Stiffys Quest for 40in. Vertical

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    Stiffys Quest for 40in. Vertical


    First off here is info about myself.
    30 years old
    6 foot tall exactly without shoes. Well maybe half a centimeter under six foot.
    221 lbs
    reach- 7 foot 8 inch
    weight training since I was 13. My vertical peaked when I was about 20 and at that time it was roughly 35 in. In the last 5 years I have really neglected my legs and core. I mainly worked on my upper body and it does look good, but I feal that I have lost a lot of athleticism and agility. I didn't totally quit working out my lower body I just didn't put any intensity into those workouts. Also if I missed a leg day it was no big deal. Sometimes I even used my leg day as an extra rest day. Anyway, as of right now I believe my vertical is 29 inches. The method I'm using to check my vertical is: reach minus height touched. My reach is 92 inches and a basketball hoop is 120 inches. So if my fingertips touch the rim exactly that would be 120-92=28 inches. Right now my standing vertical is one inch over the rim. That makes it 29 inches. If anyone knows a better more accurate way please let me know.

    Goals:
    I plan on making this a life long commitment. In other words it's going to be a long process. For right now improved flexibility is a must. After a month of working on flexibility I can put my hands under my feet when I stretch. However it still takes many warmup sets and even some cardio before I can do that. As for my leap I would like to add 6 inches in the next 6 months. That would put me back up to a 35 inch vertical.

    Workout:
    stretching everyday and 5-10 min cardio warm up
    Mondays- Squats 4 sets one warmup three heavy (12,10,10,10)
    Leg press 3 sets heavy as I can for 8-10 reps
    Leg curls 3-4 sets heavy 10-12 reps
    Leg extensions 3 sets heavy 10-12 reps
    Calf raises 3 sets heavy 10-15 reps

    Tuesdays- Chest and ab workout

    Wednesdays- More cardio than usual.
    Plyometric type exercices. Touch jumps. Tuck jumps. Rim touches. All explosively for about 30 minutes. I would really like to start doing box jumps also.

    Thursdays- Back day and the guns!

    Friday- A lite version of Monday
    Start with touch jumps
    Leg press heavy 3-5 sets
    Leg curls heavy 3-5 sets
    End with touch jumps and shoot some hoops

    This is basically what I've been doing this last month.

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    You are not going intense enough on your legs and i think you may be going a little long on your plyo metric workouts. I weigh around 290 and can jump on a 36" plus box, probably could do more if I had a higher box. The reason is lower body strength. You should work from heavy 5s for a week then 3s, 2s, and a few singles. You should box squat every other week and pick a couple exercises say box jumps and depth jumps or jump tucks with weighted box jumps and concentrate on just two with lower volume than you are using now.
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    Thanks for the input Mongo. I think for the next two weeks I'm just going to keep the routine Ive got. Maybe I will do a few heavy singles on the leg press but not squats for now. I'm really trying to avoid injury as I said this is going to be a long process. I think losing some weight would help tremendously. But I look good at 220 so I'm not thrilled about that idea. Anyway thanks again for your input.
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    More cardio doesn't = better jump. Do squat jumps. They are probably going to give you your best results. Start slow though, they can be very dangerous. I would get comfy with your balance without a bar before moving up in weights. Start out at the bottom, jump and return to the bottom for 1 full rep. Keep in mind though the best way to gain strength is to keep adding weight to your movements. You could do high box steps with dumbells if you don't feel safe doing jump squats. Also man 5 days at the gym in a row can be taxing. Give yourself some more rest. If your too sore on Friday to do heavy sets I would make that your back day and maybe push your Wednesday back to Thursday making Wednesday an off day.
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    I think you guys are wrong to some degree yes stronger lower body helps but pylometrics are specifically designed for jump training. The way to increase your jumping is by jumping, and infact cardio will help your jumping trust me i have first hand experience, but among other things you have to be very flexible, excerises like jumping rope are good things to do really you need to do it all id focus a lot of flexibility, pylometrics, cardio but dont neglect squats and other leg workouts this will give best results.
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    Workout went pretty good this morning. I only went up to 185 on the squats. I know that's not a lot but I am really trying to avoid injury and condition my core and lower back before I bump the weight up. I did go heavy on the press machine. It was a machine with a weight stack and I pretty much maxed it out for ten reps. Friday I'm going to have to use the plate loaded press. I hate moving all those plates. That's like a workout all by itself.

    Jumpshot, you are right about the flexibility but so wrong about cardio. Your vertical jump depends on three things. Strength, quickness and flexibility. Cardio can help shed body fat, which is basically dead weight. However, too much cardio will train your slow twitch muscles and that's a big no-no.
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    Workouts went good this week. I skipped Thursdays back and biceps workout and just took an extra rest day instead. The leg workouts were great though. I stayed at 185 on the squats and really focused on exploding upward with my hips. I've been watching Ripptoes on YouTube and even bought his book. Well, my vertical did not increase this week. In fact I think I may have even lost an inch. My legs were a little sore so it may be from overtraining. I'm going to keep my routine the same next week and see if it goes back up. I also play basketball on the weekends so that might be what caused me to be sore throughout the week.
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    Hey, I gotta good one for ya. Check out ProjectSwole.com and BAM theres your guide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianm4208 View Post
    Hey, I gotta good one for ya. Check out ProjectSwole.com and BAM theres your guide.
    That's just the kind of stuff I like. I really like the idea of running sprints. Thank you.

    Right now my left knee hurts a little. If I'm standing up and I lock it out it hurts just a little. I think it's from the leg press machine. I can easily press 3x what I'm squatting. I don't think my knees are conditioned for that yet. I'm going to lay off the leg press next week. Other than that legs are feeling very strong and I'm still working on flexibility everyday.
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    When your on the leg press focus on pushing with your heels. Your probably pushing with your toes and thats why your knee hurts from the leg press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffy View Post
    That's just the kind of stuff I like. I really like the idea of running sprints. Thank you.

    Right now my left knee hurts a little. If I'm standing up and I lock it out it hurts just a little. I think it's from the leg press machine. I can easily press 3x what I'm squatting. I don't think my knees are conditioned for that yet. I'm going to lay off the leg press next week. Other than that legs are feeling very strong and I'm still working on flexibility everyday.
    Why did you say i was completely wrong about cardio when last time i checked sprints were cardio? I didnt mean specifically long distance running or anything but cardio refers to a lot in my mind jumping rope, sprinting, running stairs. All in my mind helped increase my vertical jump.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killamac27 View Post
    When your on the leg press focus on pushing with your heels. Your probably pushing with your toes and thats why your knee hurts from the leg press.
    I usually push with my heels. The other day I noticed that my left quad muscle was a bit larger than my right. Yesterday I did single legs on the press machine and my left leg was definitely stronger. I think that I have been unknowingly pushing more with my left leg. From now on I will start doing more individual leg work.
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    My workouts this week went ok. I'm still sore and I haven't worked my legs out since wednesday. Monday I hit my legs hard with squats and leg press. Weds they felt alright so I went ahead and did some jump squats at home holding two 40lb dumbells. I did those for about a half an hour straight. The next day my legs were extremely sore. I took Friday off because my legs are still sore and I know the muscles are still recovering. I think as of next week I will be changing up my routine. Hitting my legs hard 3x a week is too much, especially if I play basketball that week too. That would be 4 hard leg workouts a week. So basically what I've decided to do is workout my legs when they are near full recovery. In other words the day will vary depending on how I feel. However the focus is always legs.

    Vertical- checked yesterday legs were sore and about 29 maybe 30. That's with no step.
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    It helped my vertical doing a lot of jump squats with my leg routine but only twice a week because it really tore them up.
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    Something strange happened with my workouts this week. I didn't get sore at all from my leg routine. I thought I went pretty intense but I guess not enough. I like it when my legs are sore the next day. It helps assure me that some muscle growth is gonna happen. Anyway, I almost hit my legs again the next day because I was so pist. But I waited til this morning and just did a crap load of jump squats.

    Last time I did jump squats my legs were sore for three full days. Maybe the jump squats are conditioning my legs to the point where regular squats just don't make me as sore.
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    get strength shoes! when we were little all the kids in our area had a basketball hoop we could lower and we all wanted to dunk....we didn't have money for strength shoes so we got something called jumpsoles which were the same things basically...walk around in those things all day long except when we were going somewhere....didn't help us...we were like 10 years old but it could help you...it's all about the calve muscle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young Gotti View Post
    get strength shoes! when we were little all the kids in our area had a basketball hoop we could lower and we all wanted to dunk....we didn't have money for strength shoes so we got something called jumpsoles which were the same things basically...walk around in those things all day long except when we were going somewhere....didn't help us...we were like 10 years old but it could help you...it's all about the calve muscle
    It is NOT about the calves, its about the hamstrings/hips. The strength shoes have been shown time and time again to cause injuries in the legs. Stick with the plyos, there are plenty of NBA caliber guys that can't squat 225lbs and I think they jump just fine. You need to figure out whether you're a power or an elastic jumper. From there, you need to work on the OPPOSITE skill if its significantly lagging. Also, soreness from a workout has very little to do with how good of a workout you had.

    Stretch your hip flexors often, do short 20-40yd sprints, broad jumps, bounding, etc and you'll be fine. PM me if you need more specifics. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearedbleedblue View Post
    It is NOT about the calves, its about the hamstrings/hips. The strength shoes have been shown time and time again to cause injuries in the legs. Stick with the plyos, there are plenty of NBA caliber guys that can't squat 225lbs and I think they jump just fine. You need to figure out whether you're a power or an elastic jumper. From there, you need to work on the OPPOSITE skill if its significantly lagging. Also, soreness from a workout has very little to do with how good of a workout you had.

    Stretch your hip flexors often, do short 20-40yd sprints, broad jumps, bounding, etc and you'll be fine. PM me if you need more specifics. Good luck!
    sounds like some of the best advice I've gotten so far. I would say I'm a power jumper. When I'm jumping from straight under the rim I get almost the same height as I do from a run. I also cannot jump very good off one leg. I have been working just as hard on flexibility as I have building leg strength. I stretch for almost an hour every night and I can really tell a difference throughout the day.

    Checked my vertical this morning. I'm definitely at 30. Maybe even 30.5. That makes about a one inch gain in the last 20 days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearedbleedblue View Post
    It is NOT about the calves, its about the hamstrings/hips. The strength shoes have been shown time and time again to cause injuries in the legs. Stick with the plyos, there are plenty of NBA caliber guys that can't squat 225lbs and I think they jump just fine. You need to figure out whether you're a power or an elastic jumper. From there, you need to work on the OPPOSITE skill if its significantly lagging. Also, soreness from a workout has very little to do with how good of a workout you had.

    Stretch your hip flexors often, do short 20-40yd sprints, broad jumps, bounding, etc and you'll be fine. PM me if you need more specifics. Good luck!
    i disagree, the calve muscle is the last muscle u push off with during basketball jumps, the strong the muscle the more spring u get...basketball players don't get to bend their knees a lot so that toe push right before he leave the ground is the most crucial part of it
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    Theres going to be a lot of debate as to what muscle groups affect jumping the most because you talk to one person they say calves, another hammys and quads. The best advice i can give which i tried to earlier is just have as strong legs as possible all over while being very flexible and find the best way to use your advatanges to jump better. I had roughly a 30 inch vertical throughout highschool just from running and stretching i neglected working my legs in high school and who knows it could of been more.

    No one is going to be able to tell you exactly how to increase your vertical theres proven ways but also everyone jumps differently or has some trait that affects it.
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    I'll be following this thread.

    My only advice, if you could call it that, is to practice your jump form. Like sprinting, great improvements can be made quickly by learning the proper technique. This is assuming you've never been trained specifically to improve numbers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tie View Post
    I'll be following this thread.

    My only advice, if you could call it that, is to practice your jump form. Like sprinting, great improvements can be made quickly by learning the proper technique. This is assuming you've never been trained specifically to improve numbers.
    I was trying to say that in my last paragraph but i dont think it came across as easily. Proper form is key to everything and you can maximize your jumping by having good form and using your assets to your advantage.
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    I actually worked on my form this morning. I watched a YouTube video about it. It was made by that guy Jacob that created Jump Manual. I haven't used any of those jump programs. Anyway I pretty much had good form before. It really comes naturally unless your just uncordinated.
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    The guys I know who can jump the highest are gymnasts and they 2 things:
    Light and damn powerful.
    So if you're carrying any extra weight then it's going to be a lot harder. The heaviest competing gymnast I knew was 165 lb's at around 5'6. His arms and shoulders were massive but his legs were not very big. He could pull off a double back flip with extra time to spare.
    I would focus on higher impact explosive movements and explosive squats. Upper body strength is import to fling yourself upwards but too much just adds extra weight.
    But this is all if you want purely to jump higher...
    My vertical was highest when I was a gymnast at 115 lb's, we didn't lift any weights at all.
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    Workouts this week were mild and not intense at all. I was lucky to get any workouts in because I was so busy. This will probably not happen again and I was anticipating it. Even though my workouts sucked I managed to get a lot of extra stretching done. Not only that but, I beleive I've lost some weight. I will check the weight on Monday and my vertical too.
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    I didn't have a chance to check my vertical yet. However, I weighed myself and I have lost 5 lbs. That puts me at 216. I had a killer leg workout Monday. I was pretty thorough and I'm sure I hit all the muscle groups in my legs really well.
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    another exercise you may want to incorporate and look at his hang cleans. along with squats and plyos. i think hang cleans are one of the best exercises for your vert....along with the norms squat ect.

    and as far as your calves go, they are secondary to the hammy's and quads when you leap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpshot903 View Post
    Why did you say i was completely wrong about cardio when last time i checked sprints were cardio? I didnt mean specifically long distance running or anything but cardio refers to a lot in my mind jumping rope, sprinting, running stairs. All in my mind helped increase my vertical jump.
    Sprints are not cardio. At all. They are considered an anaerobic exercise, which includes lifting weights. Cardio exercises, such as long distance running, stairs, jump rope, long distance swimming, etc, are only effective when a target heart rate is reached and then sustained for a certain period of time.

    The vertical jump is a compound movement that utilizes every part of the lower body and also your core. Each part can't be used to its potential if the others aren't pulling their own weight. But to whoever honestly thinks that the calves are the most important in the vertical jump----try to stand still and jump as high as you can without bending your knees. That's what you get from your calves.

    I understand that you are trying to take it slow for the fear of injury. But if you are going to take this approach, you have to understand that your gains will come slow also. Remember, you walk on your legs every day so they are pretty dam strong already. For real gains in the lower body, you have to really push them until you don't want to stand up. All the exercises that have been listed and that you are doing are great. Just do them with great intensity and don't sell yourself short.

    Your character is determined by how you perform when nobody is watching.
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    Great post Nizz. Thank you for the motivational words. This past week was my most intense so far. I had two very tough and thorough leg workouts. I think I'm done with taking it easy. These bad boys are gonna get pounded next week. On Thursday before my second leg workout, I was messing around on the b-ball court. I jumped so high one time it felt like I had to reach down to grab the rim. I know I didn't really reach downward but I hadn't been that high before. My running vertical was 33" and my standing vertical was only 29". I think my standing vertical was low because I tested it before I really got loose. Still I think a 4 inch difference between the two is about normal.
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    Today's leg workout was the most intense so far. My legs are feeling pretty weak right now from the trauma I put them through this morning. I started with squats of course. I did a total of 6 sets. I did not want to leave the squat rack. The first 3 sets were 225 lbs x 10 reps. First time I have been able to do that. The next 3 sets were 275 lbs 4,3,2 reps. That's the first time in a long time that I have squatted 275. I'm really starting to love squats now. I also did isolated workouts for hammys and quads on the machines. And calf raises for 3 sets. I will try to check my vertical again on Thursday before my next leg day.
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    Alright. I checked my vertical before my leg workout on Thursday. There was no change at all from last week. My true standing vertical was exactly 30". My running vertical was about 33". I think I need about 3 more inches on my running vertical to put down an ugly one handed dunk. Last week I dunked on a goal that was 9'8". That's just four inches under ten foot and I was puttin it in fairly easy.

    Anyway my leg workout on Thursday sucked. I don't know what happened but I couldn't squat half as well as I did that Monday. My body was rested and my legs were fresh. I think it might have been because I had a taxing day at work the day before, and didn't eat as good as I should have. Now my lower back is a little sore (not the good kinda sore). I think it will be good by next leg day as long as I don't skimp on my stretching.
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    My lower back soreness is completely gone. I had a good leg workout this morning. I hit the squats pretty hard even though I'm fighting a cold right now. I can definitely feel that my leg strength is getting much better. Also my flexibility is amazing. I have never been this flexible before, and it also has improved my quality of life. I used to get lower back pain from just turning to fast, but now as far as my agility is concerned, I feel like I'm 18 again.

    I haven't been working on plyometrics at all lately. I know that has hindered my gains. However at the moment I think it's more important to build some quality dense muscle fiber. For now and probably til the end of May I'm going to stick with strength training legs twice a week. The only type of plyos I will be doing is playing basketball. At the beginning of June I plan on doing one leg strength training day and two days of plyometrics a week (not including basketball). I feel that will help with my quickness the best possible way.
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    I've had some really good leg workouts lately. I've still been at it pretty hard, I just haven't posted in a while. I haven't tested my vertical since I posted last time. I don't expect it to have increased much, since I'm working mostly on muscle mass and strength right now. However, I'm going to check it anyway before my workout on Thursday.
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    do some box jumps and other plyometric drills a few times a week. I think its 90% genetic though because my old man was a college sprinter and Im 5'9-1/2 and could dunk a 10' foot goal pretty easy. My friends did plyo to and they never came close to dunking an nba ball and they were the same height. plyo did help them jump a few inches higher though.
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    I got some good news and I got some bad news.

    First off the bad news is, I tested my true standing vertical this morning and it has dropped back down to 29 inches.

    Now for the good news. I can now dunk a palm ball with ease. It's weird that my my standing vertical went down and my running vertical went up. I would estimate my running vertical to be about 34-35 inches. That's a good 1-2 inch gain.

    The ball I was dunking said it was 26.9 inches, so that's a good bit smaller than a regulation ball. I must have dunked that thing about thirty times this morning. Also, my hand was hitting at the bottom of my palm when I touched the rim with no ball.

    I think if I could palm a regulation ball better I would be dunking by now. My problem is that I can barely palm the ball, and when I jump with such force I lose grip of the ball.

    I'm not worried about my standing vertical right now. When I start doing plyos again that will come back I'm sure.
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    I haven't posted in a while because their has been no change in my vertical or my routine. My standing vertical is still 30" and my rvj is 34". My routine until now has been mainly squats, leg curls, and some calf raises. Mostly I've just been trying to increase my squatting strength. Although I have increased leg strength, my vertical has not increased in the past month.

    My new routine is going to be heavy squats in the 3-5 rep range. Followed by jump squats 8-12 rep range. I also will be doing calf raises 3 times a week instead of once. I really have neglected my calves lately and I will be making up for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearedbleedblue View Post
    It is NOT about the calves, its about the hamstrings/hips. The strength shoes have been shown time and time again to cause injuries in the legs. Stick with the plyos, there are plenty of NBA caliber guys that can't squat 225lbs and I think they jump just fine. You need to figure out whether you're a power or an elastic jumper. From there, you need to work on the OPPOSITE skill if its significantly lagging. Also, soreness from a workout has very little to do with how good of a workout you had.

    Stretch your hip flexors often, do short 20-40yd sprints, broad jumps, bounding, etc and you'll be fine. PM me if you need more specifics. Good luck!
    100% has nothing to do with the calve muscles...
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    Yes I'm also going to be doing some plyos one day a week. Actually more like 3 days a week since I'm doing squat jumps twice a week. But once a week I will be doing plyos without any weights. I forgot to add that in my last post because I ws in a hurry.
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    Skips for height and distance are excellent ways to increase hip power as well as elastic strength. While true plyos will help your running vert, in my experience a standing vert has too long of an amortization phase to be really aided by stuff such as depth jumps or hurdle hops. When my vert was my highest (36in) it was right after a lifting and training phase that had emphasized posterior strength. Just my two cents. Good luck with your training!
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    Thanks for the input. I have been working on posterior strength alot. I can really tell a difference in not only my jumping power, but also my quickness and just overall agility. I'm not putting up the numbers I would like to see yet, but I have made some great progress. A 36 inch standing vertical is pretty amazing. I'm still right at 30 but I haven't checked it in atleast a couple weeks. I've just been too busy pounding my legs
  

  
 

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