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What Is A Good Vertical Jump? Have I Peaked?
I just turned 16. I am a male and I weigh 145lbs and I am 5'7". My vertical leap is 36". I have used many different training programs including Strength Shoes for the past year and a half. I started these programs since I was in 8th grade when I jumped 31 inches. but recently I haven't been able to gain any more on my vert. I haven't improved for the past 4-6 months. Am I at my peak and should I stop training or just try to maintain it? Also I would like to know how my vert compares to other males my age and weight.
Ok, this email is something I MUST address. I get many emails from young athletes stating they have 30 plus inch verticals. While once in awhile this may actually be true, for the most part this is a complete exaggeration. Now, this may not be your fault as the tester may be giving you a very poor test. The reason I state the above comes from research providing the following information.
Average Vertical Leap of NCAA Div. 1 Football player: 29-31 inches.
Average Vertical Leap of NCAA Div. 1 Basketball player: 27-30 inches.
So, by your information, at the age of 16 you are BLOWING away most elite football and basketball players!! Then we add the fact that strength shoes have been shown to have very little to no effect on vertical jump tests. (Read The Study) The National Strength and Conditioning Association has published several papers with these results. Hopefully now you understand why I am taking your data with a grain of salt.
Let us address your question though... are you at your peak? Very doubtful! Considering you probably have not performed much strength training or reactive training to your program, you are probably far from achieving your peak vertical jump. You also did not mention if you employed any flexibility work and I can tell you from experience with hundreds of high school athletes that this plays a very big role in performance!
So, what should you do? I would highly suggest that you start reading my Weightlifting 101 series as this contains a number of exercises that would greatly help your vertical jump and overall sporting prowess. Do not buy into gimmicks or cool sounding toys. As I have stated previously, Olympic weightlifters have shown to have some of the most impressive vertical jumps of all athletes and they only use variations of their competition lifts. Done correctly these have a phenomonal impact on speed and power. Read the articles and feel free to ask anymore questions.