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: