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At the competitive level (i.e., the NFL and NBA combines), vertical leap is measured using a “jump tester”—a tripod with a series of thin plastic sticks one inch apart. If you have access to this equipment, it’s your best bet for getting an accurate measurement. A cheaper, more feasible option is to do your jump next to a wall and mark the highest point you touch with a piece of chalk.
Perform the routine every second day to give your body a days rest in-between workouts. This means that on week one you’ll be training 4 times a week, week two you’ll be training 3 times per week, and on week three you’ll be training 4 times per week. That ends up being 11 workouts per phase for a total of 33 workouts in the program. Also, during this program you will be taking one week off between each phase to let your body completely recover. You need to give your muscles time to fully repair in order to grow stronger and more explosive.
Justifying these selfish, skewed priorities in my head as I stuffed a basketball into my backpack and pedaled away from our home would turn out to be one of the most formidable obstacles in my path. I must have whispered, What the f--- am I doing? as many times as I leaped toward one of the rusty rims scattered around the south Los Angeles beach community where we live. That latter number tallied somewhere around 5,000, according to my journal and 24-plus hours of video. Many of these jumps were attempted while wearing a weighted vest that pulled me downward, the same way that home pulled me sideways.
Vertical jumps are used to both train and test for power output in athletes. Plyometrics are particularly effective in training for power output, and include vertical jumps of different types in their protocol. In one recent study, training with plyometrics (which included continuous vertical jumps) was shown to improve jump height and boost vertical jump performance to similar degrees in combination with very different resistance training protocols, indicating that the plyometric jumping contributed to the increased jump height more than resistance training. Research into plyometric jumps found vertical jumps to be among the highest in terms of muscle recruitment (as measured by electromyography), power output, and ground reaction force produced. Fatigue has been researched in athletes for its effect on vertical jump performance, and found to decrease it in basketball players, tennis players, cyclists, rugby players, and healthy adults of both genders.