Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Final week of training for this 12 week phase + couple of dunks

I’m finishing up my last week of this phase of training. Just one more workout and I get to take 2 weeks off! But, that doesn’t mean I will just be sitting around doing nothing. I plan to play hoops, do a few light exercises, and do some dunk sessions. I am really excited to see how I’m jumping once my legs are completely (or almost completely) fresh.

Here’s a couple of dunks I got this morning between pick-up games. Not my best jumps but not too shabby.

I’m actually most excited about how close I am to hanging on the rim off my no-step vert. I almost got that today. That will be a key milestone in my progress and expect that to happen in the next couple of weeks as well. 

Keep training guys! It’s worth it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 11 Results

Last Monday, I was feeling really stiff and sore and had a horrible jumping day. My highest no-step vert that day was a 29.9 which is about 2 inches below my PR. So, on Tuesday I decided to take a rest day. I slept in and skipped the gym. On Tuesday night, I fell asleep checking email at 8:00 pm lying on my bed.

I got up at 6:00 am and headed over to play some hoops. My legs were still a little sore but definitely felt better. After a couple of games, I went for a couple of dunk attempts and was jumping higher than I have in years. I then got the best dunk I've gotten in months and it felt so good. I am almost positive I could have dunked 2 hands that day based on how high I was getting. training is working and I'm making gains again. I just wish I got that dunk on video!

I'm hitting it really hard for the next 2 weeks and then I'll be taking 1-2 weeks off which is when I will likely be able to see the full results from my last few months of training. I know I've said this before but I am absolutely sure that I will dunk 2 hands very soon. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that it will happen during the next 3 weeks. Before the end of 2013 for sure.

Thanks to all those who are still following this blog and especially those who post comments and ask questions. Hope your having success reaching your goals!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 10 Results

Quick update...yesterday I tested my no-step vertical again and was fully expecting to have another PR. But, didn't happen. I got 31.6" a few times (31.8") is my current PR that I got last week.

But, I also did the 4 jump test which I hadn't done in several weeks. I saw a huge improvement with this test. My previous best was:

.24 (avg ground contact time)
2.99 (explosive leg power)
25.6 (average vertical for the 4 jumps)

Yesterday, my best results were:

.21 (avg ground contact time)
3.54 (explosive leg power)
27.2 (average vertical for the 4 jumps)

So, I'm very happy with the progress there. 

I ended up not doing a dunk session on Saturday last week but am planning to do that this week. Hopefully, I can get some good stuff.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 9 Results - another PR!

Sorry it has been a while since my last post. I have still been training hard despite my schedule being crazier than ever. I've had to get up at 4:45 am in order to get my workouts in during these last few weeks. But, I'm determined to reach my goals and will give up sleep if I have to!

And it is paying off! 3 weeks ago I got a new PR on my no-step vert and today I got another PR (31.8" on my no-step vert).

Here's the video:

Today's jump was only a PR by .2 inches but progress is progress! And I fully expect to get a new PR next week. I'm feeling so good again after all those injuries.

I'm hoping to make a new dunk video on Saturday. With my no-step vert higher than it probably has ever been (even when I was a "young" lad), I should be able to get some decent dunks. I haven't tried dunking much lately as I've been much more focused on training and playing basketball.

Stay tuned! Big things are coming!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 6 Results - new PR!

After some bad luck with injuries, I’m finally feeling good again!  In fact, today I got a new PR on my no-step jump!

Here’s the video with my new PR of 31.6 on my no-step jump:

It feels so feel good! The sprain on my right ankle took so much longer to heal than I was expecting. The worst part was the timing! Two weeks ago, I went to Florida and was able to meet up with Steven Celi who has become one of my favorite YouTube dunkers. I was hoping to make a cool dunk video with him but we were both injured. It was still cool to meet him in person and learn more about his training and what has worked and not worked for him. He’s a big believer in jumping every day or almost every day. He does very little lower body strength training now and mostly focuses on jumping and plyometric work. It definitely has worked for him. He recently tested at 42” on his running vert which is fantastic.

I’m super excited again and look forward to getting another PR very soon. I'm feeling very confident about getting to 34” on my no-step and 40” on my running vert! Big dunks coming soon!

Thanks for reading and following along. I appreciate the support.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 4 Results

Today marks 2 weeks since I sprained my right ankle pretty bad. Even though it didn't keep me off the court or from working out for very long, it still is not 100% and I'm not jumping great right now. I'd say maybe 80%. I'm actually icing it right now as I type this!

The swelling has gone down a ton but is not completely gone. I can do most exercises other than depth jumps as those are just too painful still. 

I did test my no-step vert on Monday and my best jump was 29.1 which of course was disappointing. That's 2 inches from my PR. I know my ankle is mostly to blame but that doesn't make me feel any better! I just want to jump higher!

I also did the 4 jump test a few times and my best test was:

.24 (ground contact time)
2.87 (explosive leg power)
23.5 (avg vertical during the 4 jumps)

Those are fairly similar to my last test a couple of weeks ago after I had sprained my left ankle and down quite a bit from where I was 3 weeks ago. I know these numbers will rapidly go back up when I am healthy. 

The timing for these injuries is kind of unfortunate as I'm going to Florida next week and am going to meet up with my friend Steven Celi who I met through YouTube from doing the Jump Manual. I used to jump higher than this guy but he's passed me up by a ways! But, hopefully I will have a great week and can get some decent dunks. We're planning to do at least one dunk session and maybe two. He also recently sprained an ankle and may not be 100%. But, no matter what it will be fun and it's so cool that I've made some new friends from chasing my dunking dreams.

Check out one of his recent dunk mixes!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I admit it...I'm addicted to basketball

Last week, I sprained an ankle for the second week in a row. My right ankle was a cankle!

So, I started ice liking crazy, popping Advil, and whatever else I could to speed up recovery. And, to my surprise this bad boy is healing up pretty quickly! I sprained it last Wednesday and so I took Thursday and Friday off. But, I was able to workout on Saturday.

Because of my basketball addiction, I played on Monday and again today even though that probably wasn't the best idea. Good thing I've never been into drugs! Pretty sure I would be the worst addict ever.

Here's what it looks like now:

It's still not 100% but so glad it's getting better so quickly.

I will test again on Monday and see where I'm at. If I can stay healthy, I'm confident there are some nice gains in my near future.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesdays are bad luck

Just a quick post...

For the second Wednesday in a row, I've sprained an ankle playing basketball.

A week ago it was just a mild sprain that took a couple of days and I was back on the court. Yesterday's is probably the worst sprain I've had in a few years. Here's a picture. I have a feeling this one is gonna take more than a couple of days to heal...$@$!*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 3 Results

Another good week of training despite spraining my left ankle playing hoops (luckily not a bad sprain). The "cool" part was I did it blocking a guy's shot. But, there was some contact in the air and got off-balance and landed wrong. It's still a bit swollen and I need to do a better job icing it.

Last week was also kind of crazy because my oldest son was trying out for 2 competitive basketball teams and I probably get more stressed out than he does. But, he did great and is so fun to see his hard work pay off!

My best no-step vert was down this week almost an inch. I got 29.5 compared to 30.4 last week. I attribute that to having a bad day, some soreness, and my sprained ankle.

No-step vert test results so far:
I also did the 4 jump test again. My best of 3 attempts was:

.24 (ground contact time)
2.91 (explosive leg power)
23.4 (avg vertical for the 4 jumps)

Ground contact time (.24) is same as last week.
Explosive leg power (2.91) is down from last week's 2.99.
Average vertical for the 4 jumps (23.4) is down from last week's 25.6.

This kind of shows I just had no "bounce" this day which also helps explain my no-step vert being down. Just one of those days. Next week will be better!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 2 Results

Week 2 of this phase of training towards my goal of a 40 inch running vert went really well. Got in all my workouts again and I'm still doing my stretching/mobility work each day. Starting to become a fan of stretching as I'm noticing improvements in my range of motion and my recovery. It seems like it has been so long since my body felt good (not sore) and had fresh legs. But, that is changing and I like it.

Tested my no-step vert and had a small increase over last week. My best today was 30.4 compared to 30.1 last week. I should be able to beat my PR of 31.1 in the next week or so.

Here's the vid:

I also did the 4 jump test a couple of times on my jump mat today (no video) and my best results were:

.24 (avg ground contact time)
2.99 (explosive leg power)
25.6 (average vertical for the 4 jumps)

This is an interesting test as it measures your explosiveness and reaction time. I will be testing this each week and posting the results here as well. For comparison, I also tested this last week a couple of times and my best results were:


So in addition to improving my no-step vertical, I made some progress this week on explosiveness and reaction time too which is good news.

I also started taking creatine a couple of days ago and expect to see my strength go up and also some weight gain. Hopefully though I can make progress on getting leaner at the same time which hasn't been near as easy as I have expected. 

Keep training people! Go get your dreams!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Road to 40 inch running vert - Week 1 Results and I hate the number 17!

I finished my first week of this phase of training. It was a good week. Got in all the workouts and did a lot of work on my mobility and saw some progress there which should help me. I hate stretching but am forcing myself to do it every day.

Each Monday, I'm going to test my no-step vert to track my progress. My best no-step jump for week 1 was a 30.1 which I'm fairly happy with. That is just one inch off of my PR of 31.1 so am expecting to be able to pass my PR soon.

Here's the video:

I also got my bodyfat tested again and I can't believe the results! If you recall from my last test, I was really bummed that my bodyfat was still so high (17.9%) and was going to do whatever it took to get really lean. To help with that, I started intermittent fasting. I was eating pretty clean and healthy (but not perfect). And, I started doing a little more cardio to help get rid of some excess fat. And, my bodyfat after 4 months of that went from 17.9% to an amazingly lean 17.7%!


I was so disappointed. The worst news though is I actually lost 3 lbs of muscle. So, I definitely wasn't doing something right on my diet. Most likely I wasn't getting enough protein. I work out in the mornings and was drinking BCAA's before, during, and after the workouts to avoid muscle breakdown and then eating my first meal at noon. My weight was dropping and my waist had gone down by almost 2 inches. So I really felt like I was moving in the right direction. So although I did lose a little bit of fat, I lost muscle which is never a good thing and my overall bodyfat % barely went down.

So...I'm going back to eating 5-6 small meals a day and making sure to get protein immediately after every workout. I'm also going to start creatine again.

I will get my bodyfat tested again in 3 months and hopefully will see much better results. I'm thinking about getting a different test to see how the results compare. When I look in the mirror, I find it really hard to believe that my bodyfat is so high. I don't quite have a six pack but you can see my abs pretty well which is usually a pretty good indicator of how lean someone is. But, the bodpod is supposed to be the most accurate test out there and 3 times in a row the results have been almost identical.

Here's a picture of me getting into the bod pod.

I guess the good news is if I can finally get my bodyfat % down that should help me jump higher. So, not giving up!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

40 inch vert at 41 years old? Possible?

Sorry for another long hiatus from posting updates! The last 2 months have been really crazy and I'm so glad that it is now back to "normal". Time to get back on it!

It doesn't seem like I'm the only one though. I follow several other blogs of guys like me chasing their jumping dreams and seems they also have been on a bit of a vacation. Where is everybody? :-)

I started another phase of training that I'm super excited about it. I'll share more details over the coming weeks. 

I've still been doing Intermittent Fasting and it has become a habit now and I still really like it. I am getting my bodyfat tested next week and am expecting to see significant improvement from my last test where I was 17.9%. 

I will start testing my vertical each Monday starting next week and post a video showing my progress. I expect to be a little bit down from my PR a few months ago. But, that's okay. I can get it back quickly.

My new goals to reach before Thanksgiving (12 weeks of training) are:

35" no-step vert
40" running vert 

Wonder how many 40+ year old's are there who have had a 40 inch vert? I got to imagine it is a really small number! Hope to join that club!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting Leaner & Jumping Higher

Sorry for the long delay on updates. I've been traveling alot during the last month and had a crazy schedule.

But, I'm still training hard and seeing some progress. I mentioned about a month or so ago that I had started Intermittent Fasting (IF) and it is working. My jeans and dress pants are getting pretty baggy! Which is great but who wants to buy more pants!

When I started IF at the end of May, I weighed 173 lbs and my waist was 34". This morning I weighed 167 lbs and my waist was 33". Most of the weight has fallen off though in the last 2 weeks when I've been more disciplined in my eating. I have 2 weeks until I get my bodyfat tested again so I'm going to be even more strict.

I really like IF. Its actually pretty easy and I feel really good. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to get leaner.

I will get some new videos posted soon. I've been playing a ton of basketball and not filming much but will start uploading again. I am still determined to get the two hand dunk and although the progress is slower than I want it to be, I am gonna get there!

I will leave you with this very interesting article I came across the other day about the well known urban legend about guys taking quarters off the top of the backboard and making change.

Give it a read and let me know what you think!

James White vs a Jumping Myth

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I lost the dunking bet for Nike Elites!

Last summer, I felt like I had kind of hit a plateau in both my vertical jump training and my motivation so posted on my blog asking  if anyone wanted to have a little friendly wager to help me (and maybe others) push a little harder to reach our dunking goals.

I think 4-5 guys took me up on the offer and today I found out that I lost that wager! Dang!

Congrats to Aaron Perry who beat me to the two-hand dunk!

Check out his vid! I will be sending him a new pair of Nike Elite's.

Monday, June 3, 2013

If you want to jump high -- you better be lean!

Just a quick update today. In my last post, I talked about the athletes tested in the NBA combine during the last several years who have a max vertical of at least 38" (a total of 46 athletes). Their average bodfat % is only 6.33%.

This made me wonder about the athletes who have participated in the NBA combine who had the highest bodyfat %. Would these guys have a significantly lower max vertical?

So I crunched some more numbers to find out! The 20 "fattest" athletes to participate in the NBA combine so far (who also tested their vertical jump) have an average bodyfat percentage of 12.4%! So twice as high as the best jumpers! And guess what the average max vertical is for these guys? A very measly 31.8"! Wow!

It boggles my mind with what we know today in terms of training and nutrition that any athlete -- let alone someone with a legitimate shot at the NBA could have a max vertical jump of only 31.8".

So I was already convinced that I've got to get really lean. But, this my friends sealed the deal.

New videos coming soon! I'm making some nice gains right now!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Shocking news! Elite jumpers are not FAT!

For those of you following my blog (thank you!) and my apologies for the lack of posts. Things have been extra busy lately but I am ready to get back to posting updates and videos of my vertical jump training.

My last post talked about how I'm WAY TOO FAT! My bodyfat as of a few weeks ago was 17.9% at a bodyweight of 173 lbs which equates to 31 lbs of fat. As a comparison, I looked up the bodyfat % from the NBA combine for each player with at least a 38" max vertical. This includes 46 athletes over the last several years. I decided to crunch the numbers and figure out the average bodyfat % for these athletes. Not surprising, the average is very low -- only 6.33%! In addition, there were only 2 of the 46 athletes who had a bodyfat % over 10%.

So I'm absolutely going to get much leaner and stronger. My goal is to be 8% by August 5th. To help achieve this, I started Intermittent Fasting (IF) a few days ago. I first heard about IF from Jacob Hiller (creator of Jump Manual). He was posting before and after pictures on his facebook page and I was amazed at the results he was getting.

For those of you not familiar with Intermittent Fasting, it is pretty simple. You eat during a 8 hour window each day and the rest of time you don't eat (water is ok). My eating window will be from noon to 8:00 pm. It is also recommended to take BCAA (branch chained amino acids) as a supplement before, during, and after your workouts. I didn't think I had taken this supplement before but it is included in many protein powders including the one I take (Optimum Nutrition). But, I have not taken BCAA all by itself before. I got watermelon flavor by Scivation. You just add it to water and it actually tastes really good. 

I won't go into all the reasons why Intermittent Fasting seems to be an effective way to get very lean and strong but read up on it if you are interested. It actually contradicts everything I and most people believe about nutrition (eat every 2-3 hours). But, I have an open mind and am willing to give it a shot. I will be sure to post updates on how it's going.

To wrap up this post, I want to leave you with this amazing video I saw yesterday. This is a high jump competition in Kenya with some high school athletes who are absolutely unreal. I hope these guys get access to some better resources and a shot at the Olympics. They absolutely deserve it. BTW, I bet these guys bodyfat % is also just a little lower than 17.9%! :-)

On my next post, I will let you know what tweaks I've made to my training. My vert has increased a little over the past few weeks and will share what I've been doing different.

Happy Summer!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Too Fat!

Whoa! It's been a month since my last post. I think that is my longest hiatus since I started jumpmanual training just over 2 years ago. It was nice to have a break but it's time to get back on this!

Last Thursday, I got my body fat tested again using a bod pod which is supposed to be the most accurate test out there. If you have been following this blog for a while, you may recall I also did this in January 2012 and was shocked to find out I was 18% body fat (was expecting to be around 12%). Well, nearly 18 months has passed since my last bodyfat test on the bodpod. And I thought for sure with all my training that surely I would be down in the 12% range this time. Nope! I was able to drop a HUGE .1% in bodyfat. My test came in at a disappointing 17.9%.

So, it is painfully clear that I've got to drop some bodyfat. I currently weigh 173 lbs and 31 of those lbs are fat! That is just way too much! My best jumping days were when I was 29 years old and was in probably the best shape of my life. I weighed 169 lbs and was just 7% bodyfat which means I had only 12 lbs of fat. Today, the scale says I weigh only 4 lbs more than I did 12 years ago but I'm carrying 19 more lbs of fat. It also means I have 15 lbs less muscle. That is a pretty substantial difference in the wrong direction.

So the bad news is I am too fat! At least in terms of maximizing my vertical jump. Of course, I'm not saying I'm obese or anything like that. But, I'm too fat to be an elite jumper. And I want to be an elite jumper!

The good news is I am jumping really well right now. I actually had of my best dunks and best misses ever last week. And, if I lose 20 lbs of fat that should surely help me jump a few inches higher which would be two hand tomahawks all day long.

Today, I started another 12 weeks of training. I have made some changes to my workout and diet that I will tell you guys more about in a future post as this one is already quite long and unlikely many people are still reading this. :-)

Have a great summer! Keep workin hard!

And...if you haven't had your bodyfat tested recently, get it done. Maybe you are like me and need to drop some lbs.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - 12 week results

I have completed another 12 weeks of Jump Manual training!

I was really hoping to have a video of me dunking 2 hands this week but I'm not quite there. But, I am getting closer. I am back to where I was in the Fall of 2011 and might even be jumping a little higher. What's even more encouraging to me is I have seen some gains in the last 2 weeks as I've started focusing more on single leg work and being explosive with lighter weights rather than always lifting super heavy.

I actually think if I rest for a few days (like I was supposed to do this week) that I can get a two hand dunk off a lob or maybe even the dribble. I intended to take it easy this week so that on Thursday I would be fully rested but instead I played basketball six times this week and also worked out 4 times.

Tomorrow, I go out of town until Thursday and so it will be much easier for me to take a bit of a break. The trick will be eating right and stretching. If I do that, I fully expect to get a two hand dunk on Thu or Fri of next week.

Regardless, some really good things happened during this phase of training.

1. Bench pressed 225 lbs for the second time in my life. Started having issues with my right shoulder so I stopped benching. Not sure if I will go back to it or not.

2. Got a new PR for my no-step vertical jump of 31.1 (see video below). My previous best was 30.8. I am going to test again on Thu or Fri of next week and fully expect to get 32" or better after having some actual rest/recovery.

3. Feel like I've figured out some better ways to train. I've become a big believer in single leg exercises and has me feeling really confident in my training.

Below are a couple of videos from this week. Stay tuned for a blog post and hopefully awesome dunk video next week! Also, I will give an update on what I'm doing for my next phase of, I'm not stopping! :-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - Week 11 Results

Week 11 of my Jump Manual training went better than last week.

I took my sister-in-law's advice to incorporate some additional 1 leg exercises into my workouts such as lunges (stopped doing these a while ago), bulgarian squats (new exercise for me), single leg glute bridges (have done these off and on), and reverse hyperextensions (new exercise for me). It felt really good.

I have already been doing pistol squats (1 leg squats) fairly regularly and will continue doing them. I think pistol squats might be the single best exercise out there for improving your vertical as well as preventing injuries. When I finish this round of training, I am considering going to an extremely simple routine that would heavily focus on pistol squats and other mostly bodyweight exercises and plyometrics. In about 2 weeks, I will start training with my 13 year old son everyday and so time for my own personal training will be very limited. I'm actually excited about it because I think I can still make some really nice gains while actually training less. More details on that later. My son and I will also be making videos to track his progress and so that will also be fun.

Speaking of my son's training, he's at a camp this week with Micah Lancaster, who is one of the top basketball trainers out there. So wish I had access to this caliber of training growing up. Things have changed so much. When I was growing up, many coaches and trainers discouraged basketball players from lifting weights. "It will mess up your shot!" This partly explains why I weighed in at a hefty 140 lbs as a 5'11" senior.

If you don't strength train now, you simply won't be able to compete in today's game. The level of strength and athleticism is just unreal. A few weeks ago, my son played in a basketball tournament that featured some of the best 6th, 7th, and 8th grade basketball teams in the country. I'm not kidding when I tell you there were 7th grade teams that looked like high school varsity teams in skill, strength, size, athletic ability, and talent. They even had a dunk contest. Absolutely blew my mind. Doubt I could even touch the net when I was in 7th grade! Last year's dunk contest at this same tourney might have been even better.

Going to finish this last week really strong! Eating right, stretching, and getting after it for all my workouts. I'm planning to get a dunk video posted this week and then a video next week hopefully featuring a two hand dunk!

Happy "Spring"!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - Week 10 Results

Week 10 of Jump Manual training was kind of mediocre.

So, here's where I make excuses....

My brother and his wife and kids came to town (which was awesome) to ski and hang out. As a result, my wife made a plethora ( you know what a plethora is?) of yummy food which I ate way too much of. There was also extra junk food around the house since we had guests and my will power just sucks. The day they arrived my weight was the lowest it had been in a while (175 lbs) and when they left it was back up to 178 lbs. I also missed a workout and didn't stretch very much. Dang!

On the positive side, my brother's wife is an athletic trainer and so we talked at length about vertical jump training, strength training, etc. She really knows her stuff and gave me some great advice. She is a big believer in doing exercises that as closely mirror the athletic movement as possible. So for example, she said I should be doing more 1 leg exercises as you do a lot of jumping off 1 leg in basketball. She also suggested doing squats, lunges, etc with your feet in the same placement as when you jump (which would actually be somewhat of a staggered stance at least for me when I jump off 2 feet). So I will be trying to incorporate some of her suggestions and am curious to see how they impact my results.

No video this week. Sorry about that. Will make sure I get one next week.

Only 2 weeks left!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - Week 9 Results

Week 9 training using the Jump Manual was a good week.

I got in all the workouts except for one and that was because I was unusually sore after my Tuesday workout which I changed up a bit this past week. I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start adding in some additional plyometrics and that's probably what the additional soreness was from. So I took Thursday off to recover. I hate missing days as it makes me feel lazy. But, sometimes you just have to rest.

I've continued to modify and tweak my workout during these last 9 weeks and I feel like what I'm doing now is perfect for me. Admittedly, I have a tendency to change things probably a little too much. But, I think this is the right combination of strength, plyo, core, upper body, etc. It pushes me hard, doesn't take too long, and is giving me results.

To be honest, I was feeling a little discouraged (my wife would say I was "very grumpy") last week as I was expecting to see some nice progress after having a week off but didn't see any gains. However, that all changed this morning! I was in the basketball gym at Gold's doing my depth jumps (I prefer to do them with the basketball rim so I have a target and can tell how well I'm jumping) and some guys came over and asked me to play 3 on 3. It drives me nuts when guys ask me to play hoops at Gold's because I have no willpower to say no! And, I need to workout!

So of course, I said okay and we started playing. We played a very low key game where no one played defense or tried very hard (at least I didn't). After the game, they said okay let's switch up the teams and play again. I grabbed the ball and drove in hard to the basket and threw down a pretty nice one hand dunk. I don't think they were expecting that. One of the guys said, "He's on my team!". That made me laugh and feel really good.

Once again, I jumped really well when I wasn't expecting it and didn't have my camera out to capture the moment. I had already done squats and depth jumps and was a little tired and had no intention of playing basketball today. I also had on my old Kobe's that have no traction and wasn't wearing my knee brace either. I'm not very comfortable jumping with all my effort unless I have that on. In spite of those things, I jumped really well today. The modified workout, taking creatine, stretching more, and eating better (I'm now down to 175 lbs) are making a difference.

I'm really excited again and feeling optimistic that reaching my goal of the two hand tomahawk dunk is possible. On the right day, when the adrenaline is pumping, I think I could do it. But, the planets and stars may have to align perfectly.

When is the next full moon?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - took another week off

This past week I took a break from my Jump Manual training. It was nice to have some time off and give my body and mind a break.

I'm now headed for the home stretch. My last 4 weeks of this phase of training! And I'm actually coming up on 2 years since I started using the Jump Manual back in April 2011! In fact, my 2 year anniversary is almost exactly one month from today (April 11). It would be so amazing to reach my goal of the two hand tomahawk before then.

So...I'm going to do everything I can this last month to make that dream come true. Here's the plan:

-- Start taking creatine again (started yesterday)
-- Stretch everyday
-- Adding back in some additional plyometrics
-- Shortened workouts that focus on explosiveness
-- Play basketball 1 time per week instead of 2 times per week. Got to spend the time training instead of playing hoops.
-- Eat super healthy. Get as lean as possible without losing strength during these next 4 weeks.
-- Get more sleep. I regularly go to bed at midnight or later and get up at 5:45 am. Not ideal.

And I'm also going to pray! :-)

Hope your training is going well. Wish me luck during these next 4 weeks.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - Week 8 Results

My week 8 training using the Jump Manual went alright. I skipped one of the workouts completely and then did only about half of another workout. Definitely started feeling some fatigue and burn out and so I'm definitely going to take this week off and rest up a bit.

My plan is to play hoops 2 times this week and just do the "off-day" jump manual exercises on those days. I'll do some pushups, pullups, and some core stuff and of course stretching and foam rolling. But, I'm going to take a break from lifting (squats, deadlifts, etc.) and plyometrics. Going to eat really strict this week and see if I can lean out just a bit more before I start taking creatine again on Monday. Seems like I gain an instant 5 lbs within a couple of days taking creatine so would like to get down to around 170 lbs so that when I'm on creatine I'm around 175 lbs.

I also sprained my right ankle last week (not horribly bad) but that's another reason to take some time off. I have been doing tons of ice and advil and most of the swelling is gone already. It's my first sprained ankle since I started doing jump manual workouts almost 2 years ago which is really good for me. In the past, I  sprained ankles pretty regularly.

I will upload a new video later this week with some better dunks than that lob from last week.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jump Manual - 41 years old - Week 7 results

I'm late posting an update on my progress from this past week from using the Jump Manual! My life has been crazy and just very little free time right now.

I've been off creatine for almost about a month now and have dropped a few pounds. I'm down to 176 lbs from 182 lbs but I have felt a decline in my strength in the last 2 weeks. My bench press has gone down and seems like my squat has too. I think it could be a combination of fatigue and not using creatine. I might take next week off to rest like I did 4 weeks ago. We'll see. But, I am going back on creatine. Whether its mental or not it gives me a big boost in strength that I notice whenever I'm taking it.

I have been trying more dunks lately by throwing lobs to myself. I have never been very good at these. I don't seem to jump as high as I'm not super confident the pass is going to be in the right place so I tend to hold back a bit. I usually jump higher on dribble dunks which is weird since without the full arm swing you actually shouldn't be able to jump quite as high off the dribble.

But, I've been watching my friend Steven Celi throw down some really nice dunks lately off lobs and it's made me want to try them more. Check out one of his latest vids:

This morning I did get one weak dunk off a lob and actually got it on video.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 6 Results

Week 6 of this phase of Jump Manual went pretty well over all.

I did miss my big Saturday workout which sort of bummed me out. We went camping on Friday night and then my son had a basketball game as soon as we got home on Saturday. I then did a 2 hour skill workout with him and the day just got away from me. I wasn't completely lazy though. I did some pushups, situps, and body squats as well as some foam rolling and stretching.

I was really looking forward to basketball this morning as we always have good games on holidays and play for a long time. But, my body actually wasn't feeling that great this morning. I felt sore which made no sense at all. I brought my jump mat to test my no-step vertical like I do each Monday. But, I turned it on and it died. Hopefully its just the batteries and not broken or something.

The good news is instead of doing my no-step vert tests in between games, I made some dunk attempts and got the best dunk I've gotten in a while. Felt so good! Jumping is so unpredictable. I really wasn't feeling that good today and yet I jumped probably higher off the run than I have in a while. My approach felt really strong and fast. I think the extra core work I've been doing this phase of training is helping a lot with my running vertical. Or maybe it was watching the slam dunk contest! Although it was kind of lame. With Gerald Green and James White, it should have been so much better!

Some other good news this week is I got a PR on military press. I really suck at this lift! I finally got 105 lbs for 5 reps. Hopefully I can continue to make improvements there. Strong shoulders are important for the arm swing and helping you jump higher.

Unfortunately, I wasn't filming my dunk attempts as I would love to seen the footage. Will make sure I do that next week. I will leave you with this video which blows my mind. I keep watching it over and over and trying to figure out how in the world this 5'6" high school kid can dunk so easy. He's even dunked a few times in games which is even more insane.

Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 5 Results

Week 5 for this phase of training using the Jump Manual went extremely well!

I'm really glad I took the previous week off to rest. I admit it was hard to resist the temptation to work out and I was worried about losing some of my gains or slowing down progress. And, there's always a chance when you take time off that 1 week turns into 2 weeks and so on. But, I came back super motivated and was able to push hard with my body feeling fresh again.

I got in all my workouts and stretched every day. Also, my flexibility is finally starting to improve again and believe it is due to changing how long I hold each stretch. Previously, I would hold a position for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. This past week, I began holding each stretch for 30 seconds and doing just 1 set. Holding each stretch for 30 seconds has allowed me to push just a little further and as a result my range of motion has improved. I still can't quite get my palms to the floor with straight legs but I'm getting much closer.

Yesterday, I tested my no-step vertical again. My legs were feeling great. I was absolutely convinced I would finally break 31". But, I didn't quite get it. I got 30.8" two times which matches my highest no-step jump on the mat from about 6 months ago. So next week has to be the week I finally break 31"! This is the reason tracking is so important as I'm so motivated to do everything I can this week to make sure I get a PR next week. Eating right. Stretching. Really getting after it on my workouts. If I wasn't tracking, there would not be anywhere near the same level of motivation.

Here's the video showing one of my 30.8" jumps.

I'm planning to start making dunk videos again. Maybe later this week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - took a week off

After 4 weeks of hitting it pretty hard, I decided to take a week off from the Jump Manual. I'm glad I did.

Yesterday, I retested my no-step vertical and was able to match my highest jump of 30.6" (for this phase of training back on week 2) and actually got it 3 times! But, what was more encouraging to me was 6 of the 12 jumps were over 30 inches compared to 4 out of 12 a couple of weeks ago.

Here are the jumps:
Set 1: 29.7, 28.8, 30.6, 30.4, 30.6, 30.6
Set 2: 30.2, 30.1, 29.4, 28.3, 28.4, 28.6

So, I think the extra rest was the right choice. But, I will find out for sure next Monday to see if I can finally break the 31" barrier. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Here's yesterday's video:

This past Saturday since I wasn't doing my normal workout, I decided to test my max lifts on squats, deadlifts, and bench press to see how much progress I've made.

I did 265 lbs for 2 reps on squats and my right knee started hurting so I decided to stop there although I felt like I could do maybe another 10 lbs. Since my right knee was feeling weird, I opted not to test my dead lift max and instead went right to bench press. I've been wanting to put 2 plates on each side for a very long time and so stoked that I finally got 225 lbs! My all time PR on bench was when I was 29 years old and got 225 lbs x 3 reps. Saturday is the second time in my life I have benched that much weight. And, it shouldn't be long until I beat that.

So after kind of a lazy week, I'm all fired up again and ready to get after it. Let's do this!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 4 Results

Week 4 of this phase of training using the Jump Manual was just okay. I missed 1 full workout, part of another workout, and didn't stretch 3 of the 7 days. I definitely felt my motivation slipping and some fatigue setting on.

On Monday, I tested my no-step vertical and my best jump was only 29.6" which is an inch below my best from Week 2. I think it was just a bad day. It also may indicate that I need to get a little extra rest and so I've taken this week off. Several trainers recommend doing 4 weeks on and then 1 week off and so I decided to take their advice. This week I've played some basketball, done some pushups, and stretching. It has been weird to sleep in and has made me feel lazy. But, hopefully it's just what my body needs.

I will start my training again on Monday and go another 4 weeks really hard and may take another week off. We'll see how it goes. I've modified a few things to my workout and am excited about that. I've been on creatine now for about 6 weeks and will go off it for the next 4 weeks or so. Should be able to get my weight down at least 5 lbs but hopefully can keep the added strength. I'm also going to take a break from Freak Jump Technique for the next 4 weeks and will re-start again in March.

Since my vertical jump results this week were less than stellar, I'll instead share a quick video of me shooting some 3's yesterday. Man I love basketball.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 3 Results

Week 3 of this phase of my vertical jump training using the Jump Manual went pretty well. But, not as well as last week.

Each Monday I test my no-step vertical by performing 2 sets of 6 no-step jumps. Today, my best was 30.5" which is .1 less than my best no-step jump last week. Out of the 12 jumps, 7 were over 29 inches (compared to 9 out of 12 last week). And, I had 3 jumps over 30" compared to 4 jumps last week. So my results were very similar to last week -- but down just a bit.

Of course I was hoping to break 31" which should be a new PR. So, I'm just going to have to really get after it and make sure I do that next week!

In trying to understand why I didn't have any gains this week, there are several possible explanations. First, I missed part of one of my workouts (core exercises) and I was too lazy to stretch 3 of the 7 days. Rest may have been a factor due to playing a little more basketball than I usually do and not getting as much sleep. Our 5 year old son was down with the flu this whole week and if you are a parent then you know what that does for getting sleep.

But, the reality is gains take I have to be patient. If I stay consistent, I know this is going to pay off!

Here's my video from today showing my best jump of 30.5". Thanks for reading & watching!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 2 Results

I had another awesome week of training using the Jump Manual! I got in every single workout (including Freak Jump Technique) and stretched everyday.

Every Monday, I'm doing the "off-day exercises" which among other things include performing 2 sets of 6 no-step jumps. Last week, 5 of my 12 jumps were over 29" with my best jump being 29.7". Yesterday, 9 out of the 12 jumps were over 29" and I had 4 jumps over 30" with my best jump being 30.6". Almost a full inch increase! Now to be fair, I'm still working my way back to where I was so these are not "true gains". But, good news nonetheless. The best jump I've done on the mat is 30.8" about 6 months ago and I expect to beat that next week. I'm pretty confident anything over 31" would be a PR even if you go back to my younger days as my no-step vert has never been that good.

Anyways, here is a short video showing a couple of my jumps. Notice my friend in the background mocking me on the second jump. Lol!

In other good news, I got 210 lbs for 3 reps on bench press. My all time best is 225 lbs for 3 reps when I was 29 years old. I'm on track to beat that fairly soon.

Very excited! Progress feels good!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jump Manual 2013 - Week 1 Results

I finished my first week of Jump Manual training for 2013 and am pleased to say it was a great week. I got in all my workouts including Freak Jump Technique and I even stretched everyday!

My diet on the other hand was not so great! With New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and my wife's birthday -- I just didn't have the will power to pass up all the stuff that tastes so good and yet is so bad for you.

I played hoops this morning and my body felt pretty dang good. And since today is my birthday (41 years young), that made me feel pretty good! I brought my vertical jump mat which makes it so convenient to test my vertical.

Last Monday, I did 2 sets of 6 no-step jumps and my best was 29.2". Only 2 out of the 12 jumps were over 29 inches.

Today, I did 2 sets of 6 no-step jumps and my best was 29.7". So 1/2" better. I'll take it. And, 5 of the 12 were over 29 inches so nice improvement there. Here's the video:

About 6 months ago, my best no-step jump on the mat was 30.8". I am absolutely certain I will pass that very soon. I want a 33" no-step vert by the end of this 12 week phase. That would get me to 39-40" on my running jump which would be amazing and would mean tomahawk dunks all day long.

Well, my birthday is almost over and at this age, I could definitely use my beauty sleep! Plus, I'm getting up at 5:15 am for my workout. 

Thanks for reading! Hope you have great success reaching your goals this year!