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Volleyball Training Journal issue 054
January 18, 2013





Rarely in the Olympics does the guy that wins the 100-meter dash also win the 400-meter dash.

Even though these athletes are both sprinters, they are both very different athletes.

Probably the biggest difference is how the body uses energy during these races.

Your body has complex energy systems that switch on during physical activity, but each plays a different role depending on

1) available energy and

2) specific demands of the task

The key variables in these two races are 1) intensity and 2) length of race.

The phosphagen energy system is involved mostly during the first 6 seconds of high intensity effort.

For about the next 24 seconds another energy system takes over, slow glycolysis.

1) Phosphagen, 0 to 6 seconds

2) Slow glycolysis, 6 to 30 seconds

3) Fast glycolysis, 30 seconds to 2 minutes

4) Fast glycolysis and oxidative, 2 to 3 minutes

5) Oxidative, primary system for work over 3 minutes.

These energy systems aren't like traffic lights. One doesn't switch off when another comes on.

However, depending on intensity and duration, one will likely contribute more than all the others.

Why is this important to know?

The phosphagen system powers quick explosive plays in volleyball.

Rallies in volleyball are on average 4 to 6 seconds.

The recovery time between rallies is on average 11 to 16 seconds.

This means the body has 11 to 16 seconds to rest for the next intense play.

Remember, our body reacts specifically to the stimulus we present to it.

Therefore, to be strong during the 4 to 6 seconds of play, consider training for 4 to 6 seconds with 11 to 16 second rest intervals.

To be in shape for volleyball, the body needs to be trained to utilize the correct energy systems needed to be good at playing the sport.

For volleyball, focus on the phosphagen system.

Remember, training for longer durations without rest won't work the phosphagen system.

This would be a mistake because this is the system that improves first step quickness, approach speed, jumping power, hitting power, and quickness on defense.

What’s the best way to condition for volleyball and build serious strength, speed and power?

Visit my latest page on game like conditioning and training energy systems specific to volleyball.



Top performers are skilled at anticipating what their opponents are about to do.

Visit my latest page on developing anticipation skills for volleyball.

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