When I decided to seriously work on my vertical jump I faced some tough decisions:
Which vertical jump training program am I going to do?
What is going to deliver the best results for me?
Going with Vert Shock turned out to be a great decision as I increased my vertical jump by 8 inches and became a consistent
Vert Shock and Jump Manual are by far the two most popular programs of vertical jump training.
And there is a reason for that!
Both programs have been proven to work and will increase your vertical jump significantly.
However, there are certain athletes that will have better results using Vert Shock and others will make better improvements using the Jump Manual.
My goal is to provide you with all the information you need to find out which type of athlete you are and to decide which of the two workouts is better suited for you.
As I have already talked about Vert Shock in great detail in this post, I am going to focus more on the Jump Manual.
Jump Manual: The Introduction
The Jump Manual was created in 2008 by Jacob Hiller. It originated as a series of YouTube videos where Jacob talked about what he learned after trying every conceivable vertical jump workout like Air alert, stair running or ankle weights.
These videos turned out to be so popular that he soon created his own vertical jump program and started selling it online. Since then he was featured on ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Men's Health and sold over 100.000 copies of his program.
Over the past 8 years, the Jump Manual has gathered lots of happy customers that prove that the program really works and developed into the most popular vertical jump training online. You can see some of the most impressive transformations here.
But in 2014, a serious challenger emerged: Vert Shock, the program created by Adam Folker in cooperation with Justin 'Jus Fly' Darlington.
Adam is a former Division I basketball player from the University of California Irvine and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Today he is a professional basketball player because of his relentless work ethic and his "Never Quit" attitude.
Based on hard science, years of undeniable proof and sound training principles, Adam developed a workout plan that took the internet by storm and soon became the #1 vertical jump program available online. Check out some amazing transformation stories here.
But which program is actually better? Let the battle begin!
Round 1: The presentation of the programs
The homepage of the Jump Manual program greets you with an almost intimidating amount of information. The layout of the website is organized like a book. On the left sidebar, you can see a table of content listing the 15 chapters included in Jump Manual. These chapters cover different topics like the scientific background of the program, optimal nutrition, perfect jumping form etc.
Whereas Vert Shock heavily focuses on short and concise videos to tell you everything you need to know, Jump Manual requires you to read through a lot of pages explaining the program in great detail.
I personally like the fact that the Jump Manual really dives into the world of vertical jumping and gives you a lot of information. However, the presentation of the program is no longer cutting edge and could be much more user-friendly. You can definitely tell that the Jump Manual was developed in 2008 before the advent of WEB 2.0.
Jump Manual membership section
Membership section welcome screen
The advanced age of the Jump Manual shows most noticeably in the very low video quality. Most of the chapters are accompanied by little clips of Jacob Hiller talking into a webcam. These videos might very well be 10 years old and don't look professional at all. Nowadays, every cheap cellphone can record videos that look
Winner of Round #1: VERT SHOCK
Vert Shock's membership section is much cleaner designed, more user-friendly and the videos are of much higher quality.
The Jump Manual Workouts:
The workouts of the Jump Manual are called "max exploson workouts" and are designed as a 2-week circle. This means that after completing day 1 - 14 you start from the beginning with day 1. The program is laid out to last for 3 months, however, because of this circular nature you can basically do it endlessly.
The workout plan is rather complicated, but to put it simply there are four different types of workout.
Workout 1: This day focuses on explosiveness. Plyometric exercises combined with jumping related movements with added resistance like weighted explosions or medicine ball throws. Compared to Vert Shock there are a few overlapping exercises but overall the focus is more on weighted exercises and less on pure explosiveness.
Workout 2: This workout is called the core series. It consists of different exercises that strengthen your core which is necessary to increase stability and avoid back injuries when jumping.
Workout 3: This workout consists of heavy work in the Gym. Squats, deadlifts and other exercises are working on the strength of your lower body and back.
Workouts of Jump Manual
Workout 4: This is called "off day exercises". Relatively light jumping exercises which are not supposed to be very exhausting.
Workout types 1,3 and 4 are done once a week and the core series (workout 2) is performed on two days, so overall you are working out on 5 days a week. Additionally, you are required to stretch your entire body on off-days.
So how do the workouts of both programs compare?
Round 2: How time-consuming are the workouts?
The most noticeable difference in this regard is that Vert Shock lasts for only 8 weeks compared to 12 weeks for the Jump Manual. The number of weekly exercises is comparable as both programs average about 5 workouts per week.
Graph: Number of workout per week during Vert Shock and Jump Manual
However, the average individual Jump Manual workout will take you a lot longer than the average Vert Shock workout. Especially the day in the Gym with 7 exercises, warm up and cooldown would take me personally about 2 hours. Vert Shock is a lot less time-intensive as most workouts are easily done in 45 minutes.
Winner of Round #2: VERT SHOCK
Vert Shock is four weeks shorter and the individual workouts are less time-intensive.
Round 3: Difficulty of the workouts
This is where the Jump Manual and Vert Shock really differ.
Vert Shock heavily focuses on jumping-related exercises and advanced plyometrics. These movements are all performed without added weights and are therefore easy to learn, safe and can be done anywhere.
Some exercises featured in the Jump Manual are much more difficult to perform. Squats and Deadlifts for example move a lot of weight and should be taught by a good instructor. These are easily done wrong and can do a lot of harm to your body.
On top of that, there are two exercises which are influenced by
Of course, if you are already a well-trained weightlifter or you have access to a gym with good coaches this does not pose a problem for you.
Don't ever squat like that!
Winner of Round #3: VERT SHOCK
The workouts of Vert Shock are much easier to learn and a lot safer because they are done without added weight.
Round 4: Pricing
The pricing of both programs is exactly the same. You can get Vert Shock for $67 here, and the Jump Manual for the same price here. These programs used to be more expensive, but I guess that competition is good for us customers!
Both programs also offer a generous money back guarantee, so if you are not seeing results you can request a refund within 60 days, no strings attached!
Winner of Round #4: DRAW
There is no difference in pricing.
Final Round: Which program delivers the better results?
So after this in-depth comparison of the two programs I am sure you want to know the answer to this question:
So, what is the best vertical jump training for me?
And the answer is pretty easy: It depends!
Alright, I guess that not the answer you were hoping for;-) But let me explain:
While both programs have the same goal of increasing your vertical jump, they actually go at it from slightly different angles.
There are many different factors like strength, quickness, form, flexibility and many more that determine an athlete's ability to jump high. Both programs train all these factors to varying degrees.
A VERY simplified explanation of jump height would look like that:
JUMP HEIGHT = SPEED x FORCE
Jump Manual focuses mostly on force by including classic strength exercises like the Squat and the Deadlift. Vert Shock focuses more on speed by featuring lots of advanced plyometric exercises.
This difference really shows when you look at the two "poster boys" of the programs:
Justin "Jus Fly" Darlington
Jacob Hiller, Jump Manual
Obviously, Jacob Hiller has spent
The fact that Vert Shock focuses on speed is one reason why it only lasts 8 weeks and delivers faster results. It is a lot easier to significantly improve your quickness compared to your strength.
Assuming you are completely untrained, it is possible to increase your vertical jump by 5 inches in a matter of weeks or even days by just focusing on your quickness. The same would take much longer if you were just working on your strength. You will not look like Jacob Hiller in the picture above after just working on your strength for three months, this takes years!
Working on your quickness has the added benefit that it doesn't require gym equipment and can be done by everybody.
I would recommend 90% of athletes to do Vert Shock instead of the Jump Manual because it will deliver better and faster results.
However there are certain athletes who might see better results using the Jump Manual.
Jump Manual is perfect for you when:
- When you're already a bit older (maybe > 35 years) and you feel like your capability for speed is not what it used to be. The ability to improve speed decreases with age, therefore, it might be more effective to do the Jump Manual and focus on your strength.
- You are a "Force" Jumper. This means that you are naturally jumping off of two feet and you are bending your knees very deep during jumps. These jumpers are often really muscular and gain ve
- You have had problems with your knees or other joints before. Depth jumps and other plyometric exercises can be hard on your joints.Therefore, Vert Shock might be problematic. Doing Jump Manual has the added benefit that stronger legs also deliver more stability and might prevent future injuries.
Summary and conclusion
Every exercise is explained in great instruction videos, the printable PDF workout sheets are easy to read and no gym is needed!
The web page could be more user-friendly and the quality of a lot of videos is really poor. However the program is packed with valuable information.
Exercises are demanding but always manageable. No weightlifting or gym membership required.
Difficult weightlifting exercises included which are not beginner friendly. Prior experience or a good coach required.
I have tested it myself and increased my vertical by 8 inches in only 8 weeks. I now have a 37" vertical and can dunk easily with two hands!
I have never done a complete cycle of Jump Manual, but there are a lot of success stories on the internet. The Jump Manual definitely works!
4.5 / 5 stars
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!
4 / 5 stars
Jump Manual was developed in 2008 and it shows. It is no longer cutting edge, but it still works!
If you want to focus on strength or you had knee problems before then this is the perfect program for you!
You think about doing Vert Shock? Then I have written the perfect guide for you!
In this guide, I explain everything I have learned and tell you exactly what you can expect from the training. There is even an interactive calculator that tells you how much Vert Shock could increase YOUR vertical jump and if you will be able to dunk after 8 weeks of training!
Make sure to check it out: