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Women’s World: A Woman’s Gym for Mind, Body, and Soul…

Women’s World creates programs that make women feel comfortable – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Published on Friday, July 31, 2009 | 10:36 am

Two of Women’s World’s biggest fans: Members Eileen Pisula and Mary Pene..

When Mary Pene’s father died a few years ago, she noticed that her mother became depressed and frail, affected by the lost of the person they loved the most. Her mother had to hold on to whatever she could when walking – her knees wobbling and Mary had to assist her in going to the bathroom.

Sensing that her mother needed to spruce up her physical and social life, Mary slowly introduced her to Women’s World Fitness Center in San Marino, where she was then a three-month-old member.

“I told her ‘you’ll really like it.  There’s a nice diversity of ladies here. There are older women, there are middle-aged women, there are some younger ones. You’ll really like it. You’ll feel comfortable’. So, I got her a week pass, and she tried it and she says, ‘Yeah, this is really nice!’ And she joined it and it was like the best thing I ever did for her,” said Mary.

From then on, Mary’s 91-year-old mother starts walking on her own, works out with her trainer twice a week, and has gained back her social life. Women’s World changed her mother’s life, said Mary.

For the past 11 years, Women’s World has provided a socially welcoming atmosphere, a comfortable place for women to work out, interact with each other in a community-type environment that can not be found in most fitness gyms.

But more than the physical aspect of the work out, Women’s World also creates programs that make women feel comfortable – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“In most gyms, you can exercise all you want, but if spiritually or mentally you’re not connected then your health is going to be affected,” said Arlene De Guzman-Alpuerto, General Manager of Women’s World Fitness Center.

Since its establishment in 1998, Women’s World aims to get people healthier by exercising, but De Guzman-Alpuerto said they also want to include the spiritual and the emotional part of the exercise, which makes Women’s World stand out from among the other gyms around Pasadena.

“The people here are friendly, they are very supportive and for me the biggest plus is that the management is very involved in our personal goals,” said Women’s World regular Eileen Pisula, who has an implanted device that monitors her heart condition.

Women’s World Manager M.Jane.

Just six months since she started working out at Women’s World, Eileen said she noticed that her heart function has improved from 20 beats to 50 beats, a really big improvement, she said.

“Everybody’s so supportive here. You don’t feel threatened, so you work out. You don’t feel like a ‘Fish out of water’. Everybody’s like, ‘Yeah! Way to go!’ and that means a lot to me,” Eileen, who has been a member of gyms in at least six different countries, said.

Eileen, with a heart condition, and Mary’s 91-year-old mother are just few of the women – retired, stay-home moms, even teenagers – who have benefited from the seemingly never-ending services offered at Women’s World, from aerobics classes to yoga, to strength training, dance classes, facials, and even massages.

“We are not just another gym… we are a place where you can come in and not just exercise, but have a sense of security, comfort, that you can come in and the staff knows everyone’s name… I mean, we really take pride in knowing people’s names and not just their number, their membership number,” said de Guzman-Alpuerto.

The gym has transformed from an exercise hall to a community of women who are bound together for a common goal of further enhancing their physical, mental, spiritual, and social lives.

“And what’s great about the members here is that they help each other out. They encourage each other. If someone’s going through tough times, even though they just met you last week or the other day, they will help you out and encourage you. Especially if it’s your first time working out, they will encourage you about trying different classes in every way,” said M. Jane Velasco, the center’s operations manager.

Indeed, the center has not only provided physical development to Eileen, Mary, Mary’s mother, and the rest of its women members but also offered a venue for social interaction, a place to de-stress, a perfect venue to meet other women in the community.

“It’s really like your third place: you have your home, your work, and where else do you go? Women’s World,” de Guzman-Alpuerto beams.

“Women’s World makes getting healthy fun. I don’t think it’s the exercise that drives women here but the camaraderie, the friendship, the fun. It’s a lot of fun here, it really is,” Eileen and Mary chorused before getting back to their daily exercise routines.

Women’s World Fitness Center, 2000 Huntington Drive, San Marino. (626) 284-7741,

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