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!

But...you 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 realized...you 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!