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.
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.
Standing Long Jump Test
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:|
|Procedure for using a Vertec:|
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
Along with muscular power and agility, developing maximum muscular strength is an important component of a well designed volleyball weight training program.
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.
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1RM tests should be selected depending on the athletes 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 shouldnt be selected for 1RM testing. An exercise shouldnt be chosen for 1RM testing if it doesnt 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.
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 athletes 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)|
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.
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.