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Old 11-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #971
Lauren Croce
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

Rick has been doing some writing and making some videos for Stack. (He was just named Expert Coach of the Month.) Here's his latest video on conditioning using a tire:
http://www.stack.com/video/285458646...tioning-drill/ (WFS)
Speaking from personal experience, this drill is exhausting, but super effective.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:55 AM   #972
David Meverden
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

Damn, that tire deal looks like GREAT conditioning. Don't have a tire, though, so miss out on that suck fest. I do have a big *** wood beam, though. Could work up something similar if we went to an open grass lot.

I have been doing "stone" carries after pictures of Mike's crew doing them inspired me. You use an old barbell sleeve, a stone trainer, or some rope to connect plates. Here's a demonstration video I made for a buddy of mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HykTt...ature=youtu.be

We worked up to ~175# that day and were pretty spent. Next time I'm gonna man up and make >200# happen.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:39 AM   #973
Mike Kelley
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

Training with Rick is going great. As someone who has been coaching and training others for 5+ years it's nice to be able to hand over the reins and have someone else critique and tell me what to do. For anyone wanting a little guidance I'd say call Rick up and have him coach you. Even a month would be enough to help step up your game or raise that intensity.



Hope everyone's doing well!
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #974
Richard Robichaud
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

I've been working with Rick now for quite a few months. I live quite a distance away so he's been working with me online where he'll send me a week's worth of training and I'll go on my own and tackle it. I typically video record my training session/movements so I can send it to him to get some feedback and guidance.

Rick has told me that it's not my form that's lacking but the intensity. I'm just "going through the motions" he says. It was frustrating to hear that over and over and have him say "you can lift so much more" when I swore I was doing my best.

Rick invited me down to Ultimate Advantage to train a day with his athletes so I jumped on the opportunity and went to visit him this past weekend and lived to tell about it. I wanted to see what he meant by "intensity" and hard work.

I had an idea what I was getting myself into but then that idea got smashed into a million pieces when it came time to lift. All Rick's athletes I met were very kind and very approachable and willing to offer me advice. Athletes ranged from 13 year olds up to 30+ year olds. Rick trains top level athletes, people who are looking to perform at the professional levels and they are definitely on their way.

Next thing you know I'm putting on some lifting briefs and we're starting with Box Squats. No more talking or gossiping, it was down to business. As the weights got heavier only one person would attempt their lifts at a time while the others are in your face screaming at you to summon every ounce of strength you could muster to lift that excruciatingly heavy weight. I PR'd my box squat by over 100lbs and was ambushed with high fives and back slaps. The energy in there is contagious and makes me want to come back for more. It made me realize that I definitely have another "gear" that I haven't been tapping into nor do many people for that matter.

Next it was on to some accessory work (leg presses, jump squats with bands, etc.) and that was itů.or was it? Nope, that was just the beginning. Next thing you know we're in the back room for some warrior training. I couldn't keep up with these guys/girls. I thought I was in ok shape but it was 25 burpees here, 25 Rollups there, V-Holds, hovers, bicycles, etc, etc., etc. I thought I wasn't going to make it but I managed to hold on for dear life.

The next day Rick took the time to meet me one on one for some upper body work and put me through another workout that left me like jello.

I don't want to write a book here but the point of this post is to confirm Rick definitely knows how to build an athlete and his template is so cool that it works for anyone to suit their needs. He has made me understand that Strength and Speed are critical in building that foundation that everyone needs and everything else builds on to that (balance, coordination, agility, etc.) It's a perfect marriage with CrossFit and I've been benefiting with both and love it.

One last thing to mention and it's something that gets neglected when it comes to training and that's the mental game, the mental toughness you need. His athletes feel the same pain I do but they know how to control their fear and pain and work through it and go and go and go. It's unbelievable what the body can do with a strong mind and that works the opposite way as well.

Rick, thanks for the awesome experience and keep up the great work!
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #975
Matt Hemphill
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

I have been following Tim's programming via his website for awhile on my own and Tim has been very helpful.

Just wanted to share a quick update and a question. Hit a new PR on Bench press of 20lbs on Tuesday, 300lbs at 182lbs. That is a goal I have been working toward since High School (about 18yrs). Now my question, my sticking point on the lift was about 2" of my chest. What are the accessory lifts for that sticking point? Is it a back, lat, chest, or tri weakness?

Thanks for the help. Love the programming, Tim.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #976
Robert Fabsik
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

Getting stuck 2" off your chest isn't necessarily a sticking point. Often, when people aren't strong enough that's where they get stuck. Whereas if you had weak tris relative to your chest/shoulders you might not be able to lock out. So my weak answer, is just working hard on your assistance will help.

But, to focus on that area, consider dead stop benches and pause benches. Also, floor presses are good here.

If you are doing DE work, you also might want to consider a full pause on each rep then explode up.

Stronger back will never hurt.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:00 PM   #977
David Meverden
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

My guys here have been putting up some real nice numbers lately even though I can't coach them in person most days. One got his 300# bench press, and at my place squatted 395! A little over a year ago he was struggling to get an ugly 315 at about the same bodyweight. The other's been putting up steady upper and lower body PRs up for the last several months. I've PR'd my front squat, shoulder press, sumo deadlift, and had some real nice squat and deadlift sessions lately. Hoping to PR my bench after Chistmas.

As Richard said, the intensity is the tough part. I was going through the motions for a while and it shows. I usually have one other person here, sometimes on my own. It's tough to get in the right mind set without a good crew but you gotta do what it takes. Find the songs that pump you up, imagine Rick is standing there yelling at you; whatever. Most people won't have a great crew of guys and a place where you can yell your heads off pumping people up.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:59 AM   #978
Tim Nakashima
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

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Originally Posted by Matt Hemphill View Post
I have been following Tim's programming via his website for awhile on my own and Tim has been very helpful.

Just wanted to share a quick update and a question. Hit a new PR on Bench press of 20lbs on Tuesday, 300lbs at 182lbs. That is a goal I have been working toward since High School (about 18yrs). Now my question, my sticking point on the lift was about 2" of my chest. What are the accessory lifts for that sticking point? Is it a back, lat, chest, or tri weakness?

Thanks for the help. Love the programming, Tim.
Great job Matt!

As for your sticking point, 1). More speed off your chest. 2) More lat work

Keep up the speed bench with bands and really focus on the explosion and feeling your lats do the work off your chest. Also incorporate some med ball throws/heavy bag throws laying on the ground throwing straight up (helps with a partner)--we do these with 50-80lb heavy bags. We also really like the pull-over throws (again with a parnter). You gotta remember to catch, lower and explode back up fast. We also started working some bands up bar throws loaded heavy. Or bands up 3-board work with a slingshot. Hits the lats hard.

For your lat work. Pull-ups don't cut it. Need to be hitting a chest-supported row or a seated row as well. Go heavy and hard, light, medium, everything and focus on exploding that weight up/back to your chest pulling your elbows back. More than likely you just aren't hitting your lats hard enough.

Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:33 AM   #979
David Meverden
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

Matt: One good lat exercise that uses just a barbell (since a lot of CrossFitters don't have access to good lat equipment, like chest supported row machines) is the Yates Row: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjwZ1fxtCQ (WFS). You can go real heavy on these (275+ kind of range for sets) but the torso is more upright so you don't fatigue your back as much as conventional bent over rows. I feel it most in the lats when I use a supinated (palms up) grip and focus on pulling the bar back towards the hips.

Tim: Could you tell us more about the bands up bar throws? Saw these programmed on your site but without further description they sounded a little sketchy.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #980
Tim Nakashima
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Re: My day with Rick Scarpulla of Ultimate Advantage (Westside 4 Athletes)

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Tim: Could you tell us more about the bands up bar throws? Saw these programmed on your site but without further description they sounded a little sketchy.
Haha I bet they do, but they're pretty much what they sound like. Rick showed these to us at our last advanced seminar. We use average bands up (green) and load the bar up with weight. Lower the bar and explode it up throwing it at the top as hard as you can (2-6" depending on weight), keep going non-stop for the reps. Kind of like speed bench but no stop at the top, you're just letting the bar fly. Don't let your form get sloppy though. For less advanced members or on restoration days, I'd start with med balls building up to heavy bags.
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