Get Vertical Program (July 2018)

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      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 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.


        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..

        A post shared by 9to5 Strength (@9to5strength) on


          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.


            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:


              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.

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