Help my vertical jump

OK, I want a 30+ inch vert. I’m strong (600 lb squat,) I’m pretty fast 10 yard dash is under 1.4 seconds. I’m big (280 pounds,) but my body compostition is pretty good. SO, what aspect of my trainig do you feel needs to be worked on? Thanks to all who reply.

You might want to information about how you train now, so we can see where you might want to redirect your efforts. Any plyometrics in your program? I think you get the greatest jumping gains the fastest from this type of training.

I just started incorporating box jumps this week, (today actually.) Other then that, my weight training is based on a WSB hybrid. I’m going to start doing them once a week right now, and may add more sessions later on.

Start by reading Kelly Baggett’s article , I am sure he will chime in on this thread as well.

Why do you feel the need to be so big?

how high of a box can u get onto? defranco wrote an article on this so maybe you want to check it out over at…he turned in some athletes with tremendous verts…

If you have to ask, you’ve never been.

Us giants look upon you skinny fellas with benevolence and smile when you ask that.

im not neccesarily a small person…235 at 5’ 11"…and i use a decently high box(42in is as high as they go, im sure i can get 48in though), so i was just curious

Numba 56, I just started doing these, so I’m only using a 30 inch box. Next week I’ll bump it up to 32". I believe Shaf was responding to nArKed’s question.

nArked- I’m 280 because I’m going to do an NFL combine. :smiley:

Mike, your max strength is good for your weight, assuming your 600lb squat is at least parallel.

What this leaves is explosive strength (RFD). If you are performing a DE Sq/Dl day then you know what I am taking about. Just keep in mind that bar speed is crucial. Far too many athletes use too much weight on speed squats.

Plyos, which have already been addressed are highly effective at increasing the vertical jump, however, you must ensure that you wave the intensity correctly between; altitude landings, depth jumps, and box jumps. A pendulum wave works well- inserting a cycle box jumps between the altitude landings and depth jump cycles.

I recommend, if you are not already, adding in a single leg lift to your Sq/Dl days. Step ups, single leg squats, and reverse lunges are the deal.

Lastly, as has already been mentioned, Defranco has some great information on the topic. Here is the link to his recent article on t-mag:

I also highly recommend his combine video. Lots of great information on the drills.


I agree with James, RFD sounds like your limiting factor. I wouldn’t advocate plyos for a man of your size however. Try power hip (high hang) snatch.

I know some olympic lifters have great verticals without ever practicing, but if you want to jump higher you have to practice jumping. So, that would include some plyos. Not necessarily depth jumps.

David W, Dell Dell, I agree with omitting the high intensity plyos. When writing my response I forgot his high bodyweight.

Stick with box jump variations.


Can you explain why jumping is necessary?

Weightlifters have very impressive jumping ability. Dreschler mentions a heavyweight who highjumped 2.15m with no training. Obviously there is a need for RFD training, why does it have to be jumping?

Do y’all really think RFD is my limiting factor? I mean I’m pretty explosive I can high pull close to 400 lbs, w/ good form. (I’m not disputting anyone’s answer, just asking.) Thanks again to all for the input.

Mike, is it absolutely certain that your RFD is the limiting factor? No, keep in mind, however, that many powerlifters of your weight could easily high pull 400lbs, yet this does not necessarily speak to their jumping ability.

Granted, to execute olympic lifts and their variations, one usually exhibits a high RFD, however, one may also possess only high absolute strength and still lift impressive weights in olympic lift variations.

The amount that you can lift, in any type of lift, illustrates one thing for certain, which is how much you can lift in that specific lift.

If your lifting partners observe that you move weights of approximately 50% 1RM with great speed, than it would be safe to say that your RFD is well developed.

Thus, if your absolute strength is high, which it is, and your RFD is high, which it may be, than jump specific drills would be the training tool to develop your vertical.

Given your bodyweight, we all seem to agree that depth jumps/altitude landings pose a greater risk than necessary, therefore start implementing box jump variations, and get good at jumping.


With a 1.4 sec. 10 yard dash at your bodyweight and with your strength levels I’d say reactivity is your limiting factor. Explosive strength and the force exerted with use of the stretch shortening cycle (reactive strength) are independent components of motor function (Zatsiorsky). Which means you can be good at one but not other. O-lifters and throwers have great exlosive strength…great standing broad jumps, short sprint times, and often standing vertical jump - but you don’t see them dunking from the free throw line or winning medals in the high jump and long jump, activities which are reactive in nature and vice versa. You just gotta get more “bouncy” on your feet so you can get more out of your countermovement.

A sample workout that you could do a couple of times per week:

Jump rope- 2-3 x 1 minute
slalom jumps- 2-3 x 50 (very low intensity just bounce back and forth over an imaginary line)
cone jumps or low stair jumps (“bounce” off and on with ease) 2-3 x 20
flying sprints- 4-6 x 20 yds at top speed with lead in
depth jumps- 6 x 3 from a box around ~18 inches- Aim for maximum height but with minimum ground contact time.

If you’re not involved in a lot of other speed work you could add in some depth drops alternated in sessions with the depth jumps. Start off with a box aound ~30 inches, step off and when you hit the ground absorb the impact as smooth and quiet as possible. Increase the box height until you can no longer land without making a “thud” at impact.

James and Kelly, thank you!!! I understand what you both are saying. I will stick w/ the box jumps, and start to incorporate some more reactive skills as well. Thanks again!

Olympic weightlifting is an acquired skill. You can’t just take a football player, give them a barbell, and expect them to be able to activate as many motor units in the movement as a professional weightlifter. Jumping on the other hand is very easy and simple. Those weightlifters have been training for years, this guy only has a short time to prepare; jumping is more specific.

High Pulls from floor:
Heavy - driving heels down “through the floor”
Lighter - rising through the toes, heavy enough to just allow for a slight jump

More value here than cleans, snatches or any variation as far as vertical goes.
For development that is. For maintaining level then you are talking short range (hang) lifts

Drop Landings 18" to 45" possible 60" if as strong as earlier listed
STICK the landing as one would see in a gymnastic’s vault finish

and, some sort of Reactive Jump off box, over hurdles, etc…