All too often in people's lives, the most positive results are linked to a negative precedent. It's the same case for fitness instructor and family man Culver Padilla. In 2010, then a teen who got turned down for a modeling opportunity, he would redirect his energy toward a new goal. He began serious fitness training at the gym in August that same year. Little did he know that his early pursuit of a healthier and stronger lifestyle would open more doors than he ever imagined.
Culver's new aim was to become the fittest version of himself possible, but commitment and consistency hadn't showed up just yet. "I was very thin (before pumping up) because I had an ectomorph body type, but I was still athletic. Nag-start ako mag-work out high school pa. Pero hindi ganun ka seryoso kasi syempre, hindi ko pa alam kung pano gagawin. Ang goal ko lang naman is mag-fit nang maganda yung mga damit ko sakin," he says in jest.
The road to becoming the muscle man, however, proved to be somewhat here and there at first rather than a straight line. "So, I was inconsistent; two months straight, two months off, sometimes one month straight, three months off. So, for me, my real fitness journey began when I was told by a friend to join Century Tuna Superbods (in 2015)."
It was through this first attempt at competing and body-building that Culver connected with others who were a great influence in terms of health and physical fitness. He clung to newfound discipline and staying steadfast as his key to leveling up in physique. "Working out six times a week, I was able to get ripped before finals. During the go-see, my condition was already for finals night. I knew I’ll be one of the finalists. I didn’t win the title but being a finalist opened a lot of opportunities and doors for me. Since October 2015 up to now, hindi pa ko nag-s-stop mag-train. Consistency is key!"
Since his first competion, Culver's new circle of body-building and fitness buddies have spurred him on to compete and train. He went on to take home the Mr. Fitspiration title at Gold's Gym Body Con last year and proceeded to take on fitness not just as a lifestyle but as a profession. From regular phyical training for other people locally to journeying as far as the UAE as a Gold's Gym Lifestyle specialist, Culver is covering serious ground in terms of pushing gains. He's started online motivational coaching as a fitspo influencer on the side as well with the hashtag #KPFitness.
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"I started #KPFitness to help other people see their worth, capabilities, and value through fitness. I want to serve as an inspiration, and share that nothing is impossible. To be able to share my knowledge, skills, and tips together with the industry is an honor," he declares.
Culver currently divides his time between being a husband and dad of two boys, and being a fitness professional or day-to-day fitspo with some lifestyle brands. His wife Debbie even supports his daily grind 100% by getting the boys in order and helping him get ready for his day before he leaves.
Culver's reaction when it comes to hearing about other people who say they do not have time to exercise is a fairly blunt one. "Excuses—the stories they make up for themselves on why they can’t do this why they can’t do that. The most classic line, 'I dont have time, I’m busy' is so easy to say. Try telling yourself, 'It's not my priority' and see how that changes your perspective." He thus believes that challenging one's mindset ought to come first before choosing how to challenge your body. The battle to win your very own superbod all begins up here before everywhere else.
People's current holiday concerns about weight gain align exactly with the one question Culver repeatedly gets asked and finds amusing every time "Lagi nilang tinatanong 'paano ba mawawala ang tiyan ko?' Kasi para sa akin, alam naman natin na ang tiyan mawawala lang sa diet talaga, 'di lang sa exercise." So, sadly to make it easier on ourselves come New Year's resolution season, there's no way out but to portion off our yummy Christmas feasts or choose what we feast on.
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Produced by Julia Arenas | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Makeup by Julia Arenas | Shot on location at The Upper Deck PH Sports Center, 1 Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines | Special thanks to Don Allado for Upper Deck PH