T Nation

Vertical Jump Help


Hey CT,

Got a question regarding peaking/tapering for vertical jump.

I made a bet a few months back with a colleague that I can dunk a basketball in 6 months time. I have 2 months to go. I'm 5'6" and could just touch the rim prior to the bet.

I've been using your Get Strong, Get Fast, Get Vertical! program and was wondering, would you include some tapering before the day I want to make the attempt?

What would you suggest doing the day of the test as far as warm-up or post-activation potentiation/neural charge?

Thanks CT


At 5'6" if you can dunk it is quite an accomplishment. At 5'8" I could dunk a volleyball when I was training for olympic lifting (couldn't palm a basketball) and always considered that impressive (I was 225 though).

Jumping height is not all that is important. You need the proper "dunking technique/timing"... even if you can reach the proper height, reaching it with a ball and trying to throw it down is another story.

Anyway... I would start right now to include 3 neural charge workouts aimed at jumping every week. Prior to the attempt the last heavy lower body workout should be 7 days out, BUT perform some explosive lifts (olympic lifts, jumps squats, etc.) up to 3 days out.

3, 2 and 1 days out perform 2 neural charge workouts per day, aimed at jumping.


Thanks CT,

It is a volleyball that I will be trying to dunk for the bet (same palming problem).

How would I incorporate the neural charge workouts in with the vertical jump program? Would it be in the morning say, before I do the lower body workouts in the afternoon/evening? What kind of volume should I be doing for these N.C workouts?

Right now I'm just trying to get the height before I start working on the technique. I can get maybe 2 inches above the rim so I have a bit of height to get before I can worry about technique.

I seem to have some of my best jumps after heavy lower body sessions (perhaps a post-activation potentiation thing). Would you suggest something like this for the day of or stick to a neural charge the day before then just a warm-up the day of?

Thanks a lot CT, appreciate it,



for working on your dunking technique, you could start off with a tennis ball, then move up to a mini basketball before finally going for a volleyball. it'll help you out a lot with reaching your peak vertical right in front of the rim.


I would utilize some powerdrive before my attempts.


CT or anyone else that can help me out, what exercises would you pick from for a vertical jump neural charge workout? Thanks.