Erik's Quest for 40" Training Log

Name: Erik
Age: 22
Height: 6’4.5” (I’ll take every half inch I can get!)
Weight: 208-212 with workout clothes and shoes, probably 205 in shorts in the morning pre-breakfast
Bf: 11-14%

Weightlifting experience: 5.5 years mostly powerlifting movements, some bodybuilding, only very recently turning the focus to speed

Basketball skills: Decent. Shooting under pressure needs work. Can be developed to the level I need. I can handle that, it’s athletic ability I need help with. Specialize in one or two dribble power moves to the basketball from the baseline. Love to dunk. Used to be way too tentative about it. Need to be more aggressive taking it to the hoop for a dunk.

Speed: Decent.


Parallel box squat: 355
Deadlift: 405+
High pull: 225x5
Overhead press: 175 (a past love of mine, but I avoid any unnecessary shoulder stress)

Past injuries/things to work around: Tweaked shoulder (some impingement/inflammation if I overdo it/have learned to make do). Shin splints (gone, but I don’t want them back, ever)

Wingspan: Far from having a basketball friendly Michael Jordan wingspan, I have an average guy wingspan equal to my height 6’4.5” to within half an inch.

Athleticism: Medium high. Still a lot of room for improvement. Especially in lateral quickness and straight line acceleration.

Defense: Good anticipation, but needs to be better to play with the big boys.

Coordination: Severely lacking. I should be capable of a huge number of dunking feats while I’m in the air.

Future: If I was a high school junior or senior, scouts would love me. As it is, I’m going to be a senior at a Division 1 school and I’m going to walk on next season and actually play. This year I tried out and didn’t make it. Lucky for me, next year will be even harder. 2 seasoned transfers and at least 2 of the country’s best recruits will be stuffed in a lineup with a redshirted giant and a team that’s already very athletic and littered with potential. It’s gonna be tough unless I have some extra inches. I can make it without them on skill but being that the NBA is not something I aspire to, it’s not worth it unless I can play the game fearless against guys 4-8” taller than me knowing that whatever they put up, I can swat.

I have my workout logs for the past few months but will summarize them and post the past few along with strength deficit test/different jumping measurements.

Later, if I can borrow a digital recorder, I’ll post a few clips for better analysis.

I am open to all points of view and appreciate advice and ideas about how I can best improve.

Plyo background: Very limited. Yes, I’ll admit I tried jumpsoles for 5-6 weeks last spring. I’m better now. The plyo workout on its own got me to my highest vertical. But then plateaued and gave me wonderful shin splints. I attempted 2 runs at AMT jumps without proper preparation dreaming of extra inches.

I had a rush preparation for tryouts with a Div 1 basketball team and in 2 months played more basketball than I have in the past 3 years. I am proud of myself for how far I came but it wasn’t and I knew it wasn’t quite far enough to do what I wanted to d, which was playing, not being a practice dummy.

Upcoming: A few games of intramural league play after Jan 11th.

Vertical Measurements:

Early August: 34.5” on a vertec and I thought I had a good inch left in me

Nov 12
33.5” CMJ
36” 2 foot approach jump with a few steps

Nov 19
Real standing reach (2 hands, no holding back) = 8” even
Static hip flexor stretch
Squat jump = 28”
CMJ = 33”
Sergeant’s jump = 29”
One leg jump estimate = 25”
Approach jump = 33-34” (out of juice/tired)

Dec 1
Sergeant’s jump –easily touched both wrists to the rim -> 31-32”

Dec 5
Warm up
No static hip flexor stretch
Squat jump = 32.5”
Sergeant’s jump = 32.5”
CMJ = 37.5” *great timing, best reversal on CMJ ever, perfect, I would say highest CMJ ever
2 leg approach jump = exactly the same as CMJ! 37.5”

Notes on measurement: Done from difference between two hand fully outstretched and one hand twist, I can reach 2-3 inches higher with one hand than both – (clearly I also have some shoulder flexibility issues) - I can also reach 6 inches less by locking my lats on a combine test if football was my game

In need of easier palming. I can do it what in a way that looks easy to most people. But its not an easy guaranteed grab with one hand like most 6’8” guys can pull off.

Kind of funny coming from someone who owns Captains of Crush grippers and was building up quite nicely for a while last year. Only crushing the #2 for a couple at my best but still, these aren’t baby hands.

The plan is:

Morning = strength speed morning
Afternoon = separate plyo/speed strength session
Night = EMS stim

Tuesday - off

Morning = strength speed morning
Afternoon = dunk–a-thon – actually scheduled session for dunking only practice
Night = EMS stim

Thursday - off

Morning = strength speed morning
Afternoon = separate plyo/speed strength session
Night = EMS stim

Saturday - off

Sunday – off

I finished EMS stim session #11 Friday and plan to do 3 more sessions.

Last EMS session:

All at 120 Hz, 300 width, 10 sec on, 50 sec off, 1 sec ramp unless noted otherwise. Intensities adjusted from 1-8 and are noted as the numbers below.

December 3rd, 2004
Glutes – 6
R ham – 5 (getting titanic contraction!)
L ham – 3.5 got placement perfect, good strong contraction
Lower back – 3.5
R quad – 5
L quad – 5
Feet (Hz and width down to 80/200) – 4 up to 5 at the end

On the session prior to that I was having trouble getting a titanic contraction from my right ham. Couldn’t get one even after playing with pad placement and intensities. So I was quite glad to be getting one Friday.

Strength speed sessions consist of:

Monday –
Warmed up
High pulls 50% of 1RM - 120 for 6 sets of 2
Semi SLDL 45% of 1RM – 185 for 6 sets of 2
One leg pulley standing hip extensions (look like kickbacks with locked knee) 50 for 2 sets of 5
Bulgarian split squats w/35# plate – 3xleg, 3 sets big balance issue
Box squats 50% of IRM 185 for 6 sets of 2 – 3-4 second pause on box, explode up
Roman chair situps
2 short sprints 20-30m
Wed – same as Monday

Friday –
Everything the same except no box squats
Box squats replaced with light db jumpsquats w/25lbers up onto a box below my knee
5 sets of 2
Back and forth with deadlifts as last exercises of workouts

Sometimes alternating step ups or barbell split squats for Bulgarian split squats

I cut out heavier jumpsquats with 50 # dbs due to knee pain although I was seeing some results.

Just reorganized plyo workout progression to:

Preparatory period:

Trying to improve ability to absorb power.
Mostly altitude drops.
Short sprints.
Length: 6-8 weeks depends on progress

Main development period:
Working on power absorption and generation.
Short sprints.
Altitude drops, depth jumps.
Length: 2-3 months

Last plyo workout:
24 foot contacts (no heel touching allowed) + 10 foot contacts in water

2 leg altitude drops 16”x6
4 minute rest

2 leg altitude drops 20”x5
4 minute rest

2 leg altitude drops 22”x3 (easy, sounds like wood floor is gonna give out before your heels touch)
4 minute rest

2 leg altitude drops 24”x3
5.5 minute rest

2 leg altitude drops 26”x2 (first one was very good, tried second immediately after and heels hit – feels like getting to max box height – sad)
4 minute rest

Split squat altitude drop 16”x5 alternating legs

Trying water plyos – 2 sets of 5 max height jumps with 5+ min rest in between

Also doing mild skill development work. Trying to minimize pickup game playing to 3-4 20 minute games per week.

Equipment available:

I have access to a full set of jumpstretch bands, Olympic weights, dbs, squat cage, benches, various machines which I don’t use for much besides rotator cuff work and one leg hip extensions. No GHR or reverse hyper unfortunately.

Do I have MJ’s vertical?

Is my vertical comparable to Michael Jordan’s? A resounding heck no. Firstly, my standing reach is probably a good 8” less than his (his one foot is supposed to be around 8’10”, mine is 8’2”-8’3” varies which is why I use my two arm reach). So to match his ability, I would need a vertical 8” higher than his. And then, most of his dunks were off one led on the run where he got a good extra 8-10” while I am unable to get the same height as my standing vertical.

It should be noted for any young jumpers reading that no, I don’t believe I gained 4” on my vertical (measured the same way) in 3 weeks. I believe there was a small gain but a lot was just due to one of the best CMJs I’ve ever done. In fact, I’ll be happy to match it the next time I measure with less perfect timing and form.

I think we have to work from where we’re at, within our own personal set of strengths and weaknesses and that’s what I’m trying to do. You may be more or less advanced than me, but your own strengths and weaknesses are certainly going to be different and you need to assess that when deciding on a program.

I fumbled around with a borrowed digital recorder and finally figured out how to make it work. Here’s a few quick clips. It was a lot of time spent for such low quality clips but for now the best I can do.

Notice in CMJ clip (didn’t quite get as high as last time), that it appears my fingers are getting to the top of the square (16 inches above the top of the rim). In real life, this is not true at all. It was simply due to tripod placement. On my best CMJ’s I get within 2-3 inches of the top of the square, but that’s as close as I can get right now.

If only Santa would send me a free reactive jump pad or at the very least a vertec, it would save my forearms from some minor bruising every week or so :slight_smile:

My sprinting seems ridiculously slow. True, I usually do sprints on the track upstairs which has a little better surface so my feet don’t slip, but still, that is one sad sprint. And I appear to lack the ability to convert any horizontal energy to vertical height as evidenced by my running one leg jumps (these are no joke!)

Back to the drawing board.

Thanks for any feedback, advice for program planning, etc.


Sorry, nice jump but method not accurate at all. Wish that your stats are not that estimated.

That way i could run on snow a 100m 13,03 and estimated that it would be an easy 10 flat without snow. I’ve deadlifted a PR of 3*500 without even sleep the night before because of final exam rush. Say that i would done 550 easy with 9h of sleep, i’m sceptical. Namely bullshit!

Don’t take it personnal but honesty is a very rare quality in the sports business. Vertical jump of 30 inch more is not that frequent. It’s rare to see someone who full squat 275*2 and have a 33inch vertical.

keep fighting

“Vertical jump of 30 inch more is not that frequent. It’s rare to see someone who full squat 275*2 and have a 33inch vertical.”

Hi adonail,

Thanks for the reply. I have kept my training log elsewhere for the past 2 months or so but of course come back here to check out the new posts. I was quite surprised to see mine up.

I have no reason for BSing stats on a thread no one has read :slight_smile:

No, a 30"+ vert is not that frequent. But then again not everyone starts off an extreme ectomorph with plenty of reactive ability. Put a little muscle on his frame with heavy lifting for a few years and he’ll be able to fly. I assure you its above 30" no matter which way you measure it.

At the time before I had a reactive jump pad, I was trying to best give someone reading an idea of where I was. The specific numbers are unimportant but it was crucial that I not waste time getting the same advice someone squatting 500 and with a vertical jump of only 25" got. There are obvious differences in strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account.

And also strength does not equal vertical jumping ability in any linear relationship across people. There are lots of guys who can squat a boatload, but couldn’t dunk if their life depended on it.

Short limbed advantage in the weight room, long limbed advantage expressing the strength as power on the court?

Best wishes and I shall continue the fight!

-Erik Lukas

P.S. For anyone interested, I added another 2 inches to my vertical jump with DB Hammer’s power template in the month after that video. I am now trying to get all my inefficient biomechanical tendencies and kinks worked out with an ART practitioner, foam roller & stick work. I had developed a weak right ankle from a sprain months ago that had affected my gait, posture, and was probably going to limit my future ability to get more gains and stay injury free.

“That way i could run on snow a 100m 13,03 and estimated that it would be an easy 10 flat without snow.”

Get back to me when you’re running FAT low 11s on snow :slight_smile: