White jump 1

I have now completed the first seven beginner's level workouts of the Strength Shoes training system, and my vertical leap has increased exactly...zero inches. If you're male, I don't have to tell you how chilling the words "zero inches" can be. Bummer, huh?

But not exactly surprising, either. After all, I wouldn't expect to add an inch to my biceps -- or even a fraction of an inch -- only seven workouts into a beginner's bicep training program. And the Strength Shoe program is pretty clear: The purpose of the beginner's level is to prepare you for the intermediate level, and therefore results may be limited (or even non-existent). So all I can do is keep on keeping on.

Patience is the critical component of any training program. Rome wasn't built in a day, right? Hell, a McDonald's Playland isn't even built in a day. But there's a very strong temptation to overtrain. You know, increase the number of repetitions I'm doing, do extra workouts, install some cyborg implants, or whatever. However, based on everything I've been reading, that's the worst thing I could do. Okay, that's not technically correct...there are many worse things I could do (cross the streams, eat broken glass, clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue, etc.). But overtraining, in almost any area, usually leads to injury and muscle degradation. In fact, some of the plyometric literature I've read explicitly states that overtraining can not only hamper results, it can actually takes inches off of my precious vert. Wouldn't that suck?

However, while I can't jump any higher today than when I started, I can tell you that I have seen a general improvement in my balance and agility. Which is something, I guess. Also, and I might be imagining this, but I seemed to have more thrust on my last couple runs. Oh, and in my ability to kick myself in the ass, which is a skill that could come in handy at almost any time.

In the meantime, I've been trying to read as much as I can about plyometrics. The best of what I've discovered so far is The Vertical Jump Development Bible by Kelly Baggett. As far as I can tell, Baggett really knows what he's talking about. The VJDB is stuffed full of Mighty Science, which -- even if you can't understand all of it -- feels very comforting. Kind of like when the voice-over guy in the Viagra commercial says that some erections may last up to four hours. Anyway, the VJDB helps you analyze your jumping ability (to determine what kind of jumper you are) and provides a variety of customized workouts based on your athletic aptitude and physical needs. The programs are roughly 16 weeks long and use a large variety of exercises. Every exercise is illustrated and described in detail, which is nice. And most of them can be done in the privacy of your own home.

I'm not trying to pass judgement on my Strength Shoes program before I've even finished the beginner's level, but if I had to choose a system in a pinch, I'd choose The Vertical Jump Development Bible. And I will be using it if the Strength Shoes fail me.

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13 Comments:
Blogger KneeJerkNBA said...
Kicking yourself in the ass while shooting a jumper would be ultra-fancy.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
kneejerknba -- Isn't that what Clyde Drexler did? Or was it Dominique?

Blogger evan said...
Drexler did and I think Michael Adams did, too.

So are you a Dominique/J-Rich two-footed jumper or single?

Blogger Syrus said...
I've tried Air Alert 2...and Air Alert three. Both just gave me sore knees, didn't do all 15 weeks though. Went about halfway. One of my buddies completed Air alert three. His vertical didn't change at all, and even worse, he still can't make a layup for his life.

Blogger Galbert said...
Wow, I was not expecting a Weird Al reference at basketbawful. Keep up the good work.

Blogger starang said...
I did The Originoo Air Alert, and it definitely worked. In fact, I quit after week 4, because I was to busy bamming on everyone at the gym and in various pickup games.

I saw a 4 inch gain in 4 weeks, which put me just a couple of inches from my elbow high to the rim. 8 weeks later, after trying to bam on everyone at any moment, I was up to a 5 1/2 " gain total since starting.

I don't know if Air Alert 2 or 3 or XXI makes you do this anymore, but I did the jumping + the sprints, and my buddy only did jumping, and he only gained 1 inch. The sprints seem useless, and pretty much suck, but they are well worth it.

Overall, I would say it improved my game tremendously.

Blogger m. Alana said...
I learned to jump in dance class - roll your weight from your heels to your toes, bend your knees, tip onto the balls of your feet, heave up. Toes should be the last to leave the floor and first to land, so you don't hurt yourself. Sounds dumb, but I have a thirteen inch vertical. Beat 'at.

/yes I know I just told you this, didn't see this post

Anonymous AKahan said...
I have the Vertical Jump Bible and I think it is a great program if you can follow it. Baggett does really know his stuff though, hes got plenty of articles out there.

Blogger BadDave said...
Of course, something not taken into account is the person's *starting* ability. Bawful's been playing steadily for years. He's been jumping a while.

Take a 33-year old, out of shape family man and see if this system improves him. My guess that's a large part of the disparity of results.

Blogger Dj RyB said...
As tough as it is at times, keep at it. I used the strength shoes all through high school and I was able to dunk easily after a few months as a a 6'1 white dude. I couldn't do anything crazy but enough to get me 3rd place in my high school all star game Dunk Contest (glory days!).

It seems too good to be true at times but it really does work because it helps you with your balance like you mentioned and also the quick twitch muscles that are key to snatching boards and dunks. Give it some time. I would say you should see some decent results after about 3 months or consistent training...

Blogger an said...
how much do you squat?

a friend convinced me to learn to squat correctly, and i probably gained more jumping ability in two weeks of that than any plyos i tried.

i've also read that developing speed doesn't help much until you squat a time and a half your body weight.

Anonymous Tiel said...
Squating is key. I added 8 inches or something just by squating twice a week. Forget plyo untill you squat twice your bodyweight.

Blogger BJ said...
Measurements, man. Such effort must result in truly mighty calves.

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