Early Season Buckets Resistance Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was our first resistance set of a new season.  We stuck to 25s with our 1-gallon buckets on an interval that provided an approximately 2:3 work:rest ratio.  Once we have a little more training behind us, we will tighten the interval and lengthen the distance a bit.  Swimmers chose their strokes, but were instructed to keep it consistent throughout the set.  We got some very good times on the final 50 at the end of the set, which was without a bucket.

BOOK REVIEW: "Power & Towers & Swimming: The Guide" by Jake Shellenberger, Head Coach at Liberty University

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This past summer I had the opportunity to share the pool deck with Jake Shellenberger, Head Swim Coach at Liberty University as his squad and mine both rented time at our local outdoor 50m pool.  I would occasionally pick his brain on training, and we had many interesting discussions on a variety of topics, so you can imagine my eagerness when he told me he was putting together a book.

His recently completed “Power & Towers & Swimming: The Guide” is a rich, detailed book on how to use some of what he deems the most valuable “toys” a swim coach has: Power Towers and Power Racks.  Shellenberger explains his power-based training philosophy that crystallized during his time as sprint coach at Penn State and during a particularly formative summer as an understudy at Frank Busch and Rick DeMont’s 2007 Arizona squad that would go on to win double NCAA Championships the following spring.  Shellenberger has brought that learning to bear since 2009 at Liberty with much success, and distills it very transparently and extensively in this book.

His very organized thought process is reflected in the 11-chapter construction of the book.  He leaves no stone unturned in outlining how to make make Power a part of the training for EVERY swimmer on your squad, regardless of distance or stroke orientation.  At Liberty, Shellenberger and his Assistant Coach Jessica Barnes have every swimmer train on the Towers multiple times per week, and the book provides many real-world examples of how it has helped his swimmers improve.  They don’t just do short 25 yard blasts with the Towers, but plenty of drilling, kicking, and other power-based training, each of which has its own devoted chapter.  The book doesn’t just explain what they do, it gives exact sets that you can use directly or adapt for your team.

As a club coach with a background developing swimmers with a hearty dose of training, I expected “Power & Towers & Swimming” to be in the vein of much of the recent USRPT dogma.  I was pleased to find Shellenberger’s treatise much more nuanced than I anticipated.  His examples and distilled wisdom were extremely valuable and thought provoking, and have made a significant impact on my thought processes about how I train my swimmers.

Regardless of training philosophy, this book will have coaches pondering new ways to help swimmers get better, and is a MUST for every smart swim coach’s library.


Buy “Power & Towers & Swimming: The Guide” here.

Read Coach Shellenberger’s blog here.

Follow Coach Shellenberger on Twitter and Instagram

Follow Liberty Swimming and Diving here

Bucket 75s. Parallel set to previous post, got a great effort!

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This set was run in parallel with yesterday’s set, thus allowing me to move between groups and observe/time each one carefully.  This set was intended for our speed/power type swimmers.  They did very well.  Generally, there were able to beat their best 100 times on the 75s, but this was a challenging goal.  We use buckets that were approximately 1 gallon in size, pulled from a weight belt.

A photo posted by SwimmingWizard (@swimmingwizard) on Oct 7, 2016 at 7:08am PDT

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Nittany Power Set

Ryan Sprang
Head Coach
Nittany Lion Aquatic Club
 
Here is a tough power set 6 of our swimmers did on Thursday April 21st: (all swims were prime stroke or alternating between 2 strokes)
6 x 50 @ 1:30 on Power Tower (25 swim against resistance, 25 easy kick on back with assistance)
2 x 50 @ 1:00 strong, no Tower
6 x 15 meters blast @ 1:00 on Power Tower (blast to 15, easy kick back)
2 x 25 @ :30 Fast, no Tower
1 x 100 @ 2:00 EZ
4 x 50 @ 1:30 on Power Tower (same as above)
4 x 50 @ 1:00 strong, no Tower
4 x 15 meters blast @ 1:00 on Tower
4 x 25 @ :40 FAST, no Tower
1 x 100 @ 2:00 EZ
2 x 50 @ 1:30 on Power Tower (same as above)
6 x 50 @ 1:00 strong, no Tower
2 x 15 meters blast @ 1:00 on Tower
6 x 25 @ :50 FAST, no Tower
1 x 100 @ 2:00 EZ

 

Sprint/Power Workout with Coach Josh Udermann

Josh Udermann
Head Site Coach
Woodburn Mid-Valley Aquatics

This is our workout from recently—the focus was sprint/power.  Our senior group enjoyed the main set.  We had two groups going, one on parachutes and the other with fins and then they switched.

Editor’s note: Our goal for this year is to provide coaches around the world with a free new idea or set EVERY DAY this year! Can you help us reach that goal? Please send submissions to swimmingwizard@gmail.com.

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Power Hour 25s

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA
 

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Editor’s Note: The Swimming Wizard’s goal is to publish at least one set, practice, or idea EVERY DAY for all of 2016! To keep it interesting, we need your help! Click here to help us achieve that goal by submitting one of your sets!

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We Love Buckets

Ryan Woodruff

Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set SCM, using small (approx 1 gallon volume) buckets towed behind swimmers on the blue parts of the set.

Editor’s Note: The Swimming Wizard’s goal is to publish at least one set, practice, or idea EVERY DAY for all of 2016! To keep it interesting, we need your help! Click here to help us achieve that goal by submitting one of your sets!

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Sprint Set for Body Position, Explosive Power, and Fast Turns

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set with traffic cones at the bottom of the pool approximately 10m from each wall. This means that the swimmers performed a very short powerful 5m sprint (“go from zero to 100 mph!) in the middle of the pool during each lap of the 75s.
The “Max 3, Max 2” etc. refers to the number of breaths permitted on each 25.

The Myers Sprint Set

Dustin Myers

1 x 50  @  1:00;  cruise kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel

2 x 25  @  0:30;  build to sprint kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel
4 x 25  @  0:40;  build to sprint – free
2 x 25  @  0:30;  build to sprint kick – secondary stroke
4 x 25  @  0:40;  build to sprint – secondary stroke
1:00 rest
1 x 50  @  1:00;  cruise kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel
2 x 25  @  0:40;  sprint kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel
4 x 25  @  0:50;  sprint – free
2 x 25  @  0:40;  sprint kick – secondary stroke
4 x 25  @  0:50;  sprint – secondary stroke
1:00 rest
1 x 50  @  1:30;  cruise kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel and parachute
2 x 25  @  0:50;  sprint kick – flutter w/ board and snorkel and parachute
4 x 25  @  1:00;  sprint – free w/ parachute
2 x 25  @  0:50;  sprint kick – secondary stroke w/ parachute
4 x 25  @  1:00;  sprint – secondary stroke w/ parachute
1:00 rest
2 x 25  @  1:30;  sprint – free w/ bucket
2 x 25  @  1:30;  sprint – secondary stroke w/ bucket
2 x 25  @  1:30;  sprint – free w/ bucket and fins (paddles optional)
2 x 25  @  1:30;  sprint – secondary stroke w/ bucket and fins (paddles optional)

Power Towers

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

One of my favorite pieces of training equipment is the Power Tower. It’s a terrific tool for making your athletes stronger in the water. In order to keep our swimmers’ shoulders safe, we never load it up to see how much we can do. In order to determine proper levels of resistance for training, we gradually increase the resistance by pouring water into the bucket to find the maximum volume at which the athlete can hold a normal cycle count. Other teams put discrete amounts of weight into the buckets using water jugs, lead weights etc. We prefer to just use water and measure the amount using a yardstick. Any great Power Tower sets out there?

Here is on of ours:

20 x 50 @ 1:00 SCY
25 against the resistance fast, 5 each stroke in IM order
25 freestyle assisted, 1 breath max

Vertical Kick + Power Tower

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Some vertical kicking and Power Tower work to get you going:

1:00 vertical kick arms across chest
100 drill @ 2:00
8 x 25 Power Tower odd sprint/even EZ @ :40
:40 vertical kick with weight belt in front of chest
100 drill @ 2:00
6 x 25 Power Tower same as above
:20 vertical kick with weight belt held overhead
100 drill @ 2:00
4 x 25 Power Tower same as above

Teammate Slingshots

Ryan Woodruff

This exercise builds off of the Teammate Drag. It is best done for a 25 at a time. Here is how it works. Swimmers are partnered, with one swimmer pulling (sprinting) and the other being pulled. Somewhere between the 15m marks, the trailing partner pulls the leading partner’s leg, attempting to slingshot to the lead. They then sprint to the wall. The kids love this exercise, and it really got them going pretty fast.

Here’s a video example:

Power Hour at SwimMAC Carolina

Chris Webb, SwimMAC Carolina

Goal of set is promote sprint power/endurance and to bring it all together with measurable data at the end of the set for 100 speed. Using real stroke #'s and kick counts from meets are encouraged. Training at race #'s and speeds can really help athletes take ownership.  Using this set and variations ( or different equipment) during heavy volume periods can prevent losing touch with relevant speed and measure fatigue.  

60×25 on 1:00 fr/bk/or fly as follows:
 
4×25's  build to overspeed!
4×25's w/T-shirt MAX sprint
4×25's w/T-shirt & paddles MAX sprint
8×25's  running dive MAX sprint no equipment focus on carrying speed to surface and  your length of stroke

12×25 underwater Body dolphin (dolphin kick) w/fins  MAX sprint
8×25 running dive 12.5 – 15m underwater BD then swim MAX sprint

20×25 ideal BD off each wall with a stroke count and time  CPT (concentration, precision, and Technique) (you must know your kick and stroke #'s)

The Rocket Tower

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

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.