Powerful Periodized Strength Training Basics For Volleyball

May 5


Lynn VanDyke

Lynn VanDyke

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Summary: Discover the essentials of periodized strength training tailored for volleyball athletes. This guide delves into the structured approach of periodization, ensuring volleyball players enhance their performance through strategic training cycles. Learn how each season's focus—off-season, pre-season, in-season, and post-season—contributes to building strength, power, and sport-specific skills.

Introduction to Periodized Training for Volleyball

Volleyball demands high levels of physical prowess,Powerful Periodized Strength Training Basics For Volleyball Articles requiring athletes to perform explosive movements, vertical jumps, and powerful hits. To meet these demands, volleyball players engage in periodized strength training—a systematic training plan that varies workouts throughout the year to optimize performance and minimize injuries.

Understanding Periodization

What is Periodization?

Periodization involves systematically planning athletic training to achieve peak performance at the right times while reducing the risk of overtraining and injury. It entails varying the exercise, intensity, frequency, and methods of training throughout different periods or cycles within an annual schedule.

Why is Periodization Important for Volleyball?

Volleyball players need to excel in quick, explosive actions and sustained energy levels throughout matches and the season. Periodization helps in:

  • Enhancing performance by targeting specific athletic needs at optimal times.
  • Preventing plateau by altering training stimuli.
  • Reducing injury risks by avoiding constant high-intensity training.

The Four Phases of Volleyball Training

Each phase of the periodized training plan has distinct objectives and training regimens:

  1. Off-Season: Focus on building muscle strength and power using higher weights and power exercises. This phase involves the most intense strength training to develop a solid fitness foundation.
  2. Pre-Season: Transition focus to volleyball-specific skills like squatting, jumping, and lateral movements. Training intensity is reduced to prevent injuries and shift focus towards technical skills and tactical preparation.
  3. In-Season: Maintain strength and power gains from previous phases while focusing on competition. The training is less frequent and intense to allow for recovery and optimal game performance.
  4. Post-Season: Aimed at recovery, this phase involves low-intensity workouts to allow the body to heal and recuperate from the competitive season.

Each phase is crucial and builds upon the previous one, ensuring athletes are at their peak during the in-season and well-recovered during the post-season.

Implementing a Volleyball-Specific Training Program

When designing a training program for volleyball, consider the following elements to ensure it is comprehensive and effective:

  • Exercise Selection: Choose exercises that mimic on-court movements to enhance the transfer of training to actual play.
  • Intensity and Volume: Adjust the weight, reps, and sets based on the training phase and individual athlete needs.
  • Recovery: Incorporate adequate rest and recovery strategies, including active recovery and proper nutrition.

Example Exercises for Each Phase

  • Off-Season: Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses to build foundational muscle strength.
  • Pre-Season: Plyometrics and agility drills to enhance explosive power and movement efficiency.
  • In-Season: Maintenance exercises with reduced volume to sustain strength levels without causing fatigue.
  • Post-Season: Light cardio and flexibility exercises to aid in recovery and injury prevention.


Strength training in volleyball is not just about lifting weights; it's about smart, periodized planning that aligns with the athlete's competitive calendar. By understanding and implementing a periodized training approach, volleyball players can maximize their athletic performance while minimizing the risk of injury.

For further reading on periodization techniques and their benefits, reputable sources such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association provide in-depth information and research.