Approaches to improving your training – Derek Arledge, CSCS

It’s time for another guest blog on cATalyzing ATs!  This time, we are dropping knowledge courtesy of my friend and former classmate Derek Arledge, CSCS.  D and I go back 19 years, as fellow alums of Penn State University Kinesiology.  Derek is a strength and conditioning coach who is the founder and owner of TEEM Performance Training, located in Cambridge, MA.  Here’s some more background on Derek and his business.    In addition to fitness and performance training, he has nine years of ice hockey coaching experience under his belt, and is an avid health and fitness blogger.

This is a follow-up to Derek’s Family Training – Part I.  Part 1 discussed the importance of training, not only for yourself, but for also being a leader and healthy influence on others. Part 2 delves into your approach to improving your training.  Take it away, D…

Are you the type of person that loves to do triceps exercises, such as dips or pullbacks? OK. Are you the type of exerciser that likes to do biceps curls?  Now, do you do these before or after your push-ups, rows, and pull-ups (assisted or non-assisted)?

What happens when a triceps exercise is performed before a push-up? The communication going to your body is, “Hey, body, I can fatigue a small part or muscle group. Then, I can work a larger muscle group that the small part assists.” The same thing happens with biceps curls and rows or pull-ups. Let’s take it a step further… 

If you can jump, do you jump before you run? Or, do you run before you jump? Let’s take a distance runner, for example. With the Chicago Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon, and NYC Marathon hovering around this same time, please find this topic helpful. Jumping before running allows for muscle preparation. If you jump, you tell your body, “Hey, body, let’s get moving because I’m about to ruin some pavement with my skills.” Running first simply tells your body that you have the vertical leap of a slug (not talking about the weight measurement). Your legs will most likely be fatigued after a long run of any distance. On the other hand, if your goal is to improve your run over your jump, then run first. Use the jump as a dynamic warm-up. If your goal is to improve your jump over your run, then practice jumping first. But, continue to use jumping as a dynamic warm-up.

Why mention small muscles to large muscles and jumping to running? Because these orders are mixed up all of the time. Individuals run 5, 6, 7, or 8 miles, then do weight training in the above manner…but the wonder lies in why certain weights or movements cannot be lifted. For one, certain muscles needed for larger muscle groups and exercises are fatigued. Secondly, certain muscles needed for larger muscle groups and exercises are fatigued. Yes, you read that twice. Fatigued leads to injury. Injury leads to frustration. Frustration leads to higher grocery bills and more money spent on gasoline.

 Caught your attention yet?

I could go on and on with this topic as it segues into other regions. Last thing. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and forgive me if I forgot a holiday are all coming fast. So, schedules will be booked. Do not forget to take care of your body. It is not too late to achieve a fitness goal this year. Make your “resolution” now. Order your strengths and tighten your weaknesses.

 Hopefully, you had a safe Halloween as the beginning of the eating season begins…now!

Purpose and Development,


Derek Arledge, CSCS      

Derek’s Blog:

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