and two beautiful step-daughters. She also has a four year old granddaughter.
Health and fitness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Cherish would love to assist you along the way.
“You live longer once you realize that any time spent unhappy is wasted” -Ruth E. Renkel
Jonas has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the Florida State University with a double minor in Psychology and Lifespan Development. FSU offers a curriculum that is first-of-its-kind that combines Exercise Physiology and human nutrition. This provides him with courses pertaining to strength training, how the body responds to resistance training, and overall well-being.
Jonas is currently applying to Physical Therapy school and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering in physical therapy clinics in Illinois and Florida. It was there he furthered his understanding of rehabilitation practices including, but not limited to, balance assessment, functional training, and therapeutic modalities (e.g. electrical stimulation and ultrasound). He has learned how to prevent and treat pain and to help individuals return to living normal lives. Jonas has a passion for teaching those around him how to live a healthier and stronger lifestyle, while learning from them simultaneously. He wants to exceed your expectations and work with you providing the ideal program customized to you.
Cindy is a certified personal trainer through ACE. She has a passion to help others on their health and wellness journey to become the strongest, fastest, and healthiest version of themselves. She strives to push her clients beyond their comfort zone with functional fitness and out of the box thinking. Cindy holds a group fitness certificate through the Y where she has taught a variety of classes including Ultimate Workout, Body Conditioning, and Ballet Sculpt. She is also a 3 time Total Body Transformation Coach for the YMCA.
Cindy has always been active, but her own fitness journey took a turn when her husband Darren pushed her to complete her first 5K. From that point on, she realized she is more than a number on a scale and that skinny does not equal healthy. She now sees food as the fuel, not the enemy and her goals no longer revolve around her negative body image, but rather around strength and what amazing thing her body can do next. Cindy has completed 4 marathons (including Chicago), an ultra marathon, Tough Mudder, River to River 80 mile relay, and multiple other races.