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Volleyball Weight Training Tips

Build Power and Speed with Weight Training


Updated June 11, 2014

Two women playing volleyball

Two women playing volleyball

Photo:(c) Compassionate Eye Foundation/Darryl Leniuk - Getty Images

Volleyball is a jumping, speed and agility sport. Hitters need jumping power and setters and defenders need speed, agility and scrambling ability.

From a weight training and strength and conditioning perspective, it's not too different to the basketball training program.

Periodized Programs

Comprehensive training programs for individual sports are “periodized.” That is, they are broken into three or four phases in the year with each phase concentrating on a particular fitness development. Periodized programs in weight training provide a progressive buildup to peak fitness and performance.

For professional sports that utilize weights in their training, which is most these days, each phase has different objectives and each successive phase builds on the previous one.

Although volleyball does not have the movement component of other more mobile sports like basketball, aerobic fitness still plays an important role in all-round fitness. Early pre-season cardio and then a build up including anaerobic fitness with wind sprints, shuttles, sprints and intervals will prepare players for the season start and those long matches to come.

Two-person beach volleyball adds extra demands on cardio-respiratory fitness.

A year-long volleyball weight training program could look like the program I’ve outlined below.

Early pre-season

  • Players are preparing for the season and starting to build up after the off season.
  • Emphasis is on building aerobic fitness, functional strength and hypertrophy.

Late pre-season

  • Players are working up to the start of the season and pre-season trials are imminent.
  • Emphasis is on building anaerobic fitness and maximum strength and power.

In season

  • Competition is underway and players are expected to be fully functional for competition.
  • Maintenance of speed, aerobic and anaerobic fitness and strength and power is emphasized.

Off season

  • You won the title; time to relax for a while but you need to keep active.
  • Emphasis is on rest and recovery with maintenance of light activity -- cross training, light gym work. Several weeks break from serious fitness and strength training is helpful.
  • As pre-season approaches, more regular work can resume with an emphasis on building aerobic fitness once again for the pre-season training.

Consider the program presented here to be an all-round program, best suited to beginners or casual weight trainers without a history of weight training for volleyball. The best programs are always specific to an individual's current fitness, role in the team, access to resources, and, no less important, the team coaches' essential philosophy. You will be best served by using the following program in conjunction with a trainer or coach.

The Weight Training Program Details

If you're new to weight training, brush up on principles and practices with the beginner resources.

Always warm up and cool down before and after a training session. A medical clearance for exercise is always a good idea at the start of the season.

Related Video
Weight Lifting Exercises for the Chest
Exercises for Biceps and Triceps

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