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Effingham Magazine

Couple Builds a Fitness Empire for Rincon

Couple Builds a Fitness Empire for Rincon

Have you ever seen a name of a business and a tagline and you immediately think, “Wow! That is powerful!” Such is the case with a brand new gym set to open in early fall in the heart of Rincon. The name is Empire Gym. His Kingdom. Your Empire.

Owners Jamie and Mary Cain came up with the name last spring when they moved back to Jamie’s hometown to be closer to family and allow their nine-year-old son more time with his grandmother.

“We’re building a home in Guyton and we found another home in my mother-in-law’s church. We are leaning on our spirituality as newly baptized Christians. We thought God had brought us here to open a gym, so the name is fitting because it speaks to the growth-building that can occur both spiritually and physically,” explains Mary.

The champion name is not the only thing that makes it unique. It is also the only gym with an owner that is an IFBB Pro, Strongwoman Pro, and MAS Wrestling World Champion. It is also the only gym of its size and caliber in Effingham County.

Being physically fit comes naturally to both Jamie and Mary. Jamie is a military veteran, having served in the Army for 13 years with an additional four years in the Reserves. He has lifted weights since he was 14 and played competitive softball for 20 years during and after high school. After retiring from the military, his dream was to open a gym.

Mary began twirling batons at age four and was awarded a baton twirling scholarship at Kansas State University. She fell in love with body building at age 24 and started teaching fitness classes.

Combined, they have more than 25 years training experience and practical application along with multiple certifications. Prior to moving to Effingham County, the couple owned a gym in Columbus, Ga., and Mary was a sole proprietor of a gym in Macon before the couple met.

Each brings their own special energy and skill to the business.

“I love people!” exclaims Mary. “I enjoy helping people transform their bodies and it’s so cool to see my clients feel better about themselves,” she adds.

Mary believes the greatest challenge as a trainer is working with clients on their relationship to food.

“I think that 85% of the transformation occurs with food. Everything we do in our society is centered around food. We’ve got to switch back to portion control because no food is off limits as long as we do it with portion control. I work with my clients to transition their mindset to eat for fuel, not for flavor,” she explains.

Clients often text photos of their food to Mary to stay on track with their meals, send her cardio photos daily and do check-ins every Saturday.

“I am constantly checking in to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing because that’s how you achieve your goals in the big picture,” she says.

Commitment to a gym membership is often a challenge as well, but Mary is a true accountability partner. Jokingly Mary describes herself as an alarm clock that no matter how many times you hit snooze, it is still there waiting for you!

While Mary is the face of the business, Jamie is the manager of operations.

“I tease her that her job is to train clients; my job is to make sure that she has a place to work,” says Jamie. “With the time commitment it takes to train clients properly, you really have to have a day-to-day business manager to make a gym successful,” he adds.

The gold standard for an optimized body is increased lean muscle mass, decreased body fat and increased bone density, so Empire Gym will serve up exercise options to help you succeed in these areas. The weights-based facility will house an expansive selection of equipment, the ARMORY will provide an additional 1,250 square feet of functional fitness group training space and there will be resources for a complete wellness experience, including the DEXA scan, which provides a complete picture of your body composition—bone density, lean muscle mass, fat mass and body symmetry.

The Empire Gym will be open 24/7 and located at 614 Towne Park Loop in Rincon. Membership discounts are available to military, selfless service providers and educators.

Learn more about how you can become more healthy and fit at

14 Towne Park Drive West