Owner of Macon fitness center says exercise should be long term, integral part of life

Exercising shouldn’t be done just to lose weight or to reach some short-term goal. It should be a natural part of your life.

“Exercise is a lifestyle you have to maintain the rest of your life,” said Ricky Cain, owner of Trained by Cain, a certified personal trainer and licensed cycling coach. He opened his business about three months ago at 419 Cherry St. in downtown Macon.

“Weight loss is important for your health but beyond that it’s a very shallow reason to be active,” said Cain, who will be 38 next week. “I say that because sooner or later you probably either won’t lose weight and you’ll quit exercising because you are not getting the results you want. Or they will do what most people do when they reach their goal weight — they quit.”

Cain has been practicing what he preaches for a long time. He bicycled competitively and worked at bike shops during and after college. After losing his job in 2002 at the former Breakaway Cyclery on Vineville Avenue when it closed, he decided to ride his bike across the country — from Washington state to Savannah — in honor of his grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He made the 3,000 mile trip in 47 days.

Cain then went to work at Bike Tech, also on Vineville Avenue, and was there until 2008. People were always asking how he stayed fit and how to exercise, so in 2005 he began leading group fitness classes.

“I found after competitively bike racing off and on for 18 years and giving a ton of people advice about what I was doing, I was already training people before I realized it,” Cain said.

In late 2007, he got his first job as a personal trainer, and he worked at Kinetix Health Club and Gateway Fitness Studio, both in Macon, before opening his own fitness business.

Cain said he’s determined to make a go of it without going into debt.

“I haven’t borrowed a dime to finance the business and used money I had saved to start the business,” he said. “I made myself a promise that if I couldn’t pay with cash, then I didn’t need it.”

Cain said he brings his personal experience into teaching others about fitness, including struggles with his weight.

“It wasn’t like I was this super human being that didn’t have to work at it,” he said. “I’m not one of those trainers who eats egg whites and birdseed all the time. I have to watch my portions ... just like my clients do.”

Cain has one contract personal trainer, Renee Corwine, who works with him, and the business offers a variety of classes for individuals and groups. Classes are held in the mornings, at lunch time, in the evenings and by appointment.

Rosie Gray of Macon has been working with Cain for nearly two years. She takes a personal training class three days a week. Her goal is to become more fit all over, but especially to build more upper body strength.

“I’m a big runner and I had a lot of issues with my knees and heels,” Gray said. “When I started going to (Cain) I didn’t feel I had to run every day. I would work out with him and I think that really helped, so when I do run I can run further and easier.”

Gray said Cain is “very encouraging. ... He understands where you’re coming from and what your goals are. He doesn’t push you too hard, but he pushes just enough.”

Cain said the best part of his job is meeting “such a diverse group of people. ... In personal training, they don’t call it personal for no reason — you get to know your clientele on a personal level. It’s fun to get people on a healthy path and help them accomplish their goals.”

Cain’s goal is to get people to not think about exercise.

“The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy everything you do,” he said. “It’s just enhancing the quality of life. ... If you do the best you can to eat right, to exercise as much as possible with whatever lifestyle you have, then you are showing you are doing as much as you can to prevent disease, illness, injury and to live as long as you possibly can. That’s the big goal.”