Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Effect of Beach Volleyball Training on Running Economy and VO2max of Indoor Volleyball Players

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Effect of Beach Volleyball Training on Running Economy and VO2max of Indoor Volleyball Players

Article excerpt


Beach volleyball is a very demanding sport which is played outdoors usually under difficult conditions such as high temperature, wind even rain. The number of matches played per day (2 up to 5) during the weekend tournament and the fact that both players touch the ball in almost every phase of the game are factors of extra difficulty. Furthermore, volleyball performance (jumps, dives and other sport-specific drills) on sand makes beach volleyball more demanding than indoor volleyball.

All sports require utilization of the high energy phosphates, but volleyball rely almost exclusively on this means for energy transfer. Volleyball requires a brief but maximal effort during performance and thus, a volleyball player needs an increased capacity to generate energy rapidly from stored high energy phosphates. For sustained energy and for recovery from a prior brief all-out effort, additional energy must be generated for ATP replenishment. (McArdle et al., 1996). Whilst ATP phosphate system is mostly required especially in the crucial phases of a match, due to the long duration of a volleyball game (more than 60 min) the aerobic energy demand is increased. Thus, aerobic capacity performs as a good back up for the renewal of energy phosphates and energy production during the small pauses between the match phases (e.g. when the athlete doesn't have direct involvement in the match phase, etc.) (Åstrand & Rodalh 1986). Therefore it seems likely that a volleyball athlete needs an increased aerobic capacity for better and faster loading of the energy phosphagen storages in order to keep performing better during the whole duration of the game.

It is very common for indoor volleyball players to perform beach volleyball training during summer time and participate in official tournaments in order to keep in good physique, since 85 rallies occur in 25-42 minutes of play (Giatsis, 2003; Giatsis & Zetou 2003). An intriguing question that rises is what benefits they get from a demanding "relative" sport such as beach volleyball in terms of aerobic capacity (Running Economy and VO2max).

In the literature, VO2max has been regarded as a good predictor of endurance performance in untrained subjects. However, other variables such as maximal aerobic velocity and running economy (RE) have been cited as better (Conley & Krahenbuhl, 1980; Morgan et al., 1989; Paavolainen et al., 1999). RE is typically defined as the energy demand for a given velocity of submaximal running, and it is determined by measuring the steady state consumption of oxygen (VO2) (Saunders et al., 2004). Many factors have been associated with RE, including temperature, heart rate, ventilation, VO2max, age, gender, body mass, muscle fiber type distribution, and other biomechanical variables (Morgan et al., 1989; Daniels & Daniels, 1992; Morgan & Craib, 1992; Pate et al., 1989; Saunders et al., 2004).

A common training method to improve RE is slow long distance running (Sjodin & Svedenhag, 1985), but some other types of running training such as high intensive interval training seem to be also effective on RE (Conley& Krahenbuhl, 1981; Daniels, 1998).

Moreover, there are some other methods of anaerobic training which interestingly seemed to be effective on RE. Heavy resistance strength training has improved the endurance performance of previously untrained subjects (Hickson et al. 1988; McCarthy et al. 1995) or RE (Johnston et al. 1997) without changes in V& O2max, suggesting that neuromuscular characteristics may also be important for endurance performance. Additionally, another type of anaerobic training such as plyometric training seem to improve the running economy of endurance runners (Spurrs, et al. 2003) and intermediate (not high level) distance runners (Turner, et al. 2003).

Regarding training and performance on sand, few studies (Zamparo et al. 1992; Lejeune et al. 1998; Pinnington & Dawson 2001a and 2001b) have investigated the energetics of running on sand, providing an insight into the training stimulus that may accrue for athletes who incorporate sand running into their training regimes. …

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