Awaken Gym celebrates first anniversary, pushes for sustainable fitness lifestyle and functional training

Up and coming holistic fitness center aims for pain-free, gradual journey towards a healthy body

  • Awaken co-founder and celebrity coach Culver Padilla believes in training by design which improves the 4 human movements: standing, walking, running and throwing
  • “If we learn what it takes to perform these movements to the highest degree, the benefits will transfer to literally every other movement we do,” says Coach Culver
  • Functional training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life
  • Pro volleyball team F2 Logistics Cargo Movers consider Awaken their ‘second home’
  • Gym use and group classes open to non-members for free during anniversary week


Functional training workout with Coach Culver Padilla (leftmost)

No pain, no gain? Not if you ask the trainers of Awaken Gym. “No pain? More gain!”

Headed by Culver Padilla, co-founder of the gym and a personal trainer to celebrities, the coaches in this Pasig-based fitness center subscribe to the belief that working out should not leave you sore and aching. Instead, post-workout sessions at Awaken will leave you satisfied, energized and ready to take on the challenges of the day.

“Our workouts are challenging but not overwhelming which makes it very sustainable,” explained Coach Culver. “Pain is a sign that your muscles are either not used to the workout or it exceeded its capacity. By working with our highly trained professionals here at Awaken, we will start with an assessment so we curate the routine according to your body’s needs and current capacity, with just enough intensity that would still allow you to function normally as you go about your daily lives.”

This mindset and practice towards working out is what makes the fitness lifestyle sustainable, he added. And it does not start and stop with physical exercises. Awaken Gym prides itself in the holistic development of its members, making sure eating and sleeping habits are reformed, if not improved altogether.

“Rest and recovery are just as important as working out. Exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. But during rest, cells called fibroblasts repair it. These help the tissue heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles,” said Coach Culver. Awaken is one of the few, if not the only, gyms offering red light therapy—part of its NSDR method or the practice of Non-Sleep Deep Rest, he explained. It puts the body into a deep relaxation state to allow it to reset and go back to recovery mode after triggering the fight-or-flight response during the workout, Coach Culver added.

Home away from home

The F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, a perennial title contender in the pro volleyball scene, are proud to call the Awaken Gym their second home. Sonny Montalvo, who doubles as the team and the gym’s strength and conditioning coach, leads the weekly training of the athletes to ensure that they are in their best form to compete.


F2 Logistics Cargo Movers training at Awaken

“While Awaken serves as a home to those looking to improve their fitness lifestyle, this gym is also a home to elite athletes who wish to train for high-level competitions,” Coach Sonny said. “Since F2 Logistics started training here at Awaken, the team got back to the podium.”

“Thank you Awaken for being our second home and providing us a conducive space to better ourselves,” said Cha Cruz, outside hitter for F2 Logistics. “I’m in the best shape of my life so far and I’m looking forward to getting stronger and better. The people at Awaken are so welcoming and helpful, and I’m very grateful that they do everything they can to support my team and myself,” setter Iris Tolenada added.

Something for everyone

Effectivity and variety are the bread and butter of Awaken Gym. Coach Culver has made it a point for himself and the other coaches to continuously study the latest developments in physical fitness, training, and the like, and apply those in their gym. Paraphrasing Bruce Lee, Coach Culver said of this practice, “Research, absorb what is useful, discard what is unnecessary, and add what works for you.”

One of the most effective routines for the gym’s members is the Functional Training Fundamentals (FTF). “You might just be carrying grocery bags up the stairs and afterwards you’re already gasping for breath. That’s what FTF works on: the muscles you use and the movements you do everyday to improve overall health and lifestyle. These are workouts that actually make sense, and by being consistent with it you also get a bonus of above average physique,” Coach Culver said.

Coach Sonny added that variety is important for non-athletes looking to get fit. Without variety, people would tend to get bored doing the same things over and over. By applying new learnings and strategies, as well as getting the latest certifications, the coaches of Awaken Gym have expanded their offerings to include the following, aside from Strength and Conditioning and FTF:

  • Animal Flow workout—ground-based movement designed to improve strength, flexibility, mobility, and coordination;
  • Calisthenics; Athletic Performance; Biomechanics Training;
  • High Intensity Interval Training; Circuit training; Spartan training;
  • Therapy, including but not limited to: sports taping, dry needling, physical therapy, myofascial release, and the like;
  • Kids workout; Corporate team building;
  • And others, like meal prep, merchandise, as well as a meeting and small event venue.


Kids workout with Coach Anjo Resurreccion

Hendrick Young, who has been a member of Awaken for the past year, testified to the holistic development that the gym works towards. “One of the greatest things I learned from Awaken is that working out is a lifestyle, not just an activity we do a few times a week. Awaken also helped me to see that nurturing and developing mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness.”

He added, “When I joined Awaken, I expected to become a member of a gym but I ended up being a part of one big family.”

Dr. Jeffrey Ang, who also started on his fitness journey nearly a year ago, attested to the welcoming atmosphere that Awaken exudes. He shared, “What drew me in is the heart and soul of Awaken—the coaches and staff. I have always had a hard time every time I do trials in a gym. I am fortunate enough to have the privilege to train with one of the best coaches in the country, Culver. He was able to push me and my boundaries to the limit, like I was able to go outside of the box, learn and develop myself without compromising each other’s individuality.”

Dr. Ang added, “The community is one of the factors that really sold it for me. From the staff to the different clients that I met, I never felt like I was someone less. The people all understood that we are in this together—a collective of people helping and pushing each other for the betterment of each individual.”

For those interested, visit its Instagram page @awakengymofficial for more details.