T Nation

vertical jump

I know this is a trivial question, but I have a serious desire to be able to dunk a basketball. I am 6’2" 225lbs and about 14% bodyfat. I have longer levers and would like to know what experience everyone has had with the jump programs around including t-mag. I already train the posterior chain well and devote a workout each week to the development of the ‘chain’ I appreciate your time

First off, lose some weight. Jumping is a speed-strength movement, so you’ll need strength and speed-strength. For a basic outline, why don’t you alternate between a strength phase(ie. PL/Westside) and a speed-strength phase(ie. Olympic Lifting). Devote a month or two to each. And if you want to get better at jumping, then jump, this is where plyometrics come in. Start off doing low-intensity single leg hops and variations and progress to higher-intensity two-let hops, jumps, and bounds. Hope this helps, ask if you got more questions.

Back in March I gave Westside a try to improve my max in the squat. It didn’t change a bit. It was probably me doing something wrong. What was interesting though, is that my vertical increased by about 4 inches.
BTW, I wouldn’t stop training for max strength in order to train for speed-strength. I would just place more emphasis on one quality over the other in a given mesocycle.

Ian King wrote a leg program for jumping called White Men Can Jump and i’ve used with a training client who imporved his vertical leap by about 3-4". He’s playing basketball now for high school, but when he gets more time to train with weights, we’ll keep working on more explosiveness.

wsb trains speed-stength and strength-speed/ max strength concurrently …

I think this all depends on if you are willing to put your other lifting goals aside for a month or two and if you have proper form with the clean and the snatch. these two exercises along with explosive box squats should get you to the goal that you want.

At 6’2 225 with long levers it shouldn’t take much to get you dunking. Whether you need to work on speed-strength or strength-speed depends on which one is your weakness but for most people your size it seems to be speed-strength.(especially if you have big feet and thick ankles) Having said that the only people I know who don’t improve their vertical when training for vertical jump improvement (regardless of the program) are the ones who play basketball or workout every single day and simply never give their bodies a chance to adapt and improve. So make sure you try to limit your on-court and other activity while embarking on this specialization. What do your current strength levels look like? If you know them list your squat, power clean, deadlift, shoulder press, 40 yd dash, vertical jump and anything else you want to list.

Olympic lifting would probably help. I think the avverage vertical jump for OLers (elite ones anyway) is something like 40in. I heard about a guy who jumped on top of a platform that was 42 inches off the floor.

nah BS drax aint no way no olympic lifter could jump straight up in the air 40 inches without lifting there feet up thats just not true. most guys in the NFL cant jump that high thought they r not elite olympic lifters lifting heavy weight doesnt convert to jumping high. Personally i dont think ne one should give advice about something they cant do thier self.(i.e. Jump high, run fast lift heavy weights) ill be damn if some 160 lber is gonna tell me how to gain weight ya know what i mean.

work on your calve strength and explosive jump squats. lose 6% from bf level. laters pk

Everyone has certainly got you on the right track. You will need to drop a little body fat. 14% is high for an athlete, especially a BB player. Follow a strength cycle with a power cycle with emphasis on OLY lifts, plyos, etc. And learn to jump. I know that sounds funny but a lot of BB-ers demonstrate several power drains during maximal jumping activities (internal hip rotation, back jumping, improper arm swing, etc.) that reduce their jumping ability by several inches. Don’t forget recovery as Kelly mentioned. These should be brief, intense activities in your power phase which require restoration to enhance abilities.

Since Eddie said you should be able to do it yourself before you give advice, Ill chime in. I did a twelve week program that focused on my posterior chain. I only trained quads directly once every fifteen days. Hams and glutes got trained once every five days. I started with good mornings and hyperextensions. I worked my way up to deadlifts and then to power cleans over the course of cycle. Ive done similar things since then. I weigh 242 at 6 foot and can dunk a basketball with two hands easily. My vertical jump was 36 inches the last time i had it measured.

What’s a good posterior chain development program? What did your porgram look like?

It is true most olypic lifters have huge verticals. I remember flipping through Sports Illustrated several years back and read in an article the entire US olympic lift team can dunk two handed from standing under the basket. There was a picture of a 6 foot 200+ lb guy in the tight suit dunking too. So 40 inch vertical is not impossible

Once you gain some inches on your standing vert, prepare to be humbled on the basketball court; your running vert will take a beating, and the re-adjustment period can drag on for a couple months. A 40+ inch vert will not do you much good on the basketball court when it takes you 2 seconds to jump. Been there, done that :slight_smile:

Oh no i agree a 40" leap is possible i know of a spare few that can do it though.

I olympic lifted last year at university and even though a higher vertical jump wasn’t my goal, I noticed that my leaping ability improved drastically. My coach used to call OL “weight jumping”. Indeed, the first part of the C & L and the snatch involves basically trying to launch the weight up as explosively as possible, just like jumping. This is no BS for you OL doubters – at the time I was 6’ 231 lbs. and could grab a basketball rim from a standing position very easily. Give OL a try, with emphasis on the initial explosion, and I would bet that your vertical would increase fairly quickly.

Vincenzo: Squat. Squat lightish and fast and squat heavy as well. And practice.

Eddie, in 1968, at the Olympics, a study was done to determine the best average vertical leap and short sprint (30yd, I think) of all athletes. The weightlifters (including the SHW ones) beat everyone else in both (Including High Jumpers and sprinters). So I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few verticals approaching 40" there.

I don’t have the reference for the study, maybe Kelly or someone can help out.