Fourteen female NCAA Division I collegiate volleyball players were monitored during a 12-week off-season strength and conditioning program. Physical characteristics (mean +/- standard deviation) included: age, 19.6 +/- 0.6 years; height, 171.9 +/- 6.8 centimeters; weight, 64.3 +/- 7.0 kilograms. Training included resistance exercise, plyometrics, aerobic endurance exercise and on-court volleyball practice. At the beginning of the study, starters (ST, n = 6) were compared with non-starters (NST, n = 8), and were found to be faster, more flexible and stronger. ST were still stronger when one-repetition maximum (1 RM) values were corrected for fat-free mass (FFM). Ten subjects completed the 12-week strength and conditioning program and participated in the post-training tests. ST and NST responded similarly to the training program for all physical and performance tests. Significant improvements were observed for FFM, sport-specific peak and mean isometric force, vertical jump (VJ), shoulder flexibility, 1 RM strength and 1 RM/FFM for the bench press, military press, squat and hang power clean, and isokinetic leg extension torque at 1.05 and 3.14 rads*sec-1. Furthermore, two-mile run times and sit-up performance (in 60 seconds) also improved. Significant decreases were observed for VJ endurance. Over the course of the training program, the relationship between 1 RM strength and FFM decreased, while shoulder flexibility was increasingly related to sport-specific isometric strength. Isokinetic testing did not reflect the magnitude of changes in 1 RM tests. Thus, while differences appear to exist in physical characteristics between starters and non-starters, it was shown that most physical and performance variables for ST and NST can be improved with a comprehensive strength and conditioning program for female collegiate volleyball players.
(C) 1991 National Strength and Conditioning Association