Best Vertical Jump Training Program

Best Vertical Jump Training Program: Vert Shock vs Jump Manual

Vertical Jump Training / 12 Comments / Last updated on June 8, 2019

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!https://www.youtube.com/embed/UoAi4kAqNts?rel=1&modestbranding=1&controls=0&showinfo=0&fs=1&wmode=transparentDownload Vert Shock

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.

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.

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 a LOT better.

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.

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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 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.

squat bad form

Don’t ever squat like that!

From verticaljumping.com​

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 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. What’s the Best Vertical Jump Training Program in 2021?