Power Play

John Carrido uses fitness as a unique approach to help golfers lower their scores
By Matt Coker

A personal trainer for the past 15 years and single-digit handicapper on the links the last three, John Carrido of Costa Mesa believes too many teaching pros are unaware that their students can’t turn their shoulders because they can’t turn their shoulder. They are not strong enough. These players, Carrido says, need to spend less time on the driving range and more time in the weight room.

“You wouldn’t go to a golf pro to teach you how to get in shape, just like you wouldn’t go to me to learn how to swing a club.” Carrido says. “They don’t know all the intricacies of fitness like I don’t know all the intricacies of the golf swing.”

Carrido is 5 foot 4 inches and 150 pounds, yet he was an all-league basketball player at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa and helped take Orange Coast College to the state championship. As a body builder, he won the Mr. Orange County crown in 1983 and Mr. California two years later.

His Bodies by Carrido gym had been at Pacific Coast Highway and Superior in Newport Beach for 13 years. Four years ago, he played golf with a client who mopped the course with him. “The client said, ‘all that muscle, for what?’” Carrido recalls.

He worked out a barter deal with a local teaching pro, where the pro taught him golf in exchange for Carrido teaching the pro how to train. Though he had only been playing a short time, Carrido has won tournaments, drives the ball 280-290 yards and reports “people are just amazed.” And, you guessed it, Carrido eventually beat that client who had taunted him.

But the experience did more than garner Carrido some payback. He parlayed the knowledge he gained from applying fitness to golf to set a new career path at Carrido Integrated Fitness, where he’ll help train anyone.

Coming from a family of 14, Carrido sympathizes with people who cannot afford a personal trainer. That’s why he devised a seminar, to get his message through to members of his audience who can benefit the most: golf instructors, in particular, and golfers, in general.

Instead of urging students to achieve the impossible, teachers should stress stretching and exercise, Carrido said.

“People associate weight training with Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Carrido said. “That’s not true. We want them to associate with Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Gary Player – players who understand the importance of fitness.”

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