In 1994, I got to train with Donovan Bailey for 1 year when I was at school at LSU.


Back in those days, non collegiate athletes were allowed to use the training facilities and were coached by the collegiate coaches who were also their personal coaches.  It was a great training environment with several international athletes training daily among the collegiate athletes.


At the 1996 Olympics, Donovan went on to win the 100 meter dash with a time of 9.84 seconds which also broke the Olympic record.  It wasn’t until Usain Bolt came along that Donovan held the Olympic record.


In my first week at LSU, we were evaluated.   We went through a battery of tests to establish benchmarks that gave us defined goals to work towards.


One of the tests we did was a Backward Shot Put Throw with a 16 pound shotput.  Basically you squat down bringing the shot put between your legs then explosively come up and throw it behind you for distance.  Out of the entire team, Donovan came in first place with a throw of 75 feet. (about the length of two and a half school buses).  He did better than several athletes that were bigger than him but not as athletic.


That test is a true measure of strength and explosive power in the posterior chain of muscles.  Usually the athlete that can apply force the quickest with the proper form does the best.  Donovan possessed all the tools to be a world class athlete.  He had the genes, the work ethic, the grit and the positive attitude to become the fastest man in the world.  This became a regular drill we did throughout the training process because of the tremendous speed and power benefit it had when done correctly.


Fast forward 10 years and I realized from these experiences that a variation of that exercise needed to be added to our system.  This exercise is used regularly on our Power days at Premier with modifications for athletes of all ages and abilities to improve their explosive speed.


Selecting the best exercises that will yield the best results and are grounded in science and applied correctly is the key to help athletes reach their potential.