The Jump Manual The Ultimate Vertical Jump Training Guide Warnings and Cautions Introduction - How It All Began... Chapter 1: The 9 Essential Variables Of An Explosive Vertical Chapter 2: Understanding the Science of Optimal Results Chapter 3: The LAWS of Vertical Jump Improvement Chapter 4: Muscle Gains DO NOT Happen During Training - Creating a Portable Nutrition System Chapter 5: Optional Equipment For Vertical Jump Drills Chapter 6: Use the Jumpers Forum! Chapter 7: Pre-Workout Stretching and Warm-Ups Chapter 8: Explanation of the Max Explosion Workout Chapter 9: Post-Workout Chapter 10: Progress and Sustained Increase Glossary: Pictures and Definitions Appendix: Gain Inches Through Better Jumping Form FAQ Warnings and Cautions WARNING!! As with any intense training regimen, there is potential for injury. The principles and practices of this system are extreme and should be undertaken with extreme caution. A spotter is advised when performing heavy resistance exercises. The author takes no responsibility for any injury that the user may incur. In reading this book you hereby release the author of any legal liability in regards to these training techniques. Any injuries that you may incur are the sole responsiblity of the participant. DO NOT JUMP AHEAD TO THE DRILLS! THE DRILLS ALONE ARE NOT YOUR KEY TO JUMPING SUCCESS! Cautions: Ankles: Your explosion capacity will be incredibly strengthened. This means that there will be more pressure and risk on certain joints. Ankles are particularly susceptible to this problem. I will later recommend certain exercises to stabilize the ankle joint. However, I would recommend getting ankle braces. Contrary to athletic myth, they do not hinder your ability to jump or cut. Choose an ankle brace that has wrappable Velcro straps. The simple pull-on-braces are practically worthless. Stress: Your legs and joints will be under a lot of pressure. Although this stress can increase your skeletal strength, there are also risks of injury. To minimize the risks I would suggest getting a pair of well-padded shoes, insoles, or both. When possible perform the exercises with a pad underneath you. Recovery: One of the most common problems is that enthusiastic athletes do not give themselves a proper recovery. Working out and playing at full speed every day will not allow your muscles the essential growing period. NEVER work out the same muscle if it has not received 24-48 hours recovery. The recovery is necessary to strengthen your muscles, and to avoid injuries. Not respecting recovery periods will retard muscle gains and vertical jump improvements. It is never a bad idea to take an additional recovery day. Common Sense: You are a driven athlete, and you desire results. You will get them, but sometimes it is better to be patient. If something is uncomfortable, or you feel that you may be risking an injury, see a licensed medical professional. Ice your knees after every workout. I recommend buying wrap-around ice packs, which when not in use are stored in the freezer, that you can put on both knees so you don’t have to spend 30 minutes manually icing them after each workout. Icing: Icing your knees, ankles, or any other part of your body that may be having problems is essential to maintaining a healthy jumping condition. I have found these wraps to be the most convenient icing method. They have allowed me to keep healthy knees. You may otherwise be unfit for this program if: 1. - You have sustained prior injuries that create excess risk when training. 2. - You are considered medically obese. 3. - You have not undertaken exercise for over 2 years. 4. - You have heart or other conditions that would cause strenuous exercise to be a health risk. How It All Began From the Beginning... I started as an average jumper, neither poor nor exceptional in my jumping abilities. As an avid basketball player, and perhaps an even more avid jumper, I have always wanted to dunk-- No, not just dunk-- fly, glide, float, defy. Hours, weeks, and years were spent trying to maximize my explosion power. I used the Strength platform shoes, AirAlert, plyometrics, stair running, ankle weights, and anything else I could get my hands on. Consequently I had a decent vertical, and was in excellent shape. Yes, I could dunk, but at 6' 3" I wanted to do more than just dunk. But despite my hard work, and hours of training, I couldn't quite get there. I have never known anyone who had worked as hard in order to achieve a high vertical. I am sure there is someone out there, but I have never met him or her. Seeing the Light During a two year service trip, during which I played very little basketball, I stumbled upon the essential elements of what every jump program needs in order to produce maximum results. Although I had very little time to work out I devoted about fifteen minutes a night to testing my new jump theories. The results came quickly, and I resolved to devote my workouts to these theories when I got home. I was sad to know that I could have been using these techniques for all the years before, but I was also excited to put the new principles to work as soon as I got home. Success When I got home (still 6'3") I could dunk rather feebly. With a good approach I could put it down off two feet with two hands with decent force. After three months of putting my theories to the test, I did something I never would have thought possible. I dunked one handed from one step over the free-throw line (about 24 inches past). I could easily cock the ball to my back and tomahawk with serious force. I could glide from outside of the lane and throw it down. I wasn't afraid to dunk over people who were even bigger than me. I could 360, 180, alley-oop, my rebounding was ferocious, and my first step explosion could only be stopped by a congested lane. Everyone I play with notices, and almost every time I play, someone asks me, "So how did you learn to jump like that? Could you always do that? How many people do you dunk on a game? Did you dunk on anyone today? I wish I could jump like that..." Then I attempt to explain what they need to do in order to soar. But I rarely have the time to explain exactly what they need to do. I have talked to many who have much more natural ability than I, and if they were willing, they could do incredible things. The Jump Manual This manual is the result in my obsession with jumping, my education as a Personal Trainer, and the lessons learned from years of devotion as a jumper. It is intended for those who dream of flying. I am convinced that this is the most effective tool available for maximizing your vertical. Carefully read the following chapters and you will understand why this program will develop your maximum explosion power. The principles and exercises are intended to be brief enough to be convenient, yet informative enough to equip you with the knowledge needed to achieve maximum explosion. It is in adhering to these same principles that I intend to dunk from the free throw line, and that I wish you success in your undertakings. 2009 The Jump Manual has developed from "what helped me to get a 40+ vertical" to what is deemed the most effective and comprehensive approach to vertical jump training. The Jump Manual has helped countless athletes attain their peak physical potential in regards to quickness and vertical jumping ability. 40 + verticals are now available to any athlete who has the desire and discipline to maintain an effective training regime. I look forward to hearing your story, and to receiving your testimonial. I am constantly seeking to simplify the process of helping athletes to understand and perform proper training. I welcome your feedback. Chapter 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keP0H1X3PU8&feature=player_embedded#! - Why train only one facet of your training when there are other effective training techniques available? Anything less than a completely comprehensive approach is less effective and will result in incomplete results. The 9 Essential Variables of An Explosive Vertical There are 9 aspects involved in maximizing your vertical jump. Your improvement is dependent upon your capabilities in these 9 aspects, and therefore the flight training program is based on the improvement of each one. When each of these qualities is increased there is a synergistic effect. For example, better flexibility will allow your muscles to fully contract and create more leverage: thus your capacity for flexibility increases your strength. This means that they all work together toward one goal: explosion and upward propulsion. In many instances your performance will only be as great as your weakest link. When one of these aspects is not right, it can adversely affect all the other aspects. Conversely, as each aspect improves they will postively affect the other aspects of your vertical jump and quickness. The following is intended as a brief introduction to help you understand what you need to accomplish. We will go into further detail and explanation in the following chapters. Understanding these principles is your first step to understanding effective workouts. 1. STRENGTH Your ability to jump is directly related to your ability to create force (also known as your strength). We are primarily developing your jumping muscle fibers (fast twitch fibers or Type II), as well as helping your slow twitch fibers to act more like fast twitch fibers. To date there is no way to convert slow twitch fibers to fast twitch. Strength is also factored by how many muscle fibers are activated or recruited during a muscle contraction, as well as the rate that each muscle fiber fires. In a nutshell strength is determined by: a) Size and type of muscle fiber (size is changeable, type is not). b) Number of fibers recruited or activated in single contraction. c) Firing rate of activated muscle fibers during a given movement. d) Stored elasticity utilized to accelerate and strengthen contraction. Each of these aspects of strength will be very specifically targeted in the workout. We will learn that while we can't change the actual type of a muscle fiber, we can train a slow twich fiber to act more like a fast twich fiber. Letter d) is specifically addressed in an advanced type of training that is misused in nearly all performance manuals (I am sure you have heard of it): plyometrics. In the following chapters you will come to a new understanding of its importance and how to master the technique. 2. QUICKNESS You may be strong, but how fast can you generate it? Quickness is the amount of time it takes to produce or output a certain amount of strength. Strength and quickness have a complimentary relationship. The amount of strength you can create, multiplied by how fast you generate it, is equal to the amount of explosion or upward propulsion you will create. The formula is as follows: (QUICKNESS) X (STRENGTH) = EXPLOSION Some people have great amounts of strength, yet they do not have the quickness to create the explosion. Other athletes are extremely quick but the effects of their quickness would be grealty multiplied by added strength. All of us need to improve both. Correct plyometric training is the most effective way to train muscles at extremely high speeds. Most programs and demonstrations of plyometric training are done incorrectly. I have seen countless videos of plyometrics that demonstrate little to no understanding of how to draw maximum benefit from this highly effective technique. 3. NEUROLOGICAL RECRUITMENT & CONDITIONING Your ability to jump is directly related to how your nervous system recruits muscle fibers in order to create force. We want to train your system to do the following: a) Recruit every muscle fiber b) Fire every muscle fiber at maximum firing rate c) Train neural paths to perform a) and b) in the least amount of time possible Proper training will condition the neurological system to properly call upon muscles to act in ways that create explosion. When this is done systematically muscle memory is developed and we are able to easily create max explosion. Most people are currently not using all the available muscle fibers, and training focused on the neurological system is rare and often misunderstood. I realize there is some carry over from the "Strength" and "Quickness" section but it is important to note how they are related, as well as how each of the first three components, although affected by one another, deserve specific focus. 4. FUEL Are you providing your body with the nutrients that you need in order to 1) Build muscle and 2) Use that muscle? It is not necessary to adopt a complicated diet. A proper diet will allow your muscles to create proper energy stores in your muscle. Without proper fuel, there is no explosion, just as a car without gas will go nowhere. In the diet section of the manual we will talk about ways to maximize fuel, and make sure your muscles have lasting stores for peak performance. 5. STABILITY AND BALANCE Each muscle employs stabilizer muscles that hold other joints and muscles in place to facilitate the intended action. If there is a lack of stability, other parts of the body may absorb or hinder the force generated for jumping. A lack of balance jeopardizes your ability to harness your strength and quickness. Efficient balance promotes an efficient use of strength and quickness. Better balance results in more graceful and efficient jumping ability, and stable joint structures result in a more "pure" explosion where the energy is not absorbed by unstable joint structures. These two facets could almost have their own separate category but as they are closely related to one another I have chosen to put them together. 6. FORM Many different muscles are used to promote upward motion, for example quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominal, arms etc. Forward momentum may also be converted into upward motion. Proper form orchestrates all muscles and momentum to create a rush of upward propulsion. To demonstrate, try to jump without using your arms or without thrusting your knee in the air. The vertical jump is an orchestra of movement with one final goal in mind, upward propulsion. In the form section you will learn how to ensure that you are getting the most out of the potential that you already have. This is an aspect to your training that just about every other program ignores, but you will find that as you apply the form techniques you will realistically add many inches to your vertical. 7. FLEXIBILITY The benefits of flexibility are fivefold: 1) Create more leverage/strength by providing a full range of motion. 2) Allow full and more powerful contraction of muscles by reducing resistance from stiff opposing muscles. 3) Improve circulation which results in greater nutrient uptake, which means stronger contractions and greater muscle recovery. 4) Strengthen joints and supporting structures. 5) Balance muscles, which are less prone to injury. Each muscle is counterbalanced by an opposing muscle group. For example, your biceps are counterbalanced by your triceps. As you flex your bicep your tricep is stretched. Proper flexibility allows opposing muscle groups to compliment each other properly. This means that your tricep will be flexible enough to allow your bicep to flex/contract without providing unwanted resistance. Good flexibility promotes the elastic properties of your muscles.We will understand later why the elastic property of the muscle is so important. Lastly good flexibility will help you to maintain strong ligaments, tendons, and other supporting structures. Often problems are caused by unbalanced muscles. Many a "jumper's knee" has been caused by the quadriceps and hamstrings being improperly balanced or lacking flexibility. Research is also proposing that stronger supporting structures, a benefit of stretching, slackens inhibitions in muscle strength output. Basically, the body will allow stronger contraction if it knows that the joints and supporting structures can sustain the force. This effect is not completely understood. We will talk more about this possibility in later chapters. 8. BODY COMPOSITION Excess weight hinders upward motion. Do not attempt to lose weight excessively fast. When you starve yourself to lose weight, your body automatically lowers its metabolism as a security measure, which means that you will be susceptible to gaining all that weight back and more. The best way to lose weight is to have a diet centered around the food pyramid, and to be aware of the energy balance principle.The energy balance principle means that if you expend more calories than you intake you will lose weight; if you intake more calories than you expend you will gain weight; and if you intake and expend the same amount of calories, your weight will remain static. Eating well and doing the workout will result in a healthier body composition. If you are a little overweight, think of it this way: while you are training, that extra weight will serve to increase your muscle size, and when the fat goes away your muscles will be all the stronger for having carried it. If you are extremely overweight, you may want to postpone the workout until you have reached an appropriate body composition for these workouts; consult your medical professional. 9. HEREDITARY FACTORS Each individual inherits a certain amount of slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fiber. Slow twitch fibers cannot yet be converted to fast twitch muscle fibers. The best we can do is train our slow twitch fibers to act more like fast twitch fibers. We can train to increase the fiber size and strength of the muscles that we have been given. A woman's muscle is just as efficient as men's muscles; however, men are generally endowed with more amounts of muscle fiber than women. Some athletes have asked about hyperplasia, which is the act of creating two fibers out of one fiber. This idea has not been proven by scientific research to be a possibility for humans. However, the good news is that our training is the same type of training that would produce those results if they are indeed possible. Chapter 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FIPiqxeXus&feature=player_embedded Understanding the Science of Optimal Results: The Proper Mode Of Perfect Training Principles behind improved strength and quickness. Understanding is essential to correctly training your explosion power. The better you understand, the more naturally you will perform the training exercises, and your training will yield greater and faster results. Understand this material very well before moving on. Have you spent hours each day doing drills that you thought were going to skyrocket your vertical, but only ended up with mediocre results? You were most likely working on your jumping endurance more than you were working on your jumping explosion. For example, if a sprinter wants to increase his speed, how much would he increase his speed by drilling with two mile runs? Very little, and he may in fact lose some of the explosion power that he needs to sprint as muscles are trained to adapt to that activity. Often we do the same thing in our jump training; we work very hard training the wrong aspect! QUALITY not quantity and INTENSITY not repetition are proper characteristics of effective explosion training. If you have a 28-inch vertical (or a 16-inch or whatever it may be) and your drills are in the 15-inch range, you are training your muscle endurance, not your muscle strength. In other words, you are training yourself to jump at certain heights for continued periods of time. To increase your explosion, you need to be constantly working in that high intensity improvement zone, attempting to push that limit a little higher. Correct explosion training is counterintuitive. What this means is that incorrect training feels more effective than correct training. You will be fatigued, your muscles will burn, and you will train longer, but the results will not be explosion. So what?! So if you want to see your vertical increase, INTENSITY must be the mode of your workouts. If you are pacing yourself during drills you need to do fewer repetitions. This is absolutely essential. The drills will require that you jump and exert at maximum intensity! Your success depends on how capable you are of HIGH INTENSITY drilling and power output. Your muscles are made up of individual muscle fibers. When your muscle contracts against a given force, each fiber either fires at maximum force, or does not fire at all. This means that when you lift an easy weight your central nervous system only recruits the necessary muscle fibers to lift that weight. Consequently people who do not lift weights or who lift extremely light weights may have muscle fibers that are not even in use by the nervous system. This is why people who have never lifted weights often experience a dramatic increase upon starting a strength program; new muscle fibers are activated and strengthened. To sum up: We know stronger muscles have the potential to contract with greater force. We know that muscle recruitment or how many muscle units are recruited for a workout is determined by how much weight is being lifted. We know we want to recruit and strengthen ALL muscle fibers during our training. Research has shown that working out with 85% of the weight we can do one time will ALWAYS recruit ALL motor units. This is called: 85% of 1RM (85% of 1 rep MAX) This can easily be found by performing the exercise with a spotter and finding the maximum amount of weight that you can do the exercise once. If you can only do the exercise with 100 pounds once, for example, then you should be working with 85 pounds on a regular basis. Research has also clearly shown that the faster we move a given weight the more work and tension the muscle experiences, and thus the better our gains. In a sense, the faster we push against a weight the heavier it is to our muscle fibers. So here is our rule for weight lifting that you will use for all lifting EXCEPT the last set of certain exercises, and we will go into why later. Lift with 85% 1RM (most weight you can do once for a given lift). (This law tells us how much we should lift to recruit all fibers) Only do as many reps as you can perform at MAX SPEED. (This tells us how many times or how many reps to do a given lift) For most people this means anywhere from 2 - 8 reps, and as the program develops that weight will go up. In the following chapters I will give you guidelines, but the golden rule is for you to dictate. Any time the speed of a rep is lessened, STOP. Some of you may feel like you want to go to failure, or until the muscle is completely exhausted. Now is not the time for that; muscle failure will be done on very specific terms. But as far as the bulk of the workout is concerned, you want to work out with as heavy weight as possible to recruit all fibers, in as explosively a manner as possible. So what?! This method produces the most optimal results for muscle gain and muscle recruitment. We want to train the muscle to do none other than full recruitment, at max speed. Anything else is unworthy of your effort. For optimal results, each rep should be treated as a single event in which peak intensity is the only possible course of action. INTENSITY, over time, applied to correct principles and practice, will produce the most opimal results a workout is capable of achieving. Have you ever heard of stories where people were capable of exerting near superhuman strength? For instance the mother who is able to lift a car in order to save her baby? The Golgi tendon organ actually regulates how much force we are able to exert as a safety precaution. Our body is actually capable of exerting much more force than our ligaments and tendons are capable of withstanding! This regulating tendon protects us from doing so; however, in extreme circumstances the mind is capable of overriding this tendon. This usually results in injury. NO, I am not suggesting that we harness our abilities to the point of overriding the body’s safety mechanism. YES, I am suggesting that your mindset plays a role in muscular recruitment, or how the body calls on muscle fibers to function. Olympic lifters often "psych themselves out" before executing extremely heavy lifts. It is literally mind over muscle. So what?! So when you train your mindset needs to be such that your body recruits that maximum amount of force, and in doing so you will increase your ability to harness that force. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQGFb7nHXcY&feature=player_embedded#! Plyometrics when done correctly are very very effective. 90% of the drills you see and videos about plyos are teaching you the wrong way to do plyometrics. Understanding how to correctly do plyos will be an enormous advantage to you. Here is an acronym to help you remember how to master plyometrics: LAP -Load Amortization exPlode. I know I am kind of cheating with this, and that it's corny. I am just hoping it is corny enough for you to remember. Complex training is the combination of plyometrics and weight training (resistance training). What sets our training apart is our focus on maximum explosion and intensity per rep, maximum strengthening of muscle fibers, and maximizing firing rate of each motor unit. There is absolutely no other practice known under the sun that will increase your explosion power better than the CORRECT implementation of these techniques. Period. So what?! So stop looking for gadgets and gizmos. There are no shortcuts. Implement these techniques in your training and you will be getting the maximum amount of results possible. Chapter 3 A Chapter Just So You Remember Ignoring the principles in Chapter 2 will greatly hinder your results. Review it often. REMEMBER: Strength X Quickness = Explosion Train explosion, not endurance.. If you are pacing yourself, lower your reps. Keep your workouts in the "improvement zone" or don't train at all. Train with 85% of your 1 rep MAX, and do each rep at max speed. Whenever speed is jeopordized, reps must be lowered. Plyometrics are to be done minimizing the "amortisation phase" and with each explosion at maximum strength and speed. No extra bounce, etc. LAP - For perfect plyometrics, Load, Amortisation, exPlode. Recruiting all fibers, and firing all fibers at maximum rate, is the only way to extract maximum benefit from a weight training regime. Treat each rep with the focus and intensity of a single event. Chapter 4 Muscle Gains DO NOT Happen During Training: Muscle gains are initiated during a training session; however, the actual gains in strength take place during a proper recovery. Proper nutrition is the #1 way to ensure yourself of a proper recovery and of accelerated gains in strength and explosion. In order for a muscle to grow it needs to be: 1) Broken Down 2) Repaired and Strengthened. Giving your muscles the proper fuel to work out and build up your muscles is perhaps the most underestimated and ignored element of any workout program. Understanding Anabolism and Catabolism. Most people are working out adequately to induce muscle growth (note I use adequately and not optimally). It is important to know that muscle growth is stimulated when tissues receive damage (this is good damage) called micro-tears. As a result of the micro-tears your body is called upon to repair and build the muscle even stronger than before. Think of it like the body realizing that this type of activity may be taking place again soon and this time it will properly prepare the muscles to be stronger. You must realize that stimulating muscle growth from a workout DOES NOT ensure muscle growth. Here is why: Your body is in constant need of energy to build tissues and run all of its various systems. Your body creates this energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydates are broken down into the various energy sources used for bodily functions, muscle movements, and tissue repair/building. During an intense workout your muscles and body are greatly reduced of their energy sources. This is significant when it comes to what happens next with your muscles. So what happens when you don't have enough energy?! This is when catabolism kicks in. Catabolism happens when your body does not have sufficient energy stores to meet your body's energy requirements. The effect of this is that your body breaks down other potential forms of energy from fat stores and from protein found in muscle. So instead of being built back up immediately your muscles could be broken down further! Catabolism is bad. When your body is in a catabolic state you are not bulding muscle, and may in fact be losing muscle. The opposite of a catabolic state is when your body is in an anabolic state. This may sound scary as it is associated with anabolic steriods, but it is a natural-occuring state in the body that is optimal for muscle gain and thus gains in your vertical jump. Anabolism occurs when your body has ample source of carbohydrates and other nutrients to build and recover muscle tissue. When your body is in an anabolic state, your body is in the best possible environment for creating muscle gains. So your body is either in a position to build and recover (anabolic) or it is not in this position and must break down in order to maintain energy requirements (catabolic). The operative words for each state are breakdown (catabolic) or build (anabolic). You want your body to be in anabolic mode in order to get the most out of each training session. ANABOLISM: When your body has sufficent substances and energy to build/repair muscles and tissues. CATABOLISM: Because of a lack of substances and energy, your body must break down other structures to create the required substances and energy. Proper nutrition is what separates anabolic states from catabolic states and has long been the secret to optimal muscle growth for top athletes. If you think this is just a way to get a little extra bonus growth in your muscles you are dead wrong. Proper nutrition will make more difference in your body then you ever thought possible. Your training is only as effective as its weakest point! For years I struggled to gain muscle and gain inches to my vertical. Now, when I am properly implementing my system I am always accused of using steroids (which I don't and never have). Add this to your training, and you will realize what you have been missing out on. As you provide your body with the proper proteins, amino acids, carbs, and other nutrients it needs to build muscle, you will notice results much faster. You will be able to obtain results that you simply could not obtain without proper nutrition. What your diet needs more than anything else for optimal muscle growth and vertical jump gains. Protein - The most important muscle-building and muscle-sustaining element. Protein is what your muscles are physically made of. Each protein consists of peptides called amino acids. Amino acids are classified as essential (must be received from food) or non-essential (naturally created by the body), and in order for a protein to be usable by the body it needs a full set of amino acids, both essential and nonessential. Without sufficient protein intake, your muscles will NOT grow or they will grow very slowly. Many foods, although they contain protein, ARE NOT complete proteins, and thus do not contain a full set of amino acids, essential and non-essential to be used by the body for muscle building. As a general rule, grains, cereals, nuts, or seeds, although not complete proteins, can be eaten together with dried beans, dried peas, lentils, peanuts or peanut butter in order to make or create a complete protein. As the essential building block for muscles, protein can also be broken down and used as energy if you are not providing proper carbohydrates and calories. To build on this idea, your body can also take the protein used in your muscles to create energy. This is why it is so important to have not only a sufficient supply of protein but also a sufficient supply of carbohydrates, as you will read below. When should you take protein and how much? My recommendation for protein intake is 1 gram of protein per pound (lb) of body weight, or for those on the metric system 2.2 grams of protein per kilo (kg) of body weight. When eating a lot of protein make sure to drink plenty of water so your system does not become dehydrated, as well as to help your body process the protein. You can find other estimates of how much protein is needed. A more detailed idea can be produced by knowing exactly how much lean muscle mass you have in your body. The process has been oversimplified in many progams because doing so is more complicated than simply determining body fat percentage. As we all have bone and other supporting structures of varying sizes and weights, just determining body fat is not an accurate measure. If you have the funds and patience for getting the exact amount email me and I can guide you through the process. I personally do not believe it to be worth the trouble. With protein it is better to err on the side of excess, within reasonable means. Excess protein is simply used by the body as energy, or eliminated by the body. Once again be sure to drink plenty of water. In general, if your urine is clear then you are drinking enough water in proportion to your protein intake. What's the best way to get enough protein? The discipline of nutrition can be much more difficult than the actual workout portion of your training regime. At the end of this section I provide a system that I use to make sure I get enough protein and other nutrients in my system. Near the end of this chapter I show strategies for getting a proper diet without having to change your entire life and eating habits, which is not only a pain, but also makes you less likely to be successful. As well as the other strategies that I recommend near the end of this section, I fully recommend a protein supplement. You can make your own or buy one of many great supplements that are on the market. Whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate is the fastest abosrbing protein known to science and thus is best suited for post workouts, as well as taking right after you wake up. When I need extra carbs, calories, and protein, I mix a shake with peanut butter, grinded oats (grind them in a blender before you add them to liquid and they will be like powder), and other creative ingredients. When I am building muscle I take a protein shake anywhere from 3-5 times per day. The most important times for a protein shake or meal equivalent are: 1. After an intense workout. In the critical minutes after an intense workout, your body is depleted of energy, and your muscles are craving protein to start the building process. Nothing could be worse than to let your muscles be broken down and used for energy when they should be building up. If you let this happen your entire workout could be counterproductive. In the post-workout section I recommend a small post-workout meal that works for everyone, and will ensure muscle growth. 2. Right before bed. Nighttime is the longest fast that our body will endure. We go 6-10 hours with no nutrient consumption, yet our body is still building and repairing during this time. The concept is simple: provide enough protein, carbs, and other nutrients for your body to build your muscles and repair other tissues during the night. 3. Right after waking up. During the night your body will use up the protein and nutrients you gave it before going to bed. You need to break the fast (breakfast) with the proper nutrients to continue building your muscles. 4. Before workouts. During workouts your muscles pump massive amounts of blood to your muscles. A small pre-workout snack consisting of protein and carbs will help you body make the most out of this muscle pump, as well as give you additional stores to use directly after your workout. Other diet necessities for optimal muscle growth and vertical jump gains. Carbohydrates - Simply put, carbohydrates are stored as in the muscle as a usable form of energy for building muscle and working out. Carbs stored in the muscles are called "glycogen." Carbs are generally categorized as simple or complex, and this classification has been used popularly to describe how fast a carb can be absorbed by the bloodstream and be taken into the muscles. However, the glycemic index is a more scientific approach to this. The GI ranks foods on how they affect blood glucose levels. For our purposes we want to always have ample stores of carbohydrates. Our postworkout meal will include some simple carbs in order to "spike" carb storage. The practice of intaking substantial amounts of carbs directly after a workout causes the body to release insulin, which accelerates the process that carbs and other nutrients are put into the muscles. I recommend that you eat around 1500 grams of carbohydrates per day, most of which should be consumed from sources other than sugars. Calories - Calories are the measurement of energy that comes from all the food you eat. For example, there are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per carbohydrate, and 9 calories per gram of fat. The amount of calories you eat per day will give you an idea of how much energy you are providing your body. Most of you should be eating around 2500 calories: 50% percent of that should be carbs, 30% should be protein, and the rest will be fat. Vitamins and minerals - In a perfect world we are eating healthy, well-rounded meals and there is no need for vitamin supplementation. If you are doing that already, GREAT: ignore this. If you are like most of us I recommend a multivitamin. Stay away from vitamins that provide 100% of all vitamins because you will be getting a lot of vitamins from food and protein shakes. I recommend taking half of a multivitamin each day. Water - Your body is made 60-70 % of water. Water helps nutrients uptake into muscles and circulations. Sufficient water wards against dehydration and helps energy levels to stay high. Lack of water can cause you to store water and appear bloated. Consuming at least one liter of water during a workout is an excellent rule of thumb to stay hydrated and ensure good muscle pumps. We are asked to drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay healthy. I recommend to drink at least 12-16. This can be annoying at first as you will find yourself rushing to the bathroom often. Soon your body will become accustomed to so much water. Other recommended supplementation: Creatine - The supplement world can be confusing. There are so many supplements available promising improved perfomance that it is easy to become disillusioned. It can also become very expensive if you are not careful. One supplement that has worked for me and others I train is creatine. Your body naturally creates creatine in the muscles. When your body runs out of energy stores for anaerobic events (lifting, jumping, etc.) it uses the creatine your body makes. Taking a creatine supplement will allow you to have additional stores of energy for your workout as well as for performing. Taking creatine regularly will give you a noticeable boost in athletic performance which makes for better workouts as well as better performance. If you are skeptical about creatine, I understand. I have researched it thoroughly and found it to be safe. I will not attempt here to convince you: you will have to decide for yourself. Please note that if you decide not to use creatine you will still make very substantial gains. All of my original gains from this workout were without creatine. MY FAVORITE SUPPLEMENTS I recommend the following protein and muscle building supplement which is affordable and effective. If you are already a heavier build you might want a shake with less calories. (http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-290104710409943?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodybuilding.com%2Fstore%2Fcs%2Fgainer.html&cjsku=CYTO042) I recommend an affordable and effective creatine which can be found here: (http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-290104710409943?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodybuilding.com%2Fstore%2Firon%2Fcreatine.html&cjsku=IRON040) A multivitamin helps your system to function at its maximum. If you are eating your recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables you do not need this supplement. Unfortunately most of us do need it. An additional glucosamine supplement can be taken to help promote joint and tissue health. Effective products can be found here: (http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-290104710409943?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodybuilding.com%2Fstore%2Fnatrol%2Fm g.html&cjsku=NATROL022) CREATE YOUR OWN PORTABLE SUPPLEMENT AND NUTRITION SYSTEM As we have discussed above, nutrition is extremely important, and typically neglected. The fact is that it can be very inconvenient. I created this simple system while I was traveling. I found it nearly impossible to get proper nutrition while I was traveling from country to country in Europe. I thought it would be impossible. I used to use an expensive Magic Bullet blender, but as I only had one bag I had to minimize my belongings during my trip and the blender had to go. I came up with this solution, and although we could call it a bit "ghetto" I have found it to be more convenient than my more expensive system. What you need: - 1.5 liter or bigger bottle with small mouth. - Empty peanut butter or other container with fastenable top (same size in circumference as the 1.5 liter bottle). - Clear packaging tape, or duct tape. - Scissors or a knife (BE CAREFUL) Smaller Gatorade or other wide mouth bottle (big enough to stick the other bottle top directly inside). 1st Cut the bottom off both the 1.5 liter bottle and the peanut butter bottle, and clean them out thoroughly. 2nd Stick the opposing ends of the 1.5 liter bottle and the peanut butter bottle next to each other. You can see in the image in red where the peanut butter bottle would be inside of the 1.5 liter bottle. 3rd Use the packaging tape to seal it. 4th Now you have a bottle that you can easily load a week or more's worth of protein powder. Unscrew the top and load it with powder. 5th You keep this bottle in your backpack with your Gatorade bottle. Whenever you want to supplement you simply dump a portion of powder into the larger mouth Gatorade bottle. Then just add water to your Gatorade bottle with no mess, shake it up to mix it well, and drink it. So what am I supposed to do with this piece of junk? (I am taking suggestions for the name of this thing.) Keep it in your backpack with you and use it to make sure you are getting your protein, carbohydrates, or whatever other supplements you want to take. It's much more convenient than a blender. If you are taking supplementation seriously you will find this to be a very easy way to get nutrition throughout the day. How do I use this contraption? I make protein shakes on the subway. If I don't have enough space I fill the bottle before I leave, and stick it in my back pack or bag. If I know I am not going to eat a meal in a few hours I take it with me to keep my body anabolic at all times. It's simple, it's silly, and it works. A DIET FOR THOSE WHO DON'T WANT TO MICROMANAGE NUTRITION BUT WANT THE GAINS IT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY PROVIDE. Let me say I am NOT a fan of micromanaging a diet. In my opinion it leads most people to inaction. Imperfect action is going to be better than no action so in the very least, try to do the following. It's simple, it's effective, it's cheap, and you won't have to change the way you live each day to get it done. Learn to snack correctly: Find snacks that you like, and that provide the proper nutrient profiles. Learn to enjoy tuna. Tuna in the new quick-open cans is a cheap easy way to get some good protein. Nuts are good to have around for good fat and protein. Granola bars, yogurt, and other quick and easy snacks can be thrown into a bag and snacked on in spare moments to help keep your body anabolic. Basically find what works for you: the easier it is to do the more likely you are to stick with it. Cheap Shake Idea: This will gross some of you out, but taking raw eggs and putting them into a blender with some orange juice can create a very tasty shake. Honestly, if you can get your mind off the fact that the eggs are raw than you would never know they were in it. If you are worried about drinking raw eggs they can be nuked in the microwave for a few seconds to kill any bacteria. Standards for eggs in the United States are very high, but I understand if you think this is just gross. Basic Nutrition Plan Breakfast: Fruit; banana; portion of protein; milk or other slow-release protein; granola or source of complex carb; multivitamin. Post-Breakfast: Shake or other protein and carb snack. Lunch: Fruit; greens; portion of protein; milk or other slow release protein; granola, rice, or other source of complex carb. Post-Lunch: Shake or other protein and carb snack. (If it is a workout day this can be skipped in favor of the pre-workout snack). Dinner: Fruit; greens; portion of protein; milk or other slow release protein; granola, rice, or other source of complex carbs. Post-Dinner/Bed Time Snack: A nice portion of yogurt, milk, or other slow release protein is an excellent choice for bed time. A banana and a source of complex carbs can keep your body anabolic all night long. Workout days - Add the following: Pre-Workout Snack: Half a protein shake; granola bar; drink 1.0 liter of water during workout. Post-Workout Snack: (See Chapter 9 for full details on the post-workout snack) Protein shake; fruit juice; granola bar; banana. A parting note about nutrition: If you want to get more specific email me and we can get more into the specifics of your diet. Remember this: imperfect action is better than no action. Just because your diet isn't perfect, or you can't afford parts of it, doesn't mean you shouldn't at least be doing what you can. If you're dedicated to your progress as an athlete you will find a way. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Nutrition Are supplements healthy for me or for my kids? I am required by law to request that you consult your doctor, and I am not a doctor. However, protein supplements are the equivalent of eating plenty of eggs, chicken, or dark greens. A protein supplement will pose no problem to your health, unless you take ridiculous amounts. Is creatine dangerous? Creatine has become an accepted nutritional supplement. Its effectiveness is scientifically documented. As long as you are not dehydrated, creatine poses no threat to your health. Are protein shakes healthy/natural? I completely commend you for not wanting to take something into your body that could harm it. But consider this. These shakes are specifically designed to give your body all the good stuff that it needs to perform and function at peak level. Think about all the junk food and all the canned and processed goods that we eat that are in no way designed to help our body function at maximum level. I believe protein shakes and meal replacement shakes to be a great source of additional nutrition. I will say that you can get the benefit of a protein shake from whole foods and meals, but that it is very inconvenient and also less cost-effective. It could easily cost you $50 $100 dollars a month to buy protein shakes. But how much would it cost you to replace that with tuna, chicken, vegetables, etc.? Consider a can of tuna that costs about $1. If I ate three cans of tuna per day I am already spending $90 per month on tuna! It's really up to you how you get your protein and nutrition; it's a personal choice. Just know that you need this nutrition for optimal results. Chapter 5 Speed Rope: (Cheap Alternative: Rope) - I use a speed rope like the one you can find here:(http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-290104710409943?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodybuilding.com%2Fstore%2Faa%2Fcot.html&cjsku=AA015) Medicine Ball: (Cheap Alternative: Heavy rock, weight, or sand-filled basketball) Preferably one that you can bounce and throw in the air. I use this type of medicine ball:(http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2901047- 10409943?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodybuilding.com%2Fstore%2Faa%2Ffit.html&cjsku=AA027) Bosu Ball: These are great for improving ankle stability; if you have had problems with that I would recommend using one of these. Basketball: This program can work for all athletes but is specifically designed for a basketball player. We will take advantage of warm-ups and other drills to also build your skills. A Weight Room is recommended and facilitates the exercises. However, Chapter 8 explains ways you can get the same effect without a weight room. I am not going to lie: a weight room can make it easier. A Box or Sturdy Chair is required for some drills.You can also use steps or something else creative. Chapter 6 Use the Jumpers Forum Once again... We are all different, and although we all must gain our vertical by obeying the same principles, some of us may take different roads to get there. The Jumpers Forum is your greatest resource of speaking with other athletes and finding out what exactly is working for them. This will help you in a few different ways. It will: 1. Reinforce the efficacy of the training principles you have already learned. 2. Motivate you by seeing the successes of others and by being held accountable. 3. Allow you to brainstorm with like-minded athletes about how to take your training to the next level. 4. Help you to stay plugged in with the latest developments in jump training technology. Password = dedication Copy and paste this link if the above link does not work: http://freeverticaljumptraining.com/sf-forum Chapter 7 Pre-Workout Stretching and Warm-ups In a nutshell, warm-ups and stretching prevent injury and increase performance. Flexibility for a fuller muscle contraction. When you are flexible your muscles have much more leverage in which to exert maximum force. Alternate muscle groups (ex-quads vs hamstrings, biceps vs triceps) also need to be free of stiffness, or a lack of flexiblity, in order to contract at full force. Let me explain: In order for you to fully flex your bicep your tricep has to be fully extended or stretched. Thus by training your tricep to be more flexible you are providing LESS resistance to the contracting bicep. Flexibilty will help EVERY muscle in your body to contract with less resistance. Flexiblity for injury prevention. The same principle of opposing muscle groups will also greatly reduce the likelihood of nagging injuries such as patellar tendonitits (jumper's knee). If your hamstring is tight, it will pull on your quad muscle, which will over time aggravate your patellar tendon. Stretching your hamstring alleviates the stress on the quad, and thus releases the tension in your patellar tendon. Greater range of motion and leverage. Think if you were a boxer but your rotator cuff was stiff and you could only rear your elbow back half of what you normally could. Think of how limited the power in your punch would be because of the lack of range of motion. Your body needs to be free of resistance in order to have smooth and complete range of motion. Other benefits. We talked about the Golgi tendon organ in prior chapters. To sum it up, the Golgi tendon organ inhibits force generation in proportion to how much force your joints and ligaments can handle. Stories are told of mothers exerting superhuman strength to lift cars to save their children. This happens when the Golgi tendon organ is chemically bypassed because of a spike in adrenaline. It is posited that high flexibliity, which in turns strengthens supporting structures, in cooperation with proper plyometrics will cause the Golgi tendon organ to allow you to exert more force. The synergistic effect of great flexiblity. As your muscles contract more fully, and enjoy a complete and unrestricted range of motion, you will experience the ability to use your current and new strength as never before. This will not happen overnight, but it will happen. How to get started training. Warm-ups are typically boring, so most of us don’t take advantage of what a warmup can do for us. Here is a brief explanation of how they can help: When your muscles are warm they are able to work at peak performance. How much higher can you jump after you have had a chance to play a game and warm up? A good warmup allows your intensity level to be greatly increased. Greater intensity will mean greater gains. How it works. As your body moves around your heart rate increases to pump blood to your organs. The increase in blood flow raises your body temperature, and your muscles are physically warmer. Your warmer muscles are more elastic and less prone to harmful damage that may become strains or full-out muscle tears. As your blood flow is increased your muscles cells dilate, allowing your muscle to better use the blood flow for stronger contractions (also known as improved performance.) Warm up and stretch at the same time. I recommend this because if you warm up beforehand and take fifteen minutes to stretch, you will be cold again before you are finished stretching. This program uses stretching all throughout the workout. Stretching is very important for your vertical and I recommend that you stretch your muscles in between each exercise as well as during warm-ups. 1. Warming Up The following are suggestions for getting your muscles warm: Choose a low intensity activity to warm the muscles (jogging, biking, etc.) My favorite activity is to run laps around the gym dribbling with my left hand and making left-handed shots every lap. Doing this makes my left hand just as strong as my right while I warm up. I also enjoy riding a bike for 5-10 minutes while I read information on vertical jump training. Walk on your heels up and down the court one time. Stop to rest at each side. Walking on your heels is a great way to strengthen your anterior tibialis, which is the opposing muscle to your calf. Doing this will provide better balance in your lower leg. Lightly jump rope in 30 second intervals. Caution: Your warm-up should not bring you to any point of fatigue. You should have a small amount of perspiration but it should not zap energy meant for intense exercise. 2. Stretching The following stretches are recommended; however, you may feel free to add stretches of your own. Hold all stretches between 5-10 seconds. 2-4 sets of each during the entire workout is fine. It is okay to do additional sets. You can do the following set of stretches in a sequence. Cross Your Feet and Hang: Switch legs and repeat. Calf Stretch: Find a pole or solid object and place the flat of your foot on the pole. Pull your body towards the pole and feel the stretch in your calf. Switch legs. Roll over onto your stomach to prepare for the next set of exercises. V-sit and Reach, Leg Hugs, Back Stretch, Crab Stretch: Sit down with your legs out in front of you, one towards the left and one towards the right. Reach towards each leg and towards the middle. Before you stand up pull one leg toward your body allowing the foot to go over your leg on the other side. Repeat with the other leg. Before you get up, roll onto your back and bring your legs over your head. Try to get your knees to touch the ground on the side of your head. Before you get up, arch your back and hold yourself up with your arms making a bridge. Hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat 3 times. Push Up Stretch: Push up the front half of your body allowing you to feel the stretch in your back. Hold 3 seconds and repeat. Stand up. Neck Rolls: Roll your neck in a full circle and apply gentle but firm pressure using your hands to feel the stretch on all angles. Groin Squat: From a standing position squat down and put your elbows in between your legs. Try and get them to touch the ground. Hold and feel the pull in your groin. Then, standing with your legs spread wide: Splits: Try to do the splits. Support yourself with your arms. Feel the pull. Do not injure yourself. Ankle Rolls: Point your toes towards the ground and roll your toe around feeling the pressure on all points of your ankle. Quad Pulls: Grab your foot with the opposite arm and pull up. If you are able to touch your foot to your tail bone allow the foot to pull away from your body and continue pulling your leg back for a fuller stretch. Anterior Tibialis Stretch: Sitting on your knees lean back onto your heels and try to flatten the back of your foot to the ground. A flexible and loose anterior tibialis will allow your ankle explosion to be unimpeded. Chapter 8 The Max Explosion Workout This is the same exact workout, in combination with the other techniques in this manual, that countless athletes have used to gain 10 - 20 inches on their vertical jump. Strategies for Beginners and All Kids Under 14 If you are a beginner and have never used weights or plyometrics before, I would recommend that you use only enough weight so you can do 15 - 20 reps of each exercise. Do this for the first two weeks and then continue as prescribed in the workout chart below. Doing this will allow you to explore form, technique, and to build a foundation of strength before adding significant weight. Do not do any plyometrics with weights, and do not do any depth jumps. Squats and other exercises should be done fully to build a base of strength for explosive exercises to come. Explanation of Workout Chart The workout chart reads from left to right, and each horizontal bar represents a day's work. Click on the exercise for a full description and for alternative exercises. If you are still sore from a workout take an extra rest day. Not getting a full recovery will NEGATIVELY affect results. Do not add this workout to a prior workout. Try to avoid intense activity on the off days, as you need to get a full recovery. Listen to your body. If you are feeling slow, sluggish, or your vertical ever goes down, that is a sure sign you are not allowing for a proper recovery. If you see this happening to you, email me, or take an extra day or two off and start where you left off. Each day have a PWS - Post-Workout Snack. Even on days where you just stretch, or do off-day exercises. If you would like to do your own upper body workout on off days you may, but stay away from anything with legs! I recommend testing your vertical at least on day 1 and day 7. The more you test it the better reading you will get on your improvements. Side to Weighted Medicine Zig Zags Medicine Rim Speed PWS Day 1 Depth Jumps Side Box Explosion Ball Jumps s Approach Day 2 Stretch and Recover Core Series Day 3 Off Day Exercises Only Day 4 Explosion Explosion Dead Squats Calf Lifts Raises Day 5 Stretch and Recover Day 6 Stretch and Throws Jumps Rope Upper Series PWS PWS Ham Curls In Place Lunges Hang Cleans Knee Drives PWS PWS Core Series Upper Series PWS Recover Day 7 Off Day Exercises Only Day 8 Sprints Lunge Jumps 1 Leg Chair Rockets Day 9 Stretch and Recover Core Series Upper Series Day 10 Off Day Exercises Only Day 11 Explosion Hang Squats Cleans Day 12 Stretch and Recover Day 13 Stretch and Recover Day 14 Off Day Exercise s Only PWS Medicine Zig Zags Rim Throws Jumps Weighted Sprints Explosion s PWS PWS PWS Ham Curls Explosion In Place Calf Lunges Raises Dead Lifts Knee Drives PWS PWS Core Series Upper Series PWS PWS *Once completed, continuously repeat this 14 day chart with increases in weight (if possible) and intensity. THE EXERCISES MAY TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO LOAD. Strength and Explosion Sets (Weight Training Strategy) To be implemented with all weight training exercises. Most weightlifting exercises will go by the strength and explosion set protocol. This type of set focuses on building and recruiting fast twitch muscle fiber, increasing fast twitch muscle fiber size and strength, and increasing explosive reactions of the trained muscle. A typical strength and explosion set would be as follows: Sets 1 - 3 between 1 - 10 reps Weight is brought down slowly but contraction is done emulating jumping explosion, which means to contract as quickly as possible. Sets 4 -5 between 1 - 10 reps Set 4 is done slowly and deliberately with a much stronger focus on form. This allows every part of the muscle to be strengthened by the exercise. Set 5 is the burnout set. It is best to do with a partner. During this set we are going to completely fatigue the muscles so we can strain every last fiber of the muscle. Do the first 8 reps exactly as set 4 … if you can do more go to complete failure. As soon as you are finished take off a little weight off each side and do 8 more reps or to complete failure as before. As soon as you finish take off more weight from both sides and go to failure… then have your spotter help your force out 3-4 more reps, if you have no spotter you can cheat with your arms depending on the exercise. This last set, or burnout set, forces the muscles to recruit every last muscle fiber, even smaller supporting fibers, which allows us to activate and strengthen muscle fibers that before may have been dormant. Some may think that since we are not exploding, going to failure is counter-productive. While "explosion" (or in more defined terms, recruitment of all muscle fibers while firing at max rate in the shortest amount of time) is the neural pathway we are training, "failure" training is effective, if practiced only once during the last set of the workout for a given exercise. This means that the majority of the workout is spent on explosion with the heaviest weight possible and the most explosive movements possible, and the "failure" training is used to finish up the workout and stimulate a strength growth. Note: Set 5 is called a pyramid set, and includes 3 "mini-sets." Note: "Going to failure" means to perform the exercise until you can no longer lift. IN BETWEEN SETS: In between every other set do 1 set of 2 reps depth jumps. NO MORE! The key here is to train muscle memory for explosion and fast movements, NOT to have a tiring plyometric workout. After the set is finished allow 20 seconds to one minute to recover then do the depth jumps from 6 - 12 inch drop off. Doing the plyos in between sets helps the strength gains to be "activity specific." Choosing the right weight Find out the max you can do for a given exercise. That means the amount of weight that you can only do 1 rep. Make sure you have a spotter or someone to help you with this. Now take that weight and multiply it by .85. This is the weight you will use. We want you to be able to do 3 - 8 explosive reps. Whenever the speed of the lift slows down you need to STOP. This will ensure that we are recruiting all muscle fibers, and firing them at max rate. Don't worry neccessarily about how fast the weight is going, only that it is going as fast as you can with a given weight. It is the recruitment and firing rate of the muscle that is most important. When you are able to do 8 reps or more at max speed it will be time to retest your your 1 rep max and begin using heavier weight. Trackable Progress: Progress is not measured by how many reps you do, it is measured by how heavy the weight and how quickly it is taken from relaxed position to fully contracted. If you are moving heavier weight at faster speeds then your vertical will necessarily be improving. One way to track this is to use a stop watch and time how quickly you are able to move a given weight from relaxed to fully contracted. Quickness Sets (Plyometric Strategy) Plyometric and now "heavy" weight exercises are done to increase your quickness. NEVER pace yourself during this type of exercise. Doing so defeats the entire purpose of the drill. TIP: When possible, always use a target to reach for during the plyo exercises, and continually move that target higher and higher. Reaching for a target will give you a constant focus for continual increase. This target could be the rim, or a mark on a wall. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. PWS - Protein Workout Snack We spoke before how important it is that you give your muscles the right fuel to build new muscle. Chapter 9 describes your post-workout snack in detail for you. 1. Off Day Exercises Every day you should thoroughly stretch your muscles. Sometime during the day, perform these few exercises unless you feel too sore to perform them. NOTE: Please note that this should not be tiring or extremely fatiguing and it is only to train your nervous system. Overdoing the off-day exercises will interfere with building and recovering your muscles. Stretching: On all off days you should completely stretch your entire body. (See Chapter 7) Warm-Up: Before performing off-day exercises you should do a brief warm-up. Climax Jumps: 2 Sets of 6 Jumps Choose a spot in the gym or near your home that you cannot yet reach with your vertical. Standing (with no approach) explode up as hard as you can and try to reach the spot. Land, compose briefly (this is not a plyometric), and repeat for up to 6 reps. NO MORE. Heel to toe mini explosions: Take a drop step as if you were going to explode and.as soon as BOTH heels hit, allow your calf muscles to explode, leaving you standing on your toes. Do not jump, but try to explode calf muscle at maximum force. Drop step with your other leg and explode in the same manner - this creates two reps. Do 3 sets of 6 reps. NO MORE. Sit Down Reaction Training: 3 Sets of 6 Stand in front of a chair. Sit down slowly until you feel the chair underneath you. AS SOON as you feel the chair explode up to standing position. Repeat for up to 6 repetitions. NO MORE. 2. Explosion Squats: 5 Sets as follows For this exercise you may use a squat rack (make sure you have a spotter) or you may use a squat machine or leg press machine. I recommend using a leg press machine which is better on your back. A true squat will work your back more but we will isolate your back in other exercises. Load enough weight so that you can do no more than 8 reps. WARNING: This is very heavy. If you have not squatted before I highly recommend doing 15 reps for your first workout to avoid injury. If you do not know how much weight you need, err on the light side for a warm-up set and judge how much weight you need to add. Keep your feet as high up as possible and away from your body. Allow the weight to rest mostly on your heels. Smoothly and slowly lower the weight (you should never feel that the weight is falling; it should always be under control). When your knees reach your chest EXPLODE back to a starting position with the intensity of a jump. Repeat this 7 more times. If you are able to do more than 8 you need to adjust the weight: DO NOT DO MORE REPS. Make the necessary adjustments, but do not do extra reps. Give yourself two minutes or more to completely recover so you can do it with just as much intensity. Stretch your muscles during the interim. Repeat for another set. On the third set add more weight than normal and ask a spotter to help you. If you are using a leg press machine you can push your own legs to spot yourself. Repeat this exercise with the heavier weight and the same intensity. On your fourth set lower the weight considerably and do 8 slow and steady reps. Do not allow the weight to either fall or get thrown up as before. Feel the weight pushing down during the entire contraction. The fifth set you will want a partner, or to move very quickly. During this set we are going to completely fatigue the muscles so we can strain every last fiber of the muscle. Do the first 8 reps as you did the 4th set … if you can do more go to complete failure. As soon as you are finished take off a little weight off each side and do 8 more reps or to complete failure as before. As soon as you finish take off more weight from both sides and go to failure, then have your spotter help you force out 34 more reps. Your legs should be completely toasted after this workout. Remember the muscle burn you feel during this will be different from the HIGH repetition exercises that are less effective for training explosion. It may feel counter-intuitive… and it is. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a backpack full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, do this with no weights, but increase your intensity and double your reps. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 3. Explosion Calf Raises: 5 Sets as follows Find a sit down calf machine or other calf training machine of your choice. Load enough weight so that you can do no more than 8 reps. WARNING: This is very heavy. If you have not squatted before I highly recommend doing 15 reps for your first workout to avoid injury. If you do not know how much weight you need err on the light side for a warm-up set and judge how much weight you need to add. Allow the weight to rest mostly on the front part of your foot. Smoothly and slowly lower the weight (you should never feel that the weight is falling; it should always be under control). When your heels are as far down as they can go EXPLODE back to a starting position with the intensity of a jump.Repeat this 7 more times. If you are able to do more than 8 you need to adjust the weight: DO NOT DO MORE REPS. Make the necessary adjustments, but do not do extra reps. Give yourself two minutes or more to completely recover so you can do it with just as much intensity. Stretch your muscles during the interim. Repeat for sets 2 and 3 adding or removing weight as necessary to complete 8 reps: no more or less. On your fourth set lower the weight considerably and do 8 slow and steady reps. Do not allow the weight to either fall or get thrown up as before. Feel the weight pushing down during the entire contraction. The fifth set you will want a partner, or to move very quickly. During this set we are going to completely fatigue the muscles so we can strain every last fiber of the muscle. Do the first 8 reps as you did the 4th set … if you can do more go to complete failure. As soon as you are finished take off a little weight off each side and do 8 more set or to complete failure as before. As soon as you finish take off more weight from both sides and go to failure… then have your spotter help your force out 3-4 more reps. By now you should feel unstable walking because your legs are so exhausted. Remember the muscle burn you feel during this will be different from the HIGH repetition exercises that are less effective for training explosion. It may feel counterintuitive… and it is. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a back back full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, use one leg at a time, but increase your intensity and double your reps. TIP: At fully contracted position try and be on the tip of your toes and get your toes involved in the workout. YOu may find this hard or even impossible, but continue to try. 4. Dead Lifts: 5 Sets as follows This is an advanced exercise and can also be substituted for a lower back machine. Please wear a belt during this exercise. Dead Lifts will target the strength of your lower back and erector muscles. These muscles are used to propel your body upward and create momentum. To perform a dead lift use a straight bar (or two dumbbells). I prefer to use a "smith machine" which has the bar attached to cords or bars. Arch your back well and allow your knees to bend slightly as you grasp the bar. Use substantial weight; however, if this is your first time you may want to get the feel of the exercise with lighter weight. Continue holding the bar as you bring your body to an upright position. Slowly lower the weight back to the ground and repeat. The first 3 sets should be done with 8 reps. The lifting action should be controlled but quickly. Explosion is desired, but keep the motion controlled to guard against injury. On your fourth set decrease the weight considerably and do 8 slow and steady reps. Do not allow the weight to either fall or get thrown up as before. Feel the weight pushing down during the entire contraction. The fifth set you will want a partner, or to move very quickly. During this set we are going to completely fatigue the muscles so we can strain every last fiber of the muscle. Do the first 8 reps as in set 4 … if you can do more go to complete failure. As soon as you are finished take off a little weight off each side and do 8 more reps or to complete failure as before. As soon as you finish take off more weight from both sides and go to failure… then have your spotter help your force out 3-4 more reps. Remember the muscle burn you feel during this will be different from the HIGH repetition exercises that are less effective for training explosion. It may feel counterintuitive… and it is. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a back back full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, do this with no weights, but increase your intensity and double your reps. 5. Ham Curls The Ham Curls Machine is a bench that you lay down and and provides resistance as you bring your feet towards your rear. Do this exercise following the 8 rep Strength and Explosion Set as explained out at the beginning of this chapter. Non-Weight Alternative: Laying down as described, have someone provide resistance by holding your feet as you pull them towards your rear thus lifting your upper body. You can also load a bar with weights and place your feet underneath as you lay flat on your belly. Hold weights in your hand to add resistance. Use the same sets and reps as described. 6. Speed Rope: 3 sets of 30 second intervals Speed Rope exercises should be done at max speed. If you are able to, you should do doubles or triples (having the rope pass under you 2-3 times during one jump). However you jump, make it very very rapid. You may find yourself messing up sometimes. To increase difficulty try moving around as you jump rope. Soon people will be mesmerized at how fast you can jump rope. 7. Rim Jumps: 4 sets of 6 -10 jumps Rim jumps can be done with one or two feet. I recommend doing at least one or two sets using only one foot. It will feel unbalanced and weak at first but you will soon notice how much stronger and more stable each leg feels. Stand under the rim and put your hand straight up toward the rim. Jump as high as you can trying to reach the rim or a point past the rim. AS SOON AS you touch the ground, explode back into the air and try and reach that same point. Each jump try and go higher than the last... Each jump should be at the pinnacle of your explosion power. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 8. 1 Leg Chair Rockets: 4 sets of 6 - 10 jumps You will need a sturdy chair or box for this exercise. Place one foot on the chair and grab your waist with your hands. Propel yourself straight upward using the foot that is on the chair and drive the opposing knee forward as hard as you can. Switch feet in the air so now the other leg is on the chair and have that leg thrust you upwards again. Doing both legs counts as 1 rep. Here again, in order for this exercise to be effective, each jump must be at your maximum capacity. This exercise can be done holding weights. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 9. Sprints: 4 sets Mark off a space of 25-50 yards. Sprint the entire length at FULL speed. Give yourself plenty of time to rest so that the sprint can be at maximum capacity. Repeat. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 10. Medicine Ball Approaches: 4 sets of 6 - 8 approaches Using the heaviest medicine ball available, approach the rim or the net as if you were going to dunk or spike. Exaggerating the up and down movement with the ball in your hands, explode upwards toward the rim. Each approach should push your capacity to its maximum. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 11. Hang Cleans: 3 sets of 6 Using a straight bar, hold the bar slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Jumping and pulling the weight up at the same time, bring your elbows underneath the bar and hold the weight up. Let the weight drop back down to your legs and repeat this. If you do not have access to the weights necessary for performing this exercise, replace this with Medicine Ball Throws. 12. Depth Jumps: 4 sets of 8 Stand on a box and step off... AS SOON AS you touch the ground explode up with maximum force. It is best to do this drill in front of a rim and try to get as high as possible. 13. Side to Side Box Jumps: 4 sets of 8 Using a box 1 - 2 feet high jump side to side over the box. Each jump is counted as one rep. 14. Weighted Explosions: 3 sets of 8 Holding a weight in each hand, bend down to a squatting position. Pull the weight up above your head as you explode upwards. Land as softly as possible. It is best to be on a cushioned surface for these drills. 15 - 40 dumbbells will usually suffice for weight. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a back back full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, do this with no weights, but increase your intensity and double your reps. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. 15. Medicine Ball Throws: 3 sets of 8 Using the heaviest medicine ball you have, go into an open area where you can throw the ball. Outdoors is best. Bring the ball down to the ground and then throw the ball as high as you can over your head. Be explosive as possible as you jump into the air while hurling the ball as high as possible. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a back back full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, do this with no weights, but increase your intensity and double your reps. 16. Zig Zags: 3 sets of 10 - 15; 2 sets back and forth Stand on the right side of a line. Keep your feet pressed together as you go side to side on the line. Over and back is one repetition. The key is to go as fast as possible. If you get tired and find yourself pacing, lower the reps. Now stand in front of the line and go back and forth. 17. In Place Lunges: 3 sets of 6 Hold weights to your side or a weighted barbell over your head. Step forward and pause for a moment and spring back to the standing position by pushing off with the same leg you stepped forward with. A step with each leg is considered one rep. Non-Weight Alternative: It is best to find some type of weight to substitute. You can do this with a back back full of heavy items, a basketball full of pennies, a large rock, or having someone on your back. Don't give up just because a solution doesn't walk up and say hello to you. If you absolutely cannot find any alternative for weights, do this with no weights, but increase your intensity and double your reps. 17.Knee Drives :This is an excellent exercise to get an additinal boost for your one leg jumping. Do this exercise following the 8 rep Strength and Explosion Set as explained out at the beginning of this chapter. In place of the normal depth jumps between sets I recommend doing Chair Rockets 1 set of 2 between each set. Attach a cable to your shoe or ankle. Drive your ankle explosively upwards. If you do not have access to a ankle straps for the Smith Machine you can use ankle weights. If you have no ankle weights do this exercise without any weights. Simply let your foot touch the floor and then snap it up explosively, then repeat. 17. Lunge Jumps : 4 sets of 6 - 10 jumps. 17. Core Series : This is a series of exercises that will give your core more strength and stability, which will allow you to take better advantage of your increased ability to explode. Suspended Leg Lifts - 3 sets of as many explosive reps as possible, then 2 sets slow and steady reps, as many as possible. During the exercise your legs should only go down to an angle, not completely below your body; this will keep constant tension on your abs. Do not allow a rest period as your legs drop. Core Static Holds: 4 sets of at least 1 minute per side (front, left, right). 1 set is equivalent to a hold from the front and each side (see below). Start in front, and switch directly to next position after 1 minute is over. If you cannot do 1 minute find your max and subtract 10 seconds. Each week add 15 seconds per side to this exercise. 17. Upper Series : The upper body exercises allow you to get your upper body involved in upward momentum and inertia. You are also free to add your own upper body routine; just make sure you add these exercises. Upward Arm Thrusts: Follow the rules set out in the strength and explosion sets. REMEMBER - Whenever the intensty of each rep lessens, STOP and wait until the next set to continue. We are not training slow movements! I know this message is getting annoying but it's very important for every exercise. Chapter 9 Post-Workout Correct post-workout routines will make sure your energy levels are restored properly and that you can begin recovering/strengthening your muscles. You have just signaled to your body to build, and you need to make sure that process can be kicked off. REMEMBER: MUSCLES GET STRONGER DURING RECOVERY NOT DURING TRAINING. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT With your muscles' energy stores completely depleted from an intense workout, now is a critical time. Your body still needs energy to function AND it needs more energy to start building your muscles that you have just broken down! Your body needs energy badly, and if it is not available it will not begin building your muscles, or even worse it could break down the protein from your muscles to use as an energy source. Let's make sure you get the most out of each training by doing the following: 1. Get a source of protein - Whey protein shake (fastest absorbing) or other alternative. 2. Restore glucose/glycogen levels to stimulate insulin release - Drink a glass of orange juice, or other sugary drink.The rush of simple sugars will tell your body to release insulin. Insulin is an anabolic agent and will jump-start the anabolic processes in your body. Basically, your body will begin to store away the excess carbohydrates into your muscles. 3. Ensure sustained energy levels to depleted muscles - Eat a granola bar or other source of complex carb. 4. Proper cool down and stretching - see below. 5. Eat a banana - This provides more natural sugars and energy, helps against cramping, and calms the nervous system. 6. Bedtime slow release protein and bedtime recovery meal: Eat 1 or 2 cups of yogurt, banana, and a granola bar. After your workout, make sure to cool down by doing some light jogging or jump roping. Follow up by thoroughly stretching (same routine as in chapter 7). I usually take the protein, juice, and granola bar before or during my cool down. If you do not want to use a protein drink you may eat a can of tuna, or another substitute for 20 - 50 grams of a complete protein. Be aware that absorption rate is not as fast so eat it as soon as possible. I carry all this with me in my bag so I can get it in my system ASAP. See Chapter 3 to learn how to make a portable nutrition center which makes the nutrition process much easier. Chapter 10 Progress And Sustained Increase As you add inches to your vertical, you will need to alter your workout so that your muscle fibers do not become "complacent" with certain exercises and workloads. By this time you should feel much more comfortable with what types of exercises increase your vertical jump and you may even have some exercises of your own. I encourage you to use your warm-up time to think about what exercises will take you to the next level. Please contact me when you arrive at that point (12 weeks at least) and we will work together to make sure you are providing yourself with the best possible workout to meet your goals. GLOSSARY Plyometrics: In a nutshell, plyometrics is quickness training in which an eccentric contraction is followed by a brief amortization phase which is directly followed by a concentric contraction; thus, Load, Amortization, Explode. Resistance Training: Also known as weight training. This involves loading the targeted muscle with weight that works against the force of a concentric contraction. Flexibility: Defined as the range of motion about a joint, but also is concerned with the elastic tolerance level of muscles and tendons. Energy Balance Principle: The amount of expenditure or intake of calories determines your weight loss or gain. Glycemic Index: A measure of the effects of carbs on blood glucose levels. Catabolism: When, because of a lack of sufficient energy, your body seeks to refuel using fat storage and protein found in muscles. Complex Training: Training which combines plyometrics and resistance training techniques. For our purposes, this takes place in the same workout. Type II Muscle Fiber: The type of muscle fiber mostly involved in fast twitch anaerobic events. Each individual is endowed with a certain amount of each type of fiber, but slow twitch fiber can be trained to "act" more like fast twitch fiber. There are three types of fast twitch muscle fiber: a, b, and c. Exercise Machines: Smith Machine Ham Curl Machine Leg Press Seated Calf Machine Appendix: Add Additional Inches Through Better Jumping Form http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo6m9oziL3g&feature=player_embedded Study this video to understand how better form can increase your vertical. After watching the video, the principle behind jumping form should be clear to you. I have had individuals email me after internalizing the principles in this video and immediately start adding inches to their vertical. In a nutshell: 1. Get warm - Increase the elasticity of muscles and joints. Increase blood flow to muscles. 2. Stretch - Further increase elasticity of muscles and supporting structures. Warm and elastic opposing muscle groups will allow full contraction. 3. Eliminate mental blocks - Control your mind before it controls you. Don't allow your mind to interfere with your performance. See the success of the jump clearly before your jump. 4. Exaggerate the last step - This will lower the body and poise for explosion. 5. Use the whole body - Prep arms and lower back to be involved with a synchronous upward explosion. Point toes toward knees slightly before explosion to allow full range of motion. 6. Successfully transfer momentum - Allow forward momentum to be successfully transferred upward without slowing or stopping before your take off. 7. Be quick - The correct form movements must be done quickly to allow all momentum to fluidly transfer upward and correctly explode. Going too slow or over-exaggerating the last step will slow or throw off the synchronization of the movement. Synergy and jumping form. Once again we see how jumping form is affected by your flexibility and other aspects. We also see how your perfect form enhances the explosion by allowing it to be fully utilized. F.A.Q. Am I too old/young for this? If you are old enough to play your sport competitively, you are already participating in intense training and you will benefit from more focused training. Being too old is much less relevant than than how active you have been and how healthy your joints and supporting structures are. Regardless of your age, if you are competing competitively you also would benefit from more focused training. Can weights stunt my growth? This myth is still surviving. Research has shown that at worst, proper weight training has no effect on growth, and at best proper weight training could enhance your growth. Documented German studies show an increase in height caused by weight training. Truth is, your bones, muscles, and supporting structures will be strengthened by proper weight training. Does creatine have side effects and am I old enough to use it? Creatine is naturally created in the body. Taking proper doses of creatine will do nothing more than increase the amount of intense exercise you perform during a training session. As long as you do not overdose, drink plenty of water, and maintain a proper diet you will have a pleasant experience with creatine. Will protein shakes stunt my growth? Will 4 cans of tuna a day stunt your growth? Essentially that is what protein shakes are, a convenient form of getting complete protein into your system. You are always free to eat tuna, chicken, or other whole foods to get your protein; protein shakes just make getting your protein more convenient. My muscles are sore. Should I still work out? No. Listen to your body. If you are sore, have aching muscles, or have an injury that is acting up don't be afraid to postpone the workouts. Take a day, or two, or even a week off if you need. Proper recovery is as important as the workout itself. I have been injured before. Should I be doing this workout? This depends on the nature of your injury and your recovery. Please email me with the details of your injury so we can decide what is the best course of action.
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