Why I’m Going To Increase My Vertical Jump And Why You Should Too

The vertical jump….

In my opinion, the BEST measure of athletic ability. Sure, some people might argue that the 40 yard dash is a better indicator of athletic ability but sprinting is more momentum based then people really know. Heck, you can train someone to improve their 40 yard dash through just intense 10 yard runs and their body will carry them the other 30 yards.

But the vertical jump, now that’s athletic.

But why am I, someone who’s main goal is to look good naked, going to train to increase my vertical jump?

Let’s take a step back.

Back in ’98-04, when I was really at the height of my jumping ability I looked different.

No, it wasn’t the weird internet theory that if you trained like a athlete you’d look like an athlete. I just wasn’t as muscular as I was now but that’s not to swear muscle mass to hell. I weigh between 215-220 right now which is exactly the same weight that I was in ’04 yet I had a better vertical jump in ’04 then I do now.

So much for muscle mass being the determining factor in athletic performance.

I was shaped differently.

I’m leaner now too.

It’s just not very advantageous, to the vertical jump, to have big arms, wide shoulders and a well developed chest and back. That’s why people who get paid to perform in sports don’t have them.

Fast forward to today and I’m standing in front of the Vertec vertical jump measuring stick that is used in the both the NFL and NBA combine. It’s the gold standard in measurement.

I squat down and do a standing jump and reach with my right hand to the top of the stick. I land fine.

My feet begin to kill me, my chest gets tight and I’m slightly out of breath.

No, I’m not having a heart attack. This happens every single time I try to test my vertical jump on the Vertec.

That reaction sounds like I’m out of shape right? You’d feel that way if you gained 20 pounds then started doing some slow cardio right?

Ahhh, there’s the difference between the vertical jump and the 40 yard dash. I could go sprint right now, without stretching, and just be a little gassed.

But the vertical jump gives me a different response.

So I’m going to train to increase my vertical jump over the course of the summer. During labor day weekend I’m going to test my vertical jump and see the improvement.

But why should YOU consider how high you can jump if you just want to look good naked?

To answer that question, we need to look at how you’d train, in a hybrid way, to increase your vertical jump. Unless your goal is increased sports performance, here’s how everyone who wants to just look good naked should train to jump higher

-Lose body fat. Sounds simple right? The more body fat that you lose the higher you’ll instantly be able to jump though it’s not a direct 1 pounds to 1 inch correlation,

-Focus on the under used powerful posterior chain muscles. Add more power and explosive movement like deadlifts and its single leg version to increase strength in your glutes, hamstrings and calves.

-Train with vertical jump increasing explosive movements like jump squats, bounding, single leg skipping and plyo jumps onto platforms.

-Improve your nutrition to lose body fat.

That sounds a lot like the typical fat loss advice that you’ll read right? That’s my whole point.

Pick a goal, for this article it’s the vertical jump. The goal has to be worthy of your focused training. I’m going to still train my arms, shoulders and chest because I want to but there will be focused training dedicated toward increasing my vertical leap.

When I can jump higher, you know I’ll be in better shape. And so will you. The athletic measures are measures for a reason. Give it a try.

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