There are a few key items to consider with this practice: First, at T2 Aquatics most athletes stay fairly light with the weight they pull on the buckets.
I’d prefer them to keep their stroke rate within 10% of their “racing stroke rate” because I feel that anything slower than 10% away from “racing rate” means that the “stroke” being trained is not the stroke that will be raced. In sprint training, I don’t see how doing it any other way can be as effective — at least for the majority of power training throughout the year. Erika Erndl (54.9 100 LCM free) will race at 1.1- 1.2 stroke rate, so she tends keep it pretty close when she’s training power. Erika has pulled more weight than you see on the video, but not so much that her stroke rate goes over 1.35!
Second, the “Phantom Wall” drill (please see the video for a full visual of a “Phantom Wall” turn) is measured, and it must be measured to be effective. Erika’s breakout off her turn is 1.90 (+/- .05), and her time to the 15M mark is 7.79. Her breathing pattern is similar to that which she will do in a 100 freestyle (more air than she really needs, but she’s mimicking the race). We tend to swim one power practice like this one once per week, and another that is similar to this one later in the week — with the major difference being that later in the week we will focus exclusively on maintaining stroke rate and time during the resistance part of the drill — while only at times do the athletes perform a push 25 Yard swim following it. We are constantly measuring everything we do with the resistance training!
Third, we always follow resistance training with assistance training. The FINS swimming at the end is a norm for us after using the Power Tower.
3x: 100 Swim Free (130) + 100 Kick Choice (150) + 100 Drill Stroke or IM (150) + 100 Pull Free (130)
12x35M (1) #1 Tech Free or Back / #2 Build Stroke / #3 Drill Free or Back / #4 15M* Fast Stroke / 1600
6x Phantom Wall (45)
4x 15/45 wall Kick
3 rounds: 1x Bucket 25M + easy back + rest 20-30 + Phantom Wall into 15M Fast Stroke* + 100 easy
FINS: 9×50 (110) 3 – final 15 fast / 3 – middle 15 fast / 3 first 15 fast
Swim Down: 200 with underwater turns
WORKOUT TOTAL: ≈2700
This free workout was provided by T2 Aquatics head coach Paul Yetter.
Here is the video of Erika Erndl’s final round of a Bucket pull, followed by Phantom Wall turn into 15M fast (100 race prep).