Stein Metzger is a winner. That sentence sounds odd all by itself, doesn’t it? It sounds like something Stein would be saying to himself while looking in a mirror at a self-help class somewhere. Stein Metzer is a winner. Stein Metzger is a great volleyball player… But alas, this isn’t the case (though he is a great volleyball player). The sentence sits there merely as a statement of fact. The man just plain wins.

He was a three-time National Champion at UCLA and a three-time All-American. He’s won over a dozen times on the AVP tour (with three different partners) and he was recently the top-ranked individual in back-to-back AVP seasons. But he hasn’t won an Olympic gold medal—yet. Metzger and then-partner Dax Holdren took fifth place in the Athens Games in 2004. Now sharing the sand with Mike Lambert, Metzger is hoping to make his way to the top of the medal stand in Beijing.

Taking a break from his workout, Stein sat down with M&F Online to talk about his new workout plan, which could be the key to victory in Beijing this summer.

1) M&F: Does strength play a big part in beach volleyball?

STEIN: Absolutely. The men’s game is definitely a power game, but it’s also equal parts speed and agility. You have to have muscle, but over the course of a tournament, you need to have stamina as well.

2) M&F: Training to have stamina on the sand sounds like a great time. What kind of stuff do you do?

STEIN: Line hops, long jump blocks, sprints…all kinds of stuff to mimic the movements I do on the court. I train with Marcus Elliot at the Peak Performance Project (www.p3.md). He’s created programs for a bunch of pro athletes and for the past few years he’s been working with the New England Patriots. The workout he designed for me has helped my explosiveness, which translates to power on the court.

3) M&F: Which means more spikes for you.

STEIN: The spikes are the crowd pleaser but they’re more for the fans. As long as you get the point, it’s cool.

4) M&F: How much of an edge does this workout give you?

STEIN: My sand workout is divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to speed and power. The second part is for anaerobic endurance. But that’s only one part of my whole training plan. I mean, the AVP has a lot of talent. The season takes a huge physical and mental toll. You have to be smart about training, but also about your lifestyle. I can’t go out and party anymore and stay in top shape.

5) M&F: Makes sense. Has your diet changed as well?

STEIN: Yes. I try to stay away from white foods now. I also eat tons of fresh fruit. I try to eat melons and oranges in the morning whenever I can.

M&F: Sounds like a diet for a Gold Medal.

Metzger takes to the sand in this weekend’s (April 11-13) AVP Crocs Tour opener—the AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Miami Open at Bicentennial Park in Miami, Florida. For more information on Metzger, this weekend’s event or to follow the season as it unfolds, visit www.avp.com.

Let us not forget the ladies. For our photo gallery of Michelle More and Suzanne Stonebarger—called “Team Gorgeous” on the AVP Tour—click here.