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Hey, I’m Adam Gotelli and what follows is my hands-on The Jump Manual review.
- Add inches to your vertical with a comprehensive blend of plyometric and weight training exercises supported by an extensive video library
- 8-chapter, highly researched e-book that covers the science behind your vertical jump
- Includes a delicious meal plan designed to accelerate your nutrition and fuel your progress
- 14 days of free access to personalized, 1-on-1 Jump Manual expert coaching
So, you're looking to soar to new heights on the court, seeking that explosive vertical leap that leaves defenders in awe and secures your place as a high-flying superstar.
But with countless training programs promising to elevate your game, how do you separate the slam dunks from the airballs?
Enter Jump Manual, the program that stands apart from the pack and is among the best vertical jump programs.
Unlike other programs, the Jump Manual doesn't promise results overnight, instead offering a comprehensive, 12-week player development program designed to add inches to your vertical.
Through the program's highly researched, scientific approach emphasizing plyometric, strength, and core training, you'll be joining the Jump Manual's flourishing community of players from the amateurs to the big leagues, all of whom have seen a guaranteed increase of at least 10 inches to their vertical.
Sounds too good to be true? Having been through the program myself as a professional ball player, I can safely say this program has made a dramatic impact on my game.
- Full vertical jump development with the perfect blend of weight and plyometric training
- Substantial video library with workout walkthroughs ensures you're maintaining proper form and muscular engagement
- Included e-book offers a vast collection of jump theory, showing you the science of vertical jump training and the tools you'll need to extract the best results
- Full meal plan and nutritional guide takes the guessing out of what you should be eating to recover efficiently and effectively
- 14 days of free access to personalized, 1-on-1 Jump Manual expert coaching
- Full 60-day refund policy
- Lacking some progression
- Outdated website
- Too much theory (text-heavy)
Why Trust This Review
Online jump programs for basketball can be inconsistent with their results because they often lack personalized coaching and in-depth research tailored to a variety of players, making it challenging to address individual needs while also ensuring consistent progress and accountability. As such, I was and always am a little skeptical of virtual jump training programs.
That’s why I actually bought, tested, and completed the program. Despite that it falls a bit short compared to other vertical jump programs, I have to admit, the Jump Manual suprised me with just how effective it really is. To say the program works is an understatement.
A comprehensive training program backed by professional athletes, coaches, nutritionists, and sports medicine specialists, The Jump Manual is all that and a bag of chips for hoopers trying to see some real vertical jump improvement.
As a 6’3″ Guard, it’s hard for me at times to feel like my leaping ability can take me into the paint and match up against bigs that are exactly that: big.
After completing the program, my vert went up by over 11 inches in just 12 weeks; that kind of progress is invaluable in building a solid foundation for your game and is a core training program to ensure you’re not only converting at a higher rate but also being a hooper your coaches and teammates can count on.
Let’s take a closer look at this Jump Manual review and see how the program can increase your vertical jump.
Who Created The Jump Manual?
Meet your new athletic performance coach: Jacob Hiller. Hiller is a respected international coach, having trained amateur, pro, and Olympic-level athletes in over 65 countries.
As of 2023, over 100 000 athletes have utilized the Jump Manual’s tried and tested program to improve their vertical training, with some adding as much as 20 inches to their jump.
Here, Hiller has combined over 15 years of scientific research, expertise, and tested training sequences to build the Jump Manual and add inches to your vertical.
The Jump Manual Review
The Jump Manual is a highly regarded basketball vertical jump training program that is undoubtedly worth the investment.
This program is designed to help you significantly boost your vertical jump height; what sets the Jump Manual apart is its comprehensive and scientifically based approach to vertical jump enhancement.
It provides a well-structured, step-by-step training regimen that covers various aspects of vertical jump improvement, including strength training, plyometrics, flexibility exercises, and nutrition guidance.
This holistic, thorough approach ensures that athletes of varied experience levels can successfully target all the areas contributing to their vertical leap, leading to more consistent and significant gains.
The Jump Manual promises you’ll see a dramatic increase in your vertical leap by the end of the program’s 12-week duration, at a minimum of 10 inches. In this Jump Manual Review, we unpack just how it all works and, ultimately, how this tested program will mold you into a hooper with a powerful vertical jump.
Who’s It For
The multifaceted Jump Manual can unleash the vertical jump potential of any hooper, whether you’re just starting out, chasing down a starting spot on Varsity, looking to be a bigger threat and improve your conditioning in the Rec League, or if you’re competing for a world championship.
This foundation and continuing to unleash your jumping ability will help you, as a hooper, to adapt to an ever-adapting game. Rather than strictly seeing specialist players like a Dirk or a Kareem, today’s game continues to feature versatility above all else.
For instance, some pro leagues have recorded the incorporation of versatile draftees at a much higher rate than strictly positional, specialist hoopers.
A fascinating study that observed the Brazilian national league over 9 seasons recorded a jump from just over 25% to nearly 48% of what would be considered positionless, versatile players.
For selected All-Stars, that figure is nearly 60% as being classified as versatile.
In the NBA today, you’ll find players like Giannis able to shoot 3s like Larry Bird while simultaneously dunking like Shaq and passing like John Stockton.
To continue writing W’s in the win column, you have to extract and improve your vertical jumping ability, thus building the proper base for the game’s continued, varied mechanics and stretch, 2-way playing.
How Does It Work?
The Jump Manual introduces proper jumping technique and conditioning for your explosive movements through consistent workouts that generate force through a mix of strength and plyometric exercises.
Here is the 9-step approach you can expect in the Jump Manual workout plan and player development that encompasses all the essentials of jumping.
Related Read: Check out 5 incredibly comfortable basketball kicks for jumping.
I know it’s hard to believe, but not all strength training is good for you; Hiller focuses the strength portion of your training towards fast twitch fibers, or Type II fibers, the muscles directly responsible for how fast your muscles can generate optimal force.
Speed, in the context of jumping, refers to the duration it takes for you to generate and apply force; typically, this occurs at a max of 0.3 seconds when counting a jump from the ground to the air.
If you can reduce this time frame by improving your jumping speed, it can lead to an increase in your vertical reach, even when the force you apply remains constant.
Muscle recruitment involves the activation of nerve cells connected to muscle fibers. When we jump, we transmit a signal to these nerve cells, prompting the muscle fibers to contract.
By enhancing your ability to activate a larger number of muscle fibers in a shorter duration, you can significantly boost the muscular force generated during a jump.
During jump movements, various muscle groups in your body come into play, and it’s crucial to ensure they cooperate seamlessly. Achieving the right form and refining your technique is key to achieving this synergy while also preventing injury.
Meanwhile, improper form not only diminishes your overall force output but also amplifies the leverage exerted by your body weight on the lower extremities.
The lower body generates additional force and manages increased leverage, only to get to just the same height as before without any improvements.
Your work in the lab will only translate to the court if you’re maintaining proper, dedicated nutrition. Often overlooked, following a tailored nutritional plan will provide you with the proper fuel to perform and execute the workouts effectively while recovering at an optimal rate.
Flexibility involves swift, seamless movements during a jump, thereby enhancing your potential for achieving maximum vertical height.
Without a decent range of flexibility, you’re restricting the range within which your muscles can contract and generate force, consequently curbing your jumping height.
When executing dynamic actions like jumping, they should be effortlessly executed at top speed, implying that your ability to stretch should extend well beyond the initial position of the movement itself.
Balance isn’t just about not falling over; it’s also about having control over both your upper and lower body and how your weight is evenly spread throughout.
When you work on improving your balance, it’s like fine-tuning your ability to coordinate your joints and muscles, ensuring you remain stable and, therefore, will enable the performance of those essential actions required to generate jump force.
Our body composition plays a crucial role in our jumping ability because the balance between body fat and muscle directly affects how high you can jump.
The Jump Manual emphasizes the importance of monitoring your body composition to ensure your body is in optimal condition. This involves a combination of suitable workouts and adequate rest to keep you in peak condition for jumping.
The genetics you inherit from your parents also wield some influence in this context. While certain individuals are naturally blessed with an abundance of fast-twitch muscle fibers that enable impressive jumps, others may face greater challenges.
Thankfully, a vertical jump program like The Jump Manual offers the opportunity to retrain your slower-twitch muscle fibers into fast-twitch fibers. This transformation has the potential to craft almost anyone into an explosive leaper.
The Jump Manual Program Structure
Jacob Hiller’s Jump Manual is among the cream of the crop for vertical jump training: he’s meticulously compiled hundreds of well-established studies and research papers pertaining to vertical jump performance.
After thorough testing and careful analysis, the program is broken down into a 14-day cycle, designed to be easy to follow and repeated over and over for 12 consecutive weeks.
And as a promised bonus, I recorded a quick video showing the program dashboard. Take a look below.
Pre-Workout Dynamic & Static Stretching/Warm-Ups
If you want to jump higher, you have to start with how you warm up and the stretches incorporated into your pre-workout.
Stretching may be the boring part of the workout often skipped by many amateur athletes, but its importance speaks volumes in how high your vertical leap can really take you:
- Flexibility For a Fuller Muscle Contraction—flexible muscles give you more leverage to exert maximum force
- Inherent Injury Prevention—significantly reduces your risk of jumping-related injuries (ex. patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee”)
- Improved Range Of Motion—frees up internal muscular resistance for a smoother, more complete range of motion
Furthermore, Hiller discusses in the stretching section the use of the Golgi tendon. Situated at the transition between muscle fibers, the Golgi tendon inhibits force generation relative to how much force your joints and ligaments can handle.
Next, Hiller walks you through some proper warm-ups to consider before diving into the jump manual workouts.
Hiller suggests a low-intensity activity to warm the muscles, such as jogging, cycling, and jumping rope, among others.
The stretching and warm-up portion of the program is just another example of how this comprehensive training program is so detailed. Hiller has broken down the wealth of researched science into laymen’s terms, has included a number of stretches to consider implementing into your pre-workout, and features a tutorial video for each stretch that’s both concise and informative.
I really enjoy this part of my training because Hiller’s emphasis here isn’t on just telling you what to do but why we do it, making my pre-workouts feel more active, engaging, and fun.
Plyometrics, Strength, & Core
Each exercise listed in the workouts is linked to an organized, thorough instructional video library, where you can take advantage of a carefully demonstrated walkthrough by Hiller.
Each video briefly explains the science, muscle engagement, proper form, and mind-body connection related to each exercise.
For each workout, it can be broken down further into 3 categories: plyometric exercises, strength training, and core training.
Your Jump Manual work starts off its first week with plyometrics at center stage. Plyometrics can enhance your performance through the utility of a stretch-shortening cycle.
In other words, the brass tax of plyometrics is a lengthening or “eccentric” movement immediately followed by a shortening or “concentric” movement.
The plyometrics workouts are characterized by explosive movements performed in short bursts, aiming to boost power and enhance the activation of your Type II muscle fibers.
This translates to quicker muscle contractions during jumps, which in turn reduces the recovery time when landing while simultaneously amplifying the overall force generated by your body.
Plyometric exercises in this phase encompass activities such as box jumps, depth jumps, medicine ball exercises, and more, typically lasting around an hour and a half per session.
I loved the medicine ball exercises; you’ll often be replacing a basketball with a medicine ball and jumping to the rim, making the switch to attempting your first dunk with a live ball noticeably different, lighter, and higher.
This is comprised of both upper and lower body strength training and will start off your second week of vertical jump training.
Here, your objective is to simultaneously enhance muscle strength for powerful jumps while executing your movements quickly.
As such, you’ll primarily be doing deadlifts and weighted squats, which promote lower body strength, complemented by more dynamic exercises such as the hang clean.
Success in the strength training department does, at times, require access to specific gym equipment. With that said, the program also offers bodyweight alternatives if you don’t have gym equipment access, so you’ll be able to continue your weight training.
Bodyweight basketball training is an excellent way to increase your muscular endurance and, in turn, get you logging more minutes in the game.
Typically, the strength training sessions extend over a duration of about 1.5-2 hours. I did a bit of both when it came to weight training, with a 1-1 split between bodyweight exercises and weight training.
I can safely say the bodyweight exercises are just as researched, tested, and effective as those designed for the weight room, as I continued to see substantial progress as the weeks went on.
Your core, including your abs, hips, and glutes, is like your body’s powerhouse: every pro baller knows that a strong core helps you turn, switch directions, and jump with added highlight-reel finesse.
Check out this useful video resource on basketball core training that explains more.
You’ll find core work in both weeks of the program, developed to continue making you stronger and more stable both on the ground and in flight.
Post Workout Recovery
Finally, you’ll end each workout in your Jump Manual training program with a dedicated recovery period and post-workout.
Most online vertical jump training programs don’t include any guidance beyond nutrition for post-workout; that’s not the case with the Jump Manual.
The detailed post-workout, rest, and recovery section was a welcomed surprise; most vertical training programs offer no formal guidance or postworkout routines, and if they do, they certainly don’t include the level of detail Hiller has attributed to the Jump Manual’s:
“With your muscles’ energy stores completely depleted from an intense workout, now is a critical time. Your body. Your body still needs energy to function AND it needs more energy to start building your muscles…if it’s not available it will not begin building your muscles, or even worse, it could break down protein from your muscles to use as an energy source”—Hiller
During your rest days, Hiller has implemented a recovery routine to ensure you make the most of your progress by relieving bodily tension and rebuilding your muscles.
The recovery days involve stretching exercises to enhance flexibility and allow your body to rest in order to prepare for the next cycle.
What I Liked About The Jump Manual
- Sports science and specialized research are explained concisely and is easy to get a grasp of
- Private Facebook group helps you stay connected with your peers and motivated
- Offers extensive, goal-oriented tracking sheets that help you easily measure your progress in real-time
- Perfect for hoopers struggling with maintaining jump height consistently (i.e. slower, “two-foot” jumpers)
- The supplemental materials (i.e. 8 chapter theory book and full nutritional guide with a meal plan)
- Try it risk-free, with a 60-day money-back guarantee
- Can access the Jump Manual from any device and without an internet connection by downloading the app
What truly sets The Jump Manual program apart is its hands-on, accessible approach to vertical jump enhancement; this training program covers every aspect critical to success, from strength training and plyometrics to flexibility, nutrition, and even addressing genetic factors with body composition, balance, and flexibility.
The combination of scientifically proven training exercises, like plyometrics and strength training, with a rigorous, scientific approach makes it a standout choice for those looking to maximize their vertical jump potential.
The MVP: 1-on-1 coaching
Through the website or the free app, you can book a 14-day free trial with a dedicated virtual trainer to discuss your jump training, walkthrough workouts and raise any questions or concerns to a resident expert.
What’s more, after the 14-day free trial, it’s only $19 a month to continue with your trainer.
This was, by and large, the favorite part of my journey through the vertical jump program: my trainer was attentive, well-versed in jump theory, and helped me take my jump up from new heights to the rafters.
This is an excellent, affordable way to give amateurs the same type of access to the real-time coaching staff that the pros have.
What I Didn’t Like About The Jump Manual
- This is an “all-in” program, and that’s the only way it works
- Lacking some progression
- Dated website
Similarly to the Built 2 Ball Program, your jump training program will put out exactly what you put into it. This is an all-or-nothing program that will not workif you’re unable to follow the program to the letter.
For athletes in-season or for hoopers unable to dedicate 1.5-2 hours of training a day on top of their already existing ball work on the court, this program may not be feasible.
For the app as well as the website, I found that a few times, navigation and moving between page-to-page was a little slow. And with that in mind, let’s talk more about the website.
Now, this is a jump training program that quite literally “took off” in 2010 after its inception in 2008. With that said, the website looks like it’s still living in 2010, almost appearing as if it’s still the original website.
The program layout, tabs, and iconography are pretty dated, while a few of the video tutorials sourced from the massive library could use a bit of retouching, if not refilming.
What I wanted to see more of was active course progression. Hiller discusses the max explosion workout while stating that once the workout chart is complete, you should be repeating the chart with increased weight and/or intensity.
I would have liked to have seen a little more course progression and the introduction of new exercises to measure my continued growth in a variety of movements.
However, at the same time, I understand and can get behind Hiller’s desire to make jump training repeatable and, thereby, easy to understand and implement into your routine.
Another thing is that at one point I felt that there was too much theory in the program. The text content is more as compared to the video content, unlike with the two alternatives I mention below.
This wouldn’t be a fair Jump Manual review without mentioning some proper program alternatives. So here they are.
Elite Vertical Academy
For hoopers looking for a website that’s easier to navigate as well as currently up-to-date, with high-quality production backing their workout videos and tutorials, look no further than the Elite Vertical Academy.
- Duration: 12 weeks
- Creator: Chris Bernard
- Promised jump height increase: up to 12"
- Nutritional guide: Yes
- Option to contact the coach: Yes
- Refund policy: 90-day full refund policy
In my opinion and based on testing, Elite Vertical Academy is the better program because it’s more current and more practical.
The EVA follows a triphasic approach to jump training, where you’ll be working eccentric, isometric, and concentric muscle fibers, backed by just as much thoroughly researched science that ensures you’ll be getting proven results.
By maximizing your output through triphasic training, you’re developing the 3 key levels of muscular contractions to optimize your athletic performance and increase your power output on the court and in the air.
Your split is 2 bilateral, 2 unilateral days, or a 2-day upper, 2-day lower focus.
Founded by Chris Barnard through Overtime Athletics, the EVA is an engrossing, high-quality vertical jump program that promises a 12-inch leap increase in just 4 months.
That’s the compromise here; this is a longer workout regiment that requires a more lengthy time commitment than the Jump Manual to see comparable results.
Check out my full Elite Vertical Academy review here.
If the Jump Manual workout’s large time commitment seems a little daunting, check out Vert Shock.
Founded by an ex-NCAA player and most notably with the high-flying Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington as an alum, Vert Shock is for serious hoopers who want tested, tangible results fast.
- Duration: 8 weeks
- Creator: Adam Folker
- Promised jump height increase: up to 15"
- Nutritional guide: No
- Option to contact the coach: No
- Refund policy: 60-day full refund policy
The workouts average out to just over an hour a piece, with a program duration of only 8 weeks. I enjoyed the inclusion of other materials alongside the course, namely the dribbling and shooting drills.
Vert Shock is a go-to for quick, trackable workouts that can permeate into all facets of your game and not just where you’ll be jumping.
The downside here is that this is an entirely “bodyweight only” program; Vert Shock will require you dig deep and be disciplined to extract the best results possible.
What Others Say About The Jump Manual
Hooper’s from youth ball camp all the way up to the pros rave about Jacob Hiller’s Jump Manual; ball blogs consistently rank the Jump Manual among the best vertical jump programs.
Below, you’ll find some testimonials from a variety of athletes who have successfully completed the program and seen some major results:
I’ve tried 3 vertical programs before and gained only 5 inches…Because Of Jump Manual, I went from a 33-inch maximum vertical jump to now a 44.5-inch maximum vertical jump…Thank you for your blueprint.Marty
I can dunk with ease, and I can now squat 440 lbs on the seated leg press. I’ve dunked 4 times in games, and I’m blocking kids’ shots off the backboard like crazy!! I also had a 23 rebound game.Coleman
Been working on your program for 8 weeks now, so far have gained 10 inchesRobert
The Jump Manual Program is undeniably a game-changer for anyone looking to elevate their vertical jump and enhance their athletic performance.
With its comprehensive blend of scientifically backed training exercises, including plyometrics and strength training, coupled with expert guidance and detailed resources, it offers a holistic approach to vertical jump improvement.
The program’s dedication to explaining sports science in an understandable manner, private community support, and meticulous progress tracking make it a standout choice. Additionally, the option for personalized 1-on-1 coaching adds an invaluable layer of support that sets it apart from many other programs.
While the time commitment and website layout may present some minor challenges, the results and tangible gains are more than worth it. As a pro baller who has experienced an 11-inch increase in my vertical leap, I can attest that the Jump Manual delivers on its promise to take your game to new heights. Don’t miss the opportunity to tap into this effective and comprehensive training program to become a hooper with a powerful vertical jump.
The difference between The Jump Manual and Vert Shock is the duration of the jump program, the length of the workouts themselves, and the equipment needed to increase our vertical jump. Vert Shock is an 8-week program with workouts averaging out to about an hour a piece, entirely based on bodyweight exercises. For the Jump Manual this is a 12-week program with workouts between 1.5-2 hours and gym-based development, though Hiller has also included bodyweight-only accommodations. What’s more, Vert Shock lacks the comprehensive, lengthy jump theory that the Jump Manual features, though Vert Shock has a more streamlined design to its website with side panel navigation.
The Jump Manual is 12 weeks in total, with an emphasis on a repeatable workout schedule that resets every 14 days. The Jump Manual is divided between plyometric exercises designed to increase slower muscle fiber type shifting, strength training that unlocks your explosive power, and core training that improves balance and stability when vertical jumping. Each exercise features a dedicated pre and post-workout involving static and dynamic stretching, a warm-up, and then a cool-down with a pre-workout snack (PWS).
Yes, you can improve your vertical jump with the right training. Proper exercises, such as plyometrics and strength training, along with expert guidance and nutrition, can significantly enhance your vertical leap. Consistency, effort, and dedication play key roles in realizing these gains, as demonstrated by numerous athletes—whether at the amateur or professional level—who’ve successfully increased their jump heights.
Yes, there is a refund policy. The Jump Manual features a 60-day money-back guarantee when you purchase the program. Additionally, you have the opportunity to connect with a 1-on-1 coach as a free trial for 14 days, with the option to renew at only $19 a month.
Yes, The Jump Manual is worth it because for hoopers down at their local court or pros who play in front of thousands, looking to increase their vertical jump. Its comprehensive approach covers strength, speed, muscle recruitment, form, nutrition, flexibility, balance, body composition, hereditary factors, and more; everything you need to know about the science to increase your vertical jump. Testimonials and results from athletes all over the world speak to its effectiveness for those of us looking for a jump program that will have us jumping higher than ever.
No, you do need gym access to use the Jump Manual. While The Jump Manual does include strength training exercises that benefit from gym equipment, it offers bodyweight alternatives for those without gym access. This flexibility allows you to adapt the program to your circumstances and still achieve vertical jump improvements.
Yes, you can access The Jump Manual from various devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. It offers convenience and flexibility, enabling you to follow the program and access the instructional materials from anywhere with an internet connection. For smart devices, simply download the app from the app store to get started.