Volleyball Weight Training
Testing Muscular Strength and Power

An important step in creating a volleyball weight training program is peforming assessment tests.

Not only is assessment important at the beginning of a volleyball workout program, but strength needs to be tested throughout training to evaluate progress and see if you are on track to achieve your volleyball weight training goals.







Testing Muscular Power

In volleyball, a good vertical jump will greatly enhance your offense and defense when making plays at the net.

The long jump and vertical jump measure linear and vertical power which can be helpful in determining appropriate program design for volleyball weight training.

Volleyball Weight Training

Standing Long Jump Test


  1. Athlete begins with both feet approximately shoulder width apart and on the starting line.


  2. Arms should be used to assist the jump.


  3. The athlete is allowed to use a countermovement (bending the hips and knees prior to jumping) for accessing elastic strength to assist in the jump.


  4. This downward countermovement prior to upward propulsion is the eccentric phase of the stretch-shortening cycle which contributes to a maximum height of the jump.


  5. The athlete should try to leap as far forward as possible in a linear direction.


  6. Distance traveled should be measured to the nearest half inch at the heal of the back foot.


  7. The best of 3 trials is recorded.




Standing Vertical Jump Test

Increasing a volleyball players vertical jump should be one of the goals of volleyball weight training.
 
Procedure for using a wall:
  1. Chalk fingertips of athlete’s right hand.


  2. Athlete’s should stand with right side of their body next to the wall.


  3. Reach as high as possible with feet flat and make a chalk mark.


  4. Jump off both feet and at the highest point make a second chalk mark.


  5. Measure the distance between the two chalk marks. Distance should be measured to the nearest half inch.


  6. The best of 3 trials is recorded.

Procedure for using a Vertec:

  1. The tester adjusts the height of the vertical column to be low enough for an athlete to register a standing touch height.


  2. The athlete should stand so that, when the dominant hand reaches straight upward, it is directly below the center of the vanes.


  3. The highest vane that can be reached and pushed while standing flat footed is the standing touch reach.


  4. The vertical column is then raised to measure the distance that accommodates the jumping ability of the athlete.


  5. Without steps, the athlete bends the knees and hips while swinging the arms back and jumps up using a countermovement action.


  6. The best of 3 trials is recorded.


Testing Agility

Agility Tests are important in determining the design of a volleyball weight training program.

Volleyball players need the ability to rapidly stop, start, and explosively change direction in order to make spectacular plays.

Agility tests can be valuable in determining a volleyball players eccentric leg strength, which is an important component of volleyball weight training.

Lateral Change of Direction Test


  1. Three cones set 5 meters apart on a straight line.


  2. Athlete starts at the middle cone.


  3. Coach gives signal and points in specific direction, right or left.


  4. Athlete moves to and touches the first cone then returns past the middle cone to the far cone and touches that one.


  5. Coach starts timing immediately after giving the “go” signal.


  6. The best of two trials in each starting direction, right and left, are recorded and each direction is used for recording.

Along with muscular power and agility, developing maximum muscular strength is an important component of a well designed volleyball weight training program.


Testing Maximum Muscular Strength

Maximal strength is the maximum amount of weight an athlete can lift at any one time.

Determining the maximal strength of an exercise such as the barbell squat is useful for volleyball weight training.

Common methods of testing muscular strength involve determining 1 Repetition Maximums (1RM).

1 Rep Max Tests mainly consist of multi-joint exercises using large muscle groups.

Power exercises such as a power clean are used in volleyball weight training to increase strength and explosive power.

The power clean is very technique demanding and the 1RM is commonly estimated by performing multiple repetition tests.

Two athletes with the same capacity for muscular power can have significantly different test scores in their power clean 1RM tests because of the differences in technique.

These technique differences may reduce the value of 1RM power clean test results, therefore, it may be best to estimate the 1RM with multiple-RM tests.


1RM Testing

1RM tests should be selected depending on the athlete’s training background.

1RM testing requires an adequate training status and lifting experience as the assessment of maximal strength places significant stress on the involved muscles, connective tissues, and joints (1).

Assisted exercises or any exercise that causes loss of proper technique due to fatigue shouldn’t be selected for 1RM testing. An exercise shouldn’t be chosen for 1RM testing if it doesn’t provide valid and reliable data.

For example, you may decide you want to include the bent-over row exercise into your volleyball weight training program. However, performing a 1RM test may not be appropriate for this exercise.

Even though the athlete may be able to tolerate the heavy load used, if would be very difficult to maintain correct body position throughout testing.

Testing to estimate the 1RM may be a better option for this type of exercise.

1RM Testing Protocol

  1. Instruct the athlete to warm up with a light resistance that easily allows 5-10 repetitions.


  2. Provide a 1 minute rest period.


  3. Estimate a warm–up load that will allow the athlete to complete 3-5 repetitions by adding


    • 10-20 lb (4-9kg) or 5-10% for upper-body exercise or
    • 30-40 lb (14-18kg) or 10-20% for lower-body exercise

  4. Provide a 2-min rest period.


  5. Estimate a conservative, near-maximum load that will allow the athlete to complete 2-3 repetitions by adding


    • 10-20 lb (4-9kg) or 5-10% for upper-body exercise or
    • 30-40 lb (14-18kg) or 10-20% for lower-body exercise

  6. Provide a 2- to 4-min rest period.


  7. Make a load increase


    • 10-20 lb (4-9kg) or 5-10% for upper-body exercise or
    • 30-40 lb (14-18kg) or 10-20% for lower-body exercise

  8. Instruct the athlete to attempt a 1RM.


  9. If the athlete was successful, provide a 2 to 4 min rest peorid and go back to step 7.

    If the athlete failed, provide a 2 to 4 min rest period, decrease the load by subtracting
    • 5-10 lb (2-4kg) or 2.5-5% for upper-body exercise or
    • 15-20 lb (7-9kg) or 5-10% for lower-body exercise

AND then go back to step 8.

Continue increasing or decreasing the load until the athlete can complete one repetition with proper exercise technique. Ideally, the athlete’s 1RM will be measured within five testing sets.

From Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning (2000)

The maximal lifts of power exercises are estimated using multiple RM tests because such exercises can't be tested with a maximum load.

Using 1RM tests in designing volleyball weight training programs may not be appropriate for younger or less trained athletes because of stress put on the muscles and joints.

The table below is intended to be used as a guide until the athlete has developed the neuromuscular attributes that will allow testing with heavier loads more safe and effective (2).

To estimate a 1RM,

first, find the tested 10RM load.

Then, read across the row to the max reps (RM) to discover
the athletes projected 1RM.

For example, if the athlete’s 10RM is 210 lb, the estimated 1RM is 280 lb.

Try not to become too "number bound" when referencing this table. Remember, you should just use this table as a guide for designing your volleyball weight training workouts.

Estimating 1RM and Training Loads
Max reps (RM)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15
%1RM 100 95 93 90 87 85 83 80 77 75 67 65
Load 10 10 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 7 7
(lb or 20 19 19 18 17 17 17 16 15 15 13 13
kg) 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 23 23 20 20
40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 27 26
50 48 47 45 44 43 42 40 39 38 34 33
60 57 56 54 52 51 50 48 46 45 40 39
70 67 65 63 61 60 58 56 54 53 47 46
80 76 74 72 70 68 66 64 62 60 54 52
90 86 84 81 78 77 75 72 69 68 60 59
100 95 93 90 87 85 83 80 77 75 67 65
110 105 102 00 96 94 91 88 85 83 74 72
120 114 112 108 104 102 100 96 92 90 80 78
130 124 121 117 113 111 108 104 100 98 87 85
140 133 130 126 122 119 116 112 108 105 94 91
150 143 140 135 131 128 125 120 116 113 101 98
RM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15
% 100 95 93 90 87 85 83 80 77 75 67 65
160 152 149 144 139 136 133 128 123 120 107 104
170 162 158 153 148 145 141 136 131 128 114 111
180 171 167 162 157 153 149 144 139 135 121 117
190 181 177 171 165 162 158 152 146 143 127 124
200 190 186 180 174 170 166 160 154 150 134 130
210 200 195 189 183 179 174 160 162 158 141 137
220 209 205 198 191 187 183 176 169 165 147 143
230 219 214 207 200 196 191 184 177 173 154 150
240 228 223 216 209 204 199 192 185 180 161 156
250 238 233 225 218 213 208 200 193 188 168 163
260 247 242 234 226 221 206 208 200 195 174 169
270 257 251 243 235 230 224 216 208 203 181 176
280 266 260 252 244 238 232 224 216 210 188 182
290 276 270 261 252 247 241 232 223 218 194 189
RM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 15
% 100 95 93 90 87 85 83 80 77 75 67 65
300 285 279 270 261 255 249 240 231 225 201 195
310 295 288 279 270 264 257 248 239 233 208 202
320 304 298 288 278 272 266 256 246 240 214 208
330 314 307 297 287 281 274 264 254 248 221 215
340 323 316 306 296 289 282 272 262 255 228 221
350 333 326 315 305 298 291 280 270 263 235 228
360 342 335 324 313 306 299 288 277 270 241 234
370 352 344 333 322 315 307 296 285 278 248 241
380 361 353 342 331 323 315 304 293 285 255 247
390 371 363 351 339 332 324 312 300 293 261 254
400 380 372 360 348 340 332 320 308 300 268 260
From Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning (2000)

Estimating the 1RM by Using Multiple-RM Loads

Multiple-RM tests can be valuable when you know how many repetitions an athlete will be performing during a volleyball weight training phase.

For example, lets say you are going to perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions of the back squat through a 3 week volleyball weight training cycle.

Not only would testing your 8RM be useful in determining a baseline, you may also use it in evaluating your progress you've made from volleyball weight training.

Testing with multiple-RM loads may also be helpful in determining the overall effectiveness of your weight training for volleyball program.


References
1) Fleck, S.J., and W.J. Kraemer. Designing Resistance Training Programs, 2nd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 1997.
2) Baechle, T.B. & Earle, R.E. (2000). Essentials of strength and conditioning. Human Kinetics, Champaign. IL.


Designing Weight Training for Volleyball Next Page-->





Volleyball Weight Training Related Pages

Volleyball Player Functional Training

Assessing Functional Strength

Core Volleyball Exercises

Total Body Volleyball Workout
› Strength Tests

GET MY SECRETS


STRENGTH PROGRAM

VIDEO DOWNLOAD


JUMP TRAINING

VIDEO DOWNLOAD


SPEED/AGILITY

VIDEO DOWNLOAD


SETTER TRAINING

VIDEO DOWNLOAD


Recent Articles

  1. Best Conditioning Volleyball Drills, Skills, Coaching, Training, Rules

    Aug 26, 16 12:11 PM

    Need volleyball drills advice? Discove the best strength and conditioning for volleyball. Learn how to weight train, design workouts, develop skills, strategies, rules

    Read More

  2. Volleyball Strength DVD

    Aug 26, 16 11:55 AM

    Volleyball strength dvd specific to strength and conditioning for volleyball. 93 minute video demonstrating over 180 exercises and drills for training for volleyball. 12 week workout program...

    Read More

  3. Volleyball Program Design

    Aug 08, 16 05:08 PM

    Volleyball program design and how to workout for volleyball. To be great at volleyball, the focus should be on improving strength and power. Volleyball strength training...

    Read More