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My Journey to Become KryptoNATE!

Hey guys and gals. I’m a new guy here who mainly wants to work on increasing my vertical leap. And I’ve done some research and just want to get clarification on some things:

I’m 5’9", 135 lbs. Nate Robinson (Google if you don’t know who he is) is about 5’9", but he weighs maybe 180 lbs, and he can dunk with ease. I can tip the rim with 1/3 of my pointer. My question is should I be bulking up before working to increase my vert or just start with my current weight?

I know about plyometrics and explosive training. What other things should I know about?

I actually just started working out with friends and I gained 5 pounds in about a month with whey protein so I’m 140. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

You should be bulking up. You lack the muscle strength to transfer into the meaningful explosive power that is needed for a high vertical. Nate Robinson’s stats tell you something.

his jump is hi because he has more muscle.

muscle is always something you want to add on when trying to increase speed and explosive power. at a point though you start to trade of speed and power for more strength. but at 5’9" you can go up to 180-190 at least before your muscle mass starts to slow you down a bit.

lololol
Nate Robinson can jump because he is a genetic freak and he is strong. Not just because he is strong.

To get higher your going to need more than just one quality, there are plenty of people here who can squat decent weights but can’t jump.

Strength is the prime factor, not bulking up. If anything bulking up alone will be a detriment to your vertical. Your concentration should be on leg strength, flexibility, technique and power output, not how much you weigh.

Ankle flexibility being the most important. youtube kadour ziana flexibility to see his stretches for the ankles there not complex or a ton of them just important.

Have a Squat session, sprint session and jump session every week. Learn from there.

Yeah he is kind of a freak LOL just kidding, but anyway from what you guys said, there’s a difference between bulking up and increasing my strength? I don’t see the difference maybe because I’m a newbie at this. Maybe if anyone could tell me the difference. Thanks.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
lololol
Nate Robinson can jump because he is a genetic freak and he is strong. Not just because he is strong.

To get higher your going to need more than just one quality, there are plenty of people here who can squat decent weights but can’t jump.

Strength is the prime factor, not bulking up. If anything bulking up alone will be a detriment to your vertical. Your concentration should be on leg strength, flexibility, technique and power output, not how much you weigh.

Ankle flexibility being the most important. youtube kadour ziana flexibility to see his stretches for the ankles there not complex or a ton of them just important.

Have a Squat session, sprint session and jump session every week. Learn from there.[/quote]

Airtruth, FYI in case you missed it, but he’s 135 fucking pounds!! He’s like a damned concentration camp victim. There’s no way he has the ability to generate the strength he needs to increase vert without more muscle.

I agree that increased muscle mass without concomitant increases in strength and power will be detrimental to his vert. However, you can train to get stronger and more powerful. In addition, he lacks the strength potential to get that vert–he’s probably been doing plyometrics and explosive training already in an attempt to get it.

And yeah, Robinson’s a freak, but if he’s into basketball then he need more muscle as well. It will make you more competitive…to a point of course.

[quote]cee_gee wrote:
Yeah he is kind of a freak LOL just kidding, but anyway from what you guys said, there’s a difference between bulking up and increasing my strength? I don’t see the difference maybe because I’m a newbie at this. Maybe if anyone could tell me the difference. Thanks.[/quote]

There’s a few things. One handy way to think about it is that there is a weight at which you will perform best–it’s like a Bell curve (google if you need to). On either side of the peak of that curve you have a decrease in performance-- on the low side it’s because you don’t have enough strength (because you don’t have enough muscle to generate the power needed) and on the other side it’s because you’re carrying too much weight on your body (either fat or muscle).

This is much like a fighter’s weight class–there comes a point where you can’t cut down any more weight because you lose your punching power and conditioning in the process, and there comes a point where you’re simply outmatched by bigger guys who you are not big enough or strong enough to compete with.

I like the title of this thread.

OP

Search the posts made by CoolColJ and also read

His theory (which works) and some information in the article will tell you what you need to work on

[quote]Clown Face wrote:
OP

Search the posts made by CoolColJ and also read

His theory (which works) and some information in the article will tell you what you need to work on[/quote]

Cool thanks for the info. I get what you guys are saying. By bulking up through strength training, my speed and vert will increase. And there’s a point when one can’t gain anymore weight because speed and jump will start to decrease. And someone suggested that 180 lbs is the max I can gain without seeing a decrease in my vert. Now I need to sign up at 24 LOL.

The more you weigh the harder it is to jump higher. As an example, when I weighed 175lbs I could grab the rim easily. When I weighed over 200lbs I could not even touch the rim even though I was way stronger (squatting and deadlifting more at my higher body weight). When you look at Olympic weightlifters in the lighter weight categories, they do not have bulk but they are very strong and explosive.

I think you should concentrate on increasing strength and speed and not try a traditional bulk up of getting fat and slower (like I mistakenly did). As for Nate Robinson and Spud Webb, they are at least 3 standard deviations from the norm in jumping ability. That is why they can dunk, while I can’t dunk even though I am taller then both of them.

[quote]cee_gee wrote:
Clown Face wrote:
OP

Search the posts made by CoolColJ and also read

His theory (which works) and some information in the article will tell you what you need to work on

Cool thanks for the info. I get what you guys are saying. By bulking up through strength training, my speed and vert will increase. And there’s a point when one can’t gain anymore weight because speed and jump will start to decrease. And someone suggested that 180 lbs is the max I can gain without seeing a decrease in my vert. Now I need to sign up at 24 LOL.[/quote]

Exactly right. There’s a “sweet spot”. I don’t know if it at 180 or not, but it is definitely higher than you weigh right now. You said you know about plyometrics and explosive training. That is good, because you will need to make use of them during your muscle gain phase to put the strength work to good use.

Remember though, even though depth jumps and such don’t feel hard, they ARE hard on your joints and CNS. They’re tricky like that. You should probably look to throw them into your training during specific phases, but NOT all the time. bounding, jumping, you can do that all the time. Box jumps are not something you should throw in all the time, but they can be used pretty frequently.

Depth jumps are the hardest on your joints and connective tissue, and so should be used sparingly, for only 2-3 weeks at a time, with more than twice that amount of weeks in between using them (eg-- use for 3 weeks, take 6 weeks off, then throw them back in for 3 weeks).

You’ll be doing a “clean” gaining phase–fat is the enemy of the vertical. It doesn’t generate power because it’s not muscle, and it weighs you down. That being said, you’ll definitely gain some fat, because in order to gain muscle you have to take in more calories than you burn every day. But eat clean healthy foods and you’ll be fine. Just keep junk food to a minimum.

Training wise, be sure to use explosive lifts when you train, in addition to heavy weights. Both require lower reps, so I’d say keep your reps below 8. No need to max out frequently, but 3x5, 5x5, 4x6, 3x3, 5x3, 8x3 (all set x rep) are all good choices. I would concentrate most of your work at 5+ reps each set, to get both strength and hypertrophy. 3x3 and 5x3 are good for strength, but not as much for muscle.

Still, even though you want to do a good portion of your training in those rep ranges, you still need a good amount of work in the 8-12 range for muscle growth, so don’t completely ignore that rep range.

It’s hard to articulate what I’m trying to think of here because it’s so late tonight, but basically I would work on gaining muscle while working some on strength for 6 weeks, and then take 4 weeks and work on mostly sheer strength and speed/explosive power. Then repeat.

So for 6 weeks you’d do a good amount of work at 5 reps for your 1 or 2 main lifts each day, and also a good amount of work at your 8-12 reps for the rest of your lifts. After that you’d take 4 weeks and work mostly in the 3-5 rep range on both pure strength lifts and pure explosive lifts, while using plyometrics as well. Then go back to your 6 weeks of higher rep work.

Does that make sense?

One last thing–you shouldn’t do more than 5-6 exercises on any given day (not counting abs). I would pick the first 2 exercises on each training day to do as your heaviest (at ~5 reps per set, and they can be either heavy or explosive lifts). The rest would be higher.

When you hit your 4 weeks of pure strength and explosive training, you should keep the exercises to 3-4 “money” exercises each session and add plyos on top of that (again not counting abs). Those 4 weeks are going to be lower volume than your higher rep training because ALL your exercises will be at 3-5 reps per set, whether they’re pure strength or explosive or plyometric (except not abs).

I gotta agree with most of what Aragorn said…apart from the fact about using epxlsove lifts/cleans etc in the gym.

They’re are more specific things you can do (like jumping/plyometric variations) that will train the same type of strength in a more specific movement.

Don’t “bulk up”. Focus on eating well, gaining quality weight and getting stronger. Focus on squat, cleans and snatches. Put a secondary focus on bench, inclines, weighted chins/pull ups and rows. Train your P-chain hard. Practice jumping. That doesn’t mean plyos 'cause you don’t need 'em/won’t benefit yet, that means just practice jumping. Hit the track. Don’t neglect stretching and mobility work. Listen to your body. When it tells you to back off, do it.

again…i don’t really think that cleans and snatches are needed.

Their are jumping variations that will hit the same muscle groups, at an even faster velocity, an with a more specific movement.

[quote]Clown Face wrote:
again…i don’t really think that cleans and snatches are needed.

Their are jumping variations that will hit the same muscle groups, at an even faster velocity, an with a more specific movement.[/quote]

Maybe not, but at my all-time best I put up a 35" from a standstill and a 41.5" off of three steps. I put 2" on my standing vert and more on my running by doing heavy squats and cleans twice a week for a a month and a half. I played ball maybe once a week and did no other jump training.

Thats pretty impressive

The thing i have against cleans is that they are very influenced by max strength. Eg. your clean can only really improve (after you’ve mastered technique)when your squat goes up.

Whereas things like jump variations are also expressions of explosiveness (just like the clean), so wouldn’t it be better to practice them so yo can better express your strength in them.

cee gee i can definitely relate.

i am 5’9" like you. when i was 16-17 i played basketball alot but could not touch the rim at all. i was around your weight too. i tried often. i jumped as high as i could but could not even touch the rim with the tip of my fingers. my black friend, maybe 5’10"-5’11", could dunk. i got discouraged and stopped trying. white men cant jump, too small, whatever. i stopped trying altogether.

So yea, zoom forward to 5 years later. I had been working out my whole body, including legs, for a good 2 years. I improved alot on my squat during that time. I must have been 160lbs, up from 140lbs or so. So one day, I go to the court with my friend who is 6’4". He is trying to dunk (and always missing) but I am just concentrating on my shots, reverse layups etc.

Then just for the fun of it I say fuck it and decide to try to touch the rim. I don’t want to miss again so I stand at midcourt and just focus on my jump. I have to touch. Then I go ahead. Not only did I touch it, I easily grabbed it wih my one hand and pulled myself all the way up. It was the best feeling ever.

Since then, I have trained my legs more. My goal this summer is to dunk. Can’t wait to try again.

In general, I just train like a bodybuilder.

[quote]Clown Face wrote:
Thats pretty impressive

The thing i have against cleans is that they are very influenced by max strength. Eg. your clean can only really improve (after you’ve mastered technique)when your squat goes up.

Whereas things like jump variations are also expressions of explosiveness (just like the clean), so wouldn’t it be better to practice them so yo can better express your strength in them.
[/quote]

I see what you’re saying, but don’t fully agree. The thing I like about the clean is that it teaches - almost forces - you to be explosive. You can’t grind out a clean like you can a squat. No matter how heavy the weight, if you don’t explode you miss the lift. That learned explosiveness has an awesome carryover to real world application. Not saying what I’m saying is right, just noting what worked for me.

Check out the dunk by my guy Sherron Collins, 5’11" and a GOOD 205 pounds:

How much of that weight is in his legs you think?