? Vertical Jump Gains - How Much?
vertical jump training


Written by Jack Woodrup for VerticalJumping.com

How much can I expect to gain? It is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to vertical jump improvement and the answer is always the same thing – 'it depends'.

You see there are so many variables that can impact your training results that to say something firm like you will gain 6 inches in 6 weeks, well, that would be just a load of crap.

The fact is, vertical jump gains will depend on all sorts of things including age, lifestyle, training experience, genetics, gender, diet and so on that to give even a rough answer requires quite a bit of knowledge about you as an individual beforehand.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that predicting rates of success is damn near impossible, it sure doesn’t stop people making claims that they can. So with that in mind I am going to reveal to you the truth about vertical jump gains and why, sadly, this truth is rarely ever told to you.


How often have you seen these sorts of claims? Honestly it never ceases to amaze me that people still buy vertical jump programs because the sales pitch says something like 8-12 inches GUARANTEED. Excuse my swearing here, but these sort of claims quite frankly are TOTAL AND UTTER BULLSH#T.

Any claim about guaranteed inches is nothing more than pure marketing lies. Every single person is different and will experience very different results. For example some people have less stressful lives and get more sleep so they recover better, others genetically have a higher % of fast twitch muscle fibers and a more naturally excitable nervous system, others are strong, some are weak, some people are un-coordinated, and so on.

Just for fun, if you were to graph the sorts of results some programs claim you will get this is what it would look like.

vertical jump scams

What Hype Based Programs Try To Sell You! C.R.A.P.

Anybody who knows anything about training athletes knows that this sort of gain is not realistic. Yet all the time you see these amazing “real” testimonials on sales pages with people claiming such results. One notoriously shameless self promoter actually claims to have trained 19 people to a 50 inch + vertical jump. So ask yourself where are the YouTube clips of these freakishly athletic people?

Can't find them? I am not surprised. They don't exist.

Seriously if you held a seminar and invited actual trainers (as opposed to internet marketers which is all many of these guys are) and got on stage and suggested you could guarantee EVERYBODY 8-10 inches on their vertical in 12-16 weeks, no matter where they are starting from, no matter what sex they are, no matter about any of the many variables that can impact your training results you would be laughed off the stage.

Here is some sound advice about any program that advertises using a claim of guaranteed inches, DO NOT BUY THAT PROGRAM. Why? Because, and there really is no other way of putting this, they ARE LYING. Anybody who uses lies to sell you something cannot and should not be trusted.

As far as I am aware there are only a few programs out there who like the no hype approach we have taken with the Vertical jump Coaching Program, do not go around making such claims. Interestingly the common thread amongst those who don't use lies as a sales method is that those are the ones put out by people who clearly have experience working with real athletes.


There is a saying in the strength and conditioning world that everything works for beginners. And you know what, mostly this is true. I mean if someone wanted to increase their bench press and you told them to go out and run 10km a day this might not work, but anything resembling chest and tricep work would probably increase the bench press for a beginner.

The same thing applies to vertical jump training. When a beginner starts out virtually everything they do will yield positive results, and quickly. However there are some unfortunate side effects to this. What could possibly be unfortunate about quick and easy gains you say?

The unfortunate side effect is that when you make those rapid gains at the start you tend to associate what you did with those gains. When your gains slow down, which they inevitably will, you tend to naturally think that what you did when you started out was the best way to train and often revert back to those techniques.

If you started out with a good vertical jump program such as those created by our Vertical Mastery software then this isn't actually a problem. However for those people that use one of the shonky ones available, they tend to end up thinking that a one size fits all approach, or an EDT based program, or worse, some high volume plyometric's are the best way to go.

For example, if you started out using a poorly designed program such as Air Alert that told you to 100's or 1000's of low intensity jumps the chances are you might start to believe that such a program was the best way to improve your vertical jump. of course the problem here is that such a high volume of jumps not only drastically increases the chances of injury, but in the long run trains your muscular endurance, not your muscular power.

vertical jump gains

Jump Training Air Alert Style: Please Note That Humans Are NOT Kangaroos.

Below is a chart that shows a comparison of the types of long term gains you might expect from a customized program, a one size fits all program, and a bad program. As you can see all three types of programs provide pretty good gains at the start but with a bad program the gains quickly stagnate, and indeed may potentially go backwards.

vertical jump gains

A More Realistic View of Training Gains Over Time

A well designed one size fits all program also has pretty good gains at the start, but as time goes on and your body adapts to that program the rate of gains will slow right down to a crawl.

With a customized training program that evolves and adapts to the changing needs of the athlete you can see that although gains still slow down, they do so to a much lesser degree and at a much later date.

Vertical Mastery: Custom Vertical Jump Programming

These progressions shown in the graph are not just applicable to vertical jump training programs either. They apply to ALL forms of training. If you look at bodybuilding a beginner will gain no matter what sort of program they follow. However sooner or later the body will adapt to whatever program they are doing and they will need to modify it again.

Some of you might be asking so what, if the gains are good who cares if it is a cookie cutter program? Yes, sometimes gains from a cookie cutter program can actually be quite good, but only if that cookie cutter program out of sheer luck happens to target what you need to work on. And it doesn't change the fact that the FASTEST gains will always come from something designed for you.


Ok, it is probably time to cut the crap and get to the heart of the matter. Despite what you have read by hyped up marketing people about how easy it is to increase your vertical by 10 inches in a matter of weeks here is the cold hard truth.

1. It is hard work.

2. It takes much longer than you have likely been led to believe.

Firstly the hard work. Jumping itself is a high impact activity. It taxes your body and your joints. It is also requires a lot of involvement from your central nervous system to generate all that power. This takes it toll on you as well.

Also, while it is absolutely true that you can sometimes make decent gains in a short period of time (especially if you are a beginner), these gains more often than not won't be maxed out in 10-16 weeks. Do you think a 100M sprinter sets their personal best after 16 weeks training? Hell no. These athletes train for years before they set a personal best.

If your goal is to have a 40 inch vertical jump after 12 weeks, then you might need to re-adjust your expectations. You will need to focus on your vertical jump training for much longer.

Here is another thing to consider while I am dishing out the home truths. If you play basketball or another team sport, the chances are that the requirements of that sport will actually be holding back your vertical jump gains.

Basketball in particular places a lot of conflicting demands on an athlete that aren't necessarily conducive for developing great hops. Don't get me wrong, like a lot of you reading this I absolutely lovebasketball.

However, as great and as fun as basketball is, you have to realise that is also involves plenty of running, boxing out, defensive slides etc, all of which aren't doing much to increase your ability to jump high.

There is a well known dunker here in Melbourne known as Area 51. Check out the YouTube clip and you can see at 5'8 he is truly a remarkable athlete. Last year I was chatting to him about this very point and he too loves basketball, but no longer plays much as it was affecting his jumping.

Don't get me wrong, it is not that basketball is bad, it isn't. It is just that if you want to be a successful basketball player then 1) you should spend a lot of time your time working on your skills, and 2) you can still develop a pretty handy jumping ability, but you might never get close to maxing out your vertical jump capability. This applies equally for other sports as well.


It is a terrible thing to say but the vertical jump market is filled with people who will tell you anything in order to get you to buy their programs. Some are much worse than others, but the there is only a handful of people who aren’t using lies to sell to you. Most of the people who make these claims of guaranteed inches are not real trainers (although, there are a few high profile ones that do and they should be bloody well ashamed of themselves).

Whilst there are some commonalities you can expect to see such as beginners getting gains faster than seasoned trainers, the reality is everybody's gains are going to be different and trying to predict how much someone will gain is virtually impossible, especially when you talk in set time frames.

However, if you do decide to pursue the dream of owning crazy hops, and you are prepared to work at it, then you can actually make some pretty radical improvements over time. The key words here though are "work at it" and "over time". In the words of Public Enemy – "Don't Believe The Hype"

Flavor Flav: He Has Been On To The Hype Merchants For A While Now.


How To Slam Dunk - How to slam dunk. Breaking down the fine art of dunking a basketball.

Marketing Tricks of Vertical Jump Programs - An eye opening expose on the marketing tricks employed by most commercial jump programs. A must read.

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

Most Popular Articles

    Vertical Jump Coaching

    FREE Vertical Jump Training Guide

    Jumping Exercises

Copyright © 2014 - Vertical Jumping - All Rights Reserved