You play a lot of basketball and you always wanted to dunk?
You want to increase your vertical jump but you are not sure which vertical jump training to chose?
Then read on, because in this Vert Shock review I will share the story of how I learned to dunk!
Spoiler Alert! Watch this to see my results:
Hey there! I am Andy, a 29-years old basketball addict from Düsseldorf, Germany.
When I was little, my Dad mounted a basketball hoop to the garage in our driveway and I immediately fell in love with the game! I loved it so much, I would sometimes shoot free throws for hours even if there was snow in the driveway!
Some of my fondest childhood memories are my first dunks on this shaky little hoop which was hanging at maybe 8 feet. Soo much fun! One day, I did my best Shaquille O'Neal impression and tore down the whole hoop with a violent tomahawk dunk 🙂
After that we installed a solid regular 10ft hoop and the days of dunking in my driveway were over...
If you want to know more about me read this blog post
My draft combine measurements: 😉
As a basketball player, I never got anywhere near professional level, but I always played for fun on teams in different local German leagues.
During my time at school and university, I used to be quite athletic. I was never a high flyer who was dunking over other people in traffic, but I could grab the rim pretty easily and was quite good at getting offensive rebounds.
Then about two years ago I did about 4 weeks of the Jump Manual program together with a friend and after that, I was able to squeeze in one or two dunks on a very good day. Check out my detailed comparison of Vert Shock vs Jump Manual if you want to know more.
If you have ever dunked a basketball, maybe even on a smaller basket, you know that it is just a great feeling! Since then I always dreamed of being able to dunk consistently and with authority!
Unfortunately, once I got my first real job I did not have the discipline to got to the gym as much as before and spent WAY too many evenings on the couch, eating potato chips and binging on Netflix series.
Of course, this didn't help my athleticism at all and I got slower and less explosive every year. After last basketball season ended I was so annoyed by my lack of hops that I decided to change!
The goal I set for myself: To be able to dunk again before I turn 30!
I also wanted to improve my overall athleticism as I had really lost quickness on my first step, I didn't get as many rebounds as I used to and my defense was just plain bad because I didn't have the lateral speed to guard opposing point guards...
In order to reach my goal and increase my vertical jump enough to dunk I first had to find a good training program. So, one boring day at work I browsed the internet searching for the perfect workout program. That's when I stumbled upon Vert Shock.
The program promises an increase of 9-15 inches on your vertical jump in only 8 weeks. And I won't lie, at first, this made me a bit uneasy because it seemed like one of these empty promises like "Lose 20 pounds in 5 days.." you see everywhere on the internet.
But otherwise, the web page made a very professional and trustworthy impression and the 60-day money back guarantee finally won me over.
Adam Folker and Kobe Bryant
The Vert Shock program was created by Adam Folker, a former college basketball player and now professional basketball player in cooperation with Justin “Just Fly” Darlington, who is perhaps the best dunker in the world. If you haven't watched have his mixtapes, make sure to change that now, he's incredible!
Adam Folker also offers a free Vert Shock ebook where he shares great advice on:
The 8 week training program is divided into three parts:
The Pre-Shock phase is the first week of the program. This week is going to "shock your body" and prepare you for the following weeks of the program. You will be working out on 6 out of 7 days, resting only during day 4.
Week 2 until week 7 is called the Shock Phase. This is the meat of the program and usually contains between 4-6 workouts a week. These workouts range from strength exercises for your legs and core to jumping-specific movements to intense plyometric exercises.
Week 8 is called the Post Shock Phase. It is a week of six very intense training sessions with only one day of rest in between. By this time, after seven weeks of training, you should be feeling a little stiff and the warm-ups are, therefore, even more important.
All exercises, as well as the specific warm-up and cool-down programs, are explained in great detail by Adam in high-resolution videos. These videos are present on almost every page and tell you everything you need to know about the workouts.
The exercises do not require any heavy weightlifting which is great for athletes who have no access to a weight room! Strength exercises are all performed with bodyweight or a basketball. The training program itself is available as PDF and can be downloaded and printed out or saved on any PC, mobile phone or tablet.
I personally would have liked if there was some more text on why the workout was designed the way it is. I am a bit of a bookworm and I like to understand the theoretical foundation of workouts. I know that this point won't be relevant to most readers, but if you are interested in a deeper knowledge about the mechanics and the training of the vertical jump I can recommend the book Vertical Foundation by Joel Smith.
During the 8-week training
The different focal points of the exercises allow different parts of your body enough time to rest between workouts. For example, you will never do two heavy plyometrics workouts on subsequent days.
When I first bought the program and had a look at the actual training program, the first thing that came to my mind was:
Damn that's a lot of exercises per week!
But in my personal experience, the workload is hard but manageable. Just once after week 6 did I take a rest for two additional days because my body was feeling really tired and I wanted to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Before I started the workout I was really worried that my knees would not respond well to the training program. I have had knee problems before, and at one time had to stop playing basketball for a while because I could barely climb stairs because of a strange stinging pain in my left knee at certain angles.
Ironically, after the Vert Shock program, my knees are feeling better than before! For the first time in my life, I stuck to a stretching routine as part of the cooldown and I noticed that I had a crazy shortened left quad. Therefore, I put some extra work into loosening my quads and that has really made a big difference! I just wish I had known of the positive impact of stretching before, I always thought that stretching would decrease my vertical and therefore completely ignored it... (Stupid me!)
Alright, let's get to the real interesting part! Does Vert Shock work?
In order to assess my improvements, I measured my vertical jump before the start of the training. The result was a 29" running max, which is actually not bad as it allowed me to grab the rim pretty easily and gave me great hope that I would be dunking soon!
Week 1 was one of the hardest weeks during my training. After being a couch potato for far too long, my body was clearly shocked by the six intense workouts in seven days.
Below you can see some pictures of the park where I usually did my workouts. This was surprisingly fun, and a great change of pace after sitting in a cubicle from 9-to-5.
As you can see there are enough park benches of varying heights to do box jumps, depth jumps etc. There is even a small hill for intense sprints!
Some impressions of the workouts
Overall, an average workout session took me about an hour to complete. This already includes the dynamic warm up and the cooldown period! So you won't need to spend hours each day working on your vertical jump.
Even though I had planned to take weekly videos of my progress, after week 1 I was just too tired to test my vertical. In retrospect, I think that this was a good idea as I doubt the results would have been pretty.
In week 2 I was feeling a lot better so I decided to use the day off to head to my favourite basketball court and take a few videos of some dunk attempts.
Two weeks of hard training had increased my vertical by 3 inches already and I was very close to dunking for the first time in a while!
Almost dunking... Read more about my second week of Vert Shock here.
Weeks 2 and 3 were pretty much business as usual. I kept on working hard and my vertical jump increased steadily. When testing my vertical after week 3 I was really close to dunking, but somehow the ball just wouldn't go down!
But then after week 4 I was walking to the basketball court and I got this strong feeling that today would be the day of my first dunk. My legs were really feeling good and springy, the weather was really hot (which makes warming up a lot easier) and I was totally excited and pumped.
After doing my dynamic warm-up for about 20 minutes and trying some jumps without the basketball, I picked up my basketball ball and tried some dunks. I think I missed the first three attempts, but I could feel that it was incredibly close. And on the fourth attempt I nailed it!
I threw down my first dunk after only 4 weeks! I was so happy that the hard work paid of so quickly. That provided a huge boost to my motivation. I had increased my vertical by over 5 inches in only 4 weeks, if I could do the same in the next 4 weeks I could do all kinds of dunks!
Testing my vertical after 4 weeks of Vert Shock
Until week 5 everything thing went exactly as planned or even better. I increased my vertical jump each week and I was already dunking consistently with two hands. I already pictured myself throwing down windmills, 360's and between the leg dunks! Winning my first dunking contest could only be a matter of weeks!
Unfortunately, week 6 was the first week where my vertical jump actually decreased. After 30 workouts in only 42 days, my legs felt really heavy and I was just absolutely tired.
So, I decided to take a couple days off, and get some well deserved rest for my aching legs...
After my short break after week 6, I was back to working out with great enthusiasm. During week 7 I was still not feeling great but I was back to dunking easily even though my hamstring was really tight and I wasn't feeling as loose and explosive as I had hoped after my rest. I guess
By week 8 autumn had arrived here in Germany and it started to rain every day. So I had to do a lot of the workouts of my final week in pouring rain - what a finish!
Fortunately, autumn also meant that the school gym where my team practices opened up again. So for the first time, I was able to test my vertical on an indoor floor. And the additional traction of the dirt and dust free floor really showed. My vertical jump was up to a new personal record of 37 inches. I wasn't quite able to reach my ambitious goal of 40 inches, but I was damn close!
My teammates couldn't believe the way I was dunking!!! Three different guys asked me how tall I was, and could't believe that a 6ft tall white guy could dunk like that 🙂 After the practice I was throwing alley-oops and trying all kinds of dunks with the tall guys on the team, as I am now by far the smallest guy on the team who is able to dunk. And thats really a great reward for all the hard work in the last 8 weeks!!
I was asked on YouTube and via Email if the increased vertical quickly vanished after I stopped doing Vert Shock. The quick answer: NO!
I haven't done a whole lot of jump specific training lately, even though Vert Shock provides you with a maintenance program which you can do once a week.
However, I have been dunking a lot during and after basketball practices because it is just so much fun and so far I was able to keep my 37" vertical. In fact, I am already planning my next round of Vert Shock in the upcoming off-season. I still want to reach my goal of a
Overall, I recommend this program to every basketball player who is determined to increase his vertical jump. Not only will you jump higher, but you will also gain a lot of quickness and overall athleticism which will help with other parts of your game like
Vert Shock focuses heavily on plyometrics and is therefore especially suited for basketball players who have no access to a gym or have little experience with weightlifting. No equipment except for basketball (or a medicine ball) is needed for the workouts.
However if you are already jumping very high (around 40 inches) and you have no prior weightlifting experience, this program might not deliver the expected results as your plyometrics are already very advanced. In this case, a program like Jump Manual which focuses more on strength might suit you better. Read more about how the two programs compare here.
I increased my vertical by 8 inches during the program. I now have a 37" vertical and can dunk easily with two hands.
Adam claims an original price of $134, but you can get it for $67 here. Being able to dunk was absolutely worth the price to me!
Every exercise is explained in great instruction videos, the printable PDF workout sheets are easy to read and no gym is needed!
The program is pretty time-intense as there are about 5 workouts per week which usually last less than 60 minutes. Exercises are demanding but always manageable.
Vert Shock definitely works!
In my opinion, Vert Shock is the easiest, most fun and most efficient Vertical Jump program currently available!
If you want to increase your vertical jump, make sure to check it out!
If you are wondering how much Vert Shock could increase YOUR vertical jump and if you will be able to dunk after 8 weeks of training than I have created the perfect guide for you!
In the past weeks, I have read everything I could find about vertical jump training and have gained a lot of knowledge through my own training. This allowed me to write a guide where I explain what you can personally expect from Vert Shock taking into account your height, standing reach and your current athleticism.
There is even an interactive calculator included! You just put in your standing reach and your current vertical jump and the Vert Shock calculator tells you if you will be able to dunk after 8 weeks of Vert Shock!