Rick Scarpulla: Become an Ultimate Athlete

Page:  1 Next »
Print

Coach Rick Scarpulla, creator of the Ultimate Athlete Training Program, is a highly sought after and hugely successful coach working with and training top athletes on a daily basis. He is considered by many as one of the nation’s best in the field. As both athlete and coach, Coach Scarpulla has studied under and is affiliated with some of the world’s top speed and strength coaches and athletes — from the youngest athletes all the way up to Olympians and NFL professionals and more — for over 30 years. He still studies daily to continue to improve his education and is always striving to improve his knowledge and skills.

Coach Scarpulla shared with us his insights into CrossFit and the importance of a primary focus on training as an athlete before becoming a specialist.

What is your background as an athlete and as a coach?

As an athlete, I have been a strength athlete for about thirty years and have been competitive for twenty-five of those years. I am still competing as a Master’s athlete in the 220-lb weight class. Although I have not competed in the last year and a half, hopefully in the spring I will be back again. With gear, my bench is around 600lbs, and my raw bench is at 440 lb. That’s at a bodyweight of 206.

I also do lots of work with the Special Olympics, working on powerlifting and training. Athletics has given me so much in my own life, so it is very important to me to give back to other communities as well.
In fact, this past Monday [10/8/12] I put up a 485-lb floor press and a 295 lb military press (shoulder press). Not bad for a guy turning 51 relatively soon; I’ll take it! I’d say I’m one of  the top 50-55 year old 205-220 weight classes lifters in the country right now. At my current (lighter) bodyweight, my current goals are to squat over 700 lbs by the spring and to get my bench back up above 600 lbs.

As a coach, this is my 11th year as the head coach of the Army PowerLifting team at West Point. I am a certified Nike/SPARQ coach, and I am also a certified Westside Barbell coach. I am lucky to have been working with athletes all day every day for the las 15+ years at my Training Center in Orange County, New York — one of the top Training Centers on the East Coast.

I also do lots of work with the Special Olympics, working on powerlifting and training. Athletics has given me so much in my own life, so it is very important to me to give back to other communities as well.

How did you hear about CrossFit and when? What were your initial thoughts?

This is a good story, actually. It was a few years ago when Louie Simmons [of Westside Barbell] called me up to tell me that he was doing some powerlifting certifications for CrossFit. He tells me, “It’s all the kind of stuff that you’re doing…” At first I was thinking that it was something like Insanity or P90-X, and he said, “Not really.”

At my facility we call “met-cons” warrior training. There was a strong CrossFitter who visited us and told us we should rename our warrior training “death-cons.”
And it is actually very similar to how we train. Though we weren’t calling it “CrossFit” or doing events, it was the same style of stuff. It looked just like what we were doing, except that we do it a lot heavier. So I looked into it and Lou asked me to do some certifications out of Westside with him. That was how I met CrossFit, and the rest is history. Some of the people who came to the certifications called me afterward to say they appreciated my coaching and started asking me to do seminars at their affiliates. Since then I have been successfully working with countless CF athletes and facilities and doing our Ultimate Athlete seminars almost every weekend all over the country. In fact, I am heading to Hong Kong to do a 2-week tour including an event for Reebok.

Many people — including myself — think my Ultimate Athlete program is absolutely the best program for functional CrossFit training.

At my facility we call “met-cons” warrior training. There was a strong CrossFitter who visited us and told us we should rename our warrior training “death-cons.” True story.

Describe your approach to how athletes should approach training for CrossFit.

You need to become an athlete FIRST, and then become a sport-specific performer, such as a CrossFitter, a football player, a soccer player, a swimmer. You will perform better if you focus on athleticism first, then sport-specific skills.

The greater the level of non-sport specific athletic ability you can gain, the greater the sport-specific performance, and thus the higher the level you will be able to achieve.

So for example, let’s say we had 200 athletes and wanted to test them in strength, speed, agility, endurance, reaction, and whatever other physical tests we can think of. If we took the top 10 athletes out of the 200 and had them compete against the bottom 10, the top 10 will always win. Why? Because they are better athletes. Athletes are built, not born.

Every single sport practices situational play — you don’t play the whole game over and over at practices…. CrossFitters need to approach the game similarly and work “situational” parts of their training. 
Everyone has athletic potential — some more than others, of course. Where and how you develop your athletic potential will determine what your sport-specific performance will be. For example, take a sprinter who wants to improve his 100-yard dash time. You’ll only get so much better if all you ever did was continue to run the entire 100-yard dash again and again. But if you broke it down and trained the start, the middle, and the finish, the sum of the parts will become greater than the whole. You have to be able to strengthen the parts vs. focusing on the whole all the time.

Every single sport practices situational play — you don’t play the whole game over and over at practices. Baseball players work on turning a double play from third base; football linebackers practice dropping into coverage in the flat; swimmers work the start off the blocks. CrossFitters need to approach the game similarly and work “situational” parts of their training to practice a start, middle, and a finish.

If you are faster, stronger, more agile, and have better endurance, your CrossFit performance will increase.
If those three parts each made up 33 1/3% of your overall strength, and you built up each part separately to 40%, then the sum of the parts would be 120% and greater than the whole, which is obviously a better result than training singularly in a full fashion. That’s how the top athletes are training; I guarantee the top athletes in CrossFit are not just following mainsite WODs every day.

You have to work on becoming a better athlete in order to become a better CrossFitter, no question whatsoever. If you are faster, stronger, more agile, and have better endurance, your CrossFit performance will increase.

Page 1 2 Next »
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

adrummonds published the post ABS Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes! on Tabata Times
Ingredients: 1 Scoop ABS Chocolate Chip Pancakes 1/3 C Egg Whites 1/3 C Unsweetened...
adrummonds published the post ABS Pumpkin Chocolate Protein Cookies! on
Ingredients and Directions: 1 Scoop ABS Vanilla Cake Batter Pancakes 1 Scoop Vanilla...
Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski published the post How to Break Up with Your Box on
So your back squat hasn’t PR’d squat in six months. The box owner is bedroom WOD’ing with his...
Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit West Santa Cruz shared a link on Facebook

Don’t Try At Home http://wp.me/puz1A-5aN

CrossFit West Santa Cruz posted an article
Telegraph CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/23/2014 WOD http://www.telegraphcrossfit.com/thursday-10232014/

Telegraph CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Oakland shared a link on Facebook

http://www.crossfitoakland.com/november-slots-available-for-strong-school/

CrossFit All Terrain posted an article
CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Thursday is a Recovery Day.

CrossFit Ashland posted an article
saulj posted on Facebook

World Series Game 2 Giants vs. KC Royals is on at 5:07. Work out and cheer 'em on! Go Giants!

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Kids Fitness is a program designed specifically to meet the special neurological, cognitive and motor needs of children. One of the most important aspects of our Kids Fitness classes is that they are FUN! Kids will look forward to coming to class, and will learn that “exercise” is interesting, fun, and worth doing. Our classes are designed to get kids moving properly and under control. They will enhance their coordination and agility, increase flexibility, build strength, power and confidence. All movements are age appropriate and the 45min workouts have been designed specifically by our trainers for children. Age ranges are from 8 -13 year olds. This program is offered on a monthly basis.

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p9

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p8

CrossFit Sandpoint shared an image on Facebook

Our next Foundations session starts November 3rd! The course will run four weeks on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm for a total of 8 sessions. Foundations is designed to introduce beginning CrossFit athletes to the movements and lifts that we utilize in our normal classes. If you’re looking to get started with CrossFit, this is a tremendous way to start. You will learn the basics, and you will gradually build up to the intensity that we utilize in our daily classes. This will allow for a safe and thorough start to your CrossFit life. In addition, we feel that starting with a group of beginners is less intimidating than jumping in with people who may have been doing CrossFit for years. If you haven't heard of CrossFit, or want to know more about what it is, this article does a tremendous job of describing what you can expect: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/03/01/a-beginners-guide-to-crossfit/ Please feel free to email info@crossfitsandpoint.com with any questions or concerns. If you’d like to sign up, you can register and pay at the link below. The cost is $100. https://crossfitsandpoint.sites.zenplanner.com/membershipTemplate-view.cfm?membershipTemplateId=9736A264-25F5-48A4-BA81-249F2F994347

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Less than 3 weeks until the "Fight Gone Bad" United for Youth event goes down at United Barbell! Make sure you register to reserve your space!

The Shipyard CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

It's time, guys! Sign-ups for November On-Ramp are coming up!! Tuesday, October 28th. 5-6pm. Start NOW.

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Survey Results

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

To the man that has the best sound effects, best sayings, best facial hair, and who picked the best day ever to be born on a big happy birthday goes out to the one and only, Tommy Ward. Tommy, I hope you have a great birthday. #Crossfit #Hgx

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=928875053808844&id=574926115870408

CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Kristy Parrish published the post How Do I Choose the Right Workout Program? on
Results outline the efficacy of a workout program. With a sound, objective foundation (i.e...
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Wednesday's WOD: TIER 1 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 7 Ball Slams + Burpee TIER 2 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 5 Wall Balls @ 20#/14# + Double-Unders TIER 3 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by Handstand Push-Ups * Part B has a 15-minute time cap. * For Part B, Tier 1 starts each round with 7 ball slams and increases the number of burpees each round by 1 rep; Tier 2 starts each round with 5 wall balls and increases the number of double-unders by 10 each round (starting at 10 in the first round).

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/whiteboard/ Who's on top?

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/daily-wod/

CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook

http://cfoakdale.com/2014/10/22/weightsmovements-for-the-rx-division-of-the-franniversary/

CrossFit Potrero Hill shared a link on Facebook

WOD- Wednesday, Oct 22 This FRIDAY! Paleo Potluck and Pumpkin Carving! Bring a dish and a pumpkin. 6-9pm No class or open gym this Saturday for the Scream Team competition! Find a partner (guy/guy and gal/gal) to compete with! 3 events, all level …

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
CrossFit Potrero Hill posted an article
Corey's Gym posted an article
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p7

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p6

cfsausalito shared an image on Facebook

Congratulations to C/S athletes Galo Arias and Sharon Squire for completing the Warrior Dash over the weekend and to C/S athlete Alicia Asensio for running the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! We love seeing you all express your fitness in different competitive environments -- so proud of you!

CrossFit Modesto shared an image on Facebook

Happy Tuesday! We'd like to welcome Nestor to our community. You know the drill: if you see him, introduce yourself and say hello. Thanks for joining us, Nestor!

CrossFit Modesto posted on Facebook

ANNOUNCEMENTS -- PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IN YOUR CALENDARS! - CrossFit Modesto will be closed ALL DAY October 31st (Halloween) and November 1st for the Hock Hocheim Knife Seminar. - WODTOBERFEST takes place on October 29th at 5:30 PM and will be the *ONLY* class in the pm (NO 12pm or 4:30pm classes)

American River Crossfit shared a link on Facebook

10/21/2014 http://wp.me/sGeX1-10212014

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Prehab/activation: SMR - rhomboids / low back Banded hip flexor stretch 2x10 hip thrusts 2x10 scap retraction on rings -then- 5 x 250m row sprints - rest 2 mins between attempts, post best and worst time -then- AMRAP in 12 minutes: 15 push-presses (75/55) 12 back rack in place walking lunges (75/55) 9 pull-ups

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Competitors Program Week 1, Day 2: 5x5 @ 75-80% weighted ring dip -alternating with- 5 attempts for max time in an L-sit -then- With a 15 minute running clock: Run 1200m* Followed by max rounds of: (1,2,3...) Hang Power Clean (175/120) (1,2,3...) Burpee over the box jump (24"/20") *do the long 800m course, then around the building twice -then- Every 30 seconds for 8 intervals: 1x20yd prowler sprint (176/108) or use a weight that allows you to sprint 20 yards in under 10 seconds. Then, rest 3 minutes and repeat once more.

CrossFit HEALDSBURG posted on Facebook

Competence speaks through confidence and it is easy to carry others along when you believe in yourself. - Mark Twight

CrossFit Bios shared a link on Facebook

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp is in full swing! We know who'll be ready for the snow!

CrossFit West Petaluma shared a link on Facebook

Good Ol’ Fashioned Strength Day http://blog.genesispetaluma.com/?p=2997

South Tahoe CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

Check out Derek getting low. Over 50lbs lost and an amazing gain in range of motion!

CrossFit Genesis posted an article
CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

The paleo challenge day 1. Can you guess who's paleo bank this is?

Jefferson State CrossFit posted on Facebook

Just watched Julie Noyes complete 3 touch and go power cleans with her previous max! -Stoots

CrossFit Anywhere shared an image on Facebook

Our #MCM goes to Blair and Rob as they prep to crush the competition at Iron October 2 this Saturday! Come out to cheer them, and our other competitors on at CrossFit Iron Mile in Natomas from 9-4!

CrossFit Feather River shared an image on Facebook

This Saturday the 25th is the Yuba Sutter United Way Spooktacular 5k/10k Run! Race starts at 9am and there will be prizes awarded for best costumes! Let's get out there and represent CFFR!! https://www.yuba-sutterunitedway.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=15

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Even though it's only October, we are already thinking about Decking our Halls!!! Mark your calendars!!! STCF Christmas Party is slated for Friday, December 12! You will NOT want to miss this shindig!

CrossFit Valley View posted on Facebook

This week is a special one! Why you ask?! Well because Our Box owner, Jennifer Correia, the one that brought CrossFit to Los Banos, is clebrating her Birthday this Sunday the 26th and guess what 30 burpees are due! so jump on her ass to get them done and hey, why not have her step it up a bit and make it for time????

CrossFit Valley View shared an image on Facebook

Starting off the day right

CrossFit 530 posted on Facebook

CrossFit 530 is closing. Friday will be the last day of business. All billing has stopped and will be refunded on a prorated basis. We sincerely thank everyone for their contribution to our CrossFit community over the last several years and wish you all health and happiness.

mqprunty published the post Why I Compete on
I wasn't quite sure where to go with this article...I first started with – “Why YOU Should...

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV