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

CrossFit 757 shared a link on Facebook

Atlas Skill & Partner Row : In 20 Min: Atlas Stone Skill Work Then with a partner for 20 min: Rotate EMOTM sprint row *Post total distance rowed to comments. Mobility Class: Monday @ 1:00 Wed. & Fri. @ 5:00

CrossFit 757 posted an article
astewart30 published the post CrossFit: Is It Really for Everyone? on Tabata Times
There is a lot of buzz around CrossFit. There are the lovers. There are the haters. Then there are...
hashtagmiguel published the post Why are you here? on
Why is a question most people hesitate to answer, hesitate to ask, hesitate to bring up. You can...
zmosbarger published the post It's Okay to Compete on
We’ve taken to the road again after a ten-day pit stop back home in Bellefontaine, Ohio. We...
CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
Compound CrossFit posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Athlete Profile Name: Guch Hometown: Anchorage PCF: When did you start with PCF? G: September 2008 PCF: Favorite WOD G: None PCF: Least Favorite WOD G: None PCF: What is...

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Thursday, Oct 16

Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

10 rounds for time of: • 3 power cleans 205/115# • 6 HR Push Ups • 9 wall ball shots 20/14# Compare to 1/27/14

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

JeeZ. Some squats.

Ballston CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Mark your calendar! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/tuesday-november-11-2014-630pm-veterans-day-wod-with-warriors/

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Thrusters and Muscle Ups = a good friendship. Congrats to Katie G. for getting her muscle up in the AM!

Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Foundations special (only $99 for 6 classes over the next few weeks)! If you have friends interested in joining BCF, encourage them to do it soon! Please share this graphic on your Facebook wall to help promote BCF around Arlington! Next course starts October 28, register before it's full! http://ballstoncrossfit.com/get-started/

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

Have you checked out our reviews? 61/66 people give us 5 stars!

CrossFit Falls Church posted on Facebook

Free workout at noon every Saturday for prospective clients. No need to sign up in advance - just show up!

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

It's Thursday, ladies!

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted on Facebook

I just wanted to say a special thanks to everyone for yesterday's Hero WOD. Thank you for remembering my Brothers. Special thanks to everyone at the 5:30pm.

CrossFit Iron City shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/16/14 http://wp.me/p2Jf7S-18Q

CrossFit Iron City posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

Now that's teamwork right there!

CrossFit Focus shared a link on Facebook

Only as high as I reach can I grow; Only as far as I seek can I go; Only as deep as I look can I see; Only as much as I dream can I be.

Salvador published the post To cheat or not to cheat? The "misscounting disorder" on
You hear the signal "3-2-1...go!", the adrenaline starts pumping, you are fully beast-mode. You...
Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Thursday's WOD: "Randy" For Time 75 Power snatchs 75/55 (Note Time) Then 2000m Row

CrossFit Prime posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit LKN posted an article
CrossFit Shadyside posted on Facebook

http://crossfitshadyside.blogspot.com/2014/10/thursday-101614.html

Oak City CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Members of the OCCF Rowing Team are at the box RIGHT NOW getting those last meters in before the Concept2 Fall Challenge ends. Nice work y'all!

Fearless Athletics CrossFit South Philly posted an article
CrossFit Athletics posted an article
CrossFit Invoke posted an article
paleobutter published the post Sicilian Stuffed Peppers on Nutrition WOD
[yumprint-recipe id='124']
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Invoke shared an image on Facebook

Emily is putting in work with sand bag thrusters! #getit #workout #workhard #cfinvoke #cfiathlete #cfibootycamp #relentlesslife #crossfit #strong #barbellbabes #fitness #fitlife

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! http://outlawcrossfit.com/2014/10/15/bring-a-friend-promotion/

CrossFit Rosslyn shared a link on Facebook

Thursday, 10/16/14:

CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Pregnancy and CrossFit This post isn’t going to apply to all of you, but I think it is worth addressing, so bear with me. I’ve been approached by quite a...

CrossFit Novem posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Love shared an image on Facebook

LV III – 10.16.14 Competition Programming Swim Intervals 50 meters x 15, Rest is :30 - :60 between each Inflammation Maintenance Mobility Weakness Work - spend 20:00 improving range of motion "Optional" - Performance Upper Body Strength Programming

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit RTP shared an image on Facebook

The community keeps you coming back! Check out our community at our FREE intro class this Saturday at 10:50 am!! Tag a friend who wants to try crossfit. #CrossfitRTP #Crossfit #DurhamNC #Community #TeamPlayer

CrossFit Gastonia shared a link on Facebook

Thursday's WOD http://www.crossfitgastonia.com/w-o-d

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Thurs 16 Oct 2014 http://wp.me/p2SUDs-1fh

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted an article
CrossFit Wilmington posted an article
Trident CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Integrated Fitness shared a link on Facebook

http://if-fit.com/workout-of-the-day-october-16th-2014/

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
CrossFit Harrisburg posted on Facebook

Barbell for boobs. Sunday, October 19 at 3:00pm Deload week, will max next week. Thurs Squat Clean and Jerk (5x5 @ 60%) Touch and go Speed and technique stay light Metcon (AMRAP - Reps) 12 min Amrap 3-6-9-12… slamball 30/20 box jump 24/20

CrossFit Main Line shared an image on Facebook

Our 6am class took on a 20 minute AMRAP loaded with lots of fun movements today! 14 Oct 2014 WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. Explosive Strength Skill: Seated Box Jumps (Max Height) ** Sit on box at knee height WOD: 20min AMRAP 50 Wallballs (20,14) 50 Dubs (x3) 40 Box Jumps (24,20) 40 T2B 30 C2B 30 Burpees 20 Power Cleans (135,95) 20 Push Jerks (135,95) 10 Snatches (135,95) 10 MUs

CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV