My Vert Shock Story: An Honest Review After 8 INTENSE Weeks
Desparate to dunk? Heard about the Folkersystem Vert Shock Program and thinking about giving it a shot?
That was me back in 2016. I ended up gambling on Vert Shock, a jump training program claiming to be capable of boosting anyone’s vertical leap by over 9 inches.
At the time, Vert Shock had just been released, so I had no clue whether it would work or not. After all, the internet is filled with all kinds of exaggerated claims and magic pills.
In this post I’ll be sharing my personal journey with the program. Hopefully it will give you a better picture of what the program actually involves and cover the most important question: Does it actually work?
If you’re considering buying the program I would urge you to read through my experience first and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
As a casual basketball player, I never saw basketball as anything more than a way to have a good time and blow off steam.
I never made the high school basketball team and being in my late 20s, basketball would never be more than a hobby for me.
Despite that, I was always super keen to dunk a basketball.
Just watching the dunks in the NBA playoffs or performing them myself in NBA 2K17 would send chills down my spine.
I love setting myself new challenges, so in 2016 I 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. Measuring in at 6-foot and being a mediocre (at best) athlete at high school, dunking wasn’t something that would come naturally.
My scoring threats would always be limited to jump shots and inconsistent layups, right?
The Genetic Factor
For a long time, I had a fear that my genetic limitations would mean dunking would be near impossible for me. It stopped me from even attempting to learn to dunk.
However, there are plenty of shorter dunkers around. I mean, just look at Nate Robinson or Spudd Webb.
And that’s just in the NBA. On YouTube you’ll find plenty of shorter guys dunking.
I realized that I had never, ever, really pushed myself. It was simply too early to write off my hopes of becoming a dunker without at least having a proper go at it.
I therefore began to YouTube things like ‘how to jump higher’ or something along those lines.
I’d watch a bunch of short 10 minute clips telling me “just keep doing these 3 exercises for a few weeks” and BAM, you’ll be dunking before you know it.
Thing just aren’t that easy. If it was that easy, we’d all be dunking.
Enter Vert Shock
“Dunk in 8-weeks or your money back.”
That’s the bold claim made by Thincpro Vert Shock. I wouldn’t blame you if you immediately dismissed the claim as exaggerated or even an outright lie.
I myself was extremely dubious. But I thought to myself, if SOMETHING was going to work, it was this.
A 2 month program dedicated purely to increasing your jump? It was on another level compared to the kind of jump training I had tried before.
I’m no stranger to buying random stuff online – especially self-learning courses. How to play the guitar, how to create your own website, you name it. I’ve done the lot.
I just HAD to try Vert Shock. It was a kind of a ‘now or never’ situation for me.
Meet Adam Folker
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 do this alone though. He teamed up with the world’s best dunker: 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.
Together, they made this comprehensive 8-week course that is now the best-selling jump guide on the market.
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, and the challenge is to make them contract faster to maximize the power produced as you take off.
An Intense 8-Weeks
Vert Shock is split up into 3 separate ‘shock’ phases, which makes sure your muscles are optimally conditioned over the 8-weeks and you don’t injure yourself.
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 involves 6 days of training – you heard it right, you only have ONE rest day in your first week.
Now, compared to the rest of the program, the 45 to 60 minute workouts were actually pretty easy going, but chances are you’ll develop some seriously sore muscles.
My muscles were definitely feeling sore, even though I wasn’t exactly out of shape when I started.
The reason is mainly because the plyometric exercises that you’re given are working your muscles in a way they haven’t been worked before.
The Shock Phase (Weeks 2-7)
Following the Pre-Shock phase, despite feeling fatigued and weaker a couple of days before, my legs were feeling springy and ready to go.
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, I really felt like I was putting serious work in. It was leagues apart from the half-hearted efforts I was doing before the program.
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.
The Post-Shock Phase (Week 8)
Finally, the 8th week is the ‘post-shock’ phase, in which you’ll have only one day of rest.
The Post-Shock Phase’s purpose is to polish your jump motion and commit everything to muscle memory.
All the speed and strength gains from the previous 7 weeks culminate to get you jumping higher than ever before.
The exercises in this final phase are mainly jumps you have already trained before, but the intensity 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 became poor during the latter half of each workout session, but I got through it all in the end.
Workout Days By Each Program Week
The Vert Shock System takes the timing and spacing of your workouts very seriously, as it understands fundamental muscle development processes.
As such, each week differs from the other weeks in terms of intensity and exercises employed.
The Pre-Shock Phase which warms you up for the bulk of the program, and the Post-Shock phase which hammers in everything only have one rest day.
Weeks 5 and 6 involve the most rest, and you’ll only train on 4 days.
Coincidentally, it’s weeks 5 and 6 where I noticed the biggest gains, typically coming right after a day of rest.
You can see a full breakdown of how many days you’ll be working out during each week in the program:
My Vert Shock Results
Doing all the tuck jumps, burpees and 180 squat jumps wouldn’t be worth anything unless I was getting RESULTS. My starting and final vertical jump measurements are as follows:
Start (August 2016): 24 inches
End (November 2016): 34 inches
The Vert Shock program had therefore increased my vertical jump by 10 inches. That’s pretty insane if you ask me.
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 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.
My body was sending me signals that it was tired and in need of some recovery. My legs were feeling especially heavy.
Having done some weightlifting in the gym previously, I was confident that my body would come back stronger after rest.
Following 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 prepare you for the actual 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.
My legs would no longer feel super sore a day after exercising, even though some fatigue would linger.
It was during this very first 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.
At the end of 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 come in. Both of them feature 3 rest days, more than any of the other weeks, and it’s these two weeks where your body adapts most.
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 real.
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.
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.
Think about any high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. If you were to just do the exercises in isolation, with long periods of rest between, well at that point you’ve completely missed the point of HIIT.
Vert Shock is similar, you simply won’t achieve good results unless you stick to its plan.
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. I believe results will 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, whereas other programs will have a bigger focus on more general strength bulding 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.
First Released: 2016
Last Updated: March 2018
Format: Digital Download
Duration: 8 weeks
- Increases vertical by 9-15 inches
- No special equipment necessary
- Suitable for all ages
- Money back guarantee
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!