If you want to excel in basketball, improving your vertical leap is one of the most fundamental qualities to focus on. Jumping higher is no longer just about being able to dunk over the heads of your opponents, but also to block, shoot a jumper over the defender as well as dominate the opening tip-off. As such, there are several products on the market right now that claim to help you in this one key area.

One such example is the Vert Shock Program, designed by Adam Folker, a standout prep league basketball player from Canada who starred on the University of California at Irvine. Standing at 6’9″, and weighing in at over 225 pounds, Adam Folker became one of the highest scoring players in the country during his tenure in college. Improving the jump shots of players everywhere is just one of the many endeavors Folker has found himself in, but is by far one his most passionate. Folker was quoted recently in the Los Angeles times, saying “To be one of the go-to guys is a great feeling…To know that you have a great impact on the game’s outcome, it’s a fantastic feeling.”

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Vert Shock Program in a Nutshell

There are a lot of claims made by various companies, asking for your hard-earned money and promising the moon. And while the Vert Shock Program does make some incredible claims, none of them are outside the realm of possibility. Specifically, Folker claims to be able to improve the average vertical leap by anywhere from 9-15 inches within eight weeks. If, after 60 days you are unsatisfied, simply call and they will return your money.

These claims may seem outrageous, but Adam Folker certainly has the pedigree to back it up. Having worked with several NBA stars, such as Kobe Bryant and Anthony Davis, Folker has been able to put his processes into place with some of the world’s greatest athletes. It’s also worth noting that his business partner is Justin Darlington, A.K.A. “Jus Fly.” If you don’t recognize the name, it’s probably because you haven’t been around the world of competitive dunking. He has won the Nike Dunk Contest, and even been hired by several NBA teams to help train their athletes, such as Demar DeRozan from the Toronto Raptors, who went on the compete in the NBA Dunk Contest. With a vertical leap estimated to be at 53 inches, “Jus Fly” is no stranger on how to get more hangtime.

Breaking the System Down

The idea for the Vert Shock Program is grounded in fairly common and foundational science, all of which is used in nearly every sports program since the dawn of creation; with this program, Folker has simply adapted these principles to one very specific aspect of the game of basketball.

Folker’s system works by using high-intensity, plyometric workouts to target the fast-twitch muscle, or Type II muscle fibers. By focusing on the nervous system of the legs, Folker is able to use the entire eight-week program on simply getting those muscles to fire faster, and thus, creating a higher vertical leap.

Vert Shock uses a three phase training program, spread out over the course of eight weeks. The first phase, called the “Pre-Shock” lasts only one week and is designed to condition your body to the harder work that will come with the remaining seven. Even though this period is not designed to necessarily increase your vertical leap by itself, most users find anywhere from between a 1-3 inch improvement, with some reports stating that they achieved a five inch bump in the first week alone.

The second phase is where the real work is. Called the “Shock Phase,” the meat of the program is a six-week training period that utilizes the body weight that you already have in order to jump higher regularly. Although the movements are not overly complicated, the repetitive and high-intensity nature of the exercises causes the muscles to fatigue quicker and repair at a much more advanced rate. This routine is largely plyometrics based; very little traditional strength training is utilized in the Folker’s Program. As expected, most of the gains that one would see is found during this time period, with most gaining anywhere from 5-8 inches total.

The last phase is the conditioning phase, or “Post-Shock.” Although this week slows the whole process down and is much less intense than the previous seven, the conditioning phase allows the muscles to repair themselves properly, sealing the gains that were made for a longer duration.

The Results Speak for Themselves

Does it Work? This is the ultimate question with just about any workout program, whether it’s designed for general fitness, or a hyper-specific goal such as improving one’s vertical jump. The resounding answer among most who have tried the Vert Shock Program is a firm yes.

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Several have reported gains in the 9-13 “guaranteed” range, with some even reaching higher. Fortunately for most, this routine is not designed to be “one-and-done” either: those who finish the program for a second time gain several more inches. They may not improve as much as the first time through, but many still report noticeable gains.

More importantly, the post conditioning seems to be vital to the success of the program overall, and those who have stopped doing Vert Shock, or have simply moved on to other workout programs, claim that they have not lost much of their vertical leap, even months down the road. As with any online reviews, some of the stats may be padded, but even the negative reports still claim some gains. At the end of the day, it’s about the amount of work that is put into it.

What is Awesome About Vert Shock Program

By far, one of the best qualities of this routine is the layout and structure that Folker provides. With some of these programs, the program is sold alongside the equipment, with very little instruction on how to complete the system; usually, it seems the equipment is all that the sellers were very interested in moving anyways. You don’t have that problem with Folker’s program. Every unit and exercise is structured to the smallest detail, letting you know exactly what to do and how long to do it.

Also, the recording feels like it was done sometime in the last century. Too many programs are recorded with what amounts to a camera phone in a potato, and the presentation is just sloppy. Folker has obviously taken the time to set up a proper, professionally produced workout program that looks like it was made for the target audience.

Lastly, the required equipment for this workout program is minimal, and there’s not a lot of room required to perform the workouts. It can be done in the living room, basement, or possibly even in the master bathroom (just remember to watch your head, especially in the later weeks).

What Was Not Awesome

One thing that was particularly annoying was the purchase process. Not only was the procedure incredibly cumbersome and difficult to navigate, but there were several add-ons to the program that simply didn’t need to be there. Even though the program retails for under $100, all the add-ons could easily catapult the overall purchase price much higher. For an unsuspecting consumer, there could be a lot of unnecessary cost.

Also, simply accessing the app proved to be a challenge too. Since the program is online, it must be done whether there is internet access, which isn’t always available, especially if you are traveling. The company does offer an app version, but this seems to be still in the early stages and needs a ton of development. The delivery of the program simply needs to improve.

Final Thoughts

I would buy this program again in a heartbeat.There are several systems that claim to improve your vertical jump, but very few actually deliver on this promise. And while some gains can be made in the weight room by simply doing leg exercises and old-fashioned workout routines, the most dramatic improvements are going to come on the heels of a focused and targeted routine.

More importantly, the creator knows his stuff. Adam Folker and “Jus Fly” have been around the block enough to understand what works and what doesn’t, and his pedigree of clients speak for themselves. This isn’t some guy that played JV High School basketball at some random town in the middle of nowhere, this is a highly touted and highly recruited basketball player that has worked with some of the finest athletes in the world. The work, the pedigree, and the results speak for themselves.

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Improving your vertical jump doesn’t have to be one of those things that you’re “stuck with.” Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they can’t jump now, they’ll never be able to. This type of thinking is simply not true. If you’re sitting there thinking that you will never be able to dunk, whether you’re 6’11 or 5’1″, then you’re probably right. If, however, you are one of those people who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to improve one of the most fundamental units of your game, then this program is for you. Give it a shot, try it out, and if you’re not satisfied, call up the company and get your money back. Or, most likely, finish the eight week program and watch your game be taken to the next level.