vertical jump training

Top 3 Reasons People Fail to Increase Their Vertical Jump

Written by Jack Woodrup for

Over the years thousands of athletes have tried, and failed to increase their vertical jump. How come? There are many reasons why people have been unsuccessful in learning how to jump higher, here though are a few of the more common ones.

how to jump higher and increase your vertical jump

1. Giving Up Too Early

The number one reason people don’t achieve significant gains in their vertical jump is that they give up too early. This can happen because other things take priority (school, career etc), or as is often the case, they have unrealistic expectations.

Those unrealistic expectations in recent years have been fuelled by the many marketing folks who have overtaken the vertical jump training space with dubious claims such as double your vertical leap, gain 10 inches in 12 weeks, if you can touch the net you can dunk, guaranteed results, and so on.

People see these claims, then try the programs, and when they don’t get those sorts of results they lose motivation and give up. This is unfortunate, because while there might be the odd person out there who does make great gains quickly, the vast majority of us will have to work hard for much longer than a month or two to see big improvements. If you only try training for a few months,then of course you won't always see amazing results.

how to increase your vertical

Usain Bolt: Didn’t become the worlds fastest man after 12 weeks of training!

2. Bad Program Design

Given the very poor design of some of the most popular vertical jump training programs it is no surprise that many people are failing to make improvements. There are the programs that use hundreds of low intensity reps, there are programs that use dodgy mathematics, and there are programs that use low intensity isometrics, plus many others that are just as bad if not worse.

None of these sorts of gimmicky based programs actually do much for the development of all out single effort explosive muscular power. Worse still, even the good programs might not provide great results because they might not actually be suited to your needs, which of course raises the question of just how good those programs are in the first place.

One of the best quotes when it comes to evaluating program design is from legendary strength and conditioning coach Vern Gambetta who says

“If in doubt use the old reliable 3P criteria. If the training program does meet the 3P criteria it is probably flawed.

Practical - Can you do the program with the minimal facilities, equipment and supervision. Simplicity yields complexity.

Personal -Is it individualized? Does it fit you or is it one size fits all?

Proactive - Is there a clear plan and a progression?”

Currently the best vertical jump program available that meets these criteria is our own Vertical Mastery software program.

vertical jump program

Vertical Mastery: Practical, Personal, and Proactive.

The only equipment you will possibly need is a barbell, some weights, and potentially a squat rack. The programs are created from your individual test results and are therefore customized to your needs, and as you get stronger, more explosive etc, the software progresses your training accordingly.

3. Injury

Unfortunately injury is a common reason people end never quite reach their vertical jump goals. The fact is that the jumping itself can be hard on the joints, and the weight training for those who need it, can also leave you quite fatigued. Both of these things leave you very susceptible to getting hurt.

Injuries also don’t always occur in the controlled environment of a structured training workout, but more often when you are actually playing your sport without adequate recovery.

For most athletes they are trying to increase their vertical jump to help them improvetheir performance for that sport. As a result, unless the volume and demands of the actual sport are factored into the training program, you can increase your chances of getting hurt substantially.

While there are some injuries that happen as a result of plain old bad luck, the truth is that many are preventable. A good vertical jump program such as Vertical Mastery, will have a thorough and effective recovery process for you to follow, and will have the capacity to manage the volume and intensity of your training to meet the demands of your sports.

vertical jump program

Injuries: An Athletes Worst Nightmare.

For more information a good place to start would be the extensive chapter on recovery in our free vertical jump training guide.


So there you have it, the top 3 reasons why people fail to increase their vertical jump. Using a bit of inverse logic you could say then that the top 3 ways to increase your vertical jump are the opposite. And you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

If you took the necessary steps to ensure you were adequately recovered you would reduce your chances of getting injured. If you followed a well designed training program such as those created by Vertical Mastery you would see gains faster then using a poorly designed or inappropriate program.

Finally, and this is by far the most important take home message from today, if you stick at it and don’t expect to be jumping 40 inches in a few months, then you will get there.

No athlete in ANY sport has achieved great results in a few months. Usually they train for years. More importantly, they didn’t give up at the first hurdle. Instead they found out what it was that was holding them back from continuing to improve, and then they took the necessary steps to overcome the obstacle.

So if you are looking to jump higher and finding it a bit of tough, hopefully this article has helped you not only identify the source of your frustration, but also presented a solution to get you back on the right track.

If you found this article or website helpful, please tell someone about it!


Injury Prevention - No one likes getting hurt. By taking a few precautionary steps you can reduce your chances of getting injured significantly.

Training Frequency Part 1 - How often should you be training to increase your vertical jump?

Vertical Mastery - Find out exactly why Vertical Mastery is head and shoulders abovethe competition as the best vertical jump program available.

Vertical Jump Gains - How much will you gain from your vertical jump training? It is a common question fuelled by unrealistic expectations.

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