This Vert Shock review looks back at my experience and what to expect from Adam Folker’s vertical jump training program.
Looking around there are a lot of vertical jump training courses available. I should know. When I was searching for a program to use, I saw so many different offerings that I was scratching my head saying “which one?”
Making a Decision
In the end, I knew I wanted to jump higher, that was obvious. But in order to compare the different programs what I did was put them in a spreadsheet and list down what features they had, what types of exercises they did, how long was needed and what the expected results for each were.
After comparing the jump programs with what my goals were, I chose Adam Folker’s Vert Shock System, this was how I ended up choosing it:
- I didn’t have access to weights all the time. Other jump training methods required lifting weights. This one didn’t. For thos who are still young and growing, this might also be a reason to skip the weights, though I’m not sure if it really stunts growth or not.
- The second reason was the program was shorter than the others. In total, I spent 8 weeks while others take longer time to get the same or even less improvement.
- The last and probably most important of all was that it was made by actual basketball players who have excellent leaping ability. I didn’t want to use something written by a non-athlete, nor did I want something written by an athletic trainer. Even worse, someone posing to know how to jump high but really couldn’t.
Have you seen high jumpers and sprinters play basketball? They jump very high but their motion isn’t quite right making it hard for them to play naturally.
Adam Folker and Justin Darlington
Of course, part of my research was figuring out who wrote each system. Vert Shock was written by Adam Folker with help from Justin Darlington.
When I saw their names, I said “okay, who in the world are these guys?” So I searched the web. I’d like to explain who Justin Darlington is but I think this video does a better job.
I was like “whoa”. Okay, so that’s why they call him the world’s best dunker.
Adam Folker on the other hand is a pro ball player, who played for UC Irvine in the NCAAs. He’s one of those guys who had to work a lot to get playing time. If there’s one thing I know, it’s the guys with less talent that need to improve their skill more just to make it.
Part of going with the Vert Shock training system was knowing that these guys had to have some type of training or workouts that made them jump better than we do. Just like Michael Jordan worked harder than the rest of the NBA to become the best.
My Results After the 8 Weeks: Vert Shock Review
No review is complete without a look at the results. So here are mine.
What I wanted to do was make sure I used the 8 weeks efficiently. One thing I did right was not rush into things and go through the manuals, videos and resources before starting the program.
I think I actually overdid it spending close to a week reading and understanding things before starting. But looking back I’m happy I did because I knew what to expect and was sure I read everything properly.
In total I gained 8.6 inches, according to my tape measure, on my vertical.
After the first week, my vertical leap got a 3.5 inch boost. I think it had a lot to do with me not jumping properly and not training the proper muscles. By fixing my form and doing proper workouts for jumping my body responded quickly. I’m not totally sure though, but I’ll take it.
The next uptick in my jump height came mid-way through Phase 2 which takes up the middle 6 weeks. This is the bulk of the program and when the workouts got intense. Here I saw another 4 inches added to my jump.
The remaining inch or so same later on after completing the program. I think my muscles got to rest and rebuild after finishing the 8th week which is why the last gains came in then.
The 3 Phases of the Program
All told, the 8 weeks were broken down into 3 phases:
- Pre-Shock Phase – where workouts are geared to prime us for the actual workout. It’s like training camp in the NBA before the actual season starts where players need to get their bodies ready to work.
- Shock Phase – this makes up 6 of the 8 weeks and where building the muscles for jumping are made. The videos and exercises are all listed down with a schedule. So my job was to make sure I showed up and did the work.
- Post-Shock Phase – this was the last week. The training here focused on making sure that what was built during Phase 2 came together and that I could put together the different components to jump higher.
Here’s a sample training schedule:
With each phase you get a different set of workouts and exercises. The schedule and workout charts are all printable making it easy to carry around and use.
A Look Back at My 8 Weeks
The Vert Shock system says you gain 9 to 15 inches and I came pretty close. I’m not the most athletic guy so I’m sure others got much better results, but I’m definitely very satisfied by the results considering it all came in 2 months of work.
When I go back some of the things that I appreciated most were:
1. I didn’t need gym or weights
There were no squats or weighted leg exercises. I’ve seen some bad squat videos on YouTube and know that you need a proper trainer to learn that.
The exercises were divided into bodyweight training and plyometrics. This made training safer specially for guys like me who aren’t experts in the weight room.
Because they focused on working fast twitch fiber muscles, which are the big muscles that give us explosiveness, I spent less time training and still got great gains.
2. I was happy about the amount of jumping and workout volume
One thing I didn’t know when doing my research was how much jumping was involved. I avoided the programs like Air Alert which made you jump hundreds of times. Doing tons of jumping is has been shown to wear out your knees and ankles.
This is why a lot of the “high-flyers” in the NBA get knee injuries and even sometimes lose their explosiveness later on in their careers. Chris Webber is an example and Charles Barkley is another. Sadly, we’re starting to see Kobe knee injuries too lately.
The Vert Shock workouts were designed without having to do volume jumping which I really appreciated in the end.
3. Very helpful videos
Because I am not a top end athlete I had to refer to videos to learn some of the exercises. I really liked that they showed every step and instructions I could follow.
4. Daily Schedules and Checklists
One of the things that I appreciated were the daily schedules. These were like large charts that you print out and fill in what you’ve done. All I had to do was read the exercise, see how to do, and perform it the number of times listed.
The package also included checklists that made it simple for me to look through to see if I had missed something.
5. Something That Almost Turned Me Away
To be honest, I almost skipped this program when I was doing my research. That’s because of all the flashy stuff on their website. For me, usually if there’s lots of marketing that’s a bad sign.
Luckily though, the lower section of the page provided more detail and less marketing which made me consider it.
Vert Shock Review Summary
If you’re a basketball player, volleyball player or an athlete looking to improve your athleticism and jump higher, this is a great program to try.
I’ll be the fist to admit I’m not a great athlete and even I was able to get over 8.5” increase in my vertical jump without having to use weights or jump training shoes. Other users have reported gains of up to 9-16 inches.
The entire system lasts 2 months, and dedicating your time for each workout session is important otherwise, you’ll probably end up gaining only a fraction of your potential which is kind of a waste.