Three 9:00 Stations

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Three 9-minute stations: Resistance, Race Pace, and Cord-assisted Sprints. We used 1-gallon buckets on the first station to provide resistance. The second station was 18 x 25 performed differently for distance, middle distance, and sprint. The third station used cords to assist at race speed into a fast turn.

The Rocket Tower

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Check out the Rocket Tower:

Sunday I was at the pool in Huntersville, NC for our Senior Champs and watched Nick Brunelli training on this beast. I had been looking at it sitting in the corner all weekend, wondering if it really was what it seemed. It’s a Power Tower on steroids, with the capability of providing assistance or resistance over 50 meters. Brunelli was eager to tell me about it when I asked. Apparently there are only 3 in existence right now–this one, one in Fullerton, CA with Sean Hutchison’s Center of Excellence group, and one at Arizona State (Brunelli’s alma mater and the home of the inventor). Brunelli said that it is vastly improved over the Power Rack, Power Reel, and Power Tower for a few reasons:

1) You can use it over 50 meters. Brunelli said it can pull him to a 21-second LCM 50 free.
2) It is made of military spec hard-anodized aluminum and FAA-Approved pulleys. The inventor is a metal fabricator in Tempe. Believe the hype when it comes to quality. The cable glides so smooth and with so little apparent friction, it makes the Power Tower look like someone’s 5th grade science project.
3) Very constant resistance and assistance. Unlike previous power training equipment, Brunelli said he feels very little “bounce” in between strokes. The forces are very smooth and steady. I am guessing this is due to the quality construction and the number of pulleys involved (I counted 15).

A few other observations:
1) The rocket on top is just for show. It houses the top pulleys, but those fins are merely for coolness.
2) The blue tube you see is the draining hose. The bucket is 60 gallons (HUGE!) yet drains easily through this and a secondary smaller tube.
3) There is an Inertia Safety Clutch built into the lower pulley system. This comes in handy if the belt happens to come off, and it can also be manually locked if you are 50m away and simply want to rest without clinging to the wall.

So I was impressed initially with the Rocket Tower. It is still in its infancy, but you can check out their website.