In this article I will teach you what to look for in a Vertical Jump program & what potentially “leap robbing” mistakes to avoid.
There are without a doubt quite a plethora of various Plyometrics & “Jump Higher” systems available on the internet as well as numerous sites offering “FREE” plyo guidelines, or mini-programs, Jump bands, jumpsoles, gadgets & exercise demos.
The vertical jump options are endless, so with so much to choose from, how is an athlete to know which is the best for them? I am constantly asked what I think of “Air Alert 2”, “Jumping Advantage” or “Mad Hops” or some other trendy gimmick to hit the scene.
Of course, this is what I do… I research them, pick them apart, & so on. As you can imagine being in the field I’m in I have pretty much reviewed every E-book, manual & devise on the vertical jump market. If I hadn’t, how could I honestly be offering a good & competitive product? Having said that, here’s some pointers & my advise on what to look for.
OK, for starters it almost goes without saying that you get what you pay for. Many sites give some basic examples of getting started on a plyo workout or basic Vertical Jump program. They are just that..BASIC.
Other than a good idea of how a drill might be done or what the history of plyometrics are, don’t expect much.
Most of these hop, skip, & bounds you are seeing are really the low end of the “plyo pool”, which aren’t completely in effect but like I said before, don’t expect much!
Now, for all the Mass-Media Downloads & Johnny-come-latelies you’ve run into – Here’s 2 words for you: PROPAGANDA & HYPE!
Yes, these guys are professional salesmen or pay big bucks to have professionals write a killer ad to get you drooling over an otherwise very average product. Now, I’m not bashing or hating these sites, they’re trying to make an honest buck & so am I. Most of the programs do work but here’s some flaws I have found:
Vertical Jump Tip #1) The same 3rd grade borderline plyos I mentioned earlier that I used to do when I was 8.(They didn’t do much good then but for $40 they will now?)
Here’s one I love to get asked. “How many weeks is your program?” My answer? Until you reach your personal goal. You can’t just make a pre-designated time limit (like 12wks or 16wks or 3 months) on a program. What happens when you reach the end of it & you still can’t dunk? Do it again they say! Or instead you do what you should have in the 1st place…Buy Bionic Jumping Power!
Vertical Jump Tip #2) Exhaustive reps & sets. It’s far better to do ten good, focused, powerful reps of a drill & be done than to hammer away mindlessly at 5 sets of 100 jump ropes or “rim touches”. It’s been proven that over 75% of the benefits of any kind of workout session come in the very first set.
Vertical Jump Tip #3) Overtraining. This is a big problem I run into. DO NOT WORKOUT EVERY DAY, PERIOD! If you want to rob your body of all the muscle building testosterone it produces, then well, OK. You need to give your nervous system about 48 hrs to recover from the shock you gave it.
Vertical Jump Tip #4) Squat overkill. One size fits all programs, mixing strength training day workouts with speed/plyo days & poor plyometric training guidelines are 3 more pitfalls to avoid.
You can’t just give everyone the same workout. Everyone’s body type & needs are different. Do you know how high of a box to start doing depth jumps from? How about when you should raise the height of your depth jump box? I do! And guess what? It’s different for each person reading this.
So, now lets get you (the soon-to-be slam-dunker!) on the right track. We need to take a whole body & lifestyle look at the situation. No single exercise is going to really do anything. Get a big picture. Start with your goal.
How fast do you want to run a 40 yard dash? How high do you want to jump? 36″, 40″, or more? It can be done! Now start looking at body composition, muscle fiber type, & progress you’ve maybe already made & why. You need to know whether you still need to gain more of muscle strength base (And what’s the fastest way to do that!) because you can’t produce more power than you can absorb. Or do you need more speed/elastic strength & some better ways do that?
Lastly, start catering your workouts to your personality. If you get bored of a particular exercise quit doing it for a few weeks. Get the boom box out & play some music that pumps you up & keeps you going.
Add some variables that make them more exciting like depth jumps to a dunk on a lowered rim. Make a target just slightly above your current vertical to reach at to keep you going. Incorporate other skills you need to develop into a session, like dribbling between sets or while doing a more simple jump exercise.
Finally, make your work outs short. No more than 30 minutes. I hope this piece helps you on your quest to greatness & higher skies!
Plyometrics, Speed, & Strength Expert
About the Author:
The author, Mark Sias, is a 27 year-old Florida native currently residing near Flint, Michigan. Mark is the owner of Bionic Plyometrics, a site devoted to new developments in power and speed training. Mark is a former gymnast and black belt in Tae Kwon Do with 17 years of practice.
He also professionally instructed USAG and AAU competitive gymnasts up to level 9 for 6 years, with numerous credentials. This is where he was first able to apply plyometric concepts & stabilization development. He is also a personal trainer, has worked with division-1 college basketball players on some new concepts in vertical jump training yet to be used, with impressive results!
Mark Sias regularly consults other trainers across the country who are working with athletes seeking to improve power & performance. He shows the students how to adapt plyometrics for improving cheerleading stunts, balance, power tumbling and much more rapid learning! If you have any questions you would like to ask Mr. Sias about vertical jump, nutrition or plyometric training, he can be contacted at his site.