Get Vertical Program (by Christian Thibs)

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  • #7506
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    Following Vert Shock, which increased my vertical from 22.5″ to 26″ with a run up and 21.6″ to 24.8″ from standing, i’m switching to a gym-based program involving barbell work with some plyometrics.

    I settled on this one https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/get-strong-get-fast-get-vertical by Christian Thibaudeau whose opinion I value.

    I’ve made minor edits to it which you’ll see as the program progresses, but the general outline of 4 workouts/wk for 6 weeks is maintained.

    16 July

    Running vert test – 66cm/26 inch
    Standing vert test – 61cm/24 inch (did get higher a few weeks ago so not a PB)

    Floor to ceiling jumps – 3 x 8
    Hex Bar Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 30kg
    Speed Squat – 5 x 2 x 60kg (45 secs)
    Half Back Squat – 2 x 5 x 100kg, 2 x 5 x 105kg
    RDL – 6 x 70kg, 3 x 6 x 80kg

    The program said “vertical jump 3 x 8” but didn’t elaborate, and a b’ball playing friend suggested floor to ceiling jumps as it teaches me to utilise full knee bend. You don’t really need a ceiling, just touch the floor then explode up with arms overhead. Also have seen hex bar recommended for jump squats and it felt really good to do.

    18 July

    Bench Press – 4 x 8 x 70kg
    Barbell Row – 4 x 8 x 70kg
    Push Press – 4 x 8 x 40kg
    Chin Ups – 4 x 8
    Leg Raises – 3 x 12 (60 secs)

    Rows were a bit tough, shouldn’t go higher just wanted to use the same weight as bench. Both presses can go up in weight next week, and the guideline of 6-8 reps allows some leeway. This was meant to be done yesterday but I was super busy and needed to work until 3.30am so I used my free time to nap instead of lift.

    Below is a still from my jump videos where I hit 26 inches, meaning another 5 inches needed to touch the rim.

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    #7507
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    19 July

    Depth Jump – 3 x 8 x 50cm
    DB Split Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 7kg (3.5kg per hand)
    Power Clean – 4,3,3,3 x 80kg
    Top Squat ISO Push – 3 x 5 x 6 secs
    Bulgarian Split Squat ISO – 3 x 4 x 40kg per leg (5 sec pause at 90 degree)
    Swiss Ball Weighted Crunch – 3 x 12 x 20kg

    20 July

    Rowing Machine – 4 x 500m (2 mins) in 1:54.6, 1:49.7, 1:55.7, 1:50.6

    I don’t think rowing will take away from my lifting sessions, if anything it’s active recovery even though slightly tiring. A few new exercises for me on Thursday, the isometrics were weird and the depth jumps were higher than I was used to but I adapted quickly.

    For the top squat i’ve seen someone put the barbell UNDER the safety pins and push up on them, which only works if the squat rack is bolted to the floor. Mine isn’t, so instead I put a heavy weight (200kg) and held it off the pins each rep. Possible I need to set it so i’m less upright next week. Here it is anyway..

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    #7508
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    21 July

    Incline Press – 12,12,12,10 x 50kg
    Incline DB Row – 4 x 10 x 20kg
    Close Grip Bench Press – 12,9,7,6 x 60kg
    A1 EZ Curls – 4 x 12 x 21kg
    A2 EZ Decline Skull Crushers – 4 x 10 x 21kg
    DB Preacher Curl (self assisted) 3 x 5 x 11kg (5 sec eccentric)
    Stir The Pot (Abs) – 3 x 30 secs

    My work capacity has suffered after so long out the gym. Complete inability to repeat the same number of reps in the close grip bench but I refused to lower the weight to hit the target reps. This is quite a long session and arguably too much given it’s written as improving vertical jump. I’m not one to argue with beach weights though.

    Here’s my close grip bench press 1st set.

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    #7622
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    23 July

    Vert Re-Test – 58cm/22.8″
    Floor to Ceiling Jumps – 3 x 8
    Hex Bar Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 30kg
    Speed Squat – 5 x 2 x 60kg (45 secs)
    1/2 Back Squat – 5 x 105kg, 5 x 110kg, 5,4 x 115kg
    RDL – 4 x 6 x 80kg
    Stomach Vacuums – 4 x 10 secs

    Experiencing higher gravity today, could barely get up the wall in vert test. Have been feeling the effect of weight training and unlike Vert Shock I could see my jumps staying poor until the program is over. No panic, that’s how weight training differs from plyo’s, super-compensation and all that.

    I pushed harder in back squats while being aware that my endurance is poor and I can’t repeat the same weight as well. 5 x 115kg is still not great given i’m squatting higher than usual, and I should really be in the 130kg range by the end of 6 weeks.

    I’m back over 70kg BW now, likely due to a higher carb intake. Macros for the last week averaged P142 C254 F77 Cals 2270.

    Here’s jump squats from today:

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    #7937
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    24 July

    Bench Press – 4 x 8 x 72.5kg
    Barbell Rows – 4 x 8 x 70kg
    A1 Push Press – 2 x 8 x 45kg, 2 x 8 x 47.5kg
    A2 Chin Ups – 4 x 8 x BW
    Leg Raises – 3 x 12

    26 July

    Depth Jump – 3 x 8 x 50cm
    DB Split Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 3.5kg
    Power Clean – 4 x 4 x 80kg (new technique)
    Top Squat ISO Push – 3 x 5 x 6 secs
    Bulgarian Split Squat ISO – 4 x 40kg, 2 x 4 x 45kg per leg (5 sec pause at 90 degree)
    Swiss Ball Weighted Crunch – 3 x 12 x 20kg

    I have crappy form on power cleans so i’m trying to make through I pass through the pull phase with bar contact mid-hip, which requires chest up, slightly wider grip and thinking about coming round my knees and exploding up. Holding a good position was more tiring but I managed to get 4 reps every set.

    27 July

    Rowing Machine – 2 x 1000m row
    3:44.2 (with a drag factor of 123)
    3:49.6 (DF 137)

    A slightly higher drag factor suits me as I can put more effort into each stroke but take longer between strokes. That being said, I was knackered for the 2nd one and almost came to a halt in the final 250m, going at a pace of 2:08/500m. Doing this the day after legs and still getting under 3:45 is fine for me, there’s a work competition around 11th August and I want to get around 3:30-3:35 if possible.

    #7938
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    28 July

    Incline Press – 4 x 12 x 52.5kg
    Machine Rows – 4 x 12 x 42.5kg
    Close Grip Bench Press – 4 x 10 x 60kg
    A1 BB Curl – 4 x 12 x 23kg
    A2 Decline Skull Crusher – 4 x 12 x 23kg
    DB Preacher Curl w Assist – 3 x 4 x 12.5kg (5 secs down)
    Stir The Pot – 3 x 30 secs

    I was on the Isle of Man so did this in a local gym, hence the machine rows.

    30 July

    Vert Re-Test – 57cm/22.4″
    Floor to Ceiling Jumps – 3 x 9
    Hex Bar Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 30kg
    Speed Squat – 5 x 2 x 60kg (45 secs)
    1/2 Back Squat – 4 x 4 x 110kg
    RDL – 4 x 6 x 80kg
    Stomach Vacuums – 4 x 10 secs

    Flight delayed so really crappy day and this was 8pm session, no enthusiasm to do vert test or back squats but I powered through.

    31 July

    Bench Press – 4 x 8 x 75kg
    Barbell Rows – 4 x 8 x 70kg
    Push Press – 4 x 8 x 50kg
    Weighted Chin Ups – 4 x 8 x 5kg
    Leg Raises – 3 x 12

    Building up my bench again, feel weak after 9 weeks off. Here’s my chin ups, starting to add weight again while keeping it strict.

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    #7980
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    2 August

    Depth Jumps – 3 x 8 x 50cm
    DB Split Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 3.5kg
    Power Clean – 3 x 85kg, 3 x 4 x 80kg
    Top Squat ISO – 3 x 5 x 6 secs
    Bulgarian Squat ISO – 3 x 4 x 50kg (5 secs)

    Wrong approach to power cleans, think improving RFD is more important than maxing out the weight I use. If anything I should drop it to 75kg and work on form. I narrowed my grip slightly and that was effective. Top squat is a killer.

    3 August

    Rowing Machine – 10 x 250m (1 min rest) average of 55 secs

    Wondering whether this workout is having a negative effect on my Monday session. It’s for a competition at work which should be scheduled for next week, so after that I can have Fridays to recover and foam roll.

    #8002
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    4 August

    Incline Press – 55kg x 12,12,11,10
    Incline DB Rows – 4 x 11 x 20kg
    Close Grip Bench Press – 4 x 10 x 60kg
    A1 EZ Curl – 2 x 11 x 26kg, 2 x 11 x 28.5kg
    A2 Decline Skull Crusher – 2 x 11 x 26kg, 2 x 11 x 28.5kg
    DB Preacher Curl w Assist – 3 x 5 x 13.5kg (5 secs down)

    End of week three! Nice to start getting my strength back, two weeks ago I was curling 21kg bar and already up to 28.5kg. Think I should be around 35-40kg for 10. This is still not the main focus of the program so i’m not overly pushing it in these upper body sessions. Doing 8 sets of 10 seconds of stomach vacuums every day in August so i’ve scrapped the other ab work.

    #8017
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    6 August

    Vert Re-Test – 59cm/23.2″
    Floor to Ceiling Jumps – 3 x 8
    Hex Bar Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 45kg
    Speed Squat – 5 x 2 x 75kg (45 secs)
    1/2 Back Squat – 4 x 120kg, 3,2,2,2 x 125kg
    RDL – 3 x 90kg, 3 x 100kg, 2 x 3 x 110kg
    Stomach Vacuums – 8 x 10 secs (doing these daily)

    Week 4-6 sees heavier squats and in some cases fewer reps. Surprised myself with RDL, filmed it to check back stayed flat.

    7 August

    Bench Press – 6 x 80kg, 4,4,4,6 x 85kg
    Barbell Rows – 5 x 6 x 70kg
    Push Press – 4 x 4 x 55kg
    Weighted Chin Ups – 4 x 6 x 10kg

    9 August

    Rowing Machine – 800m (~2:45) 300m (1:10)

    This was a 3 x 1000m rowing challenge but we ended up attempting 800,800,800,600 with me on first and last legs. Didn’t recover at all well and completely blew up trying to hold any kind of pace the second time and had to change. Kind of ruined it for the team as it was my suggestion to stop at 800m on my row as I felt my pace dropping. We came 3rd out of 3.

    Evening Session:

    Depth Jumps – 3 x 8 x 70cm
    DB Split Squat Jumps – 3 x 8 x 7kg
    Power Clean – 5 x 3 x 75kg
    Top Squat ISO – 4 x 5 x 3 secs
    Bulgarian Squat ISO – 2 x 4 x 50kg, 4 x 55kg (7 secs)

    Power Cleans were too easy and I haven’t learned the new technique well enough to consider it practice. Depth jumps weren’t too bad at all given the height, needed high level of focus to avoid injury.

    Here’s a few depth jumps from 70cm…

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    #8018
    Fraser
    Fraser
    Keymaster

    11 August

    Incline Press – 4 x 9 x 60kg
    Incline DB Rows – 4 x 8 x 22.5kg
    Close Grip Bench Press – 4 x 9 x 65kg
    A1 EZ Curl – 4 x 8 x 31kg
    A2 Decline Skull Crusher – 4 x 8 x 31kg

    I did stomach vacuums for abs and skipped the preacher curl because I was short on time and it’s not having an impact on my jumping ability. I rolled my ankle on Friday, the positive being that’s the longest time I have in a week before my next lower body session. Still feel it today (Sunday) but since i’m not doing any change of direction I should be okay jumping on it on Monday.

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