Monday, December 31, 2012

Jump Manual training for 2013

I have been using the Jump Manual on and off now for about 18 months. I got some pretty nice gains during my first 12 weeks of training. But, increasing my vertical since then has not been as easy.

In preparation for the new year, I have been going through my old tracking sheets, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. to try and determine what has given me the best results and what hasn't. I've also been getting some coaching from Jacob Hiller (creator of the Jump Manual). He has provided some great insights and suggestions on how to improve which I'm very excited about.

The bottom line is...I'm not ready to give up the pursuit of the two hand tomahawk dunk. I know it's possible. So, how am I going to reach this goal?

1. Start Jump Manual again (I started this morning - Dec 31st). Going for 12 weeks and will finish this round of training on Saturday, March 23

2. Post a progress video every week (will post every Monday, starting next week). These provide extra motivation and help ensure I'm really pushing myself and getting all the workouts in.

3. Do Freak Jump Technique again. I only did this program for about 4 weeks back in 2011. But, in looking back at my old videos and blog posts, I got some of my best dunks during this period of time. Coincidence? I don't think so. Time to work on my technique again! I started it this morning.

4. Stretch every day. My flexibility has improved dramatically from when I first started training (couldn't touch my toes back then) but still needs to improve. Want to be able to get my palms flat on the floor.

5. Get to 7% bodyfat or less by March 23. I have been eating so bad during these last 2 weeks and the scale proves it. This morning I weighed 182 lbs and my waist was 35.5"! Ouch!

6. Get stronger! PR's to reach by March 23
Squat 1RM: 300 lbs (current max is approx 260 lbs going a little past parallel with good form)
Deadlift 1RM: 340 lbs (current max is approx 300 lbs)
Bench Press 1RM: 245 lbs (current max is 215 lbs)

So, here goes another 12 weeks of training. Going to really get after it. Hope you will follow along!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PR's on lifts coming soon!

I'm continuing to really focus on strength and making some good progress. This morning I benched 195 lbs for 5 reps. I plan to beat my PR (225 lbs for 3 reps) by end of January.

For squats, I did 240 lbs for 5 reps this morning and should beat my PR (275 lbs) also by end of January. In addition, I'm now squatting to a little below parallel and certainly didn't get to parallel on what I've been calling my squat PR. Here's the video that proves it:

Of course, the real key is to translate this additional strength into jumping higher. I'm going to start adding plyometric and jumping technique back into my training soon and am confident this will allow me to utilize this additional strength and as a result pick up some inches.

Happy Holidays! May all your jumping dreams come true!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting stronger...and fatter!

If you have read my last few posts, you know that I've modified my training a bit to focus on getting stronger. The good news is it's working! On Saturday, I benched 190 lbs 3 times. The last time I maxed out on bench, I barely got up 185 lbs so things are moving in the right direction. I am also making gains on squats and deadlifts. I should hit new PR's on those lifts in the next few weeks.

The bad news is that I'm gaining weight! And, I'm sure its not all muscle! :-) This morning I weighed 180 lbs which is the most I have weighed in quite a while. I haven't been eating as healthy and I've also reduced the plyometrics I was doing which means I've been burning fewer calories. I'm taking creatine and that always results in some weight gain too.

So, I got to keep getting stronger but must keep my bodyfat % under control. In fact, I need to drop it. This time of year is not easy (for someone like me who loves junk food) to have self control. But, I will make myself do it. Right after I eat this donut...

Train Hard!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Weeks 10-11

Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) is my most recent deadline to throw down a 2 hand tomahawk dunk!

Now, I definitely believe in thinking positively and believing in yourself! But, the laws of gravity and physics still have to be overcome! And the unfortunate reality is I still have a ways to go to achieve this goal. With that said, I am playing hoops in the morning and will have my camera with me just in case it does become the best Thanksgiving Day ever! :-)

I've been thinking a lot lately about the basics in terms of vertical jump training. To increase your vertical, one or more of the following must happen:

- get stronger
- get more explosive/quick/springy
- improve your technique/form

Of these 3 key ways to improve the vertical jump, I feel I have the most room for improvement with strength.  So, that's where I'm really focusing right now. I have modified my workouts by reducing plyometric work and increasing the frequency of strength training. I also started taking creatine two weeks ago and am noticing a difference. In the last 2 weeks, I've gotten a little bit stronger, my lifts are increasing, and it's only a matter of time until that carries over to my jumping.

I'm going to continue this new routine for the next 10 weeks and have set the following goals:

- Squat: 300 lbs
- Bench: 225 lbs
- Deadlift: 325 lbs
- Bodyweight: 168 lbs
- Bodyfat: 10%

I believe these are the minimum levels of strength I've got to obtain in order to throw down two hand tomahawk dunks. And there are tons of other benefits to getting stronger too. But, dunking is my favorite!

Speaking of dunking, you've got to watch this video of Gerald Green. I've never seen anyone get their head this high above a rim. And, this is at the Pacers practice facility so should be a legit 10 foot rim. Even his teammates are freaking out.

Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Weeks 8-9

If you read my last post from a few weeks ago, you may recall I went to Europe for a week. It was an awesome trip! But, derailed me a bit on my vertical training with the Jump Manual and on updating my blog. Since I returned from my trip, I've lacked motivation, strength, and energy and I missed several workouts. I'm ready to change that!

This morning I had a great workout and am confident this week is going to be a good one. I also started taking creatine again after being off of it for several months. I'm anxious to see how it impacts my results this time. 

The next several weeks my focus is going to be on getting stronger. I think my strength is a bigger weakness compared to my "springyness" although I'd like to improve that too. My goal is to get my squat over 300 lbs and my deadlift to 325 lbs and get my bodyfat under 10%. When I do that, I should be dunking 2 hands easily!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Week 7

Week 7 of this phase of vertical jump training using the Jump Manual was another great week. That's 3 weeks in a row of really getting after it.

This week is going to be tough. I actually left for Europe on Sunday and will be traveling to France, Germany, and the UK. Long days and jet lag doesn't bode well for working out. I'm not planning to do much other than maybe some pushups and 1 leg squats in my hotel room. Taking a week off will actually be kind of nice. Give my body a break and get going again next week. 

Will start posting videos again hopefully next week. Until revoir and lebewohl!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Week 6

Week 6 of my vertical jump training was another great week! 2 weeks in a row of no missed workouts.

I really like the new schedule I'm on. Also, it feels really good to be hitting my upper body hard again. Other than core work, the Jump Manual leaves your upper body workout pretty open to do whatever you want. So, I opted to not do very much! And, that is not good. I've also noticed playing hoops the last 2 weeks or so that I'm shooting better. I'm confident this is because my upper body strength is improving.

That's about all I can think of for now. I really got to start making videos again!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Week 5

Week 5 of this phase of training using the Jump Manual went great! One of my best weeks of training for sure.

Last week I made some changes to my workout by splitting the 2 plyo workouts into 2 shorter workouts and I really like it. I actually think these shorter workouts will allow me to focus more on quality and explosiveness which is what you want. I do think the standard Jump Manual workout is ideal for the first time you go through the program to build a strong foundation. But, after the first 12 weeks, I would recommend shortening some of the workouts. 

I've decided to make one more minor change. I've noticed that Mondays are consistently my best jumping days. I believe this is because on Saturday, I hit it really hard with the strength and explosion workout (squats, deadlifts, etc.) and on Sunday I just rest and do some stretching. Because of this I'm going to move my first plyo day to Monday from Tuesday as I do think the order in which you train can impact your results. Hitting plyo's on the day I jump the highest is ideal.

So here's my schedule that I plan to stick with until Thanksgiving:

Monday: Plyo's
Tuesday: Core & Upper Body
Wednesday: Rest or Swim or play hoops
Thursday: Plyo's
Friday: Core & Upper
Saturday: Strength & Explosion workout

Thanks for reading and hope your training is going well!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Week 4

Week 4 of "Tomahawk before Thanksgiving" went better than last week. Instead of being super lazy, I was only somewhat lazy! I missed two of the six Jump Manual workouts.

I've decided to make a few modifications to my workout for the next 8 weeks to see if it makes a difference. Here's my new schedule:

Monday: Core & Upper Body
Tuesday: Plyos (A little shorter than the standard Jump Manual plyo workout)
Wednesday: Rest (might swim or play hoops)
Thursday: Plyos (A little shorter than the standard Jump Manual plyo workout)
Friday: Core & Upper Body
Saturday: Strength & Explosion Workout

I'm also tweaking the core & upper body workout a bit. I've been taking it to easy and time to step it up. Going to add bench press and military press and really go crazy with my core. Going to get my bodyweight down to 165-168 from 173 lbs where I'm currently at.

So, stay tuned. I'll let you know if these changes make a difference!

I'll leave you with this video I saw today of a guy who is shorter than my 5'6" wife and can throw down serious dunks. Absolutely unreal! Almost seems like the laws of gravity don't apply to this guy. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Weeks 2 and 3

I just realized I forgot to post a recap of last week's training. I don't even remember why so will not try to come up with a good excuse!

Since I write down all my workouts, I'm reviewing my tracking sheets to refresh my memory on how things went. According to my notes, I got in 4 of the 6 workouts. I missed one of the core & upper workouts and one of the off-day exercise workouts. Played hoops 3 times. Not a great week but not horrible.

But, this past week was way worse. I had full intentions of working out but I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't do a single workout (other than playing basketball 2 times). It was a crazy week for me as my 12 year old son had 2 tryouts for competitive basketball teams and we also did some extra workouts to help him prepare. He's made a ton of progress and it's really fun to see him improve. Yesterday, we went camping and boating so I missed my favorite Jump Manual workout -- the strength & explosion day which is squats, deadlifts, cleans, etc.

With basically a week off, I'm expecting this week to go really well. My body should be pretty fresh so I should be jumping well and be able to hit the workouts hard.

Yesterday, Joe C. Thomas who is one of the 4 guys I'm competing against for Nike Elite's posted a video showing his progress on getting down his first dunk. He's REALLY close so I've got to get going or he's going to win this friendly competition!

Check it out! He was definitely high enough on the first backboard toss!

Good job Joe! But, I'm coming after you! :-)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomahawk before Thanksgiving - Week 1 Recap

After taking a week off to let my body rest, I hit my vert training hard this past week. I got in all my workouts and it felt awesome! In addition, I ate really well and stretched every day. Those are two areas that I haven't done very well in for the last several months. And, they are just too important to be neglected.

I looked back at my bodyfat results from the test I did back in January. To my surprise and horror, I was 18% bodyfat with 31 lbs of fat. I got my bodyfat percentage down to approximately 13% in March but over the last few months I'm probably back up to around 18%. If I'm going to get the two hand tomahawk dunk and win the Nike Elite dunk competition, I've got to get my bodyfat down probably to under 10%. So, I've recommitted myself to being super strict on my diet. I know it will help me jump higher.

Another highlight this week is yesterday I met JWdunk (Jeff) at Gold's Gym. I was doing my final exercise of the strength and explosion workout and saw a guy who looked like he was doing the Jump Manual workout and who looked somewhat familiar. I went and introduced myself and sure enough it was him. It is fun to be part of this community of aspiring dunkers and gravity defiers (is that word?)!

So, I'm off to a great start of another 12 weeks of Jump Manual training which will have me finishing right around Thanksgiving (or until I get the tomahawk). I'm calling this phase of training, "Tomahawk before Thanksgiving"!

After that, basketball season will be about to start and I think I'll just play hoops and enjoy the season. Or, I may actually start Crossfit. Either way, I think it will be time to take a break for a while. But, we'll see. When, I get the tomahawk, I will probably want to windmill! So this may never stop! But, I have several friends who are totally addicted to Crossfit and my 12 year old son has also started and is loving it.

Happy Labor Day! Tomorrow is going to be awesome. Will be playing hoops for like 3 hours!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Squat and Deadlift Technique

I really want to increase my strength and improve my lifting technique as I know that will improve my vertical. So, I've been watching tons of squat and deadlift videos on YouTube. I've come across a young guy (20 years old) who is incredibly strong and whose technique is really impressive. He weighs about the same as me (170 lbs) but squats almost double what I do. Crazy!

I've traded some messages with him and seems like he really knows his stuff. Check out some of his vids!

Olympic Squat Technique

 Deadlift Technique

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dunk Competition for Nike Elites!

In my last blog post, I asked if anyone would like to enter a friendly competition with the hope it would give me some additional motivation in my pursuit of the 2 hand dunk! And, maybe it would provide some additional motivation to someone else too. Well, I'm happy to report that 4 people have challenged me so far:

Aaron Perry - he can dunk 1 hand similar to me. So, we're racing to the 2 hand dunk

d - he can get a few inches over the rim. So, he's racing to the 1 hand dunk vs. me getting 2 hand dunk

Mason Collier - can dunk 1 hand similar to me. So, we're racing to the 2 hand dunk

Joe C. Thomas - can grab rim with both hands. So, he's racing to the 1 hand dunk vs me getting 2 hand dunk

Thanks, Aaron, d, Mason, and Joe! Good luck guys!

So, what's the wager? Whoever accomplishes their dunking goal first, gets a pair of Nike Elite's!

I'm looking forward to having 4 more pairs of Elite's very soon! :-)

Let the competition begin!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 12 Results

So another 12 weeks of Jump Manual is complete! Crazy how fast time goes by. I sure wish I was posting a video with some awesome 2 hand dunks but still not quite there. But, as I've said before...I'm not giving up! And, I'm actually more confident than ever that I'm going to get there. Maybe I'm delusional but I don't think so.

I was thinking that one thing that really helped motivate me during my first 12 weeks of training is I had a few "haters" that were telling me I would never be able to dunk at age 39. It made me mad! But, it also drove me. And I worked harder because of it. Honestly, I kind of miss it. Strange but true.

So instead of asking for some haters to provide some additional motivation, I'm wondering if anyone out there reading this blog would like to have a wager of some kind? Like first person to do X (for me it would be dunk 2 hands and for you it could be dunk for the first time or whatever) gets something cool. Doesn't have to be expensive. Maybe its a pair of Nike Elite socks or whatever. I just love to compete and might be fun to have a little extra bet to go along with our training.

Any takers? Come on. It will be fun!

While your thinking about it, I will leave you with one of my favorite new dunk vids. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 11 Results

Sorry folks! I'm very late posting my Week 11 Results. I guess I haven't been super anxious to update my blog as this past week was not super great from a training standpoint. I was on the road again (for the 3rd straight week) and that makes things really tough for me to get all my workouts in.

Probably the best thing that happened this past week is I had the coolest and most realistic dream I can remember in quite some time. I dreamed I got my 2 hand dunk! And it was so real and felt so good. I am a firm believer that you have to believe you can do something before you can do it. If you don't believe you can dunk, can pretty much guarantee that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You've got to believe it! Really believe it!

Along those lines, one thing I've been doing more is visualizing myself dunking two hands during the strength and explosion workout. I especially like to visualize that for calf raises and knee drives. It doesn't require much skill or thought to perform those exercises, so its easy to really picture dunking in my mind while trying to be as explosive as possible. Maybe it sounds a little corny, but I think it helps.

Well...that's about all for now....

Oh, be sure to check out these blogs created by some new friends of mine who are chasing their dunking dreams and start following their progress too! Knowing that a few other people have been inspired to go after their goals after reading my blog makes me feel really good and motivates me to keep working hard. So thanks to everyone out there who is reading this blog and especially to those who have posted comments, asked questions, started their own blog, or whatever. I really appreciate it!

Quest to dunk by November

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 10 Results

Week 10 of my vertical jump training using the Jump Manual started out great. But, then I went out of town for 3 days to go camping and didn't workout at all! I was fully planning to do the off-day exercises on Wednesday & Friday and my core & upper body workout on Thursday (like I normally do each week) as these are workouts that can be done just about anywhere. But, I didn't do it.

On the bright side, the strength & explosion workout (squats, deadlifts, cleans, etc.) that I do each Saturday did go well. I was able to increase the weights on squats and knee drives. What seemed crazy though is the workout seemed so much harder than it did the week before. Probably because I hadn't done anything for the last 3 days!  Also, not getting much sleep or eating well on my camping trip didn't help. About 1/3 of the way through the workout, I seriously considered calling it a day. So glad I didn't! This week is also going to be tough as I'm out of town for 4 days. Got to do better.

This morning I decided to play basketball since I hadn't played in like 10 days and was really missing it. I felt a little sore from Saturday's workout but not too bad. I did some depth jumps in between games and was able to beat my previous best of 29.1" (shown in my Week 8 video) with 30.8". However, I was jumping off an 18" chair as compared to a 12" step in my last test. So that probably explains some of the increase as I should be able to jump higher off the chair than the step.

Here's the video from today:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 9 Results

Week 9 of my vertical jump training went extremely well.  As I mentioned in last week's update, I decided to go back to doing the exact workouts outlined in the Jump Manual instead of the modifications I had made.

After only 1 week, I already know that was the right decision. How do I know? Well, since I track all my workouts, I know my lifts increased either in weight or number of reps on several exercises. That felt great!

Also, I
 decided to cut back on playing basketball from 3 times per week to 1 time per week. It felt so good to being playing on fresh legs!

So make sure you are getting enough rest. Recovery is HUGE!

I don't have a video to share this week but will make sure that happens on my next update. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 8 Results

During the last seven weeks of my Jump Manual training, I have been able to "re-gain" most of the gains I made to my no-step vertical last year. However, I'm definitely not jumping as high off the run. I've been thinking a lot about this and believe this is due to overtraining or as Jacob likes to call it "under recovery".

These last seven weeks instead of doing 1 plyometric workout and 1 strength workout separated by several days as outlined in the Jump Manual, I decided to experiment with shorter workouts but more often. So, I was lifting legs 2 times per week and doing short plyometric workouts 3 times per week. But, I don't think this is the right approach for me. My body just needs more rest and recovery time.

So, I'm going back to the standard Jump Manual schedule of 1 plyometric workout and 1 leg workout per week separated by 3-4 days. I'm also going to only play basketball 1 time per week to allow myself even more time to rest as compared to what I was previously doing.

I'm confident this will get things back on track. In hindsight, I should have just stuck with the standard Jump Manual workout schedule. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Today, I did the standard plyometric workout and used the Just Jump system for the first time during a plyo workout. It was so awesome to have immediate feedback on how I was performing. I used it during depth jumps, medicine ball approaches, rim jumps, and weighted explosions. Now, I will be able to more accurately track my progress and push myself to the max during each workout. I also expect this to speed up my results.

I'm really motivated again and can't wait to see where I'm at during the next several weeks! 

Here's a clip of my best depth jump today which was only 29.1 inches. I was disappointed that I wasn't getting more like 33-34 inches but expect to be there very soon. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 7 Results

I'm late posting my recap of Week 7! But, the week went fairly well other than I still haven't been able to dunk 2 hands which I was hoping to do by July 4th.

I did test my no-step vertical on Monday as I've been doing for the last several weeks. My best no-step jump was 30.3 inches which is a 1/2 inch less than my best jump from Week 6 when my best was 30.8 inches.

I've been feeling a bit run down and tired the last few weeks which isn't normal for me. I think this is due to not eating as healthy and not getting enough sleep. I'm recommitting myself to eating better and getting to bed earlier.

Although my no-step vertical is close to where I was at my peak last year, my running vert doesn't seem to be as high. I think this is do to fatigue and possibly overtraining. I looked back through my old training logs and blog posts (another reason why tracking your workouts and having a blog are so beneficial), and realized that when I was jumping my best, I had cut back to playing basketball to only once per week instead of 3 times per week like normal. My body probably needs more recovery!

So starting this week, I'm only going to play hoops 1 time per week for the next several weeks and see how that impacts my results. I'm also going to set a new date for me to dunk 2 hands. I'm heavily leaning towards this being my last phase of training for a while. It's just too easy to keep pushing that date back and while my motivation is still high it is not like it was when I wanted to dunk before I turned 40 last year. I was on a mission!

I wish there was a dunk contest for old guys that was happening this fall. Having a date like that would really motivate me. I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as it would likely be the worst dunk contest of all time! :-)

But, maybe I will put on my own dunk contest? If your over 35 and would want to participate, post a comment below. The winner gets a year supply of Viagra?!

Happy Training!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 6 Results

This past week of training using the Jump Manual was not my best. I skipped about 1/2 of the workouts. Just one of those weeks where I just could not find the motivation.

However, today I did my weekly no-step vertical test and am pleased to say that I got over 30 inches on three jumps! I got 30.8, 30.1, and 30.0. I'm now back to where my no-step vertical peaked about 6 months ago.

I've increased 3.2 inches during these 6 weeks (27.6 to 30.8). That puts me half way to my goal of 33 inches and I'm also half-way through this 12 week phase of training. Of course, these first 3 inches are much easier to obtain as I'm just gaining back what I already had achieved and now I've got to go past that. Won't be easy, but I'm going to do it!

Here's today's video!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 4 & 5 Results

After seeing some nice gains the first three weeks of this phase of Jump Manual training (no-step vertical has gone from 27.6" to 28.1" to 29.9"), I have not seen any further gains these last two weeks. Last Monday, my best no-step vertical jump was 28.9" and yesterday my best no-step vertical jump was 29.5".

Of course, I'm not super happy about this but I'm also not super surprised. My no-step vertical peaked around 31 inches last Fall and so going past that won't be easy. But, I will do it! Just got to be consistent, eat healthy, stretch, and get proper recovery.

Another thing I believe will help me is creatine. I was using it when I was jumping my best about 6 months ago and excited to see how adding it back into my training will impact my results.

July 4th (my deadline to dunk 2 hands) is coming up quickly! Come on creatine! :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

My best dunks from 2011

I had a pretty good week of training last week. But, more details on that later.

I have been thinking about making a dunk mix for a while and tonight I went ahead and put together a short video with my best dunks from last year. I even added music! :-)  I know it's not that impressive compared to the incredible dunk videos out there on YouTube, but it was fun and motivating for me to put it together.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 3 Results

Week 3 of this round of vertical jump training using the Jump Manual went great! I did 5 of the 6 workouts and also played basketball 3 times.

I'm testing my vertical each Monday using the Just Jump system so I can accurately track my progress. My goal today was to get 29" and I'm very pleased to say that I got 29.9" which is 1.8" improvement from last week where my best no-step jump was 28.1". If only I could go up 1.8" every week now that would be amazing!

About 6 months ago when I was jumping my best, I'm pretty sure my no-step vertical was around 31" so I'm getting close to being back at my peak. Here's the video from today's no-step vert test. I somehow messed up the recording of my 29.9" jump but have my second best jump at 29.5" on video. Check it out!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 2 Results

Week 2 of this round of vertical jump training using the Jump Manual didn't go so well. I missed 4 workouts out of 6!

And so here comes the excuses! I was out of town for the most of the week. Sleeping in another bed, being on a different time zone, working extra long hours, etc. is training kryptonite for me. For whatever reason, I seem to leave all my discipline and motivation at home when I travel. So, either I've got to stop traveling or I got to be more committed!

Today, I tested my no-step vertical using the Just Jump System that I recently purchased. I didn't have high expectations based on how the week went. But, I did improve from last week's best jump of 27.6 to 28.1 this week. If I could get a half-inch every week for the next 10 weeks, I would gain approximately 5 inches which is exactly where I would like to be (33" for no-step vertical). Gains are typically fast at first and then slow down over time but I'm hoping to beat the odds!

Here's the video from today showing my 28.1 no-step vertical test:

About six months ago, I know my no-step vertical was around 30 or 31 inches. It's a bit frustrating that I'm down from where I was. But, I looked over the NBA combine results and that made me feel much better. For example, John Wall's no-step vertical was only 30" when he tested during the combine (his running vert was 39").

Check out the NBA Combine results from the past several years. If you haven't seen them before, I bet you will be surprised to see that not a single player tested had over a 40" no-step vertical. Guys with a running vertical over 40" is also very rare. In fact, only 48 out of 988 players tested had a running vertical of 40" or more. That is less than 5%!

NBA Combine Results

That's all for now! Hoping to see 29" next week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jump Manual at 40 years old - Week 1 Results

As I mentioned in my post last week, I started another round of 12 weeks of vertical jump training using the Jump Manual.

Week 1 went fairly well. I got in most of the workouts and also played basketball 3 times. Yesterday, I tested my no-step vertical on the Just Jump System. I got out my camera to film only to find out the batteries were dead! Oops! So I don't have a video to show you this week, but will make sure I do next week.

My best jump (which I got multiple times) was 27.6 inches. I was a little disappointed because I'm sure my no-step vertical last Fall was around 30 inches. I expect to make up that difference within the next couple of weeks and then hope to keep adding onto it. If I can get my no-step vertical to at least 33 inches, my running vertical should be 39-40 inches which would be incredible and absolutely high enough to be throwing down a sweet two-hand tomahawk.

It's possible! Here's my friend Steven who I used to jump higher than but the punk has passed me up! He's now throwing down some very nice two hand dunks. Hopefully, this is where I'll be by July!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jump Manual - starting over!

Last week I had intentions of doing the Jump Manual workouts, but I failed miserably! I was in Vegas from Sunday through Thursday and just could not motivate myself to workout or eat healthy.

So, I'm going to start this round of training over and it will run from today (May 14) through the middle of August. I'm going to be consistent and am going to get that two hand dunk I've been talking about forever!

The best news I have to share with you today is I now have a way to accurately test and measure my vertical. I'm now the proud owner of a Just Jump System! This blows away the homemade vertec I made a few months ago.

I first saw the Just Jump system a couple of years ago in this video below where a guy named Frank Yang shows off his 40 inch no-step vertical. Incredible!

More recently, I've become a big fan of this guy who has made huge gains on his vertical during the last couple of years and uses the Just Jump System. His running vertical is now a very impressive 41"! Check out his latest video below.

I am definitely going to start doing progress videos each week showing where I'm at. I want my no-step vertical to be at least 33" before this phase of training ends.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jump Manual - The Adventure Continues!

After two weeks off, I'm soooooo ready to start my training again using the Jump Manual!

I had a great dunk last week and I'm confident that within the next 12 weeks or less, I'm going to get that two hand dunk I've been chasing.

Thanks for reading and hope you will following along during the next several weeks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How important is rest and recovery?

Before I start my next round of Jump Manual training, I decided it would probably do my body good to take some time off. So that's exactly what I did this past week!

I didn't do any workouts. I didn't stretch. I didn't eat good. In fact, I ate horribly. I did play basketball three times so I wasn't completely inactive. But, compared to what I typically do during a normal week of training -- this week was equivalent to me sitting on the couch and eating bon bons.

Yesterday, the "party" continued with loads of junk food and staying up until almost 2:00 am. Right before going to bed, I ate two chocolate chip cookies. Go big or go home! I then slept for about 4 hours and got up at 6:00 am to play hoops. Yes, I'm a basketball addict.

But to my surprise, my legs felt really good today. I was jumping higher than I have in a while and I threw down the best dunk I've had in a really long time. And, it felt so GOOD!!! I didn't even take my video camera this morning as this was completely unexpected.

So the lesson here is...don't forget to take a break once in a while! Despite doing so many things wrong this week (bad diet, not enough sleep, and no stretching), giving my body some rest still resulted in jumping higher than I have in quite some time.

Here is a great article on the importance of recovery and avoiding overtraining that you might be interested in. Check it out!

Tomorrow, we leave for Disneyland so I'm sticking with this new workout program of not working out! Here's to hoping another week of junk food and avoiding exercise will result in jumping even higher next week! I'll let you know on Monday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Are You Getting Stronger?

The other day Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) asked me, "are you getting stronger?" I couldn't confidently answer yes or no because I hadn't tested my max on lifts in a really long time.

So, yesterday I decided to max out on squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, bench press, and pullups. I'll repeat this test again following my next round of training to see how much I've improved.

Here were the results: 
  • Squat: 275 lbs 
    I'm going to count this as my new PR even though I probably should have gotten a little lower for it to be a true squat. I've been working on my flexibility and technique and it's helping but getting low is really challenging for me. Even when I do much lighter weight I have a hard time getting down to parallel. Here's a video if you want to check it out.

    • Deadlift: 273 lbs
    I'm pretty sure this is a new PR for me as I don't remember lifting more than this and looking back at my tracking sheets, I couldn't find anything higher. Here's the video:

    • Hang Cleans: 165 lbs
    This is not a PR for me. I've done 170 lbs for 4 reps before. My right wrist was hurting and I was probably a little fatigued from doing squats and deadlifts so I still feel pretty good about getting 165 lbs. I don't have a video for this one.

    • Bench Press: 185 lbs
    This is really embarrassing! I don't bench anymore so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I know about 12 years ago my best ever on bench press was 225 lbs x 3 reps. I've clearly lost a lot of upper body strength since then and I've definitely got to hit my upper body harder. This is why you need to evaluate your strength and see where you need work. I don't have a video of this and wouldn't show it to you if I did! :-)

    • Pullups: 1 rep with 50 lb weight
    I thought about testing how many total pullups I could do but figured that has more to do with endurance and I was already pretty tired by this point. I thought a better test would be to see how much extra weight I could do for 1 rep. I started with a 30 lb dumbbell between my knees and did it easy. Went up to a 40 lb dumbbell and was still able to complete. I then went for 50 lbs and barely got 1 full rep so that will be my new PR. I have never maxed out on this before. Very curious to see how high I can go on this in the future. No video for this one either.

    So since Jacob asked I will ask you! Are you getting stronger? How do you know? Can you prove it? What are your 1 rep max lifts? If you don't know, time to get in the gym and find out. Tracking is critical to your success!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 12 Recap of "40 at 40"

    I have finished another 12 weeks of Jump Manual training. Time has gone by so quickly. In fact, today (April 11) marks one year since I started my training and began chasing the dream to dunk at age 39.

    I set some big goals to reach by today. And, unfortunately I didn't reach them. My gains have slowed down and I have not made much progress in a while. The easy thing to do at this point would be to give up on my goal to dunk two hands. But, there is no way I'm going to do that! I'm just going to make some adjustments to my training, set some new goals, and get back to work.

    One thing I should start doing again is making videos. Those seemed to provide some extra motivation and it was fun to see all the comments from people even from the "haters" out there.

    So...I hope you will continue to follow along as I continue to chase my dunking dreams. Post some comments and let me know how things are going with your training. What is working for you? What isn't working?

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 11 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Week 11 of this phase of Jump Manual training went pretty well. I got in all my workouts and am starting to see some progress again particularly with plyometrics. I can tell because I track how high I'm touching for depth jumps and did better than the previous couple of weeks.

    Improving my vertical jump during this basketball season proved to be much harder than I anticipated and believe I fell for one of the most common vertical jump training mistakes -- overtraining! I'm always trying to push myself ("no pain, no gain") and yet that is not the best approach for vertical jump training. The body has to rest and your muscles actually get stronger during recovery. No recovery = no additional strength!

    Had I not played on 2 city league teams, I think I would have seen more increase with my vertical jump during these last few months. But, basketball is the reason I do this! I want to continue to compete at a high level and this training has made that possible. So, no regrets!

    Basketball season is over and now I'm going to train smarter. Not harder! And, for me I think it will make a huge difference.

    Thanks for reading and I hope your training is going well!

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 10 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Another week of my Jump Manual training has passed bringing me to a total of 10 weeks for this phase of training. This was another tough week for me to get my workouts in due to my tournament games. I ended up taking several days off to rest. I always feel guilty and lazy when I take days off and so I have to remind myself how important rest and recovery is.

    Unfortunately, both of my teams came up short in the tournament. We took 3rd place in one league and made it to the final four in the other league. I'm disappointed especially since I feel like we had the talent to win both leagues. I'm sure we'll go after it again next year!

    As much as I love playing basketball, I'm kind of relieved the season is over. I still really want that two hand dunk and now I can refocus my time and training to really get after it.

    Finally, I want to give a shout out to my new friend Aleks in Australia who has started the Jump Manual and made a bet with his buddy that he will dunk in six weeks or less. I'm not a big gambler but my money is on Aleks to win this wager!

    Check out his blog and follow his progress!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 9 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Week 9 of this phase of Jump Manual training didn't go as well as the previous 2 weeks where I didn't miss a single workout. But, given my schedule I'm still pleased with what I accomplished.

    It's tournament time for the 2 basketball leagues I'm playing in and so I had 3 games this past week including a doubleheader last Monday night. I found myself completely exhausted (which is very rare for me) and so I decided to take Wed, Thu, and Friday off from training. I then hit it hard on Saturday for the strength and explosion workout and it felt great to get back in the gym.

    Last night, we came in 3rd place in the highest division for one of the leagues I play in. We had a bad game last week and lost to the team who ended up winning the championship. Tonight, we play in the semi-finals for the other league and if we win ("when we win"), we will play tomorrow night for the championship. So will likely have 3 games again this week. I love hoops but I'm honestly kind of ready for it to be over so I can really focus on my training.

    My 1 year anniversary of Jump Manual training and posting to this blog is coming up very soon (April 11) which is really hard to believe. I've got to get that 2 hand dunk before then which doesn't leave much time!

    Thanks for reading!

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 8 Recap of "40 at 40"

    For the second week in a row, I got in all my Jump Manual workouts! Yes! I really feel like I'm back on track. Had a tough start to the year but things are going really well now.

    After losing weight consistently for the first 6 weeks of training this year, my body seems to want to stay at around 166 lbs. I had my bodyfat tested tonight at Gold's Gym with one of those electronic machines you hold in your hand (not sure how accurate it is) but it said I was 12.9% bodyfat which is a pretty significant improvement from the 18% I was back in January. Still can't believe I was that fat!

    Crunching the numbers and comparing to my last test shows I have lost fat and gained muscle so that is very good news. I was concerned that I may be losing muscle from reduced training from my injuries but that doesn't appear to be the case. I will test my bodyfat again using the bodpod next month so I can get a true before and after comparison. I'd like to be 8% bodyfat or less.

    This past week I had an awesome coaching session with Jacob (creator of Jump Manual). We reviewed videos of me performing several of the plyometric exercises from the Jump Manual. He provided tons of helpful tips and feedback and I learned some great stuff!

    This is one of the reasons I've become a huge fan of the Jump Manual and of Jacob too. Having access to an expert like him has made a big difference for me. He is very willing to help his clients and his weekly coaching sessions are invaluable. Take advantage of them if you aren't already!

    Click on the video at the top of this post or picture at the bottom to see the video of us reviewing my depth jumps. Post some comments if you found this helpful and would be interested in me sharing more videos like this. Thanks for reading and watching!

    Depth Jumps - Coaching Session with Jacob Hiller

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 7 Recap of "40 at 40"

    For the first time this year, I was able to get in all my Jump Manual workouts this past week and it felt sooooo good!

    This past week, I also made some more changes to my workout that I'm really excited about. Frankly, I was getting pretty burned out on the Core & Upper Body workout from the Jump Manual and felt like it was time to mix things up. I think it's healthy and productive to change up your workouts from time to time. I think the benefit may be as much mental as it is physical.

    Anyways, I came across this video that claims to be the Ab workout that Lebron does and so thought I would give it a try.

    I really like this Ab routine and so I've implemented it into my workout in place of one of the standard core & upper body workouts from the Jump Manual. There are a couple of exercises in this workout that I haven't done before and so that is fun and challenging. Try it out and see if you like it!

    The tournament starts tomorrow for one of my city league teams and next week for the other team. I really think both teams can win their tournaments and so I'm really looking forward to these games. March madness is also just around the corner so this is going to be a great month of basketball.

    Hope your training is going well! Thanks for reading.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 6 Recap of "40 at 40"

    After about 4 weeks of limited vertical jump training due to injuries, week 6 went much better because I was finally feeling better! I did 5 of the 6 Jump Manual workouts and it felt really good to get back after it.

    In other good news, I've been able to drop 7 lbs during these past 6 weeks. When I started this phase of training on January 16, I weighed 174.2 lbs. This past Monday, Feb 27, my weight was down to 167.2 lbs. So I've been losing about 1 lb per week. Assuming, I haven't lost any muscle (which is probably unlikely due to these dumb injuries and limited training), my estimated bodyfat % would now be 14% which is still too high but much better than 18%!

    What did you think of this year's NBA dunk contest? I thought it started off pretty lame, got interesting in the middle, and went right back to lame. After watching so many amazing dunkers on YouTube, it is hard to be impressed anymore. Somehow we got to get Lebron, Wade, Rose, Wall, and some of the other superstars to participate.

    Here is a pretty cool video I found the other day of Team Flight Brothers doing 19 dunks that have never been done in an NBA dunk contest. Some pretty cool stuff.

    I realized today (Feb 29) that 2012 is a Leap Year! And that is what this year is going to be for me! And I hope it will be for you too!

    Thanks for reading!

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Jump Manual - another dunker!

    As a result of my YouTube videos, a guy named Steven contacted me back in November. He had bought the Jump Manual and was getting ready to begin his vertical jump training and had some questions. Since then, we've stayed in touch and it has been fun watching his progress.

    He has worked really hard these last couple of months and it has paid off! Today, Steven posted a video of his first dunk!

    Congrats Steven! Check out his first dunk and his YouTube Channel to see his progress from Day 1.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 5 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Another week has passed towards my pursuit of a 40 inch vertical using the Jump Manual!

    The last 3 weeks have been frustrating due to injuries (low back and left ankle) making it difficult to train.  Thankfully, I'm almost back to 100% and should be able to get all my workouts in this week and get things moving in the right direction again (up!).

    On the positive side, I have been playing very well on both of my city league teams. I'm getting more rebounds and steals and I'm also finding it easier to score. I'm not just an outside threat (I love to shoot 3's) because I'm now able to get to the basket for easy layups or to dish to a teammate. That part of my game had kind of gone away in the last few years as my quickness and explosiveness began to fade. So, although I'm not dunking 2 hands yet...I'm having a blast!

    Recently, I recorded myself doing the exercises in one of the Jump Manual plyometric workouts (there are 2 different versions). I've sent those videos to Jacob (creator of Jump Manual) and he's going to critique my technique to hep make sure I'm doing them correctly.

    If you haven't been filming your workouts or jumping/dunking, I highly recommend you do. Watching the video will teach you things that you simply can't learn any other way. For example, I really thought I was being really explosive and giving my all on each rep like your supposed to (train explosiveness not endurance). But, after watching the videos, I can see that is not always the case. So, I'm going to train more explosively which means I will get better results!

    Thanks for reading and I hope your training is going well!

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 4 Recap of "40 at 40"

    I'm a few days late posting my Week 4 Recap of my dunk training. I don't have a ton of new things to share but do have kind of a funny story.

    In my last post, I mentioned that Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) was in town visiting for a couple of weeks and so I invited him to play on my city league team. We had another game on Monday night and so had another chance to play with him.

    With about 20 seconds left in our game, we had the ball at half-court and my teammate was trying to get the ball in but the defense had us covered pretty well. Just before the 5 second count, my teammate lobbed a pass to me over my head into the backcourt. I jumped as high as I could to try and get the ball. Just as I was about to get it, some guy comes out of no where and literally knocks the crap out of me and steals the ball. No joke. Picture a wide receiver getting taken out by a safety for an interception. That's about the closest thing I can compare it to.

    At first, I thought it was someone on the other team and was trying to figure out why there was no whistle blown. But, as I'm falling down I realize that it's none other than Jacob Hiller who skied over me (somehow -- no idea where he even came from) and caught the ball! They fouled him immediately and he went to the line and made both free throws. We won the game. :-)

    The not-so-funny part of this story is I twisted my ankle on that play as I came down really awkward from Jacob's basketball tackle. My left foot is purple around the heel on both sides just under the ankle bone. I haven't had a sprained ankle in forever!

    So, while I highly recommend using the Jump Manual. Be careful about playing ball with Jacob! You are not safe even when you are on the same team! Beast!

    Thanks for reading!

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    I played hoops with Jacob Hiller!

    If you read my last post, you may remember I mentioned I was gonna be playing ball with an amazing dunker -- but I didn't say who it was. Well...that dunker was the one and only Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual)!

    Since starting the Jump Manual last April, I have gotten to know Jacob through his weekly online coaching sessions and facebook. He has helped me a ton by answering my questions, customizing my training, and reviewing my videos.

    On a coaching session a couple of weeks ago, Jacob mentioned he was going to be in Utah for a few weeks (which is where I currently live). So, I told him he should come and play on my city league team while he was in town. I had no idea if he would be interested or not but wanted to at least invite him.

    Well, last Tuesday night he played on my team and it was an absolute BLAST! I wish someone had been recording the game because there were some pretty sweet highlights. After the game was over, I filmed Jacob throwing down a couple of dunks. Unfortunately, I was exhausted after the game and my back was hurting and so I wasn't jumping very well. But, after one of Jacob's dunks the rim didn't snap back all the way and so I took advantage of the opportunity to barely put down a 2 hand dunk (rim was probably 4 inches low).

    Anyways, here is a short vid of Jacob and I messing around. Thanks for reading and watching!

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 3 Recap of "40 at 40"

    My third week of "40 at 40" dunk training didn't go so well. I tweaked my back last Tuesday morning doing overhead squats or deadlifts (not sure which one caused the injury) and as a result wasn't able to workout the rest of the week. I felt my age this past week and didn't like it one bit!

    I went to the chiropractor a couple of times and that has helped but I'm still not 100% yet. I had a city league basketball game last night and was moving pretty good. But, today my lower back is really stiff again. I have another city league game tonight and will be doing a really long warm-up to see if I can get some better mobility. May not be able to jump as well, but that won't stop me from shooting 3's!

    I'm taking the video camera with me tonight and will record a little if I'm able to jump at all. But, the main reason I'm bringing the camera is I have a friend in town visiting who is going to play with us and this guy is an incredible dunker. I'm hoping when I see him fly it will inspire me to do the same! Got to throw him at least 1 alley oop. It has been a very long time since I've played with anyone that you could throw an alley oop in a game so should be a lot of fun.

    One thing that did go well this past week is my diet. This morning I was 169.8 which is the first time I've been under 170 in quite a while. I just hope I lost fat and not muscle due to missed workouts.

    That's all for now! Thanks for following along.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 2 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Week 2 of "40 at 40" training went pretty well.

    I'm so glad I had my bodyfat tested as it has really made me focus more on nutrition. I lost 1.5 lbs this past week and so being more disciplined on my eating is making a difference.

    I'm playing on 2 city league basketball teams with games every Monday and Tuesday nights. This is making it a little harder to get my workouts in and I am concerned about recovery. But, I'm determined to keep going.

    This morning I tweaked my back doing dead lifts and was unable to finish the workout. First time I've had anything like that happen during these last several months of vertical training. I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't warm up like I normally do and suffered the consequences. I went to a chiropractor who combines massage therapy, electric stim, roller table, laser treatment, and some other pretty cool things as part of a visit. It made a huge difference and I was still able to play in my game tonight and surprisingly had a pretty decent game. 

    Well...that's all for now. Hopefully my back will be "back" to feeling good in the next few days and by next week I can get a video update posted.

    BTW, did you see Blake Griffin's dunk last night? I must have watched it at least 20 times today. That dude is a BEAST!!!!

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    City League Basketball

    Just got home from one of my city league basketball games and need to vent a little...

    The team we played had a few decent shooters and they hit several 3's early on and went up by 15 points. We switched to man to man and started moving the ball better and made a nice come back capped off by one of our guys hitting a half court shot at the buzzer before half time to bring us within 6 points.

    I'm not one to complain too much about officiating but these guys were straight up horrible. Just a couple examples. I drive the lane on a fast break and get fouled by 2 guys pretty hard. One of those guys grabs the ball and chucks it at me -- I assume out of frustration since this would have been the third consecutive play I scored on him. One of my teammates points this out to the ref and he gives him (my teammate -- not the guy who threw the ball) a Technical! Unbelievable!

    There were several other horrible missed calls and calls that should not have been made. But, the worst --- absolute worst ref mistake I think I have ever witnessed in a game came right at the end. We had come back and actually taken the lead with a few minutes left to play. We're up by 2 points with about 10 seconds or so and the other team hits a 3 pointer and goes up by 1. There is now around 5 seconds left in the game and the ball is thrown in quickly to me. I had been pretty hot throughout the game and so 2 guys come at me at half court where I split and go right by them. Just as I do this, a ref blows the whistle. I'm baffled as I wasn't fouled or anything and there was nothing to call. He comes over and I ask, "what is the call?" He says it was an inadvertent whistle!!!! An inadvertent whistle on the last play of the game after I have split 2 defenders and now have a 5 on 3 fast break situation where I'm likely to score, get fouled, or set-up a teammate to score??? Are you kidding me?

    This ref then wants us to bring the ball in at half-court and now there is just 3 seconds left in the game. We of course are protesting. The refs talk it over and decide we can take the ball out again under the other team's basket with the original 5 seconds left. But, now they have a chance to set-up their defense and it is a completely different situation.

    Well...of course I'm ranting because we ended up losing the game. But, in all the years I've played and watched basketball, I can't think of another time when a ref's mistake has impacted the outcome of a game so dramatically. Maybe we wouldn't have scored on that final play but drives me nuts to not had the chance! know what...I still love this game!

    BTW, just because nearly every NBA basketball player has tons of tattoos doesn't mean getting them will make you a player. Tons of these guys were all tatted out and they had no game. Sad and funny.

    On a positive note, one of the guys on my team who I played with for the first time last week, asked me tonight how old I was. When I told him I was 40, he said, "I don't believe you!" That made me feel good. But, I would have felt better if we had won. I hate losing.

    Okay...time for bed. I got jump training to do tomorrow!

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Jump Manual - Week 1 Recap of "40 at 40"

    Week 1 of "40 at 40" is in the books! It was a great week!

    My new workout which is a customized version of the Jump Manual is definitely more challenging than what I was previously doing but I really like it. I was a little sore from some of the new exercises but overall felt really good.

    Today, I had my bodyfat tested using a Bodpod which is supposed to be extremely accurate. The last time I had my bodyfat tested was 11 years ago. It was after I had done Body for Life and I may have been in the best shape of my life and was only 7%. I'm not as lean as I was then but am still in pretty good shape (or so I thought!).

    Here are my results...which completely blew my mind!!!

    % Fat = 18%
    % Fat Free Mass = 82%
    Fat Mass = 31.146 lbs
    Fat Free Mass = 141.816 lbs
    Body Mass = 172.962 lbs

    18%!!!! Are you kidding me??? I expected to be around 12%. I was pretty bummed at first but then I know I'm jumping pretty high at 18% body fat. Imagine if I got down to 8%! So, I think this is actually really good news!

    By the end of this round of training (April 7), I want my stats to be the following:

    % Fat = 8%
    % Fat Free Mass = 92%
    Fat Mass = 13.2 lbs
    Fat Free Mass = 151.8 lbs
    Body Mass = 165 lbs

    This would mean I would lose 8 lbs in total bodyweight but would actually gain 10 lbs in muscle and lose 18 lbs of fat. Not gonna lie...18 lbs sounds like a lot! But, I'm being extremely disciplined with my diet during these 12 weeks of training and so confident I'm going to get really lean.

    If you don't know what your bodyfat percentage is, you may want to look at getting it measured. Maybe you will also be surprised to learn how FAT you are! :-) And if it is higher than you want it to be, get a plan in place to get it down where it should be. Most of the players who went to the NBA combine this last year are around 6%. So something to think about...

    Thanks for reading!

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    "40 at 40" starts tomorrow!

    After taking a week off, I'm ready to start my next round of vertical jump training! This next phase I'm calling "40 at 40" because I'm going for a 40+ inch vertical at 40 years old! This round of training begins tomorrow, Monday, January 16, and will run for 12 weeks ending Saturday, April 7th.

    I will be uploading videos and posting to my blog regularly during the next 12 weeks and hope you will follow along!

    Here are some of the changes I'm making to my training:
    • Adding bands to my squats. Jacob (creator of Jump Manual) suggested I start using these because it adds resistance to the lift particularly as you are coming up where you really want to be explosive. Here's a video Jacob posted recently on using bands and another video on setting up bands. I got the orange bands from elitefts.
    • Writing down the weights, reps, sets, etc. on all my workouts. I was doing this for the strength workout (squats, deadlifts, etc.) but not plyometrics, the off-day exercises, core & upper body, etc.
    • Doing strength training for my lower body twice per week instead of once per week. I see this making a HUGE difference for me.
    • Testing, measuring, and tracking my vertical every single day. See my last post for more details on how I'm doing this.
    • Getting my bodyfat tested a week from tomorrow (January 23rd). I haven't had this tested in years and really curious where I'm at. I will test it again in six weeks and again at the end of twelve weeks. I want to see my bodyfat percentage no higher than 8%
    • Going to be super strict on my diet and write down everything I eat. I will be having green smoothies every morning after my workout and then healthy meals throughout the day. Before bed each night, I'm going to eat cottage cheese and a banana (or other healthy snack with casein protein) to ensure my body has sufficient protein during the night to repair broken down muscles. On Sunday, I will take a "free" day and eat whatever I want. Looking forward to my Sunday morning doughnuts! Maple bars are the best.
    There are some other changes but those are the big ones. One thing I've noticed during the last several months is some days I can jump at least 4 inches higher than other days but can't really explain why. By being much more diligent on recording my lifts, my vertical, etc. I should be able to determine what things are allowing me to jump higher and then modify my workouts accordingly. I also believe testing my vertical on a daily basis is going to really push me to improve every single day. And, that's what it takes!

    Here are my goals to reach by April 7, 2012:
    • 34" standing vertical
    • 38" one-step vertical
    • 41" running vertical
    If you are working on your vertical jump, I strongly encourage you to set some very specific goals and create a detailed plan on how you will achieve those goals.

    Thanks for reading!

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Testing my vertical

    I've been regularly attending coaching sessions with Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) to get feedback on my training. It has been really helpful and one of the biggest reasons I am a huge fan of Jacob and the Jump Manual.

    As a result of the coaching combined with my own knowledge and experience, I'm going to make several changes to my workouts during this next round of training which starts on Monday. One of these changes is I will be testing my vertical every single day. Jacob has been really pushing me to do this and so I have been trying to figure out the best way to test, measure, and track my vertical.

    Probably the best way to do this would be using a Vertec like you see in the NFL and NBA combines. But, those are like $600! And even if I had an extra $600, I'm pretty sure my wife would not be down with me spending that kind of money on something like that. Sometimes you have to improvise and so today I made my own vertec! Well...sort of.

    Here's a little video that shows my $8 version...

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    My 40th Birthday!

    If you have been following my blog, you know that my goal was to throw down a two-hand tomahawk dunk by my 40th birthday which was yesterday (Sat, Jan 7th).

    On Friday night, some of my buddies pulled some pretty hilarious pranks and that was followed by a surprise party that my AWESOME wife put together. It was a great night!

    On Saturday morning, I got up early for my son's basketball game and then headed down to Gold's Gym for a dunk session. I did a really thorough warm-up while listening to a custom playlist I put together on my iPod. I was getting pretty fired up and ready to thrown down some dunks.

    But...unfortunately the two-hand tomahawk dunk is still on my to-do list. I've worked really hard these last several months but I'm not jumping high enough...YET.

    While I'm disappointed and a little frustrated, I have to remember I've made some solid progress since last April and there are very few guys my age and height who can dunk a basketball. I've come a long ways but I'm far from satisfied. And, there is no way I'm giving up now!

    I have some new exercises and other changes I'm going to make on my training moving forward. I've already been thinking a lot about it. I'm not sure what to call this next phase of training as I really liked "Operation Tomahawk". So, let me know if you have any suggestions! One idea is "40 at 40" as to do the two-hand tomahawk, I think I'm going to need a 40 inch vertical.

    I'm leaning towards taking this week off. These last 2 weeks especially I have trained really hard and my body could probably use the rest. Recovery is really important and I've neglected that in favor of training harder leading up to my birthday.

    Thanks for the support! Good luck with your training!

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Happy Dunking in 2012!

    Hard to believe but 2012 is already here! And that means my 40th birthday is just a few days away (Sat, Jan 7th). The last couple of weeks have gone really well with my vertical jump training. The holidays have been awesome spending time with my family and also having some extra time to train and make sure I get all my workouts in.

    I mentioned in my last post that Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual) helped customize a new workout for me. I LOVE IT. On Saturday, he had me add another new exercise and I'm SUPER EXCITED about it. The gains have slowed down for me these last couple of months and I really believe this new workout and especially this new exercise is going to help me get a few more inches on my vert. I will tell you more about it in a future post so make sure to come back and visit!

    I played hoops this morning. Jumping felt so easy almost like I didn't even have to try. It might have been the highest I've jumped off two feet since I started my training back in April so felt really good.

    I will upload a video on Friday or Saturday for sure showing where I'm at in my pursuit of the two hand tomahawk dunk. That's all I want for my birthday this year! :-)

    Thanks for reading and check back this weekend for hopefully good news!