Out of all the vertical jump programs out there, Vert Shock is by far the most talked about.
Its creator, founder and CEO of Thincpro, Adam Folker, makes the bold claim that it will increase your vertical by 9-15 inches.
You just need to give it 8 weeks of your time.
Let’s take a step back here.
Most other vertical jump training programs typically require 3-6 months of your time to see an average increase of 10 inches to your jump.
What makes Vert Shock so different? Is it really as effective as it claims?
The only way to find out was to try it out myself.
In this review I’ll be sharing my personal, 8-week journey with the program.
I’ll say this now – it’s a long read. But if you’re serious about committing 8-weeks to developing your jump, it’s well worth the read (I hope!).
A Little Bit About Myself
Before we take a look at the program itself, let me give a brief introduction of myself.
My name is Max and I’m a 26 year old, avid 76ers fan.
Allen Iverson was my childhood hero.
A smaller guy capable of causing mayhem in a field of giants.
He’d send chills down my spine every time he dunked.
Well, I’m a hair under 6-foot (182cm for you Europeans!) so technically around the same height as him.
(In fact, most people put his height at 5’11, and don’t forget the NBA measures players’ heights with shoes on.)
The point is I always fancied myself as a bit of an Iverson-esque player.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t dunk, unlike him.
Fast forward 15 years and that burning desire to be able to dunk hadn’t faded at all.
So I decided to set myself a challenge: Learn to dunk.
The main obstacle would obviously be getting above the rim.
Simply put, I needed to increase my vertical jump… by a LOT.
Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against me.
Not only was I lacking in height, but I wasn’t born an athlete.
I didn’t even make the high school basketball team, despite being enthusiastic about the sport.
Dunking just wasn’t something that would come naturally.
I was well aware of that, and so I began researching ways to increase my vertical jump.
What Didn’t Work
Just guessing here, but I reckon many people who want to dunk follow a fairly standard pattern:
- Check out Spudd Webb (5’7) and Nate Robinson (5’9) dunk reels for inspiration and motivation. If they can do it, I can do it!
- Watch YouTube videos on how to jump higher. Just do these 5 exercises every day and you’ll be dunking in no time!
- Follow those exercises for a couple of weeks. Vertical jump barely changes…
- Give up.
Ouch. That was certainly how things were for me, anyway.
I also tried the Boingvert program, but its complicated structure and confusing explanations meant I didn’t even make it past the first week.
Everything left me feeling very frustrated. I was ready to give up for good.
Enter Vert Shock
“Dunk in 8-weeks or your money back.”
A no BS, cut to the chase catchphrase. I like it.
Of course, it’s important to approach things like this with a healthy degree of skepticism.
But something about Vert Shock was very appealing.
The program looked exciting and sexy compared to the stuff I was used to seeing.
Superstars were involved in its production and the testimonials were overwhelmingly positive.
A 2 month program dedicated purely to increasing your jump?
It was WAY more focused than those random YouTube videos I’d been watching.
If something was going to work, it was this.
And so I decided to give Vert Shock a chance…
Vert Shock Pricing
Vert Shock isn’t the cheapest program around.
It costs $138 which is pretty steep.
However, I got 50% off and got it for $67 through Deals Veteran.
I’m 26, with a full time job, so it didn’t seem that big of a deal.
That said, I can definitely understand that it’s a serious financial commitment for some younger folk.
Thankfully Vert Shock offers a full 60-day money back guarantee, so if it doesn’t work out for you it isn’t money down the drain.
What You Get
As soon as you make the purchase, you’re given your login details to the members section.
Here you’ll find the core 8-week program and a bunch of other stuff.
I’d list all the stuff here but the members area is updated quite often so you’re better of checking the official site.
The most important parts are the workout instruction videos and the printable program worksheets.
Together they’ll show you what exercises to do, when to do them and how to do them – step by step.
There is also extra content for things like nutrition, dunk ‘hacks’ and a maintenance program to make sure you maintain your hops after completing the core program.
Meet Adam Folker
Now let’s talk a little bit about the programs creator.
Not only because we should care about who is behind the program, but also because he’ll be your personal instructor over the course of the program.
The founder of Thincpro and brains behind the Vert Shock Program is Adam Folker, an ex-UC Irvine NCAA player and now professional Basketball player in Europe.
He didn’t create Vert Shock alone though. He teamed up with one of the world’s finest dunkers: Justin “Just Fly” Darlington.
Justin has made a career out of his 50″+ vert alone, so if there’s anyone with a massive authority when it comes to dunking, Justin is the man.
I thoroughly enjoyed following Adam’s workout instruction videos.
Adam might not be as loud or energetic as P90X’s legendary Tony Horton, but everything is explained clear and concise.
And, he seems like a pretty chill guy.
How Does Vert Shock Work?
Vert Shock works by rewiring your Type-IIb muscle fibers, aka the fast-twitch muscles, through an intensive 8-week workout routine.
When you perform a jump, the muscle contraction-extension cycle only has 0.3 seconds of contact time with the surface.
This means that only a small fraction of muscle fibers are even capable of firing.
The challenge lies in making them contract faster to maximize the power produced as you take off.
3 Phases In 8-Weeks
Vert Shock is split up into 3 separate ‘shock’ phases. Each phase is supposed to achieve a different goal.
Pre-Shock Phase (Week 1)
The first week is the ‘pre-shock’ phase, in which your body is prepared for the rest of the course.
It’s goal is to condition your body for the latter 7 weeks and minimize any risk of injury.
You’ll be training for 6 days during this week.
You heard it right, you only have ONE day of rest during your first week.
Now, compared to the rest of the program, the 45 to 60 minute workouts were actually pretty easy going, but there’s little doubt you’ll develop be left with sore muscles.
My muscles became sore and I wasn’t even out of shape before I started.
The reason for that is because your muscles are adapting to various plyometric exercises that they haven’t experienced before.
You might think the cramps you get will make you unable to train for 6 consecutive days.
However, Adam has scheduled the workout in such a way that different muscle groups get a chance to rest.
As an example, you’ll do 2 days of exercises involving legs and then have a day that only involves upper body training.
The Shock Phase (Weeks 2-7)
Weeks 2-7 are the ‘shock’ phase, and the exercises are extremely varied.
Deep squats for strength, planks for the core, depth-jumps for explosiveness – you’ll be putting some serious work in.
By the way, the program also includes some sprinting exercises which I wasn’t expecting.
I’d suggest you make sure you know a place where you can do that.
I went to my local park, but you can also try your school track.
It doesn’t take long to realize why it’s named the ‘shock’ phase.
Adam really stresses the importance of doing the exercises at max intensity in order to reap the benefits.
Basically, our bodies only recruit the Type IIb, fast twitch fibers as a last resort. If you exercise at low intensity, you’ll barely develop them.
All of this might sound very challenging. And it is. But trust me, it’s still very doable.
The Post-Shock Phase (Week 8)
Finally, in the last week we’ve got the ‘post-shock’ phase. Like the first week, you’ll only have one day of rest.
The purpose of this phase is to polish your jump motion and commit everything to muscle memory.
All the speed and strength gains from the previous 7 weeks come together. The result? You’ll be jumping higher than ever before.
The exercises in this final phase are mainly jumps you have already trained before, but the number of reps is higher.
You’ll perform a staggering 662 jumps in this final week.
I felt like it was perhaps too much, and my jumping form was deteriorating during the latter half of each workout session.
However, in the end I managed to get through it all.
Workout Days By Each Program Week
Vert Shock takes the timing and spacing of your workouts very seriously, as it understands limits in muscle development and the dangers of over-training.
The chart above shows you how many days you need to workout per week.
As you can see, Vert Shock requires a serious time commitment.
Although 8-weeks isn’t long, finding time to fit in each workout can be a challenge in itself.
You might want to go somewhere during the weekend or something unexpected might come up.
I am not going to lie, I didn’t manage to stick to the program 100%.
Sometimes I moved a workout back a day.
Sometimes I left certain exercises out because I felt like I was too tired or the exercises weren’t the most beneficial.
Yet I still got results I was satisfied with.
My point is, don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t manage to follow the program exactly as Adam wants you to.
My Vert Shock Results
Doing all the tuck jumps, burpees and 180 squat jumps wouldn’t be worth anything unless it was contributing to my vertical jump.
My starting and final vertical jump measurements are as follows:
Before (August 2017): 24 inches
After (November 2017): 34 inches
The Vert Shock program had increased my vertical jump by 10 inches.
And yes, I was dunking basketballs towards the end of the program. Pretty awesome, huh?
As it turns out, many users gained more than 10 inches.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to use the included Vert Tracker worksheet to make sure you keep track of changes to your maximum vertical leap as you do the program.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of how my vertical jump changed over the 2 months.
Before I started, my vertical was sitting at 24 inches.
This might not mean much to you unless you already know your own, but given that the NBA average is 36″ and the NFL average even higher, my lack of conditioning was clearly limiting my jump.
Given my 6-foot height I would still need around another 2 inches before I could even skim the rim.
Pre-Shock (Week 1) Results
One of the surprises I had was that the deliberately intense ‘pre-shock’ phase caused my vertical to decrease by almost an inch.
Near the end of the week, my legs felt heavy and fatigued. They were in desperate need of some recovery time.
Having done some weightlifting in the gym previously, I was pretty confident that my body would come back stronger after rest.
On the last day (a rest day) during the phase, my vertical, as expected, had come back and was back at 24 inches.
Adam himself is careful to state that the first week isn’t designed for increasing your jump, but rather condition your body for the shock phase.
Therefore, I wasn’t particularly concerned that I hadn’t made any significant gains.
Shock (Weeks 2-7) Results
Now, this is where the results really begin to show.
In Week 2, the first week of the ‘Shock’ phase, I could clearly feel my body had adapted to the jump exercises.
Whereas in week 1 my body felt awkward and movements felt stiff, all the jumps and other exercises felt like second nature.
My legs would no longer feel super sore a day after exercising, even though some fatigue would linger.
It was during the second week that my vertical had reached close to 25 inches, and I was now able to touch the rim.
While I still had a long way to go before I’d be dunking a tennis ball, let alone a basketball, you can imagine the immense sense of satisfaction I got from managing to touch the rim for the first time.
Fast forward to week 4 my vertical had shot up to to 27 inches, meaning on average I had been gaining an inch every week.
However, I was still behind schedule if I was to make 9 or 10 inches promised by the end of the program.
That’s where weeks 5-6 seemed to help.
Both of them feature 3 rest days, more than any of the other weeks, and it’s in these two weeks where your body seems to develop.
At the end of week 6 I was able to jump 31 inches, and was able to perform a kind of ‘half-dunk’ with a basketball, where the ball would bounce off the rim as I couldn’t quite generate enough lift to see it through.
I was feeling insane levels of motivation at this point, the progress I was making was fueling my motivation.
Post-Shock (Week 8) Results
At the end of week 7 I was jumping 32″ and actually able to, albeit inconsistently, dunk a full-size basketball.
I could have been tempted to end it there and then, but given how much I had gotten out of the program so far, I was determined to see it through to the end.
Like week 1, due to the intensity of the post-shock phase, my vertical was fairly stagnant, hovering between 32″ and 33″.
However, literally the day after I had completed the course, my vertical leap had reached 34 inches!
It was as if the Adam’s training program had been perfectly orchestrated to produce this result at the very end.
Now I have a 34″ vertical leap which is quite close to the NBA average of 36″. With a run up I can gain another 3 or 4 inches, so getting the height I need for a dunk isn’t difficult.
Take a look at the graph below to get an understanding of how my vertical jump changed as I progressed through the course.
8-weeks of grueling jump exercises doesn’t exactly sound that fun, right?
You might even expect most people to quit a few days or weeks in.
However, when you’re getting plenty of measurable results and what I like to term ‘motivational milestones’, you’re mentally prepared to keep going.
Here were my motivational milestones:
- Touching the Rim (Week 2)
- Dunking a tennis ball (Week 4)
- A ‘half-dunk’ using a Basketball (Week 5)
- One-handed Slam Dunk (Week 7)
So Does Vert Shock Really Work, Then?
As you’ve just read, it worked for me, so the short and simple answer would be yes.
But the real question we should ask is, WHY?
It’s all about STRUCTURE
Just go ahead and google or youtube guides on how to jump higher. Chances are you’ll find plenty of resources.
Before I heard about Adam Folker’s program, I spent weeks working on exercises like these and following youtube videos.
Squats, jump rope, box jumps and lunges… These ARE the exercises that matter when it comes to your jump.
But everything is a mess. You could know how to do every single jump-related exercise in the world but it won’t matter if there’s no system to your training.
Chances are you’ll be like me and do a hundred squats here and there, then try some box jumps if you have energy left and maybe spend the next day doing non-stop jump rope.
However, after doing all of that, my vertical had barely budged.
Now if you compare the exercises found in the 3 phases of Vert Shock with all this free information on the internet, you’ll realize there’s a lot in common.
The difference is in the structure.
Compare It To BodyBuilding
Now lets talk about bodybuilding for a bit. It’s not the same as increasing your vert, but the principle is similar:
Follow a workout plan and become physically stronger.
Do you know the number one reason why people fail in bodybuilding? A lack of consistency and planning. As long as you get that right, you’ll see good results.
For example, Stronglifts 5×5 is one of the most highly praised and recommended weightlifting programs out there. It is just a bunch of standard weight exercises.
The reason it works so well is simple: People stick to the program, which gives them a solid framework to work with, and the results are phenomenal.
Now bodybuilding is extremely popular, so you’ll find many excellent programs out there (Starting Strength is another popular one).
But for jumping? Harder to find. Few people have spent time devising a workout routine that maximize your gains.
And that’s exactly what Vert Shock does – and it does it brilliantly.
It’s Not Just For Dunking
Understandably, dunking is the main goal for the vast majority of people using Vert Shock.
However, doing the program will significantly boost your ability on the court in other ways:
- You’ll be a better shot blocker and get more rebounds
- You’ll be more agile and explosive on the court
- You’ll have more stamina than before
- You’ll be an aerial threat
And that’s just for basketball.
It should go without saying that a powerful vertical jump will make a big difference in the likes of volleyball, football and soccer.
BONUS: Vert Shock Gets You Ripped
Vert Shock’s primary purpose is to dramatically increase your vertical jump in the shortest time possible.
However, there’s actually a major side-effect of the program that I hadn’t considered before starting it.
It left me leaner and feeling healthier than ever before…
Vert Shock Is A Form Of HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of training where you do intense bursts of exercise.
In between each interval you rest and allow your body to recover.
It can be contrasted with endurance training where you maintain a certain intensity over a prolonged period of time.
Studies have shown that HIIT is superior to endurance training for increasing muscle mass, reducing bodyfat percentage and improving cardiovascular health.
The main reasons for this is that short bursts of activity increase testosterone levels and growth hormone secretion.
In other words, Vert Shock changes your hormonal profile for the better.
In fact, in one major study, endurance athletes were found to have lower testosterone levels than untrained individuals.
Meanwhile, sprinters are among those with the highest levels of testosterone.
After completing Vert Shock, I was visibly leaner and feeling more energetic. You simply can’t overlook this hidden benefit of the program.
In fact, because it made me realize how beneficial this kind of training is, I now do sprint interval training every week.
The Pros and Cons of Vert Shock
- Great Instruction Videos and Easy Website Navigation: Adam demonstrates all the exercises in Full HD and the website itself is well-laid out with a slick look.
- Streamlined and Straight To The Point: Doesn’t waste your time reminding you to eat your greens or advertise a bunch of equipment. It cuts to the chase.
- No Details Missed Out: Everything from the number of sets and repetitions to the amount of rest is all covered in detail. There’s no guesswork.
- No Equipment Necessary: Primarily trains you through plyometrics so you don’t need a bench or any weights.
- 60-Day Money Back Guarantee: Hopefully you won’t need this, but it’s nice to have.
2018 UPDATE: As more and more Folkersystem Members expressed a desire to have some jump-related workouts that utilized weights, Adam Folker has extended Vert Shock Pro to include weighted exercises, under the “Complex Training Techniques” Module.
I want my review to be as unbiased as possible, so I’m not going to look past the cons, of which there certainly are some you must be aware of.
- Physically and Mentally Exhausting 8-weeks: You need to set aside some time and make sure you can commit yourselves to an intensive 8-weeks of training. A half-assed approach will NOT work.
- Not recommended for Injury Prone Individuals: This is an incredibly intense workout plan, and I would suggest a slower training program if you often injure yourself through exercise.
- Light On Theory: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it cuts down on reading time, but the program doesn’t cover the fundamental theory behind why it works. If you want to know the science behind the exercises, you’re going to have to take your own classes in myology.
- Paid Optional Extras: For example, the “Thincpro Jump Like Justin Workout” which focuses on extra dunk techniques, needs to be purchased on top of the original program.
Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting
Having completed the program in full from to start to finish, there were a few things that in hindsight I wish I was aware of before I started.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Too Much Going On
Two months isn’t exactly a long time, but finding two months where you know you’ll be able to fully commit to the program is not easy.
The two month time frame isn’t just there to make the program as short as possible.
One big aspect of the program is that exercises need to be performed in quick succession in order to ‘shock’ and overload your muscles into being able to contract faster.
So actually, doing the exercises laid out over 2 months is more effective than spreading those exercises out over, say, 4 months.
Ideally, you want to be completing the program on schedule. You might find it surprisingly difficult to find the time to workout consistently over 8 weeks.
No Offline Mode (Can’t Download Videos)
If you thought you could download the whole system, transfer it to your phone or laptop and take it with you to the beach, then you’re going to have a problem.
Only the worksheets and other PDF files are downloadable. Videos need to be streamed.
I guess this is partly down to copyright protection, in order to prevent people downloading the whole program and redistributing it to others for free.
Some Optional Modules Are Not Free
While you have everything you need after you purchase Vert Shock, there are some upsells.
There are two notable modules that aren’t included in the initial price.
The Jump Like Justin Workouts are a supplementary set of exercises which focus more on perfecting jump technique than developing your muscles.
Despite Vert Shock suggesting that you add these exercises into the standard 8-week routine, I actually think it’s better to grab this later and work on AFTER you’ve completed the course (which is already intense enough as it is).
The Complex Training Routines were not around when I started and I have not personally used it. It provides you with more advanced exercises that require gym equipment.
However, they aren’t just the same bunch of exercises with weights added in, they are a completely new set of exercises.
I myself am definitely curious about giving them a go next time I want to immerse myself in another round of jump training.
Update: The Jump Like Justin System is currently an exclusive timed bonus, meaning you’ll get it free with any purchase of Vert Shock.
Overall, Vert Shock is a brilliant choice if you are looking to see big improvements in your vertical leap with minimal equipment needs.
In my first round of following the Vert Shock program, I gained 10 inches on my vertical.
Results will of course vary from person to person, but the 9-15 inch guarantee doesn’t seem far-fetched.
It is a very jump-intensive workout, meaning compared to its competition, you are actually performing a lot more jumps.
Other programs will have a bigger focus on more general strength building exercises.
As a result, it is intense and perhaps not the ideal program if you are suffering from any joint issues.
If that is the case I would suggest a slower program like The Jump Manual (Read my review).
But, I cannot but help want to share my praise for the program.
After all, it is the jump program I had success with and it DID result me in landing my first slam dunk.
It is currently the best-selling vertical jump program on the market and honestly, it’s easy to see why.
It is far ahead of the competition in terms of presentation, value and effectiveness.
If you do go through with the program yourself, make sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences!
You can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Free PDF eBook To Jump Higher
Thanks for reading through the whole review!
I know not everyone is ready to commit themselves to a 8 week course of jump training.
In the meantime, why not check out this eBook that goes over 5 of the most important exercises to increase your vertical jump.