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our story

My name is Justin McCary, and I am the Co-Owner and Head Coach of Shady Grove Strength. My fitness journey began when I was around 12 years old. I started going to the gym with a group of friends after school with the goal to get bigger and look better. As many beginners experience, I made great progress in the beginning but my progress began to stall after a while. This got me interested in learning more about lifting and nutrition. When I wasn’t in the gym, at school or band practice, I spent my free time reading anything I could on these topics. I changed the way I ate and the way I trained.

Over time, all of this new information started to click and I began making real progress again. Through my own experience with fitness, I realized that so many other people struggle with the same thing I did. They come into the gym without the knowledge and experience to get the most out of their time. I noticed that for many people this leads to frustration with not seeing results fast enough, and ultimately giving up. This inspired me to want to help as many people as I could be successful in their own health and fitness journeys.

I took up a job as a Personal Trainer at the very gym I began working out at. This was ultimately what helped shape me the most as a Fitness Professional. I gained a lot of experience working with people from 13 to 85 years of age. I continued to learn as much as I could about exercise and nutrition to better serve my clients in the 5 years that I worked there. I had many success stories ranging from: getting people off blood pressure meds, off insulin, reversing osteopenia, correcting nagging injuries, inspiring confidence to fulfill lifelong goals. It was awesome! What I loved most about the job was seeing people improve, and the look on their faces as they made that progress.

In 2014 I began working out at a gym in Gaithersburg at the recommendation of some friends. The atmosphere and people were awesome and inviting. The workouts were tough and exciting. I was hooked. I later began coaching at that gym, sharing my knowledge and experience with the members and other Coaches. My background gave me a different lens to view and Coach through, which helped people improve.

A year later I was presented with the opportunity to take over ownership of that gym. Owning my own gym was a dream of mine since I began working in the fitness industry. Running your own gym comes with a lot of unique rewards and challenges. I now have a platform to share my love of fitness with everyone who walks through the door. I can help people using my years of experience navigate the ins and outs of exercise and nutrition. I have an amazing team of like minded fitness professionals who help enrich the lives of everyone who visits our gym.

One thing remains the same for me, and that is my love for this. I love seeing people have that look on their face when they accomplish something they may have thought was impossible. To see them improve without having to waste their time on useless gimmicks or fads. Seeing people who may have never met become good friends through the gym. Changing and enriching people’s lives through fitness has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and it continues to be – daily. 

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Owner Shady Grove Strength

Justin McCary | OWNER

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