Former NFL kicker Carney opens gym to public

Former NFL kicker Carney opens gym to public
Former NFL kicker John Carney supervises a workout last week at the Carney Training Facility. The former Chargers player has opened the gym to the public and will conduct boot camps every Saturday. Photo by Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — One North County resident knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl.

Having appeared in the big game twice during his 23-year NFL career, retired kicker John Carney is pushing others to reach their potential.

The former Chargers legend opened the Carney Training Facility, 6102 Avenida Encinas, Suite G, catering to athletes shooting for their dreams, but now he has opened the doors to the public, too. The public hours run from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday with workout packages available and $15 for walk-ins.

“We’ve had all kinds of athletes in here,” Carney said. “It’s exciting to have athletes outside my specialty. We develop some skill specific drills.”

Carney’s newest venture began modestly as more of a way of passing on knowledge, but has grown into something he wasn’t expecting. Originally, Carney, who won the Super Bowl in 2009 with the New Orleans Saints, focused on kickers, punters and long snappers playing in the NFL.

He became current New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford’s mentor and picked up fellow NFLers Nick Novak and Nick Folk. Training out of Carney’s garage, the workouts gained in size due to the lockout in 2011 left a number of athletes looking for others to train with, since they were not allowed to enter their team’s facilities.

Soon, though, he opened the doors privately to college and high school athletes working toward breaking into the NFL or earning a college scholarship.

His clientele expanded and thus decided to open the doors to the public in the evenings, although Carney will spearhead a boot camp on Saturday’s from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

“I thought, why not step it up a notch,” Carney said. “Let’s train you during the offseason, during the season when you’re in town. Let’s push you to be as good as you can be.”

The gym is modest in size, but big on pushing the limits. Carney developed numerous workouts and methods for anyone, not just athletes, looking to get fit and test their will.

Several of his clients lend their knowledge in the various workouts and navigating machines, free weights, speed training or slamming a monster truck tire with a sledgehammer. In addition, the first workout is free.

The gym includes traditional options such as free weights and a treadmill, but Carney’s philosophy uses other aspects gained from his career as a professional athlete.

“We decided that this facility has so many benefits for anybody who wants to train,” he added. “Some of my long-time clients monitor the gym at nights. I posted a whole series of workouts. My monitor would be happy to show them the routine.”

One benefit of Carney’s gym, opposed to more traditional facilities, is the unique equipment, he said. Climbing ropes, a cargo net, jumping apparatuses and a wooden sled are just a taste of what the gym provides.

“I suggest to clients who want to burn calories, just don’t go on the elliptical for 45 minutes,” Carney explained. “Go elliptical for 15, a fast-paced walk on an incline on the treadmills, jump on the Stairmaster. You are getting great cardio, but you’re changing up the muscle work.”

As for the Super Bowl, Carney said he’s leaning toward Carolina, but is impressed with the Denver defense. Regardless, the former champ is in a win-win situation as he trained both kickers, Denver’s Brandon McManus and Carolina’s Graham Gano.

For information about the Carney Training Facility, visit


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