Your vertical is integral to your game. If you can dunk, great, but Vert Shock can influence many aspects of your ability, including explosiveness, creativity under the rim and, of course, your jump shot.
When I was in high school, my jump training was limited to mostly jump squats. When I got to college—even at the club level—I was introduced to a broader and more purposeful approach.
Even post-college, basketball has remained a passion of mine. I never had delusions of making it to the pros, but it helps keep me in shape and competition against other guys my age is good for the soul.
I never tried a jump training program post-college, but I heard some people talking about Vert Shock on the court. That night, I Googled it and came across a wide range of opinions. Most were positive and even bullish. But some claimed it a scam, and so, I became determined to test it and find out for myself.
Let’s start with what Vert Shock is and why you may be interested in it.
Vert Shock: What It Is and What It Is Not
As least as far back as my experience goes, vert training focuses on building strength, and even the emphasis on explosiveness involves a lot of resistance. These techniques are fine. They work—at least to a degree—but my vert was only about 2 inches more than it was at 18 years old in high school.
Vert Shock is based on techniques used by athletes who participate in professional dunking contests. The goal is to shock your muscles—hence the name of the program. The strategy involves a prep phase, a shock phase and an activation phase for both your slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
This program is not a magic formula. It guides you in ensuring that your technique is correct and provides exercises to improve muscular performance. It involves hard work. This is not like some diet pill that promises that you will lose 30 pounds while you sit on the couch continuing to eat Cheetos.
The Vert Shock Team and Why You Should Care
There are numerous training programs on the Internet. Many of them apparently do not work, and that comes as little surprise when you consider that many of them are designed by faceless trainers. The creators of Vert Shock are not faceless or inexperienced. They are Adam Folker and Justin Darlington.
– Adam Folker
Adam Folker played more than 125 games for the UC Irvine Anteaters, which is an NCAA Division I team in the Big West Conference. He began his collegiate athletic career with a 14-inch vertical, but by the time he had been signed to play in the Czech NBL, he had a 32-inch vertical. Upon retiring, he took what he had learned and laid the groundwork for the original program that would become Vert Shock.
– Justin Darlington
Justin “JusFly” Darlington is a Streetball player who has participated in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour. He is a natural dunker who has participated in and won professional dunking contests all over the world. He rose to celebrity when he won the Nike+ Basketball Dunk Showcase in Washington D.C.—where LeBron James was a judge and had brought a great deal of notoriety with him. Darlington and Folker are long-time friends, and Justin helped him polish the program into the final product that is now Vert Shock.
How Vert Shock Works
This is a plyometric-based training program. What that means in plain language is that Vert Shock workouts involve using speed and force of various movements in order to build raw muscle power.
The program is organized over an eight-week period. Vert Shock week one involves the pre-shock phase. The shock phase is week two through seven, and week eight involves the intense post-shock phase.
1. Pre-Shock Phase
This first phase of the workout lasts only seven days and is designed to prepare your muscles for the much more intense six-week period that is about to come. This involves a lot of warming up and cooling down and various exercises that you have likely done before, such as tuck jumps.
People who do not normally do jump exercises may experience an inch or two during this period. Do not be overly concerned if you do not. Also, be careful integrating this phase into your other workouts. If you do not do a lot of leg-oriented muscle building, you may want to avoid doing so for the time being. It can be very easy for less experienced athletes to overwork their legs in a counterproductive manner the first time through the program.
2. Shock Phase
This second and core phase extends over six weeks. It is rather intense, but it is also quite varied, which we feel helps with your mental approach. This is the period where you are getting the most muscle activation and reactivation and should yield the most substantial results. I gained about 6 inches.
This phase started off easier than I expected. It ramped up quickly, and we could definitely feel the wear but also the faster reaction and explosiveness as the period unfolded. Be careful with your other cardio and muscle building during this phase as well. I recommend working around these exercises. In other words, focus on activities that do not overlap and therefore work other aspects of your body.
3. Post-Shock Phase
You have arrived at the final week of the core program, and it involves six intense days of training with one day off. If you are scheduling other workouts, I would highly recommend lining it up so that you have that one day off entirely. The focus of this routine is fortifying the gains you have made thus far, and it involves a lot of warming up and cooling down bookending short reps of intense activity.
It is important to note that you may not make gains during this period. This is not unusual. That said, I did. I got about an inch in the pre-shock phase and an inch in the post-shock phase for a total of 8 inches. Once you have completed this week, you will enter the all-important maintenance mode.
Vert Shock actually has a fourth phase, and this is an aspect of the program that we feel many other Vert Shock reviews do not cover well. The goal here is to maintain your peak, and if you fell short of your peak, it will still allow you to get there. This maintenance program covers the warming up, exercises and cooling down that you will want to do each week. This aspect of the training is also easy to integrate into your overall training, at which point Vert Shock just kind of fades into what you do on a weekly basis.
The Vert Shock Exercises
This program includes many different types of jump and squat exercises. Many I was familiar with having been an amateur athlete most of my life. Some I was not familiar with it. The good news is that you get more than just the Vert Shock PDF. You also get access to HD videos in which the creators show proper form for not only the various exercises but all the warming up and cooling down techniques as well.
None of the exercises discussed and shown via the program require any equipment, which is something I will discuss later in this Vert Shock review as both a pro and a con. But it is good news for the person who may lack access to such equipment and wants to improve their vert through old-fashioned hard work, and hard work it is. In fact, you will accomplish 41 intense workouts in just 56 days, including:
- Plyometrics—In a nutshell, these advanced plyometrics include all of the intense jumping-specific exercises. These are what are going to increase the reaction time of your pivotal muscles.
- Core Strength—This aspect of the program involves various core strengthening. This provides the foundation upon which your body will be able to execute high-impact jumping activities.
- Power—Core strength is important, but true power is also integral if you want to achieve your peak vert. The power is particularly important when it comes from the lower body. The focus here is deep squats and the like and where actual muscle building would arguably be most beneficial.
Vert Shock: Our Results
I write our because I wrangled my good friend into trying the program with me. Let me put our starting points into context. I hit the weights three to four days a week. I play basketball at the rec as often as I can. I walk often. I ride my Rogue Echo. I am in pretty decent shape. My friend used to be but has let it slide the last several years due to work. He is just recently getting back into a routine.
The chances at either of our heights that we will be dunking on people is slim. But I entered this process with a 20-inch vertical. He entered with a 16-inch vertical. In the first week, he saw no improvement, and I increased to 21 inches. In fact, I saw a 1-inch increase every week except the fifth. He was getting about an inch every two weeks. He ended at 20 inches. I ended at 28 inches.
I know some people have achieved much better results than me, but I was pretty chuffed at the end of the eighth week. My friend did not expect much but was pleased as well. I think our differences highlight what you can expect. If you do not build muscle regularly, I am not sure you can hit the big results. I do not think that is a Vert Shock problem, however. It is just the nature of athletic performance.
Will Vert Shock Work for You?
I think that my friend is a testament to the fact that it absolutely will work for just about anyone who puts the effort in. You may also take confidence in knowing that since we completed the initial program, my friend has continued working out with me and alone. He has continued the maintenance mode, and in doing so, he has more than doubled his initial Vert Shock results. Congratulations, Raimy!
Let me stress this once again: you have to put the work in. Your vertical is not going to increase by magic or if you are half-assing it. Earn that sweat equity, though, and you will definitely elevate higher.
The Cost of the Vert Shock Program and the Money-Back Guarantee
The Vert Shock program is only available through the official website. The standard sticker price of the entire product is $138. However, we paid $67. That price is still available as we write this review. This price is often presented as “today only” and “limited time offer,” but as far as well can tell, it is the regular price now and likely has been for quite some time. It is also worth nothing that there are no shipping or handling costs or any other fees. We paid $67, and they did not even charge us tax.
Another important point is that this product is sold with a 100% money-back guarantee. What is really impressive is that the refund policy is extended for 60 days. The entire eight-week program only takes 56 days. If before that time you determine that you are unsatisfied, email adam(at)vertshock.com using the subject line “Refund Request.” You will receive a full refund with no questions asked.
Everything Included in Your Purchase
There are four core items included with your Vert Shock download:
- Jump Start Guide
- Vert Shock Program
- Exercise Video Tutorials
- Vert Shock Bonuses
– Jump Start Guide
This small e-book introduces you to the eight-week program. It presents it in nutshell fashion, which is easy to digest. It lets you know what to expect and lets you begin without having to read/view everything.
– Vert Shock Program
This is the core regimen itself. It is divided into four primary sections, and these parts map to the various phases discussed earlier in the review: pre-shock, shock, post-shock and maintenance.
– Exercise Video Tutorials
These high-definition videos show you how to perform each exercise that is included in the program and emphasize perfect form while presenting tips and other advice. We think these resources will be invaluable to people using the program who have never attempted these activities before.
Vert Shock Bonuses
Your purchase also includes a number of extras at no additional charge. There are about a dozen of these extras overall. We will not go in-depth on all of them but instead cover the highlights.
- Vert Tracker—This is a workbook that helps you track your progress. I have my own program for tracking my workouts, but this is a solid option for those who may not use such an app.
- Jumper’s Diet Checklist—Helpful program that indicates all of the vitamins and other nutrients pivotal to peak vert. Uses this tool to ensure that your diet is covering all of the bases.
- Four Vertical Jump Killers E-Book—This is an interesting book that discusses the technique issues that can undermine your vertical. It covers four primary problem areas. Two I had not really considered, and after reading this, I was able to spot my bad form when it cropped up.
- Five Dirty Hacks to Jumping Higher E-Book—Solid book that covers five techniques that almost all professional dunkers use to elevate, and it explains how to integrate them into your own game.
What I Love About Vert Shock
- Comprehensive jump training that works
- Well explained and supported with video guides
- Provides techniques to test and track your results
- Fair price and backed by a 100% refund policy
What I Do Not Like About Vert Shock
- A lot of product placement within the guides
- Could benefit from weight training
- Needs a section on integrating the training with your own
Final Thoughts: Vert Shock Review
At the time this review is finally published, I have completed the eight-week program and have been in maintenance mode for at least 16 weeks. My results are up to about 12 inches higher vert than I began with, and that is something I am very happy with. My jumper has never been more lethal!
This is a great program. I have integrated it into my ongoing workout routine, and I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to increase vert for dunking or practically any other reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are six questions we encountered often when researching the Vert Shock system:
Q#1. Is Vert Shock a Scam?
No. Vert Shock is a legitimate training program. But be mindful that this is hard work. Like any training program, you have to put the effort in. You also have to be realistic about your natural athletic gifts. The few scam complaints we did encounter were from people who could not prove they actually adhered to the training, people who half-assed the program and people who were entirely unrealistic.
Q#2. Is Vert Shock Available as a DVD or Blu-Ray?
No. Vert Shock is sold primarily as an e-book. Your purchase, however, does include HD videos and the like, but we do not believe a DVD would be particularly useful. It’s not like you’re Jazzercising in front of a TV. You will ideally be implementing these techniques in a gym or on an outside basketball court.
Q#3. Then Why Are There Images With DVDs and DVD Box Sets?
It’s a good question and one that we asked ourselves. The response from support is that the images are not literal and meant to indicate parts of the program and bonuses that include HD video. We know what that sounds like and will not defend it. It is misleading marketing at best, and it is a shame in our opinion because it undermines an otherwise great product for consumers who are paying attention.
Q#4. How Long Does It Take to Get Results With Vert Shock?
This depends on the individual, including where his vert is now and where his natural peak is. If you are already working hard and touching the rim, then you get over it by the second week. Many people see significant results by week four, and you will likely not realize max results until week eight.
Q#5. Should You Continue Vert Shock After Week Eight?
Yes. Maintaining peak athletic performance requires ongoing effort. After you complete the program, you continue what is called a maintenance mode, and all the exercises you need to carry out are included in the program. At this point, it should be relatively easy to integrate this work into your overall routine. Be mindful that without an ongoing effort, you will fall back into your normal state. If you find that this happens, then you will likely want to start the program over again beginning with week one.
Q#6. Where Should You Purchase the Vert Shock Program?
The Vert Shock course is not currently sold through third-party resellers. As of this writing, it is only sold by the original creators through its official website. You should therefore purchase it there in order to ensure that you get the authentic product and that you support the people who deserve it.
You will find various e-books, apps and other products titled Vert Shock on sites like Amazon and eBay, but these are knockoffs and not the genuine training that has led to so many success stories. Some sellers also sell illegal facsimiles, and it would be a shame to support them rather than the architects.