Monday, December 26, 2011

Less than 2 weeks left ...

Less than 2 weeks now until "b-day" (January 7). Can't believe it! I haven't been posting as much lately, but that isn't because I haven't been training!

I recently went to a coaching session with Jacob (creator of Jump Manual) and he made some additional modifications to my workout that I'm really excited about. I have done the new workout 3 times now and can feel a difference already. The human body has the amazing ability to adapt and so it is wise to modify your workouts from time to time. I'm hoping these changes will help get me a few more inches that I need to reach my goal of a tomahawk dunk. At this point though, I will be stoked with a two hand dunk as I still haven't been able to do that yet either.

I'm playing a lot of basketball this week and going nuts on my training so anticipate my body getting pretty broken down. Will be making sure I eat tons of protein and get some extra sleep and stretching to help my body recover.

Hope your training is going well and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Want to jump higher? Do this...

There are two things I'm doing as part of my vertical jump training that I think have made a HUGE difference in my results so far. When I tell you what they are, you might be surprised. As they have nothing to do with plyometrics, weights, or nutrition!

The two things I'm talking about are my blog and my YouTube videos. How much difference have they made? It's impossible to say for sure but I don't think you can overestimate their impact. The reason I say this is when it comes to achieving a goal, it comes down to desire. How bad do you really want it? How hard are you willing to work to get it? Most people are just talk. They want to dunk but they workout a couple of times and give up. If you don't put in the work, you don't get the results. It's that simple.

So without this blog and my YouTube videos, I don't think I would have come this far. I think the motivation would have run out a while ago. I also don't think I would have come this far without the encouragement, compliments, and even new friends I've made as a result of pursuing this dream. I've had a few "haters" of course and although they can be annoying they have motivated me too.

I can think of several times when I wanted to skip a workout or not do another set or sleep in. And I would think about this blog and wanting to show some progress in my next video and it would give me that extra motivation I needed in that moment to keep going. And, that's what it takes.

So if you are reading this and want to dunk or achieve some other goal, my challenge to you is to tell the world and hold yourself accountable. Make videos and create a blog. You will have fun and it will help keep you motivated.

Thanks to everyone who is reading this and especially to those who have posted words of encouragement here or on my YouTube videos. I really appreciate the support.

Good luck!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Another week off!

Well...last week didn't go super well with my training. I went out of town for a couple of days and was not disciplined enough to workout on the road or when I got back home.

And...not looking so good this week with my training either. I'm playing a ton of basketball (5 times this week) which is super fun but not the best way to make progress on my vertical. So, I will definitely get going again on Monday.

I was finally able to put a short video together of some of my dunks over the last few weeks. Nothing super amazing but some decent stuff. I still have a long ways to go to get the two hand tomahawk dunk and just about 6 weeks left to reach my goal.

Gonna get back on it! Thanks for reading and watching!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Week 5 Recap

Just got back from traveling for a few days so I'm late in posting this week's recap. This past week was fairly successful in that I got in most of my workouts.

I have a funny story to share from this past week. One morning after we had been playing hoops for a while a few guys left and so we were down to just 10 players. Then another guy said he had to take off which would have left us with just 9. This guy had not been out to play with us since about last March which was before I started using the Jump Manual. So, I told him, "if I dunk, you have to stay another game." Since he thought there was very little chance of that happening, he said, "sure!" probably can guess what happened since I'm telling you this story. Yes, I threw down a pretty good dunk and he was man enough to follow through on his word. Everybody was laughing pretty hard and it was a really fun morning. He also asked me what I've been doing to work on my vertical which made me feel pretty good (he is actually a professional athlete). Even better, I got the whole thing on video and will upload soon!

Thanks for following along!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Took the week off

After a lousy start to my training this past week, I decided to go ahead and take the entire week off. I'll admit it was nice to have a little break.

Things are going much better this week. Had a great workout yesterday and had a couple of decent dunks in morning basketball. I've been watching tons of dunk videos on YouTube and that has gotten me really motivated. It's amazing how easy some of these guys make it look.

I've got to get a lot stronger! City league basketball is also starting up in about a month and am really hoping to be able to dunk in a game -- something I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid.

I ordered some new creatine and excited to get started with that. Also, going to get strict on my diet again. Way too much candy and junk food lately and time to get really disciplined with my eating. Clock is ticking. My birthday is now just under 2 months away and I still have a quite a ways to go to reach my goal.

Another area I've got to do much better on is stretching. Gotten lazy with that and I know it makes a difference. 

Thanks for following along. I will get a new video uploaded soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Week 4 Recap

I've completed another week of Operation Tomahawk towards my quest to throw down a two-hand tomahawk dunk before January when I turn 40.

Similar to last week, I missed a couple of workouts. And so here comes the part where I make some rather lame excuses! I'm coaching my son's AAU basketball team which just started and my work has been crazy busy so my time is even more limited than it has been in previous weeks. I'm really looking forward to the holidays when things calm down for a bit so I can really focus on my training leading up to my 40th birthday.

The good news is I got probably my best dunk so far this past Friday. I tossed the ball off the glass, caught it with one hand and threw down a one hand dunk. Similar to the one I got at the end of this video, but instead of rattling around the rim a bit, this one was completely clean and even with a bit of authority. It was on the 9'10" rim but I still am really proud of that dunk. The bad news is that my camera wasn't on! Someday I will learn my lesson to not make any dunk attempts unless the camera is rolling.

I did play hoops yesterday but never got the camera out to film and didn't make any dunk attempts. I will be playing again on Friday and will definitely film no matter how good or bad I'm jumping that day.

This week is off to a lousy start. I didn't workout yesterday (just played basketball) and didn't work out today. I have a huge project due tomorrow and has completely consumed me. Speaking of that project, I've got to get back to it.

Tomorrow, I'm getting up early and getting a great workout in. I hope to post again on Friday and have a video to share.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Week 3 Recap

Week 3 of Operation Tomahawk is complete!

It wasn't the best week of training. I skipped one of my workouts and only got about 1/2 of another workout done. I also didn't stretch everyday. Sometimes things don't go perfectly. It often seems like there is just not enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. But, you just do the best you can and keep going.

I did play basketball yesterday and filmed a little in between games but I wasn't jumping that well. My back has been bothering me a little bit and just one of those days where you just don't jump as high and can't quite explain why. Sometimes it just happens that way.

So, I don't have a new video that I feel is worth posting this week. Instead, I'd like to share a video I sent to Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) that he posted on his YouTube account that compares my before and after results using the Jump Manual. In less than a week it already has over 1,000 views and some nice comments which is pretty cool!

 I will definitely post a new video next week! Thanks for reading and watching!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Week 2 Recap

Week 2 of Operation Tomahawk -- my 12 week plan to throw down a nasty two hand tomahawk dunk before I turn 40, has come and gone.

I got in all my workouts and started off great with my diet. But, the last couple of days I gave into some cravings (burger, cheese fries, milkshake, etc.). Sunday is my "free" day to eat whatever I want. And let's just say that Sunday came a little early this week! Oops.

My workouts went really well though. I set some personal bests on squats and deadlifts which felt great. I know I'm getting stronger. And stronger means I'm going to be jumping higher!

This morning, I played hoops and brought my video camera. My legs felt great and was really jumping well and also playing well. I didn't film very much as I was having so much fun playing. The basket felt huge and shots were falling. One of those days where you just want to play forever.

I threw down one decent dunk off the dribble and had a really nice lob attempt and was excited to see how they looked on video. But, when I got home to watch the footage those particular clips didn't get recorded somehow. So unfortunately, I don't have a video to post today. Really bummed.

I'm trying to limit playing to one or two days per week to give my body more rest. But, I may play again on Wednesday so I can get some footage.

Thanks & stay tuned! more thing...I'm pretty sure I can grab the rim with 2 hands off just one step now. I did a couple one step jumps and realized that I was probably high enough to do it. Can't wait to get back to the gym and find out for sure.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jump Manual Tips & Tricks

Over the last few months, I've had several people ask me for tips and advice to increase their vertical and being successful with the Jump Manual. Here are some of my thoughts:
  • The Jump Manual emphasizes over and over that you are training explosiveness, not endurance. This is absolutely critical. Focus on this during every rep, every exercise, every time you workout. Never pace yourself in any of the exercises. Give everything you have.
  • Set specific goals with a deadline. For example, my goal is to dunk 2 hands by July 4, 2012.  Big goal with an expiration date. Provides tons of motivation. Write your goals down and put in a place you will see everyday.
  • Film your vertical jump before you start the program and then regularly during your training. Closely study the technique of guys who can really jump (Tdub, Golden Child, Jacob Tucker, etc.) and see how your technique compares to theirs. There is so much more to jumping than most people realize and you can learn a ton by watching other high flyers and seeing how your jumping style and technique differs from theirs. Adam Linkenauger and Jacob Hiller have some great videos on jump technique as well.
  • Be consistent. During my first 12 weeks of Jump Manual training, I think I missed 3 workouts out of 72 (12 weeks x 6 workouts per week = 72 workouts). The way you break down your muscles through the different forms of training (plyometrics, strength, CNS, etc.) and then re-build them over and over again through nutrition and rest is key. The order of the workouts and timing between workouts is important. You will slow down your progress if you skip workouts so that there is too much time between workouts or don't get proper rest so there is too little time between workouts.
  • Follow the Jump Manual program. Before I started the Jump Manual, I read that thing several times and had it with me when I would workout so I could re-read how to perform certain exercises to ensure I was doing them correctly. Some of the exercises are a little tricky and take time to learn. Print off a copy of the entire manual and take it with you. Make sure you understand how to do all the exercises.
  • Do the "Off-day Exercises". Based on some of the comments I've received, I'd be willing to bet that many people skip them. They don't understand them, think they are silly, or not that important. That is a huge mistake!
  • Do a dynamic warmup before each workout and finish each workout with static stretching. Get a foam roller and use it especially in your warmup. I used to see people using them and thought it was ridiculous but I am now a foam rolling addict. I use it everyday. Get one and incorporate into your workout.
  • Improve your flexibility. If you have bad flexibility (like I did), you will increase your vertical just by getting more flexible. Before I started Jump Manual back in April, I was about 6 inches away from touching my toes when bending over with my legs straight. No exaggeration. I can now touch the floor easily even when I'm not warmed up.
  • Have a protein shake or other quality source of protein (chicken, tuna, fish, etc.) immediately after each workout. For more details about what I'm eating, visit my previous post on Jump Manual nutrition.
  • Use creatine. I'm not a big supplement guy as I believe you can get most (if not all) the nutrition your body needs by eating healthy. But creatine works. I will use it for 3-4 weeks and then not use it for a month or so and then take it again for another 3-4 weeks. Great stuff.
  • Don't overtrain and listen to your body. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between being too sore to workout and the temptation to make an excuse to take the day off. If you are very active and already in good shape, it is unlikely you will need to skip very many days of Jump Manual training due to soreness especially if you are eating right, foam rolling, stretching, and getting enough sleep. But, listen to your body. Take a day off if you need to but don't look for an excuse to be lazy either.
  • Don't neglect your core. The Jump Manual has some great core exercises. Do them! 
  • Record the weights you lift during each strength workout. This has been one of the best things I've done. Every time I workout, I try to go heavier than I did last time. No way I would push myself as hard without having that information right in front of me. It's also really satisfying to see the progress. If you can keep yourself motivated, the more likely you are to stay on the program. 
  • One of the most important things to do is take advantage of the weekly coaching sessions that Jacob offers. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons the Jump Manual is superior to any other vertical jump program out there. During these online coaching sessions, I've shown Jacob videos of my squat form, my jump technique, etc. and he's been able to give me specific feedback that has helped tremendously. He's also taken the time to answer my questions and customize my workout to better suit my particular strengths and weaknesses. You also get to hear other Jump Manual users ask questions and share their experiences which has been beneficial to me as well. I can't say enough about how valuable the coaching sessions have been to me. And yes...they are free to all Jump Manual users.
Hope this helps. Post your questions, comments, and especially anything that has worked for you. I would love to pick up some tips and tricks from anyone else who is having success using the Jump Manual or another vertical jump training program.

Good luck!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - Week 1 Recap

I had an AWESOME first week of "Operation Tomahawk" which is my 12 week plan to be able to do a two-hand tomahawk dunk before I turn 40 in January.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I completed 12 weeks of  Jump Manual training back in July and reached my goal to be able to dunk. While that was pretty cool, it left me wanting more.

After taking a few weeks off, I restarted the Jump Manual in combination with Freak Jump Technique and got about 3 weeks into it and unfortunately lost my motivation and started missing most of my workouts and eating really bad. But, that is over. I'm totally focused again and will do what it takes to reach my goal to dunk like this (okay...that might be a stretch but I'll do my best!).

So this past week, I got in all my workouts. I ate pretty much perfectly. Stretched everyday except one I believe. I did play basketball twice instead of once. So hard for me to skip morning hoops! My intention is to only play once a week to help my body have a little more recovery time. It was a great first week and can already feel a difference. It reinforced to me how important your diet is and how much better you feel when you're eating right.

I'm thinking about filming some of my workouts to show some of the exercises I'm doing. If you think that would be beneficial, post some comments below. If I get quite a few people saying they are interested, I may take the time and effort to put something together. We'll see.

This morning I played hoops and didn't play that well but I had a pretty good dunk so I still came home in a good mood.

Thanks for watching and reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Operation Tomahawk - starts tomorrow

I didn't want to post my last video. Nothing but crappy dunks or missed dunks. Watching it was frustrating and frankly kind of pissed me off. But, some good has come out of it. I'm fired up and ready to go to work.

So tomorrow, I'm starting my second round of Jump Manual training over and calling it "Operation Tomahawk". I have just a little over 12 weeks until I turn 40 in January and want to be able to throw down a two-hand tomahawk dunk before that happens. I'm estimating that I need another 4 inches on my vertical to be able to do that.

4 inches in 12 weeks? Doesn't seem like that much. But, I know this will not be easy. What am I going to do to pull this off?

First, I'm going to change a few things for this round for training. I'm going to play basketball just once a week instead of three times per week. Getting my workouts in for the last several weeks has been hard and often I've opted to play basketball instead of doing my training. I also think having a little extra rest between workouts will help.

I'm going to post a video every week (most likely Fridays) for the next 12 weeks as this really helps my motivation. Knowing I'm going to post a video each week pushes me to train harder as I want to see progress. The mostly positive comments and "likes" I've gotten on my YouTube videos have also been very rewarding and help me to keep going.

I'm also going to hold off on Freak Jump Technique training for the first 6 weeks. It doesn't take that much extra time, but it has felt a little overwhelming trying to do both jump manual and freak jump technique. I just want to focus on jump manual for these first 6 weeks and then the last 6 weeks, I'm going to add back in Freak Jump Technique.

I'm also going to make sure I get in my stretching everyday. I hate stretching and so it's easy to make excuses or procrastinate. But, the little things like this make a difference. I'm going to need every inch I can get so can't neglect flexibility anymore.

Finally, I'm going to be super strict on my diet. I've been eating too much fast food and other junk lately. No more of that nonsense. Going to get super strong and ripped during these next 12 weeks. Would like to see my weight be 165-168 lbs (I'm currently 172 - 175 lbs depending on the day) and drop my bodyfat % down as well. Not sure what it is right now but would guess around 10%? Would like to be 6% or so.

So...Operation Tomahawk. You and me. See you tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Motivation...where have you gone?

I really thought I was back in the groove with my jump manual training, but I'm not there yet. The last few weeks have been tough.

My 40th birthday is now almost exactly 3 months away and will be here before I know it. I think I may actually start over again on Monday and do the full 12 weeks again leading right up to my birthday. I think it might help me stay on track.

Can't decide what to do about the Freak Jump Technique program. I do like it and think it helps but I feel like maybe trying to do both at the same time is just a little too much for me and all I have going on. The older I get, the more I realize that there isn't enough time to do all the things I want to do and so you have to prioritize.

Here is my latest video. I almost didn't post it as I am pretty disappointed with what I have to show for the last couple of weeks. Missed workouts = missed dunks. Not good.

Thanks for reading and watching.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back in the groove!

After a couple of weeks of excuses, procrastination, and a serious lack of motivation -- I'm very pleased with how things have gone this week with my Jump Manual and Freak Jump Technique workouts. I'm back to pushing myself and making sure I get the workouts done even when I don't feel like it.

I can feel myself turning a corner and excited and confident that I will reach my goal to throw down a two-hand tomahawk dunk before I turn 40 in January.

As usual, I played hoops 3 times this week and between games I got some video of my dunk practice on a 9'10" rim. I got pretty close on a two-hand dunk and I was finally able to get a toss off the backboard (one hand) dunk to go down. I've been trying that one for a while now and was pretty excited about it as you will see in this week's video.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2 weeks of laziness

Since completing my first week of Round 2 of Jump Manual training combined with Freak Jump Technique, I have been VERY lazy. It started when I went out of town for 5 days. For me, traveling is training kryptonite!

Sometimes a little break is good for your body and your mind but you also have to be careful about that just being an excuse to be lazy. These last 2 weeks were more of the lazy kind than needing a break to recover. I had already taken time off recently after I finished 12 weeks of Jump Manual training.

It was much easier to stay motivated when I was younger and had fewer responsibilities. Being married, 3 kids, busy career, family life, etc. makes it pretty easy to say, "I'll workout tomorrow."

Enough of this lazy crap!

Labor day is on Monday and is the perfect day to "get back to work"!

What kinds of things help you stay motivated?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Jump Manual (Round 2) + Freak Jump Technique - Week 1

After taking a couple weeks off for vacation and to rest and recover from my first 12 weeks of Jump Manual training, it's time to get back to work!

I've now completed my first week of "Round 2" of Jump Manual training which is a modified version of what I did the first 12 weeks. I'm also working hard on my technique using the Freak Jump Technique program.

And...I'm already seeing a difference in just the first week which is super motivating and exciting. I just feel more explosive and aggressive in my jumping. As I mentioned in my last post, I got a really good dunk this week (but no video to prove it). It was by far my best dunk since I started this adventure.

One of my dreams is to dunk in a game and so I've started practicing dunking off the dribble on the low rim (9'10") where I play hoops a few times each week. It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't dunk on this rim even with someone tossing the ball right above the rim (the easiest dunk) and now I can dunk pretty easy off the dribble. Feels really good.

Here's a short video from today's dunk practice on the low rim. Thanks for reading and watching.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My best dunk so far...

As I shared last week, I started my second round of Jump Manual training with some tweaks to my workouts in conjunction with Freak Jump Technique Program. I'm crazy EXCITED because I can already see and feel a difference.

Today, I got my best dunk by far since I started my training back in April. And what made it extra sweet was the guy who about 8 weeks ago told me I would NEVER dunk saw the whole thing. I took advantage of the opportunity to rub it in a bit. We both laughed and it was fun.

The bad news is my video camera was still in my bag and I'm regretting that big time. I've been working hard on my technique and anxious to see if I'm making as much progress as it feels like. I'll be back on the court on Wednesday and this time will make sure my camera is rolling.

Stay tuned for my next video coming later this week. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Round 2 of Jump Manual Training + Freak Jump Technique Reloaded

I recently finished 12 weeks of Jump Manual training and have been thinking a lot about what do next to continue improving my vertical. In a few months, I've gone from getting my fingers a little over the rim to being able to throw down a basic one hand dunk. Pretty cool...but I'm not satisfied. I want to dunk in a game and to dunk with AUTHORITY! This means I probably need to increase my vertical another 6 inches. That shouldn't be too hard...right? :-)

I have been talking to Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) and also attending his weekly coaching sessions. He asked me to provide him a video showing my squat form and jumping form. After reviewing the videos, he had some great insights and also gave me a modified workout which I'm really excited about!

In addition, I've had some people comment on my YouTube videos that if my jump technique was better that I would be dunking really easy. At first, I kind of dismissed these comments but enough people brought it up that it made me start to wonder. So I watched a ton of dunk videos as well as jump technique videos and I finally started to see some of the things I was doing wrong. Turns out my technique does need significant improvement which is actually GREAT news. Improving jump technique has got to be easier (hopefully) than doing more squats, deadlifts, plyo's, etc!

To improve my technique, I purchased Adam Linkenauger's Freak Jump Technique Reloaded program and started it yesterday. There is so much more to jumping than I ever imagined. I'm confident by combining technique training with the modified Jump Manual training, I will get those 6 additional inches.

So here goes another 12 weeks of torture! I mean fun! It is mostly fun, but some days training really sucks and I'd rather just stay in bed. The results are worth it though in the end for sure.

I hope you will continue to follow along during my next 12 weeks of training. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

12 weeks of Jump Manual completed!!!

I'm very pleased to say I have successfully completed 12 weeks of Jump Manual training. I'm even more pleased about my results!

Today, I got my first dunks jumping off one foot since starting my training. It was totally unexpected because my left knee gives me problems sometimes. I don't think it will ever be the same after tearing my MCL about 18 months ago. But, today it felt great and just felt so easy to jump.

My 2 foot jump also felt really good until I had the ball in my hands. I wasn't able to get down any dunks jumping off 2 feet today. I have been focusing a lot on my technique for the last week and think it will help in the long run. But, today I felt kind of uncoordinated when trying to dunk off 2 feet. I've had several people comment on my youtube videos that if I improved my technique that I would be dunking really easy. So I'm definitely going to keep working on it.

Now that I've finished 12 weeks of Jump Manual workouts, I'm working with Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) to take my training to the next level. My new goal is to be able to dunk 2 hands with AUTHORITY. No more of these weak dunks!

Well, here is my latest video. Thanks for reading and watching!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jump Manual Nutrition

I've had quite a few people asking me about nutrition, supplements, etc as part of my Jump Manual training so thought I'd share what I've been doing in this area.

About a year ago, I was introduced to "green smoothies" and have been hooked on them ever since. I have one nearly every morning for breakfast after my workout. The nutritional value of a green smoothie is off the charts and they make you feel so good. Typical ingredients I use are spinach, cale, protein powder, coconut oil, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and ice. Most people hear "spinach" or "cale" and assume it must be disgusting. It doesn't look pretty (green/brownish), but it tastes great!

I used to take Muscle Milk and several of the other popular protein powders out there but many of them upset my stomach and I'm really trying to stay away from eating anything that has a list of ingredients a mile long. Many of the popular protein powders have a ton of sugar and all kinds of artificial crap that I don't think is good for your body. So I did quite a bit of searching and found 2 protein powders that I like a lot. One is by Sun Warrior which is an all natural protein made with rice. It doesn't taste very good if you just mix it with water or milk but in the green smoothie it's great. I love that this protein literally has 1 ingredient and none of that artificial garbage.

The other protein I just started using a few weeks ago is by Mercola. This one is a whey protein that is all natural and has a bunch of other unique benefits. It also tastes pretty good just mixed with water and ice which is nice for those times when you don't have 10 minutes to make a green smoothie.

Around 10:30 am, I usually have a snack like an apple, almonds, banana, etc. For lunch, I usually go to Subway or some place like that for a sandwich. I also eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. What can I say...they are cheap and taste good to me!

I try to have another healthy snack before dinner (apple, banana, almonds, yogurt, etc.) but I find many days that I don't fit this in. For dinner, my wife often makes something from a cookbook we got several years ago when we did Body for Life called "Eating for Life". There are tons of good recipes in that book.

Also from Body for Life, I take one free day each week (usually Sunday) and eat whatever I want. I love junk food so this is my day to enjoy cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, and whatever else sounds good! The great thing about exercising and eating healthy is you then have freedom to eat some junk food every now and then without fear of gaining weight or causing other problems. It's just not realistic (at least for me) to completely eliminate all unhealthy food. A free day is a great way to maintain balance between eating good food without depriving yourself of things you really enjoy.

One new thing I've been experimenting with is having a protein shake right before bed. I've done this a handful of times and seem to have more energy and get a better workout the next morning. Not sure if it's coincidence or if this is in fact a good thing to do. Stay tuned on that.

I'm also using creatine and definitely can see and feel a difference when I'm taking it. Highly recommend using creatine as part of your training.

So, that's what I'm doing in terms of nutrition. But, what about you? What is working or not working for you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

11 Weeks of the Jump Manual now complete!

If you have been following along at home, you already know that last week I got my first dunks since starting the Jump Manual. And yes, I am pretty excited about that. It felt really good to achieve my goal of dunking before I turn the ripe young age of 40!

But, instead of that motivating me to work even harder. I found it more difficult than ever to push myself this last week. It didn't help that I was out of town for 4 days. And that I have no self control when it comes to eating healthy when I travel. Why is that?

At any rate, I went down to Gold's Gym this morning with high hopes. Made about a million dunk attempts and only got one very weak dunk. I came home and my wife asked how it went. I told her that I was bummed because I only got one weak dunk. She told me that just a few weeks ago that was not possible so that I should be excited.

As usual, my wife is right. But, don't tell her I said that. Ok? week I hope to get some REAL dunks.

Thanks for reading and watching.

Here's my latest video.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A dunk is a dunk...right?

After 10 weeks of Jump Manual training, today is a very good day! I got a few dunks!

These can barely be considered dunks but I'll take it! I'm so excited about my results so far.  But, not even close to being done. Still have 2 weeks of the program left and I won't stop there.

I've had a number of people tell me during the last several weeks that there is no way a 39 year old, 5 foot 11, white guy is gonna dunk. Can I tell you how good it feels to prove them wrong?

To anyone out there who is working to improve their vertical or achieve some other goal (especially something people say isn't possible), don't give up! Keep going for it!

Thanks for reading and watching!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I like low rims and I can not lie...

The court I play basketball on a few times each week has one rim that is 2 inches low. Everyone prefers to have that hoop. The team going to that basket has an advantage for sure. It's easier to shoot on. And, it's also easier to dunk on! :-)

Last week, after several weeks of Jump Manual training, I dunked 3 times on the low rim. But, didn't get any of them on video!

Today, I got another dunk on the 9'10" rim and this time had the camera rolling. Come on! Just need 2 more inches. Is that too much to ask???

Got to dunk on 10 foot next week!

Here's a few of the attempts along with my one dunk. Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jump Manual - after 9 weeks of training

I was so sure today was going to be the "big" day. And by big day, I mean the day that I would dunk since starting the Jump Manual program around 9 weeks ago.

Here's why...

Last week I dunked 3 times on a 9'10" rim and yesterday I set some personal bests in my plyometric workout in terms of how high I was jumping on depth jumps and a couple of my standing vertical jumps. I went to bed at a decent time (which I rarely do), ate perfect, and so on. I even watched a ton of dunk videos in case they would somehow give me more hops!

But, to no avail...I must admit I'm a little disappointed or maybe I'm just getting worn down and tired after all this training. It's not easy. Thinking about taking a few days off to let my body rest. But, probably won't knowing me.

At any rate, I'm really hoping this Monday, July 4th will be the big day. That will make for the perfect holiday!

Here is a short video that shows my best dunk attempt from this morning. Thanks for reading and watching.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some common Jump Manual questions...

I've been posting a video on YouTube each week to track my progress during my Jump Manual training. And, I've been getting quite a few comments and questions which has been pretty fun. Some of the same questions keep coming up so thought I would do a blog post answering those questions.

Q. Do you need a gym or weightroom to do the Jump Manual?
A. This is probably the question I get asked the most. You don't have to join a gym or have access to a weightroom in order to do the Jump Manual. However, it would make things easier and your results may come faster. One of the workouts you do each week called the "strength and explosion workout" includes squats, deadlifts, lunges, cleans, etc. So having access to a weightroom is ideal. If you are serious about improving your vertical, you must get stronger and lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to do that. So if at all possible, figure out a way to get into a weightroom at least once a week. There are so many places (schools, community centers, rec centers, local gym, etc.). If for some reason this isn't possible, don't let that stop you! You can do alternative exercises the Jump Manual recommends in place of lifting weights such as single leg squats.

Q. What equipment do you need to do the Jump Manual?
A. I do all my workouts at home with minimal equipment except for the "strength and explosion" workout (squats, deadlifts, etc.) which I do at Gold's Gym. For the other 5 workouts that I do at home, I use the following equipment:

- 10 lb medicine ball (highly recommend getting one of these)
- Speed jump rope
- 10 lb dumbbells
- pull-up bar

I also highly recommend getting a foam roller. I use mine everyday and it has been a huge help for getting properly warmed up before a workout and to speed up recovery following a workout.

Q. How many days per week do you workout with the Jump Manual?
A. The Jump Manual is 6 days per week. I take Sundays off.

The workouts include 2 days of core & upper body work, 1 day of plyometrics, 1 day of strength training, and 2 days of CNS (central nervous system) training.

Q. Will you send me the Jump Manual for free?
A. No, sorry. I won't and couldn't even if I wanted to. The Jump Manual is an eBook you download to your computer and is password protected. So there isn't a way to email it to someone. To some people, spending $67 may seem like too much for something like this. For me personally, the investment in the Jump Manual has been perhaps the best $67 I've ever spent. Being able to dunk at my age (39) and height (5'11") is a dream come true and you can do it too if you put in the work.

Bottom line - don't let money be an excuse to not improve as an athlete. If you really want to get better, figure out a way. If you don't have the money to buy a vertical jump program, search the internet or talk to your coach or someone you know who can jump really high. There are tons of free videos, websites, forums, and articles easily found online if you will spend a few minutes searching.

Q. Is the Jump Manual a book that is shipped to you?
A. The Jump Manual is an eBook you download to your computer. I believe it is around 60 pages. You can download it immediately after purchasing it. I printed the entire thing and put in a 3 ring binder and take with me whenever I workout. Some exercises (like squats), I had done before. But, there are several others that were new to me and having the printed version has been really helpful. Even after doing the Jump Manual for quite some time, I still refer to it often.

Q. How much time do the Jump Manual workouts take?
A. I would estimate the total amount of time I spend during the week doing the Jump Manual workouts would be about 5 hours spread across the 6 days of training. I really like the workouts. I remember trying to do the Strength Shoe workout in high school and quitting after 2 weeks because I felt like it took too much time. I really wish the Jump Manual had been around in those days! 

Also, one of the things I really like about the Jump Manual is there are really only 2 workouts that I consider hard and that take more than 30 minutes. The other 4 workouts are very short and don't "kill" you. The Jump Manual is really focused on training your explosiveness rather than endurance and so some people are surprised at how "easy" some of the workouts appear to be.

Q. Do you play basketball during the Jump Manual training?

A. Yes, I play hoops 3 times per week (at least). I'm 39 years old but am still a basketball junkie! I think the Jump Manual is going to allow me to play for many more years and still be competitive. I can't imagine a day in the future when I don't play this game.

Q. Were you sore after doing any of the Jump Manual workouts?
A. I was already very active before doing the Jump Manual. I was playing basketball and working out regularly so soreness was not a huge issue for me. The only workout I got sore was the strength and explosion workout. The first few times I did that specific workout I was sore for a few days after. Since about week 3 of the training, I don't recall being sore after any of the workouts. If someone went from being very inactive to doing the Jump Manual, I think they would be crazy sore and would need to take some additional days off for recovery for a while until their body adapted.

Q. How long did it take before you saw results from the Jump Manual?
A. After 2 weeks of Jump Manual training, my running vertical increased 1 inch. My standing vertical didn't increase until 3 weeks of Jump Manual training. Since then the gains have been fairly steady.
Q. How many inches have you gained on your vertical from doing the Jump Manual?
A. I have completed 9 of the 12 weeks so I'm not done yet. But, so far my standing vertical has increased 5 to 6 inches and my running vertical has increased 6 to 7 inches. My goal is 10 inches. That would mean I would be able to dunk pretty easily even on a bad day.

Q. Is it true that the Chicago Bulls are thinking about offering you a contract?
A. I can neither confirm nor deny this. Why, did you hear something? I wish! :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My mid-life crisis...

Some people who have a mid-life crisis do silly and sometimes even dumb things. Like buying some exotic sports car they can't afford.

My mid-life crisis to most people would probably seem ridiculous. Of course, I"m talking about deciding I have to dunk before I turn 40. I'm now in week 9 of my 12 week training program called the Jump Manual and I can tell you for the last several weeks, that I've been completely obsessed with this goal. Just ask my wife!

When I set my mind on something, I go all out. I suppose that is a good thing as long as I've set my mind on something good!

My goal is to dunk by July 4th which is now just a little over a week away. I dunked 3 times this week on a 9'10" goal so I know that I'm very close.

Hoping for some extra fireworks this Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2 inches...just 2 more inches!!!

In addition to doing the Jump Manual training six days per week, I also play hoops 3 days per week. The basketball court I play on has one rim that is 10 feet and another rim that is 2 inches low (9' 10"). Yes, I have measured both rims!

One of my goals during my vertical jump training has been to dunk on the low rim. I have tried several times during these last few weeks without success. That is...until today!

I'm very pleased to announce the 9' 10" goal has been conquered! I'm so bummed this wasn't caught on video! I should know better by now than to make dunk attempts without a camera rolling. My best jumps always come in between games when I'm completely warmed up but when it's not particularly convenient to grab the video camera. So I don't have a video to post (yet), but I do have several witnesses including my buddy who threw me 2 perfect alley oops for 2 dunks.

And oh felt so good! Especially the first one.

2 more inches! I just need 2 more inches!

I'm so motivated! Gonna get there!

Monday, June 20, 2011

8 weeks of the Jump Manual completed

I've now completed 8 weeks of the Jump Manual. Time is flying! Wish I was too! :-)

As usual, I played hoops this morning and wanted to test my vertical again. I'm jumping high enough now that I'm starting to make some dunk attempts. Not quite there yet but feel like I'm getting closer. I'm also getting more steals, blocked shots, and rebounds. If nothing else, my basketball game has improved and that is fun.

Below is my latest video showing my progress thus far. My closest dunk attempt came right after a game when the blood was really flowing but of course when the camera wasn't rolling. It was closer than the ones you will see in this video but I guess you will just have to take my word for it.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For the haters and naysayers...

During the filming of my most recent vertical jump test video earlier this week, one of the players started to crack some jokes. I can't really blame him. I'll admit it is kind of funny!

He asked what I was going to do with the video. I briefly explained that I'm working really hard to improve my vertical jump (Jump Manual) and each week I film a quick video to track the progress. I also told him I fully expect to be dunking in the next few weeks. He smiled with one of those "yeah right!" smiles. To which I said, "you don't think it's possible for me to dunk"? I don't remember his exact words, but it was something like, "I've been playing ball with you for 5 years and never seen you dunk. Now you're 39 and I don't see it happening."

We'll find out soon enough if he is right or wrong. But, what he doesn't realize is that he has given me some extra motivation. And that extra motivation might be the difference. all the haters and naysayers out there...THANK YOU! I look forward to proving you wrong. That will make this even more fun. :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 weeks of Jump Manual in the books

Another week has passed and that means I've now successfully completed 7 weeks of the 12 week vertical jump program known as the Jump Manual. 12 weeks sure seemed longer when I started this adventure back in mid April. Got to finish strong and achieve my goal which if you haven't figured out by now is to dunk!!!

These final 5 weeks, I'm going to be very disciplined with my diet and get as lean as possible. I'm also going to push really hard on the weights. I am convinced that the increases in my vertical thus far are more to do with my gains in strength than due to improvements in quickness or reactivity from the plyometric portions of the training. I guess it's impossible to know for sure but that's how I feel. This is a bit surprising to me because I had always thought that plyometrics were most important for improving your vertical. I don't believe that anymore. To really fly, you've got to be really strong in relation to your body weight!

As usual, I played hoops this morning and brought my little video camera along and had a friend film me in between one of the games. I'm pleased to report that I can now touch the rim on my standing vertical which is an increase of 5 inches since I started 7 weeks ago. You can watch my initial standing vertical jump test here.

I also had him film a jump off the run. Like last week, I was able to grab the rim 2 hands. My best jump of the day wasn't caught on video unfortunately but I know it was higher than the one you will see in the video. At any rate, my running vertical has also increased around 5 inches.

My current stats are now:
Standing vertical jump: 27 inches (start was 22 inches)
Running vertical jump: 34 inches (start was 29 inches)

Here's the video. Thanks for reading and watching!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jimmer's vertical - NBA combine footage

Proof that technology is changing the way we can follow athletes, Jimmer just launched his own youtube channel. In only a few days, he already has 1300 subscribers and 76,000 views! A video was just posted with footage of him competing in the athletic tests including the vertical jump at the NBA combine.

You can see Jimmer's combine stats and all the other NBA hopefuls here:

Check out clips of Jimmer at the NBA combine:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sometimes it's good to take a break!

This past week I was on the road again for the fourth straight week and was seriously lacking in motivation for the first time since starting the Jump Manual. This program isn't easy and traveling only makes it more difficult. I also felt like my body was breaking down so I took most of the week off. I told myself that I'm half way through, I've worked really hard, and so why not take a little break?

I'm glad that I did. I played hoops this morning and was feeling really good. I could tell I was jumping better than I have in a long time. So, I had a friend grab my little video camera and film me jump a couple of times while we were waiting for the next game.

The result was I grabbed the rim with 2 hands which is the first time I've been able to do that since starting the Jump Manual. Compared to where I was six weeks ago when I could get my fingers a little over the rim, I've made some solid progress. My vert has increased probably 4 or 5 inches so far. I must say it feels pretty good. I need another 3 or 4 inches and I should be dunking!

Here's the video from today. Thanks for reading and watching!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 NBA Combine - Who has hops?

The athletic testing results for vertical jump, bench press, agility, etc. from the 2011 NBA combine have finally been released. I've been anxiously waiting to see if Jimmer has a 36 inch vertical as has been reported.

There were 97 players who had their vertical jump tested. But, like in past years only a small percentage of them have over a 40 inch vertical. This year had 5 players in that category. It makes you wonder if getting a 40 inch vertical is simply not realistic for most athletes? Or do these guys focus so much on skill development that they neglect working on their athletic ability?

Jimmer's max vertical came in at 33 inches and his no-step vertical was 28 inches. I'm very close to those numbers right now. But, Jimmer can shoot just a little better than me! Lol. He also benched 185 lbs fourteen times and his lane agility score was 2nd best. Solid results. Will be very interesting to see which team picks him up!

One guy's stats that really caught my attention are Josh Selby from Kansas. This guy has only a 29.5 inch no-step vertical but a 42 inch max vertical! Most guys are only 5 or 6 inches between the two vertical jump tests.

Well...time for me to get back on my Jump Manual training. I was on the road again this week and just couldn't find the motivation to workout. So I've basically taken the last 4 days off. I was feeling pretty fatigued though so think it was the right choice. I've traveled for at least 2 days every week for the last month and it was taking it's toll.

Taking some time off and getting some recovery hopefully sets me up to finish the last 6 weeks of this program strong and injury free. I don't think I will be traveling at all during the last 6 weeks so that should really help.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Half way done!

It's hard to believe but 6 weeks of training has come and gone. I'm half way done with the Jump Manual! But, am I at least half way to dunking?

Yesterday, I made a few dunk attempts on a rim that is 9 foot 10 inches. I got really close on a couple of them. It seemed like I was high enough but was just missing the dunks. So I think I'm just a few inches away from throwing down!

The Jump Manual is definitely working for me. My vertical is increasing and my legs are getting stronger. As I mentioned when I started the program, I have been using a log book to track my leg workouts. I've made some solid progress on several lifts:

Squat: increased 40 lbs
Hang cleans: increased 40 lbs
Calf raises: increased 80 lbs
Dead lifts: increased 40 lbs
Lunges: increased 20 lbs

I will test my vertical again on Monday and post a new video to show where I'm at.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 weeks of Jump Manual

I've now completed 5 weeks of the Jump Manual. I had a minor setback last week by spraining my left ankle. Like many basketball players, I've had my share of ankle sprains but thankfully this one was not too bad. If nothing else it got me to rest a little which probably was a good thing.

Today, I decided to go ahead and test my vertical again. My ankle isn't 100% but it's good enough. Here's where I'm at after 5 weeks:

My no-step vertical has increased 3 inches (1 inch increase since last test)
My one-step vertical has increased 1 inch (no change since last test)
My running vertical has increased 2 inches (no change since last test)

I was surprised that my one-step and running vertical jumps didn't increase since my no-step vertical did go up an inch. It could be due to the ankle sprain I suppose. I also have missed my plyometric workout the last 2 weeks and focused more on weights. That seems to be helping my strength which is more important for standing vertical but now my quickness and reactive ability may be slipping. Not missing any more plyo workouts that's for sure!

Here's a video of the test I did today. Thanks for reading and watching.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ankle sprain - no!

I was playing hoops this morning and sprained my left ankle. Thankfully it's not a bad sprain. But, it was enough of a tweak that it didn't make sense to test my vertical today. I'll be doing ice and advil for the next couple of days and may wait until Monday to test my vertical again. Just have to see how it feels.

I'm thinking about cutting back (at least a little bit) on basketball until I finish the Jump Manual. Rest/recovery is so important to get maximum results and avoid injuries. My sprain today may have partially been caused by fatigue. I feel young but there are a lot of basketball miles on this 39 year old body. Got to stay injury free!

Oh well...if this was easy, then everyone would be dunking! And then it wouldn't be so cool.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

4 weeks of Jump Manual

Another week of the Jump Manual is down and am hoping my vertical is up! I've now completed 4 weeks of the program and have just 8 weeks left.

For the first time, I missed a workout which bums me out. But, it may have been a good thing since it gave me a little extra rest. One concern I do have is getting enough recovery. In addition to doing the Jump Manual program, I'm also playing hoops 3 times per week. Yes, I'm addicted to basketball!

Tomorrow, I plan to retest my vertical and see where I'm at. Hoping for another inch!

Until then, check out this dunk video posted by Jacob Hiller, the creator of the Jump Manual. Some pretty nice dunks!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vertical Jump Test - after 3 weeks of Jump Manual

I've been doing the Jump Manual for 3 weeks now and so it was time to test my vertical again. After playing ball this morning, I performed the same tests I've done the last 2 weeks to determine where I'm at. are the results:

My no step vertical has increased 2 inches.
My one step vertical has increased 1 inch.
My running vertical has increased 2 inches.

My max height is now about 10 feet 4 inches and so figure I need 4 to 6 more inches to throw down a one handed dunk.

So I'm up 2 inches in 3 weeks. Not bad! If my gains continue at this same rate, I'd end up with about an 8 inch gain during the 12 weeks of the program. That would put me pretty close to 11 feet max height and should be high enough to throw it down.

Just got to keep going!

Here's a video of the test I did today. Thanks for reading and watching!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jump Manual - on the road this week!

I finished another successful week of the Jump Manual on Saturday which puts me at 3 weeks into the program. I'm definitely feeling stronger and after watching Jacob Hiller's videos showing off his 42" inch vertical and a rim rocking tomahawk dunk, I'm more motivated than ever!

That extra motivation is really important right now because I'm traveling this week which can make getting workouts in a little harder. Eating healthy is also really hard on the road for me. I eat and eat and eat and most of it isn't that healthy. I also miss my green smoothies which I have for breakfast every morning when I'm home.

I'm back in town in a couple of days and will test my vertical again and get a new video posted by Friday. I'm hoping for at least 1 more inch on my vertical.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jacob Hiller - 42 inch vertical!

Just saw this and had to share it!

Jacob Hiller who created the Jump Manual just posted a video showing that this program does in fact work.

So motivated!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vertical Jump Test - After 2 weeks of Jump Manual program

So I've been doing the Jump Manual for 2 weeks now and thought it was time to test my vertical again.You can read about and watch a video of my original vertical jump test at this previous blog post.

Yesterday, I did the same tests as I had done 2 weeks before. It's a little hard to tell if I've increased my no-step vertical. Maybe just a little? Not sure. I was feeling good about my one-step vertical as it seemed like it was about a 1 inch improvement. But, after watching the video it was clear that I cheated! I actually took 2 steps! So don't have an accurate comparison and will make sure not to cheat next time. :-)

My running vertical has increased about 1 inch. Before, I was grabbing the rim at the knuckle of my middle finger. This time I was grabbing the rim at about the top of my palm which would be about a 1 inch increase.

So a 1 inch gain after 2 weeks. Not too shabby. But, I wish it was more! At this rate, I would be looking at about a 6 inch gain during the 12 weeks. That would mean I would barely be able to dunk on a good day when the planets were aligned and the wind was blowing just right. I'm hoping for more like 10 inches! That would be over 11 feet maximum height and even without being able to palm the ball should be plenty to throw it down.

My no-step vertical seems way too low to me which means I've got to hit the weights harder! Depending on how things go during the next few weeks, I may alter my workout to do less plyometrics and more weights. Many of the "vertical jump experts" out there say you must be able to squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight and I have a ways to go on that.

I will test again on Monday and hopefully by then I'll have figured out a better way to test and film my vertical jump. Wish I had an extra $600 so I could buy one of those vertecs! Those are sweet.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 2 Jump Manual - Recap

Week 2 is over and once again I was able to complete all the workouts for the Jump Manual. Only 10 weeks left which doesn't seem very long. If all goes as planned, I will be dunking before July 4th!

I was planning to do another vertical jump test and video but didn't get that done. Will definitely do that on Monday and see where I'm at. I do know that I've already made some good progress with my flexibility. When I'm warmed up, I can now bend down and touch the floor fairly easily. I know that sounds ridiculous but before starting the program, the furthest I could reach was a few inches above my toes. When I would stretch (which wasn't often obviously), people thought I was joking! Becoming more flexible should help with jumping and injury prevention too.

Another sign of progress is my lifts for the leg workout improved since last week. I've created a workout chart and am recording all my lifts and reps. It's kind of a pain to carry around my notebook and write everything down but it's so worth it! It helped me push so much harder! There is no way I would be able to remember how much weight I had done the previous workout and having that information in front of me was so motivating. I wanted to beat what I had done last time and did for nearly every exercise. No way I would have lifted as much weight today without that info. If you're not logging your workouts, you absolutely should!

That's all for now. I will post a new video in a couple of days. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 1 Jump Manual - Recap

First week of 12 for the Jump Manual is in the books and I’m pleased to report that I was able to complete all the workouts! I’m only a little sore too which is nice. When I originally started this program about 18 months ago prior to my knee injury (not related to Jump Manual), I remember being so sore that I had to take several days off after the first few leg workout days and plyometric days before I could continue the program. Those workouts are really intense! The Jump Manual is really big on recovery which I also agree is extremely important. My body seems to be a little better prepared this time. But, don't get me wrong it was still crazy hard!

The leg workout yesterday especially challenged me. About half way through, the thought came to me that I would never push myself this much without having this program and a commitment to do it. It’s just too easy (at least for me) to show up at the gym, throw some weight around, get a little sweat going, and call it good. If you do the Jump Manual, you will have to push yourself!

One thing I’m doing much better this time is doing all the stretches every day. My buddies mock me because I’m not able to even reach down and touch my toes. So flexibility is a big weakness that I can improve on and should help my jumping ability. In just one week, I’ve already made a ton of progress.

Another thing I’m doing differently this time is using a log book to record my leg workouts so I know how much weight I lifted and the number of reps. If you’re doing the Jump Manual, I’d be happy to send you a copy of what I created. I’m also finding this blog to be motivating as it has given me a greater feeling of accountability. This is out there for the whole world to see (although maybe no one will ever read it) and somehow that makes me want to try a little harder.

I will test my vertical again and post a new video showing where I'm at in a few days. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

How high do you need to jump to be in the NBA?

I just checked out last year's NBA Combine Athletic test results and was shocked!

These are the best players leaving college trying to make it to the next level and you would think there would be tons of guys with 40"+ verticals. Not even close!

Out of 52 NBA hopefuls, just one player had a 40" inch vert (Terrico White). The average max vertical jump among these athletes was just 32.94".

So maybe 2010 was a bad year? I pulled up the 2009 NBA Combine Athletic Results. There were 23 players including a now very famous dunker -- Blake Griffen. But, only 1 guy with a 40" inch vert. No, it wasn't Blake. It was Jonny Flynn from Syracuse. Blake's vertical was just 35.5".

What about 2008? There were 72 players in the combine with 6 players who had a 40" vert or higher including some big names like Derrick Rose (40") and OJ Mayo (41").

If I can increase my max vertical by just 4", I will be an "average" NBA prospect in terms of jumping ability based on 2010's results. That's kind of cool! Now if I was only a foot taller and had better skills. I might just have a chance...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vertical jump test - video

You know how those workout programs like bodyforlife have you take a picture before you start? You think you look okay but then you see the picture and you're like, "do I really look like that"?

I pretty much feel the same way about this video! The extra motivation is good.  But, wow.

This is a short video showing my standing, one step, and running vertical on Day 1 of the Jump Manual.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 1 stats - ouch!

To know how far you have to go to reach a goal, you must know where you are now. So as part of my first plyometric workout of the Jump Manual, I tested my vertical and had the following results:

93 inches (7 feet 9 inches)

Standing vertical jump:

One step vertical jump:

Running vertical jump:

To dunk, I will need to get at least 8 inches above the rim which means I would need to add at least 6 inches to my vertical since my max height is 10 feet 2 inches (93 inch reach + 29 inch jump = 122 inches).

Six inches doesn't seem like much but that will be no easy task. I'm mostly concerned about my standing vertical. 22 inches just seems pathetic! Based on what I know about the importance of strength vs quickness in jumping, my strength is limiting my jump more than my quickness.

I have some video clips that show my vert test. Will post when I get a chance.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm starting the Jump Manual

This Monday, April 11 I am starting the Jump Manual vertical jump program created by Jacob Hiller. I'm creating this blog as a way to track my progress and hopefully provide some additional motivation to complete the 12 week program. Yes, I want to dunk!

I actually started the Jump Manual about 18 months ago and unfortunately about 2/3 of the way through, I had a pretty bad knee injury in a city league game that took several months to heal. I'm feeling pretty healthy now and want to make another go at the program. I was getting some decent results and so I'm excited to go for it again.

Jacob Tucker's youtube video and winning the NCAA Dunk contest is partially to blame for this renewed obsession. That guy is ridiculous! And, I want to be just like him. Or just a little like him would be just fine.

I'm just under 6 feet tall and 39 years young. Given those facts, you may think this quest is a tad unrealistic. Great! That will only push me harder. I will tell you that in my younger days I could dunk. But, it has been a LONG time (at least 10 years). So, it certainly is possible. But, is it still possible? This is a race against a clock that seems to be ticking more and more quickly. If I'm going to dunk again, it's going to have to be soon!

The other reason I'm doing this program is I have an 11 year old son who I hope becomes a much better athlete than I ever was. I want to determine which programs are best to help him when he gets a little bit older. What better way to figure that out then do the programs myself?

If you are doing the Jump Manual or other vertical program right now, I'd love to hear about your results.

Thanks for reading and hope you will follow along for the next 12 weeks.