Cory West is known to his coworkers and clients as an outgoing, engaging guy with an infectious personality — qualities that have served him well in his work as a personal trainer with Anytime Fitness in Gig Harbor.
It’s these qualities — combined with West’s work ethic and a client base of more than 50 members — that earned him the company’s Trainer of the Year award.
West, 29, accepted the award at the company’s national annual conference, held in August in Nashville, Tennessee.
“This was something I definitely wanted to achieve,” West said of winning the award over the more than 10,000 other trainers at the other Anytime Fitness clubs throughout the United States. “I’m really happy to have won it.”
West was nominated by Dean Carpenter, franchise owner of Anytime Fitness in Gig Harbor, who engaged the help of West’s fellow trainer, Chris Emery, with West’s nomination and to collect client testimonials.
“He does a fantastic job. He always has a smile on his face,” Carpenter said, adding that West stands out at the club for his engaging and approachable manner.
“Cory is a shining example of what it means to do what you love,” Chuck Runyon, president and co-founder of Anytime Fitness, said in a release.
The award was presented to West after a massive group workout in a downtown Nashville park. He received a standing ovation from the 2,500 staff members present at the conference.
The Trainer of the Year award is conferred based on several factors including what the trainer has done in both the gym and community to build culture and any fundraisers the trainer has participated in.
West has been at the Gig Harbor club since 2013 and has worked as a personal trainer for the past nine years.
His career started shortly after high school when friends started approaching him for help with their workouts. He moved from Alaska to live with family in Washington in order to attend a six-month program at the Seattle location of the National Personal Training Institute.
“I’m passionate about what I do. I don’t think I’d really want to do anything outside the fitness or health industry,” West said of his career. “You can tell when someone enjoys what they do. It makes a difference.”
It’s this passion that helps West connect so effectively with club members and his clients.
“Cory engages with clients and members so well that they actually enjoy their workouts,” Carpenter said.
West is so approachable and energetic that even members not working with him will ask him for advice, he said.
For West, the whole focus of his work is his clients.
“My job is to teach as much as I can in the time I’m given,” the 29-year-old said.
Reading the client testimonials attached to his nomination was a special part of the award, West said.
“I know I help my clients and they help me... (but) until I read the reviews I didn’t realize how I connected with them,” he said.
One story that stands out to West is a client, years ago, who had recently lost more than 50 pounds. To illustrate to her the extent of her weight loss, West asked her carry two 25 pound dumbbells up and down a flight of stairs.
Afterward, the woman sat down and cried.
“I just thought, wow, she’s just now realized how much she’s changed her body,” West recalled. “That’s something I’ll never forget as a trainer.”