A General Weight Training Program for Volleyball

Build Power and Speed with Weight Training

player about to spike volleyball over net
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Volleyball is a jumping, speed and agility-based 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 from a 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 upon 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 preseason cardio and then a build up including anaerobic fitness with wind sprints, shuttles, sprints, and intervals will prepare players for the season's 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 Preseason

  • 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 Preseason

  • Players are working up to the start of the season and preseason 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

  • The season is over; time to relax for a while, but it is important to keep active.
  • Emphasis is on rest and recovery with maintenance of light activity -- cross training, light gym work. A break of several weeks from serious fitness and strength training is helpful.
  • As the preseason approaches, more regular work can resume with an emphasis on building aerobic fitness once again for the preseason 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 every training session. A medical clearance for exercise is also always a good idea at the start of the season.

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