– Michael Prejean, Team Perfect Method 400m hurdler
A couple of weeks ago I was practicing and I asked Carl whether he thought weightlifting is necessary to develop strength and power in the legs. To run fast.
He told me that you don’t necessarily have to lift weights, that the workouts we do are designed to make you legs stronger. It’s interesting because since August when I started training with the team, my legs have gotten bigger. They look stronger and they feel stronger. And I haven’t touched a weight at all.
I used to train with weights and I was heavier. I also felt more aches and pains, like I was getting close to being injured, or at least more prone to injury. I was doing squats, dead lifts, the usual work to build power during pre-season. Twice a week. But my back was always hurting and it seemed like weights were hurting me more than they were helping me. So I just stopped and did the running workouts. Like repeats and breakdowns.
Now that we’re in season, my speed is different. It’s better. I’m working on my block starts and I’m actually pushing out with huge, powerful steps. I’m not taking baby steps anymore and the power I have in my legs is getting me the momentum and builds toward my speed. I actually look better than I ever have coming out of the blocks and running.
I’m a 400m hurdler and now I’m working toward 13-step hurdles. I’m mastering 14s first and making sure I’ve got my arms right. I’ve learned that they’re what drives my legs so I’m working on that full extension. And my legs are responding with longer strides. I’m covering more ground and my strides are more predictable.
The workouts are tough, but these days I can actually finish them and it feels like it’s going to be a good season.
I feel healthy. And strong.