Important Factors to Having a Great Vertical That Are Usually Overlooked

First and foremost, push yourself. You are in full control of the amount of gains you will get from these workouts. By pushing yourself I mean to jump as high and hard as you can every single rep. This means to sprint as fast as you can when it says do sprints, do not slow up before 30 yards if it says 30 yard sprints. Try to get more weight than you did the week before. Never do something and just try to get it done quickly and effortlessly. This also means when you do not want to work out, make yourself go anyway.

Secondly, set goals. This is something that is overlooked so often. Setting goals is so much more than just hoping to do something. You must write it down, and truly believe that you will reach it. Repeat your goals to yourself as much as you can. Having goals will create drive as well as the motivation to push yourself harder. It is proven that goals will also lead to greater performance. If you are just jumping without really expecting much out of it or going for anything in particular, you will never get the gains as someone that really wants to dunk a basketball and is there for a reason.

Third, stay motivated throughout the 16 week and beyond. Do not give up on your goals or get down on yourself. You must believe you will each your goals and workout with the intensity to get yourself there week in and week out. There are many intangible factors to better performance, and setting goals and staying motivated are right on the top. Mentally believing and pushing yourself throughout your workouts will lead to improvements. If you check your gains and not satisfied, do not get down on yourself. Use that to your advantage to push yourself and even more and know that the gains will come.

Rest, this is another issue that is highly regarded and very overlooked. You will not have the full energy to push yourself fully each workout if you do not rest enough between workouts. This means that you should not workout within at least 48 hours of your last workout. This also implies that the workouts will be tough and you will need the rest, this means that you must make the workouts tough if they are not already for you, add weight, add sets. Rest is also important between sets because of the same concepts. You must have the energy to give your all on every single repetition, and rushing through the workout will lead to fatigue and you will not be maximizing your results.

Next is eating well. This is an issue that many people may be aware of but may not think relates so much to these vertical jump workouts. Eating well certainly affects your performance. For example, without your recommended carbohydrates, you will not have the energy to complete your workout to the best of your ability. Also, protein intake will increase your body’s strength which will lead to greater gains. Basically, eating well means trying to minimize your bad fats and carbs while getting the amount of calories that you need to reach your goals. Many people may want to gain muscle mass throughout the workouts and that will entail that you eat plenty of carbs and protein each and everyday. I would also recommend supplements because they will ensure that you are getting enough protein or good carbs. There are several shakes out there to make sure that you get enough each day without just throwing bad calories down.

I would also recommend upper body workouts. I would say that upper body strength serves several benefits in any sport or activity that you desiring to increase your speed for or your vertical jump. In addition, while you are eating well, setting goals, and working out, it is definitely a good time to throw in upper body workouts and set goals for these as well. For example, set a goal for bench press or pull-ups. However, this does not mean work out upper body while you are at the gym doing your vertical jump workouts. This is something that could be done over the couple days that you are between workouts because it shouldn’t wear down your legs at all and damper your vertical jump gains.

Do not test your vertical over and over again. First off, it is recommended that you rest at least 3 or 4 days before you test your vertical. This is because you will not have the same numbers if you have worked out your legs recently or even played basketball for an hour. Your energy and strength level will have a huge impact on how high you get. This will also keep you focused and confident on reaching your goals. Testing it over and over again will more than likely get you down because you will not see many gains by doing this.

As for the actual workout, technique is just as important as any other factor. If you are not completing a lift correctly, you may not receive any benefit at all from doing it, even if you are pushing yourself as hard as you can, and you may even hurt yourself which will really prevent you from reaching your goals. The most important exercises to focus on technique are the squat variations and the dead lift. This is not to say that having the right technique while jumping will not really help you to get the most out of it.

Another tip I have is to stick to the exercises provided in each workout. This workout has been taken from a renowned author that tested several variations of each workout until finding the best mix of exercises. The exercises are grouped together because they yield the greatest gains in the order they are listed. The sets and reps are the same way, as well as the time listed between each set. This is not to say that you cannot add weight to a lift. However, on every phase of 4 weeks the final week is like a recovery week, if you choose to do the same amount of sets that you did the previous week, this would be acceptable, if you feel you do not need a lighter week. I highly recommend adding as much weight as you can to each lift while still keeping the technique and form.

Finally, I would recommend staying active throughout the workouts. Playing basketball on off days is a great way to reinforce some of the same principles that are used in the workouts. With workouts only being twice a week, that is a lot of off time to try to and stay in shape and workout on the side. If you do not workout with weights on off days, I would recommend playing sports or at least staying on your feet rather than laying around all the time. This does not mean that you should play basketball everyday though, there is a point where you are playing too much and do not have the strength and energy going into each workout that you need. I still recommend taking it fairly easy on days before the vertical jump training to rest up. This means try not to play basketball for over an hour or two, don’t test your vertical or jump around a lot, and don’t go for a run. You can walk as long as you please or jog a little, or workout your upper body, but try not to wear yourself out too much.

In order to get the most out of a workout with either lifting or jumping one needs to go about it with a proper diet. I will fill you in on a few tips and pointers I have gotten over the years from trainers, personal experience, and researching the topic. There are obviously different diets for different goals. I would classify the goals as trying to lose weight, trying to gain weight, trying to gain muscle, but not much fat, and trying to cut, which is just lose a little excess fat but not too much weight. These are the extremes, there are certainly forms of diets in between and perhaps a mixture of these. The diet I am focusing on is gaining weight, but trying to gain good weight, so it is certainly done with healthy foods (which I would hope all diets contain) and it’s a slow process because I am trying not to gain any fat. First and foremost, breakfast is the most important meal, it should be the biggest meal of the day, no matter what your diet may be. Breakfast should contain plenty of carbs to provide energy for the day and a good addition would be eggs or egg whites for protein, and some fruit or juice for a little sugar to boost the energy. Over the course of the day it is best to spread out the meals into smaller portions instead of 3 big meals, perhaps have 5-7 smaller meals. The purpose of this is to digest your food better and keep your metabolism high. It is also a good way of keeping your energy high and getting the most out of everything you do throughout the day. I would recommend having a gram or protein for every pound of bodyweight for men, at least. For a guy like me that is not trying to lose weight, it’s good to have at least 3-4000 calories, because I am active and need the energy and calories so that I do not lose weight. I am very active and burn so many calories throughout the day that I need to eat at least that many or I will be hungry quite a bit and losing pounds. I would advise you not to eat any carbs after 8 pm as well, the only thing I try to eat after that time is 1 protein shake before bed. It is best to keep fat to a minimum, mostly good fats like the fat found in peanuts and peanut butter, as well as fish oils and similar supplements. These are just a few tips to keep in mind to get the most progress out of your food.

There are also several tips that I have regarding the diet around the workouts. It is definitely best to amp up on the carbs and a little bit of sugar about an hour before the workout. Do not eat too close to a workout time because your food will not have fully digested and you will not feel all that great, you will also not have the energy you need to perform at your peak. Next, you need to drink water throughout the workout. I would also recommend a gatorade or powerade, or some type of energy drink like that to provide the electrolytes to give you a bit of a spark to keep your mind and body going. Next, and still very very important, always eat right after the workout, within 30 minutes. This is the time to load the body up with protein. After the workout is when your body really needs to regroup and give your muscles strength and this is when protein is needed most, otherwise your muscles will never get the most out of every workout. I like to have a protein shake, and usually some beef or chicken is a good form of protein.

Here is a list of foods I would recommend eating if you are really trying to eat healthy and get your body in its best condition ever!

Protein Shakes, Eggs, Egg Whites, Any Whole Wheat Breads or Bagels for serious carbs, Oatmeal, rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Chicken, Lean Beef, Tuna, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit, and there is certainly much more food that is good for you. This is simply a short list of things that I know anyone had access to and could go along way to incorporate into at least one meal a day to start progressing in the right direction.

One of the easiest ways to improve athletic abilities is through stretching. It seems that this is something that is very overlooked and not done nearly enough, if at all. The benefits involved with stretching are quite more prolific than one may perceive. Many people even think that they are quite flexible and are in fact not even close to what they are capable of. Stretching is one of the main ways to become flexible, unless you are so active that it stretches you into crazy positions, which is probably unlikely.

Stretching can be used for several reasons. First of all, it increases flexibility greatly. Flexibility is very similar to the vertical leap, it is almost endless as to how much better one can get. Very few people will reach their greatest possible range of motion in all their movements, and the same with the vertical leap. In turn, flexibility will enhance several things. Flexibility is key to how several athletes perform in their respective sports. A few of the ideas that come to mind are a pitcher’s shoulder and arm flexibility, a kicker’s leg flexibility in either soccer or football, a tennis, baseball, hockey, or golfer’s shoulder turn, hip rotation, and shoulder flexibility, as well as several others. The one that I left out that seems to be most pivotal to the topic of this website is the flexibility of the legs that allows a basketball player to jump higher and even run faster.

Another use of stretching is for injury prevention. It is a great idea to stretch out and warm up before a workout as well as before athletic activities. From my experiences, the best way to loosen up before working out and physical activity always begins with doing something to get the blood flowing and heat up your body. This is usually done with either a light jog, jumping jacks, seal jumps (like jumping jacks except the arms clap and go out horizontally each repetition), or criss-cross (where the arms and legs cross over each repetition). After warming up your body is when you will begin stretching out. The exercises done to get your heart rate up will help you stretch out better because it is always a bad idea to stretch out cold muscles because you may pull something. The stretching I do usually pertains to what activity or workout I am going to do for that given day. If I am working out lower body I will do mainly lower body stretching and then follow that up with a little quick upper body work, and vice versa for an upper body workout. If I am going to be playing a sport then I will probably stretch out my entire body rather quickly after I am warmed up.

The stretching that I perform for lower body is not always the same but usually hits all the key muscles, the quad, the hamstrings, the glutes, and probably a little calf stretching. I usually perform hip pop-ups, where I lay on my back and put my feet close to my butt and hump upwards. Another stretch I do is dynamic hamstring; I lay on my back and try to basically kick the ceiling with a straight leg, one leg at a time. Another stretch is when I lay on my side and raise my leg as high as I can while keeping it straight. Then I bring my top leg up and grab my ankle and bring the lower leg as high as I can. Another stretch is where I lay on my stomach and try to touch my knee to my elbow while only moving my leg, one at a time. That is called the lying spiderman. Another stretch is standing heel to hip, one leg at a time, also knee to chest, one leg at a time. Another good stretch is the tin-man walks or in place, where you bring your leg up as high as you can while keeping it straight and touch your toe with your opposite hand and alternating. I also like to touch my toes, or bend over and touch the floor with my legs spread wide. Another good stretch is the butterfly, which is a common stretch, simply sit down and instead of sitting Indian style sit with your sole of your shoes touching each other and bend forward to make it work. The final stretching I would do is the hip stretching, where I go down to one knee and slide the hips forward and backward and hold it there. Those are just a few good stretches to get the legs loosened up. I would recommend stretching after a workout as well to make sure and loosen your body back up because that is when it will be tightest. I would also recommend doing stretches for the next couple days after a leg workout, especially if you are sore, to go ahead and loosen your body up and you will not be sore for as long. A great idea for after a leg workout is to roll out on a foam roller. A foam roller is about a four foot long foam cylinder that is about 6 inches in diameter. You are to lay down on it and then roll back and forth on your hamstrings and quads and also your glutes, put as much weight on your sore areas as possible. It may hurt a little bit because you are really digging into sore areas, but it will loosen you up big time and you will not be sore for nearly as long.

The upper body stretches that I perform are rather simple. I usually stretch out my rotator cuffs with a light weight, about 5 pounds, and do arm swings, where you go in a circle with the arm straight, and also some internal and external rotation. I like to stretch out the shoulders by doing some stretches against a pole where I stretch my arm as far back as it goes. I like to do some twists to stretch out my back as well because it is usually pretty tight. I have several other stretches I like to do but those are just a few, feel free to ask and I can name a few more.

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