By Jesse Scheckner
Former professional MMA fighter Gabriel Varona, aka Stunna, is kicking off the new year more determined than ever to make a positive impact in the community. At his high-intensity training gym, Stunna’s Fit, he helps people reach their maximum physical potential and through his non-profit, Shoes for Streets, he helps homeless people and others in need improve their quality of life.
To meet the demand of his ever-growing client base, Varona moved Stunna’s Fit last fall from its original 1,400-square foot location to a sprawling 7,000-square-foot facility, located on 62nd Avenue in South Miami. The NASM certified personal trainer, GUN-eX certified trainer and Jiu Jitsu champion challenges his clients with a combination of boxing, circuit training and innovative challenges.
Outside of the gym, Varona and Shoes for Streets, the non-profit he founded, tackle the issues of homelessness by collecting thousands of gently worn sneakers and donating them to Miami’s homeless community. Shoes for Streets also recently expanded its reach, sending shoes to hurricane victims in San Juan, Houston and Key West. Drop-off boxes are located in Stunna’s Fit and South Florida Mixed Martial Arts Academy.
“A pair of shoes is a necessity that often is overlooked by other charities,” Varona said. “The homeless are outside all of the time, and they need a good pair of sneakers to fight foot infections and other foot ailments.”
Varona doesn’t do anything halfway. He goes all out. The South Miami native is up before dawn to lead workout classes at Stunna’s Fit and leaves the gym late in the evening. His clients find his high energy and positive vibe contagious.
“It’s a blessing to be doing something I love,” he explained. “I have people say to me, ‘I need a bit of your energy to go.’ I enjoy making a connection with people and inspiring them to strive to be the best versions of themselves.”
The new Stunna’s Fit facility features a private training room filled with top-of-the-line LifeFitness machines; a spinning room with RealRyder indoor cycles that actively engage the core and upper body; a sports-specific training center that houses cutting-edge strength and conditioning equipment; a covered outdoor Olympic-style weight and strength training space; and a boxing ring where members can train and spar.
Stunna’s Fit also boasts a team of high-level athletes and certified personal trainers who lead clients in challenging routines to achieve positive results. Among the team members is Torrence Seymour, a former FIU football player who helps athletes get faster and better through high-intensity training (HIT), weightlifting, powerlifting, cardio and timed workouts. Bea, a certified group fitness instructor and three-time National Physique Committee Bikini Competition winner, focuses on workout variation using functional training methods, such as HIT-style drills. Sandy has more than 20 years of experience in personal training, a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and is certified in gravity Pilates, physical therapy and RealRyder indoor cycling. She draws from all areas of her expertise to lead clients in combination moves that involve the whole body.
“Everyone who comes to Stunna’s Fit has different objectives,” Seymour said. “One person may want to get healthy and in good shape, while another may want to participate in a Spartan Race. We determine our clients’ goals and then push and motivate them to reach those goals.”
Stunna’s Fit offers a variety of training options, ranging from a single class to a ten-pack of classes, and monthly unlimited sport-specific classes to unlimited access to all classes. Police officers, firefighters and students receive discounted rates. And people who are interested in private sessions can work with a Stunna’s Fit trainer to receive one-on-one, personalized training.
“There’s no ego here,” said Varona. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in shape or out of shape – everyone is welcome. You will be surrounded by good people and good energy, and the training will have a profound effect on your mental and physical health.”
Readers who mention this article will receive 10 percent off their first monthly membership. Stunna’s Fit is located at 6600 SW 62nd Ave. For more information about training and class schedules, call 786-728-6737, visit www.StunnasFit.com or follow Stunna’s Fit on Instagram @stunnas_fit. To learn more about Shoes for Streets, visit www.ShoesforStreets.com.