Vertical Jump Bible Review: Is It Still Worth Doing in 2020?

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Whenever there’s a discussion about vertical jump training, it’s only a matter of time until the Vertical Jump Bible by Kelly Baggett enters the conversation.

It’s a program that has gained almost a cult status among its fans, with thousands of people swearing by its effectiveness.

Some even say it’s the best vertical jump program ever created.

But is the Vertical Jump Bible really that good?

How does it stack up against some of the more recent programs that have been hugely popular in the last few years?

Let’s answer all of the essential questions below.

What Is the Vertical Jump Bible?

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The Vertical Jump Development Bible is a 148-page PDF ebook created in 2005 by Kelly Baggett.

It’s considered by many to be the ultimate resource for everything related to vertical jump training.

The book takes a deep dive into the scientific aspects of vertical leap training, including how strength training, plyometrics, and the activation of the central nervous system all play a role in how high you can ultimately jump.

Suffice to say, the ebook is pretty dense, and not something most people would consider a light read.

In fact…

While there’s a ton of useful information for trainers and professional athletes, the book can be confusing for someone without years of experience in the field.

If you’re new to vertical jump training, you might end up being more confused after you finish reading it.

But why is the program so well-known in some training circles?

Well, part of it has to do with the fact that it’s been around for a long time.

Back then, finding useful information about science-based vertical jump training was virtually impossible, so the Vertical Jump Bible became a breakthrough that allowed many athletes to take their leaping ability to another level.

But as of today, the amount of information online has skyrocketed, and aspiring dunkers have many choices for learning how to jump.

Meanwhile, the Vertical Jump Bible (even the 2.0 version) remains stuck in the mid-’00s, reading more like a science paper than a training program designed for the modern athlete.

Sure, Baggett knows his stuff and is one of the most knowledgeable experts on the subject.

But the way that he breaks down the core principles of the vertical jump is difficult to understand, which can be a problem for those who just want to get in the gym and start working on their hops.

While it does lay out suggestions on how you can train, you will need to build your own program depending on your body type and goals. And that can be problematic if you’re new to vertical leap training and don’t know how to evaluate your situation.

Who Is Kelly Baggett?

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Kelly Baggett, the author of the Vertical Jump Bible, is a professional athletic performance coach that’s been a respected figure in the vertical jump community for decades.

Since the release of the Vert Jump Bible, he has steadily built on his early success and has since released not only the 2.0 version but also the BoingVert program, which he designed together with another well-known trainer by the name of Shawn Myszka.

One of the reasons people were impressed by Kelly Baggett’s methods was his honest approach.

He never claimed to have all the answers, and actually tested all his methods on himself, improving his vertical leap by almost 20 inches in the process.

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Kelly Baggett in his prime. Just 5’9, but able to easily dunk on a 10-foot rim due to a massive 42-inch vertical leap.

He also dispelled various myths about training methods, warning people not to fall for gimmicks like strength shoes or basketball shoes for jumping higher.

According to Baggett (and I completely agree), those shoes won’t do anything that a solid training routine could, and they can sometimes even increase your risk of injury.

Today, Baggett has become a renowned performance coach that has trained thousands of athletes in a wide range of sports, helping them boost their vertical jump, quickness, and agility.

But while Baggett went on to have a successful career as a trainer, does his first program, the Vertical Jump Development Bible, stand up to the test of time?

Let’s look at the fundamental principles of the program to find out.

How the Program Works

The Vertical Jump Bible has the word bible in it for a reason. Kelly Baggett knows his stuff, and he goes into extreme detail when discussing some of the fundamental principles of improving your jumping ability.

Still, while that can be helpful in some situations, most aspiring dunkers don’t need a PhD in vertical jump mechanics. They just want to know exactly what they need to do to go from where they are now to skying above the rim in the shortest time possible.

If you want to read about a program that immediately gets down to business, check out my Vert Shock review and find out why I think it’s a better choice.

Meanwhile, simplicity is where VJB really falls short. You won’t get any straight answers and will have to figure stuff out on your own.

While Baggett does provide guidelines for how to decide which path to pursue, you’ll have to make a lot of choices along the way. And the wrong choice could put your results and even your health in danger.

How the Program Is Divided

  1. First, you’ll have to choose your current athletic level. Depending on your current body-fat percentage, vertical jump height, and training experience, you’ll have to decide on a program that your body will feel comfortable with.
  2. You’ll also need to determine whether you’ll benefit more from a reactive/plyometric-based training, strength training, or a balanced approach. This will largely depend on your current muscle composition and athletic ability.
  3. Baggett has put together multiple programs depending on where you currently are. He has also split each of the programs into phases that aim to get the most out of that specific training method.

For someone who has a pretty good understanding of their own body, the VJB might actually be incredibly useful.

If you can make the right choices regarding which programs to use, and in what order, you will make steady gains safely and effectively.

The principles inside the VJB do work, and it’s still miles ahead of some of the other programs, such as Air Alert. Read my review of it to find out why you should stay as far away from it as possible.

But unfortunately, people who typically seek out vertical jump training programs are not at a point where they can use the advanced concepts inside the VJB.

With that in mind, let’s break down the program in terms of its main pros and cons that you should consider.

Vertical Jump Bible Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extremely Detailed. If there’s one thing the Vert Jump Bible excels at, it’s the level of detail. You won’t find a book that explores different aspects of the vertical jump as well as this one, even if some of the training concepts have since become a bit outdated.
  • No Fluff. If you take the time to read through Kelly Baggett’s book, you will find no fluff, only science-based facts about vertical leap training. The program serves as a solid crash course for anyone who wants to learn about jump mechanics and can be useful for trainers, coaches, or advanced athletes looking to deepen their knowledge.
  • Solid Principles. The fundamental principles laid out in the VJB work, plain and simple. If you manage to go through the entire book and choose the right training, you will see great results.

Cons

  • Not for Beginners. If you’re just starting out, you won’t get much out of the program, and could even hurt yourself while trying it. VJB requires you to set up your own program, which isn’t realistic if you don’t have prior vertical jump training experience.
  • Poor Explanation. In the book, Baggett dives deep into complicated subjects such as strength training, plyometrics, Rate of Force Development (RFD), and the Central Nervous System (CNS), just to name a few. But the concepts are often explained poorly and can be confusing.
  • Outdated. The program was initially released in the mid-’00s, and it hasn’t changed much since. Because of that, it doesn’t really stand up to current programs such as Vert Shock that take a much more user-friendly approach. There are no videos, almost no images, and just blocks upon blocks of text.
  • No Clear Guidelines. If you just want a program that gets straight to the point, this isn’t it. You’ll have to study the book for days (or even weeks) before you get to a point where you can start training.
  • Low Value for Money. Even though the first version of the program can be found for free, the 2.0 version costs 67 dollars, which is the same as Vert Shock, a far superior program in many regards.
  • Long Sessions. Baggett’s program falls short of some of the newer programs because its sessions aren’t as optimized. You’ll be spending 1.5-2 hours training, which is way more than what modern routines require. This makes it much harder to stick with the program until the end.
  • Requires a Gym. For many aspiring dunkers, the biggest obstacle they face is not having access to gym equipment and weights. Unfortunately, Baggett’s program doesn’t offer many alternatives and is therefore not suitable if you don’t have a gym membership.
  • Not Good for In-Season. If you’re like most hoopers, you probably play for your highschool team or in your local rec center. Which is why you need a program that can fit around your basketball games. But the rigorous lower-body sessions in VJB will leave you too tired to perform at practices or games.

Vertical Jump Bible 2.0

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In 2012 Kelly Baggett released an updated version of the program called Vertical Jump Bible 2.0.

In it, he expands on some of the core material and adds a few more bonus chapters that provide more depth.

However, most of the changes are cosmetic, and the program’s basic principles remain the same.

Therefore, both program versions can be evaluated as a singular unit since the basic strengths (and flaws) are similar.

Summary

Test
  • Performance
  • Ease of Use
  • Support
2.5

Summary

The Vertical Jump Bible is definitely a solid read for those who want to take a deep dive into vertical jump training principles.

When it was initially released, the lack of competition made it an instant hit, which evolved into a loyal following that has lasted up to this day.

However, with the release of programs like Vert Shock and Jump Manual, the VJB has been dethroned as the best option for aspiring dunkers. It’s simply not as easy to use and not beginner-friendly, which is a major drawback for young athletes.

If you want to learn more about which program you should choose instead, you can check out my best vertical jump program guide in which I go over the main options in great detail.

You can also check out my review of the Jump Manual, which is also a very comprehensive program that’s much more simple and easy to use.

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