Table of Content
- 1 How I Came Across This Program
- 2 What is The Jump Manual?
- 3 Who Is Jacob Hiller?
- 4 How Does The Jump Manual Work?
- 5 The Nine Variables of Vertical Jump
- 6 The Science Behind The Jump Manual
- 7 The Jump Manual Workouts
- 8 My Results
- 9 The Pros
- 10 The Cons
- 11 Will the Program Work for You?
- 12 How Many Inches Will You Gain?
- 13 Bonuses
- 14 Summary
The Jump Manual has been the gold standard for dunkers since its release back in 2007, but is it still your best choice for becoming a 40+ inch dunking machine?
Can the program really add up to 10 inches to your vertical in just three months?
Find out exactly what you’ll need to do in order to become an explosive dunker, and how The Jump Manual earned the reputation of the best program on the market.
Ready to begin?
Here we go.
How I Came Across This Program
As someone who really loves playing basketball, I was always looking for ways to improve my game.
At six feet, I often found myself playing with guys way taller than me, which made me feel small and out of place on the court.
And it really brought me down.
I wanted to be able to dunk like all those big guys I was playing up against, but my vertical was never my strength on the court, to say the least.
I didn’t think I’d be able to get a high enough vertical to dunk – I failed many times in the past when doing programs such as Air Alert 3, and I was simply losing hope.
But lucky for me, I was wrong.
In this review, I’m going to share with you my experience with The Jump Manual and how it helped me increase my vertical to a whopping 42 inches (took me eight months though).
I will show you how this program works in practice and go through everything in detail.
Let’s jump right into it.
What is The Jump Manual?
The Jump Manual is a professional vertical leap training program that was created by Jacob Hiller. It’s a full training package that teaches you how to systematically increase your vertical jump and guides you through each step of the way.
The program guarantees to add at least 10 inches to your vertical, which is a BIG promise to make.
Can The Jump Manual deliver on it?
The short answer is YES.
It uses tried and tested scientific training methods and techniques that have worked for thousands of athletes. Therefore, if you’re able to follow through with the instructions, you’re all but guaranteed to have an explosive vertical once you’re done.
And the person behind The Jump Manual has impressive credentials too.
The program was developed by Jacob Hiller, a certified trainer who has mastered the skill of vertical jumping and has taught thousands of others how to do it as well.
Who Is Jacob Hiller?
Jacob Hiller is the creator of The Jump Manual – he’s a world renowned trainer who’ve worked with thousands of athletes, some of which are NBA players and even Olympic athletes.
Hiller is one of the few coaches in the world who specialize entirely in the field of vertical leap training, and he has helped thousands of athletes improve their vertical jump over the years.
With more than 15 years of experience under his belt, Jacob has mastered the art of vertical training down to a science and has gained some profound insights about jumping through the course of his training.
So when it comes to increasing your vertical jump, Jacob Hiller is one of the best guys you could learn from.
You see, there’s so much misinformation that gets spread around on the internet these days that it’s easy to get confused by the false promises spread by marketing “gurus” and people who have little to no knowledge in the field.
That is not the case here though.
Hiller is a certified personal trainer by the ACE (American Council on Exercise), and his methods and techniques are tried and true, so you can be sure that you’re getting the right information from a legit source.
In The Jump Manual, he busts a lot of these myths and shows you exactly what works and what doesn’t, so you can focus on the things that do, and avoid all the pitfalls that lead to failure/mediocre results.
How Does The Jump Manual Work?
So what’s the science behind this program?
Here’s a short three-minute video that explains how the program works:
The Nine Variables of Vertical Jump
Throughout the years of developing his manual, Hiller has discovered nine different variables that affect your vertical jump.
Most programs focus only on one or two variables, but The Jump Manual targets them all. It’s the only program I’ve seen that takes a multi-facet approach to the training, and therefore it’s much more effective.
Hiller explains that the nine variables combine to create a “synergistic effect”, meaning that as you improve each facet of your vertical jump, it will have a positive effect on all of the others as well.
At the same time, if one of the variables isn’t developed enough, your ability to jump high WILL be limited.
And while you don’t need to utilize all of them to improve your jumping ability, you will only jump as high as the weakest link in your vertical will allow.
What are these variables?
Let’s go over them one by one.
If you don’t have the strength and your legs are weak, your jumping ability is limited.
The way you improve your strength is by doing strength training.
But not all strength training is right for vertical jump improvement.
Jump Manual focuses on developing the fast-twitch muscle fibers (otherwise known as Type II fibers), which are directly responsible for how quickly your muscles are able to generate force.
Strength won’t matter if you’re unable to generate it quickly enough. The faster your muscles can contract, the more explosive your jump will be.
3. Muscle Recruitment
If your muscle fibers aren’t recruited to their max, your ability to jump is decreased. The Jump Manual emphasizes max-effort training to make sure that your body is conditioned to use every muscle fiber and maximize your jumping ability.
When performing jump movements, your body uses numerous muscle groups. Thus, making sure they all work together hand in hand in a synergistic way is essential.
Developing proper form and improving your technique helps to do just that.
An often overlooked aspect of vertical jump training is getting the right nutrients to allow your muscles to grow and recover. The same applies to eating before and after workouts. You need to give your body the fuel to perform at peak level.
Flexibility is crucial from a few standpoints.
First, your muscles need the full range of motion in order to contract as powerfully as possible (a long muscle can contract more than a short muscle).
Second, none-flexible muscles and tissues are highly prone to injury.
And third, the resistance of opposing muscles (agonist and antagonist) has to be reduced in order to allow the muscles to contract uninterruptedly.
Therefore, it is imperative that you work on flexibility when training for the vertical jump, which is why there’s a huge emphasis on it in the manual.
If your joints and muscles aren’t stable, other parts of your body are forced to absorb the force generated when you jump, which means you’re wasting a significant part of your vertical leap potential.
8. Body Composition
Weight plays a crucial role in your jump – every extra pound you carry reduces your jumping potential.
Luckily, the program provides tangible solutions on making sure your body is in peak shape for maximum jumping ability.
9. Hereditary Factors
Finally, the genes that you inherit from your parents also play a somewhat important role.
Some people have lots of fast twitch fibers and can jump high naturally, while others struggle.
Fortunately, with a program like The Jump Manual, you can retrain your slow-twitch muscle fibers to act more like fast-twitch fibers, which can turn almost anyone into an explosive leaper.
These nine components play a role in how high you can jump, and The Jump Manual goes deep into addressing each one to make sure that you have the best chances to succeed.
Most other vertical training programs only deal with two or three of these aspects, barely touching on the others, which greatly limits your chances of dunking.
The bottom line is this:
You will not find a more detailed and complete vertical jump program than The Jump Manual – it covers everything you need to know about the mechanics of vertical jumping.
The Science Behind The Jump Manual
While The Jump Manual is a long and comprehensive program that contains pages upon pages of science-based training approaches, surprisingly, that’s not what makes it so successful for so many people worldwide.
The real reason is, in fact, much simpler.
Jacob Hiller took hundreds of the most significant research papers, studies and training manuals in the field of vertical leap training, tested their theories, and distilled that information into a 14-day vertical training routine that can be understood, absorbed, and completed by almost anyone.
Here’s a quick preview of how the members area looks:
You can see just how friendly and simple it is – everything is divided into sections, and it’s easy to navigate your way through the site.
This is a luxury that previous generations of aspiring dunkers did not have.
Even 15 years ago, if you wanted to improve your vertical and dunk a basketball, you’d be hard-pressed to find tested and reliable info that worked.
Most likely, you’d end up using a program like Air Alert, and not only get NO results, but risk suffering a serious injury in the process.
With The Jump Manual however, you can be confident that you’re using a program that is first and foremost safe, and it was proven to be effective for thousands of athletes worldwide.
But what exactly is the science behind the program?
Well, it comes down to training the two building blocks of the vertical jump:
- Strength – The strength of your legs and core muscles.
- Quickness – The speed at which you can apply that force to generate explosiveness.
Sounds simple, right?
But in order to make these components come into play, The Jump Manual uses a few specific and important scientific approaches which are utilized to great effect in the training.
Here are just a few of them:
One of the biggest reasons why the program is so effective is its strong emphasis on doing each repetition with maximum intensity.
This approach might seem counter-intuitive because when your effort drops just by a little, you usually feel like you can easily keep going.
But the effect this has on your vertical is enormous.
Many people fail to see any gains, despite their tremendous effort, simply because they’re following the wrong principles and are, in fact, training for endurance, rather than explosiveness.
They end up putting in much more effort than they need to, without anything to show for it.
The Jump Manual, on the other hand, takes a completely different approach and emphasizes training with maximum effort during each exercise.
This teaches your central nervous system to recruit every single fiber in your muscles with each jump, instead of saving energy for long sessions of repetitive jumping.
To put it into context, imagine that you’re training for a 100-meter dash.
If you train by running a series of 5-mile runs, you’re teaching your muscles to conserve energy in order to cover the long distance. Training this way, your top sprint speed will actually decrease because your muscles will learn and adapt to your training regime.
So while a marathon runner and a sprinter are both technically doing the same thing, i.e. running; their actual workouts are completely different.
What does this mean for you?
If you want to train for increasing your vertical, it’s essential that you stick to low repetitions and maximum effort; otherwise, you’re just training yourself to jump at a lower intensity for a long period of time.
Another pillar of The Jump Manual that makes it so successful is its dedication to improving your form.
Many users of the program report seeing significant gains in just a few days simply because they fixed flaws in their form that were keeping them from jumping higher.
The program dedicates a lot of time to discussing the right form and showing it in videos.
You will learn about techniques such as extending the penultimate step to create upward inertia, and how to transfer your momentum more efficiently.
These techniques are then reinforced using carefully-selected exercises, some of which utilize a medicine ball to make sure that the movements mimic that of actually dunking a basketball.
This alone can have a HUGE impact on your vertical.
It allows your body to internalize the correct form and technique that go into a vertical jump, thus easily transferring your vertical ability from the training sessions to the basketball court.
And let’s not forget the importance of form from a safety standpoint.
As your athletic ability increases, so does the risk of injury. Therefore, it becomes more important than ever to know how to jump and land correctly with each jump.
The Improvement Zone
In order to make steady progress, it’s essential to push yourself in every workout.
If you stop increasing the resistance of your weight training, you will plateau and stop seeing any meaningful gains.
How is this reflected in the program?
The Jump Manual has developed the perfect scientific formula for making sure that you’re always training in what’s called The Improvement Zone, which is around 85% of your one rep max.
This ensures that you’ll continue to utilize every single fiber in your muscles and condition them to perform at max capacity with each explosive movement.
With this approach, you don’t need to worry about hitting specific rep numbers – the only thing that matters is that each and every rep is done at a 100% effort.
The Jump Manual Workouts
The Jump Manual program lasts for three months, but the actual workouts are split into a 14-day cycle that’s repeated constantly while gradually increasing the weights.
You’ll be training two times per week, with off-days focused on recovery exercises, stretching, and core training.
The first weekly workout focuses more on explosiveness and plyometric training, while the second one is strength based, and should be done in the gym.
Quick note: the program also provides ways to do the exercises even without a gym.
Because the workouts are quite extensive, you should expect to spend at least 1-2 hours on each of them, and then some more time for the cooldown, icing, and refueling afterward.
This kind of workload, while very effective, can understandably be problematic for some people, especially in-season players.
If you are one of those people and you don’t have much time (or access to a gym), Vert Shock can be a great alternative as it doesn’t require any equipment and the workouts can be completed in under an hour.
Being able to jump higher has improved my game tremendously.
Before using this program, I was unable to block shots, rebound, or dunk the ball, which are all essential components of being a good ball player.
But now I can do all of these things. I can dunk the ball (in games), I can rebound more effectively, and I can even block guys who are 5-6 inches taller than me.
As a bonus, I’m also running and moving a lot faster on the court.
Overall, I’m a much better player now than what I used to be, and it’s all thanks to this kickass program.
I won’t bore you with many details, I’ll just say I’m very proud of myself, it’s been a hell of a ride for the past eight months, and it’s a huge accomplishment for me.
On this occasion, I’m also happy to announce that I finally hit the 40-inch mark, and you’re about to see a ferocious dunker, so buckle up!
Here are my results with the program so you can see what level of athleticism you can achieve with the right training.
So what are the benefits of using this program?
Here’s what I saw:
- Solid Strength Training Routine
Where The Jump Manual really excels is its strength training workouts – it is without a doubt the most detailed and effective strength program available anywhere outside of private training sessions by a professional trainer.
The workouts and the principles behind them are all but guaranteed to give you significant and steady gains as long as you follow the instructions.
- Increases Your Max-Vertical Potential
Since The Jump Manual utilizes both strength training AND plyometrics, your ceiling for the max vertical is much higher than with some other, plyometrics-only programs such as Vert Shock.
If you take the time to complete The Jump Manual, you could reach your full potential as an explosive jumper.
- Solid Warm-Up Routine
A proper warm-up routine is an essential part of not only jumping higher, but also preventing injury.
Just as in other areas, The Jump Manual does a great job of getting your body ready for the training.
- Packed with Concise Info
The manual does a great job of teaching you the science behind vertical jumping in a clear and concise way.
Why is this important?
Because no program will work forever.
Even a highly balanced and strategically planned program that was written specifically for YOU will, at some point, need modification in order to remain effective.
This is where the power of knowledge comes in.
The Jump Manual helps you to get a deep understanding of every major aspect that goes into an explosive vertical leap, and it does so in a short, digestible way without throwing a bunch of materials and textbooks on you.
It’s a big improvement compared to other programs such as BoingVert that just dump a whole lot of information on you and are very scattered in the way they present things.
And it’s also not one of those half-assed bare-bones programs that only give you a sets & reps scheme to follow, but leave you clueless as to how or why anything works.
Let me give you an example.
I recently reviewed Bounce Kit (Jordan Kilganon’s jump program), and I was disappointed to find out that behind all the hype and behind all the celebrity status that surrounded this program, in reality, it’s just another bare-bones workout routine—with little to no info in it.
And this is not something new, so I’m not strictly speaking against Bounce Kit here, but the sad truth is, most of the programs out there nowadays are like that.
So when you find a program that actually takes the time to explain everything in detail, and teaches you all the fundamentals, it usually means it’s a quality piece.
- Good Option for People with Injuries
Because the program focuses on safe and controlled movements, as well as building a solid foundation, it is ideal for people with prior injuries or those that are a bit older.
You can start slow, and build on your progress, achieving amazing results and improving your durability in the process.
- No Risk
The Jump Manual’s creators are so confident that it will bring you results that they’re offering an astounding 60-day money back guarantee.
This means you’re not risking anything when trying the program – you have two months to see if it works for you, and if you don’t see results, you can ask for a full refund.
- Weight Room Alternatives
While The Jump Manual relies heavily on weight training and a gym, Jacob does try to help those who don’t have access to one and provides some “homemade” alternatives that could replace it.
However, if you can’t access a gym, a program like Vert Shock (which requires no gym or equipment) might be the better choice.
- Science-Based Training Approach
A big pro of The Jump Manual is the fact that it provides a science-backed approach for improving your vertical and explains clearly the reasoning behind the workouts.
This means that you won’t have to doubt if the methods are effective – everything is explained and proven in the program, so your only job is putting in the work, and the results will come.
- Nutrition Plan Designed for Maximum Gains
Jacob does a great job of simplifying the nutritional plan to make it as easy as possible to use daily.
That being said, you should expect to make a big commitment to your diet if you want to reap the most benefit from this program.
A huge part of the success is providing your body with the necessary fuel before, during and after the workouts.
- Best Program for Preventing Injuries
The Jump Manual takes a lot of time explaining the proper form and working on your stability, so you have a solid foundation for avoiding any injuries that might become more probable after you increase your athletic ability.
- Overall Basketball Performance Improvement
The great thing about having a huge vertical is that it translates to all parts of your game – you’ll become a better rebounder, a better defender, and a more dominant player in almost every aspect of the game.
- Time Consuming
Perhaps the biggest drawback of the program, and one that keeps a lot of people from ever seeing results with it, is just how time-consuming it is.
The grueling workouts that often take around two hours, the strict diet, the necessity for equipment; all mean that you’ll need a lot of dedication and time on your hands to be able to do the program.
- Requires A Gym/Minimum Equipment
Even though The Jump Manual does provide training alternatives for a gym, they aren’t always as effective. In some exercises, it’s very hard to mimic the same effect without the weights.
For this reason, I recommend that you do this program in a gym.
But this can be a problem for many people, especially if you’re young and you’re short on the Dollar.
If you’re one of those people, and for whatever reason you just can’t/don’t want to pay for a gym, you can turn to Vert Shock, a great plyometrics-based program that doesn’t require any equipment.
If, however, you are interested in doing The Jump Manual, and you understand the HUGE benefits strength training has to offer, then do yourself a favor and at least get yourself a pair of dumbbells. You won’t believe how much this small addition could upgrade your training.
- Not Suitable for In-Season Training.
Since the program is so taxing on the body and requires a strict recovery regimen during off-days, it’s not suitable to use during the season.
So unless you’re a very conditioned athlete who’s used to a lot of workload, I wouldn’t recommend doing it during the season. You’d be much better off doing it off-season when time is on your side.
- Takes Longer to see Results.
While The Jump Manual is very effective in the long-term, the program isn’t the best choice if you’re looking to gain inches as fast as possible. In fact, it can even decrease your vertical slightly in the beginning due to the hard weight lifting routine.
If you asked me, this doesn’t take away from the program at all, as in my opinion every basketball player should be training his vertical all year round and be patient.
But I get that some people don’t want that, they rather enjoy their off-season and take it easy when they’re away from competing.
If you’re one of those people, and you prefer starting your training just before the season begins (or during it), a plyometrics-oriented program like Adam Folker’s Vert Shock will work faster and will usually get more inches in less time.
Will the Program Work for You?
The Jump Manual can definitely bring results, no doubt about that, but it’s only if you can follow all its directions and complete all the workouts.
However, this is much easier said than done.
Making such a big commitment for three months is definitely not for everyone.
You need to have a lot of time on your hands for the long workouts that often require extensive use of gym equipment, strict nutritional guidelines, and even post-workout recovery time—which might leave you too exhausted for almost anything else.
It almost seems as if the program expects you to train like a full-time professional athlete, which obviously most of us basketball enthusiasts are not.
Therefore, unless you’re able to make such a big commitment, I would recommend looking into Vert Shock, a program developed by Adam Folker and Justin Darlington.
It relies exclusively on “shock” training, requires no equipment, and has proven to be extraordinarily effective while keeping the average time of the workouts to less than an hour.
How Many Inches Will You Gain?
It’s difficult to predict the exact number, as it depends on many factors such as your current physical shape, your age, prior injuries, and even genetics.
However, if you’re able to complete the program and follow through on its principles, it’s not unreasonable to expect to reach a 35-inch vertical or higher (perhaps even 40″ if you already had a decent vertical).
The program’s principles are sound and tested, so the question is not as much whether the Jump Manual works, but rather if you’ll have the time and resources to finish it.
While the program itself is extremely comprehensive, its bonuses section deserves a separate mention – some of the free add-ons you get with The Jump Manual are worth a lot on their own, and that once again shows just how in-depth Jacob Hiller’s program really is.
I’ve chosen a few bonuses that impact the most on your vertical.
As the name suggests, Instant Inches is all about increasing your vertical jump in a matter of minutes.
This is done not through some magical fairy dust, but rather by teaching you a few aspects of vertical training that you can implement immediately.
And the result can be amazing.
In this bonus e-book, you’ll learn about the Miracle Static Stretches that help your muscles and tendons develop the full range of motion which can instantly add 2-4 inches to your vertical.
Instant Inches also has a video series that goes deep into every single essential movement of jumping, breaking down the jumping form into easy-to-understand steps.
Finally, there’s a very informative section on palming the ball, which can be very important when you’re close to dunking but just can’t properly stuff the ball in the hoop.
One of the most common problems when training your vertical jump is hitting a plateau.
Many aspiring dunkers give up on their dream simply because no matter how hard they train, they just can’t make any progress after a certain point.
Luckily, Plateau Busters deals exactly with that.
It’s a very comprehensive questionnaire that allows you to go through each potential problem and figure out exactly what’s keeping you from making progress.
Bodyweight Basketball Training
Lastly, for those that don’t have access to a gym or equipment, Jacob has created the Bodyweight Basketball Training module.
This module replaces all the weight-based workouts with bodyweight exercises, allowing you to do the program almost anywhere.
While the results might not be the same as at the gym, you can still make solid progress, as the Bodyweight Basketball Training program has carefully selected exercises that replace the weight training exercises almost as well.
The Jump Manual not only allows you to increase your vertical jump, but it also enhances your basketball skills and overall physical strength and athleticism.
If you’re really serious about improving as a basketball player, it’s one of the best jump training programs you could have.
However, it does require a tremendous commitment on your part, and for many people that have school or a job, it might be too much to follow.
But make no mistake, if you finish the program, you’re guaranteed to have a strong vertical that will improve your game and help you achieve what every basketball player dreams of, but only a few get – the ability to dunk!