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  • Randa Vanderbeck is June’s Fitness Athlete of the Month for June 2021


    Randa is not only a constant presence in our Fitness Kickboxing and Fitness Performance classes, but she also takes Muay Thai at Straight Blast Gym Buford too!

    Randa began training at Straight Blast Gym Buford in the summer of 2020. She had a membership to a big-box gym but found herself not attending very often.

    “All I knew how to do was run, so I would go to the gym and just run on the treadmill. I didn’t know what to do, and frankly, the trainers there didn’t really look all the aspiring. I saw that SBG had coaches in every class and thought that would be a better fit.”

    In the Spring of 2020 the COVID pandemic hit and like most people, Randa found herself at home more and working out less. When the mandatory quarantine came to an end, Randa decided that she was ready for a fresh start and a new gym. Feeling the frustration of being forced to stay home for 60 days, Randa was ready to get out of the house, meet new people, and kick her fitness goals into overdrive. She decided to start in our Fitness Kickboxing and Fitness Performance classes.

    Fitness Kickboxing Coach Carmen Garcia said this about our star student:

    “Randa is a joy to have in class because she always comes in with a positive attitude and ready to work hard. She’s been killing it in class and eventually, she even brought her sister to SBG. Not only has her physical conditioning gotten way better but you can tell that the PT sessions she’s been doing with Coach Alex are paying off in how crisp her strikes are looking.”

    What Coach Carmen is referring to are the one-on-one private lessons that Randa has been doing with Coach Alex Caruso. Coach Alex teaches both Fitness Kickboxing and Muay Thai at Straight Blast Gym, and Randa has sought out his services to improve her kickboxing skills. Coach Alex gave us some insight into their private lessons:

    “We initially worked on keeping her elbows in nice and tight, and on her straight-line punches. We then progressed to her footwork and really tightened up her switch kick (kicking with your non-dominant leg). You can see a big difference in her technique and a lot of that stems from the improvements she’s made to her posture.”

    Not only is Randa getting in an awesome workout during these private kickboxing sessions, but she’s learning real-life applicable striking skills that, if need be, she could bust out on some pour soul that tries to get too physical with her. Trust us, this girl has got a nasty right-cross!

    When Randa isn’t throwing hands in SBG’s Fitness Kickboxing and Muay Thai classes, she can be found in our Fitness Performance classes. Coach James has credited her with showing dramatic improvements in her strength, endurance, and coordination over the last few months. In addition to taking classes, Randa has also worked one-on-one with Coach James.

    Great work, Randa! Keep up the outstanding efforts and progress.

    Jim Sheppard

    is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.