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?
In this article, I will tell you why I decided to do Vert Shock instead of the Jump Manual.
Going with Vert Shock turned out to be a great decision as I increased my vertical jump by 8 inches and became a consistent dunker for the first time in my life. Make sure to check out the video below to see my transformation!
Vert Shock and Jump Manual are by far the two most popular programs of vertical jump training.
And there’s a reason for that!
Both programs have been proven to work and will increase your vertical jump significantly.
Unlike older, purely marketing-driven programs like Air Alert or the Jumpsoles, these programs are backed by scientific findings and years of vertical jump training experience!
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.
Introducing the Programs
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.Check out the Jump Manual
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.Check out Vert Shock
Round 1: Presentation
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 modern web we now know.
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 15 years old and don’t look professional at all. Nowadays, every cheap cellphone can record videos that look a LOT better.
Adam explains everything in high-resolution videos. Warm-up, cool-down, every exercise – everything you need to know.
The training program itself is available as a PDF and can be downloaded and printed or saved on any PC, mobile phone or tablet.
Vert Shock offers a free PDF with 5 quick hacks that will increase your vertical jump right away. You can download it here to get an idea of the quality of the presentation.
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.
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 olympic weightlifting. These are not only done with heavy barbells but also in a very explosive manner. Exercises like these are really not meant for beginners and should be taught by educated trainers and not by low-res video clips.
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.
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
Vert Shock has a sticker price of $138 but you can get if for $67 here. The Jump Manual is a little more expensive at $97.
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: VERT SHOCK
Vert Shock is $30 cheaper.
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:
Which one should I pick?
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:
Obviously, Jacob Hiller has spent a LOT of time in the Gym and really maxed out his capacity for strength. Justin Darlington, winner of the Nike World Basketball Festival Dunk Contest, has a 50″ vertical jump just because he is insanely quick.
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 very little height off the run compared to jumps from a standstill. This style of jumping is relatively slow and does not benefit as much by improving speed. Learn more about the different jump techniques here.
– 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.
For most people Vert Shock is the program of choice. I did it myself and increased my vertical jump by an awesome 8 inches (read all about it here). It is easier to do, 4 weeks shorter and will deliver better results for the majority of athletes. However, there is a minority of athletes that will respond better to the workouts of the Jump Manual.
If you want to increase your vertical jump, make sure to check it out!
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: