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CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!


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Excerpt: Hey CoolColJ, I've been reading some of your journal--it looks like you know what's up as far as training for explosiveness and power goes. Recently I've decided I'd like to put some of my strength to work by improving my vertical. Unfortunately, I'm not very proficient in the olympic lifts, and I don't really have any way by which to learn them properly. To give you an idea of where I'm at, I'm 6' and weigh about 195lbs. I can squat close to double bodyweight (365x1, 345x3) so I

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  1. #1
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    CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    Hey CoolColJ,

    I've been reading some of your journal--it looks like you know what's up as far as training for explosiveness and power goes. Recently I've decided I'd like to put some of my strength to work by improving my vertical. Unfortunately, I'm not very proficient in the olympic lifts, and I don't really have any way by which to learn them properly.

    To give you an idea of where I'm at, I'm 6' and weigh about 195lbs. I can squat close to double bodyweight (365x1, 345x3) so I should have the requisite strength to start using some plyos, etc. My current vertical seems to be around 26-28 inches.

    I'm not really looking to change my training a whole lot, I'm more looking for something I could do in addition to my training program. I currently train with a customized program that takes principles from a variety of programs--Polinquin's 1x6, Madcow's 5x5, etc. The basic idea is 2xweek frequency, progressive resistance, high intensity, moderate volume, with occasional deloading periods. I feel like I have enough energy to do some vertical training in addition to the weights, especially because I only squat once per week.

    Anyone want to help me out?

  2. #2
    Mad Scientist coolcolj's Avatar
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    You don't need olys to jump higher.

    But its deifnitely time for to train power/ speed and reactivity to get you jumping higher. Lots of jumping for form work, jumpsquats (with 10% of bodyweight), sprints Plyos and depth jumps will give you the best bang for the bucks. Once the gains slow down, then go back and add more strength and repeat

    that's all there is to it. The trick is to be able to do all that without overtraining. Harder than you think because of the high intensity stuff.

    have you read all the articles here?
    http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/

    and the Vj thread - especially the stuff towards the end
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...hreadid=137641

    this is what Kelly Bagget said to some kid asking for advice -

    Knowing that you're probably gonna ditch what I'm fixing to say in favor of a bunch of complicated BS that will take you the next 6 months of your training time to figure out, here's a very simple answer as to what I'd recommend you do:

    1. Get stronger. Until you're going all the way down with 300 lbs on your back you simply don't have the raw horsepower necessary to blast 192 lbs up in the air like you'd want.

    2. After you accomplish #1, shift into more explosive work.

    3. There is an easy (fast) way and a hard (long) way to accomplish the above.

    A: The easy way consists of going to the gym every monday and friday or Monday and Thursday. On one day knock out sets of 5 in the squat followed by some Glute Hams for sets of 6-8. On the other day knock out sets of 6-8 in the bulgarian split squat followed by some more glute hams. Maybe do some light squats as well just to keep the feel of the movement. Try to put more weight on the bar everytime you hit Mondays workout. Do this until you can throw around 300 for reps. Prior to your workouts on Monday and Friday, as well as on Wednesday, do a low volume of some garden variety plyometric drills such as a few sets of lateral jumps, low squat hops and low box depth jumps or whatever else you want. They all do pretty much the same
    B: I'll let others tell you about the hard way.

    4. Once you have accomplished #3 you will now have a bigger motor in your car and can then focus on modifying that motor to get the most out of it.

    4A. Keep the same basic schedule in place. Monday and Thursday or Monday and Friday etc. On one day do some depth jumps followed by some wave loaded jump squats for sets of 5 for a total of 4-5 sets of depth jumps and 8 sets of squats. The squat weights will vary between 20-50% of your max. Do one set with more weight followed by one set with lighter weight and alternate back and forth until you've done all 8 sets. At the very end of your workout you might do a few sets of 3 reps with 80% of your squat, as well as a few glutehams, just to maintain your strength.

    4B. On the other weekly workout make it a workout based around jumping and sprinting for PRs. Simply go out and get warmed up and try to jump as high as possible from a variety of starts (running, single leg, standing, bouncing off a box). Maybe add in some sprints if you want.

    5. When you no longer are getting consistent weekly results from 4A and 4B (which might take 3 weeks and might take a couple of months), then it's time to start over with #1.

    6. Keep repeating Steps 1 through 5 for as many years as you like until you either get to where you want to be or until you get old, gray and worn out.
    Last edited by coolcolj; 30-Nov-2005 at 08:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    CCJ's advice is obviouly gold!

    I got good at dunking by practicing the layup without a ball and just trying to hit the rim - over and over again until I got so tired I couldn't hit the rim; when that got easy, I just added the ball back to build up the skill...

  4. #4
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    also I wanted to add that instead of thinking about programs and exercises, think more about principals, then you can easily adapt and create your own setup to suit yourself.

    just train what you lack, while maintaining what your already have and your good to go

    off course where it gets complicated is when you get into the finer details like height of boxes to drop off for the depth jumps and such. Start low and work up. But I would start with altitude drops before getting into depth jumps

    learn to land properly and absorb the forces before you jump...

  5. #5
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    Good posts colin. Its always refreshing to read kelly b's take on vertical jump training as it is no nonsense, attack-your-weakness training with no snake oil or jump soles required.

  6. #6
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    i've found that i simply cannot jump the same with a ball in my hand, as i can without...

    my main backgorund was volleyball, and you know you obviously are not holding a ball when you jump... I had about a 38-40" vertical, but could not dunk a basketball, because i could not swing my arms to jump with a ball in my hand...

    maybe it was a mental block, but dunking had always eluded me... i could take rebounds off the rim and pin balls on the backboard though...

    not sure if you're in the same boat, but it stinks...

  7. #7
    Mad Scientist coolcolj's Avatar
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    Quote Quote posted by diesel gli
    i've found that i simply cannot jump the same with a ball in my hand, as i can without...

    my main backgorund was volleyball, and you know you obviously are not holding a ball when you jump... I had about a 38-40" vertical, but could not dunk a basketball, because i could not swing my arms to jump with a ball in my hand...

    maybe it was a mental block, but dunking had always eluded me... i could take rebounds off the rim and pin balls on the backboard though...

    not sure if you're in the same boat, but it stinks...
    how tall are you?

    practise

    try a lower ring to learn the form etc, 8.5 feet rings are ace

    I usually lose 3inches because of the no arm swing, but you can get around it a bit by doing a tomahawk, by swinging the arms and cocking it behind the head etc. Works great for a 2 handed dunk if you can get high enough, ala Shaq
    A bit like a volley spike

    why not self alley opp? Bounce it off the backboard etc and ram it home!

  8. #8
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    Quote Quote posted by diesel gli
    i've found that i simply cannot jump the same with a ball in my hand, as i can without...

    my main backgorund was volleyball, and you know you obviously are not holding a ball when you jump... I had about a 38-40" vertical, but could not dunk a basketball, because i could not swing my arms to jump with a ball in my hand...

    maybe it was a mental block, but dunking had always eluded me... i could take rebounds off the rim and pin balls on the backboard though...

    not sure if you're in the same boat, but it stinks...
    i had this same problem before coolcolj and kelly b helped me improve my vert enough. you sound identical to how i was. my "fix" was to throw the bball really high and let it bounce off the ground. try and make it bounce about 6 inches above the rim right in front of it. then you can take a vball approach and really use your arms to propel yourself up and grab the ball and throw it down. once you get a consistant toss and you learn the timing, it gets very easy to do.

  9. #9
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    i have been able to do self alley ooops for some time... that was the only way of flushing it for me, cause my arms were obviously free...

    the thrill though is taking 2 dribbles and ramming it on someone's head with your balls hanging from their nose then...

    i'm 6'...

  10. #10
    Mad Scientist coolcolj's Avatar
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    Re: CoolColJ and Others - Help me dunk a basketball!

    well at 6 feet depending on your reach, with a high 30 VJ, you should be dunking with ease!

    You just need to practise lots I guess. Need to get out of your volleyball mindsight

    A friend who is 6 feet or so with a 36inch standing VJ, but higher off a run can dunk with ease

    clip of his dunks, when he was 18 or so.
    http://www.members.optushome.com.au/...lip95_0002.wmv

    It certainly wasn't natural he had to gain strength and power to do it.

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