Friday, August 22, 2008

Check It Out!

You can check a pic of my home gym and where I train over at John Wood's great site Functional Hand Strength!

Mine is the first pic.

- Max

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vertical Jump Advice from Dave Lemanczyk

Here's some solid advice from a guy who knows what's what when it comes to basketball and overall athletic development (he played professionally overseas and can still get up now at a solid 240 lbs. - see above):

What I am going to tell you today will change the way you look
at vertical leap training. In itself, vertical leap training is a complete
fad. Plyometrics in itself simply means jump training and nothing
more. Sports science can determine the stretch shortening and
lengthening cycle but it's still jump training.

Many people are all caught up in how high they can jump off of
the ground. This measurement is the be all end all for some folks.
Honestly, it doesn't mean that much.

How doesn't vertical leap mean that much?

Well, for starters the game of basketball is played above the rim,
especially at the higher levels. At the lower levels it is still played
above the ground. When the game is played in the air, the only
thing that really matters is how high you can reach. Think about

Does the measurement of your jumping ability off of the ground
matter as much as how high you reach? What do you think?

Being able to stretch your body to reach higher will help you a lot
more than destroying your knees with silly nonsense and not to
mention way overpriced jump specialty programs. This comes
from a guy who can hop a little bit too as you know!

I personally didn't care how high I jumped off the ground as long
as my hands we above the rim when I was taking a shot. Every
time I took a jump shot, I was above the rim. Every hook shot,
above the rim. Every single strong to the hoop move, you guessed
it, above the rim.

I practiced my swamp lunges over and over until they were perfect.
In time, I got the results I earned and was extremely patient in
recieving them. I knew anything gained quickly was lost just as
quickly. Common sense isn't always common!

Next time someone tries to sell you some nonsense vertical jump
training, you'll have ammunition to protect yourself against a rip off.

Not what you were expecting to hear? Dave's advice can have that effect on people....and that's what makes it good.

- Max

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Updates!

As you can tell, I've changed things up a bit. Here's what has changed:

1) I changed the title of my blog (originally called Max's Guide to Higher Hops). My posts were becoming less and less concerned with vertical jumping and more with overall athletic development, health, etc. I'm also less obsessed with attaining a high vertical jump than I was when I started this blog (although I'm still striving to improve). I'm now focusing more on ALL athletic traits (conditioning, flexibilty, strength, stability, etc.) in my training. Thus, I figured it was time to change things up.

2) You can now subscribe to this blog. Look underneath the title where it says 'Subscibe'. You would receive an email whenever I update with a new post.

3) Go ahead and leave me any comments you would like by clicking 'comments' at the bottom of each post. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

4) I've added a bunch of new links on the right under 'Helpful Links'. Check 'em out!

Thanks for reading!

- Max

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Future of Fitness and Four Great Workouts by Josh Henkin

Here's a great article by Strength and Conditioning Coach, Josh Henkin. He's known making sandbags popular again, but clearly uses many tools to get the job done. These workouts are money.

The Future of Fitness And Four Great Workouts

By Josh Henkin

Those that read this are already ahead of so many people trying to improve their fitness, health, and sporting performance. Why? You have already filtered through the garbage information that so many of us are fed through mainstream media. The marketing of unrealistic physiques, unsafe reality programs, and drugged up celebrities has led most people down a path of confusion to how to be fit and healthy.
Before the internet, Youtube, cell phones, and mass media, the greatest exposure of fitness and health was through magazines. Yes, before they were “Flex”, “Men’s Health”, and others, there were classics such as “Strength & Health” and “Ironman”. These magazines were written by true strength athletes that were covering strength, wellness, and physique development that were never thought of separately.
Our modern version of the old time was truly resurrected by the reintroduction of kettlebell training. Since then people have begun to see what was missing since the classic days of true strength training. Often I explain my form of training to be “athletic based fitness training”, that is to develop all the physical attributes of sport. Of course, some may say they don’t play a sport and just want to be fit. These principles are the same, as the most fit people are generally those that regularly participate in athletics. This is true even if you just want to be a more fit parent!
My L.I.F.T. (loaded integrated functional training) system is based around four implements that are truly unique and fit the criteria that I just explained above. These four implements are kettlebells, sandbags, suspension training (typically using the Jungle Gym) and bands (most often we use the versatile TNT cables). Using these four implements in a systemized manner can deliver very powerful results in fitness and sports performance training.
These implements are unique in their feel and versatility. They are perfect for individual or team training, beginner or advanced, integrated with existing programs or used as a stand alone system. These four implements can not be replicated by other tools either. I selected them just because of these reasons.
Below I am going to list a few of my favorite routines that work the body from head to toe, strength to cardiovascular training, fat burning to increasing functional muscle mass.

Workout 1:
A1. Kettlebell Clean and Jerk x 5
A2. Sandbag Zercher Squats x 10
Repeat series 4-5 times with a 60 second rest interval between sets.
B1. Band Rows for 30 seconds
B2. Suspended Leg Curls x 15
Repeat series 3-4 times with 30 second rest interval.
C1. Sandbag Shoulder Get-ups x 3 each side
C2. Suspended Fall Outs x 10
Repeat series 2-3 times with 30 second rest intervals.

Workout 2:
A1. Sandbag Snatch to Overhead Lunge x 3 each leg
A2. Jungle Gym Chin-ups x 5
Repeat 4-5 times with 90 second rest interval
B1. Kettlebell Floor Press x 8
B2. Sandbag Half Moon Snatch x 10 each side
Repeat 3-4 times with 60 second rest interval
C1. Band Resisted Runs x 30 seconds
C2. KB Janda Sit-ups x 6
Repeat 3-4 times with 30 second rest intervals

Workout 3:
A1. Kettlebell Snatch Left x 10
A2. Kettlebell Snatch Right x 10
A3. Suspended Body Rows x 12
Repeat 3-4 times with 30 second rest intervals
B1. Band Push Press x 30 seconds
B2. Sandbag Shoulder Lunge Left x 10
B3. Sandbag Shoulder Lunge Right x 10
Repeat 2-3 times with 45 second rest intervals
C1. Suspended Side Plank Right x 15
C2. Suspended Side Plank Left x 15
Repeat 2-3 times with 30 second rest intervals

Workout 4:
A1. Sandbag Squat Clean x 6
A2. Kettlebell Clean and Press x 5
Repeat 3-4 times with 60 second rest interval
B1. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift Right x 8
B2. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift Left x 8
B3. Suspended Push-ups x 15
Repeat 3-4 times with 45 second rest interval
C1. Band Twists Right x 10
C2. Band Twists Left x 10
C3. Sandbag Around the World x 30 seconds each side
Repeat 3-4 times with 30 second rest intervals

As you can quickly see these workouts have great variety, training methods, and are very powerful with their effectiveness. I recommend doing the above four days a week. To see more of these workouts sign-up for our free newsletter at

I'm definitely drawn to these type of workouts more than I used to be. I used to have the "go heavy or go home" attitude. I know barbells are useful (depending on your goals), bit lately I've been rethinking my views on this after reading Dave Lemanczyk's work. Especially for basketball players. Something to think about....

- Max

Self Improvement-10 point plan

A simple plan from the infamous Jack Lalanne:



3.Positive thinking

4.Good habits




8.Help others



There's a few I could improve on....How about you?

- Max

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today's Quote

"Success means doing things that others don't." - Motivational Speaker Rory Vaden

Are you?

- Max

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Check Out This Blog and Websites

Check out Dave Lemanczyk's blog when you get a chance. He hasn't updated it in a while, but go back through the archives and read his previous posts. He's a guy who knows what he's talking about. He played profressional ball overseas, so yeah I'd take his advice pretty seriously. How many other former professional athletes have websites where they give out fee advice on how to make it? WARNING: Dave tells it like it is and doesn't make up fancy crap to try and attract more people. He did VERY basic stuff (which works, it's just that everyone thinks you need something 'special') and just busted his tail. Here's his other websites:

Basketball Strength (I don't often promote products from the internet, and believe me I own quite a few - most are crap, but this is probably the best product I've ever seen. Don't expect anything flashy or fancy from this guy. If you have $50 I'd HIGHLY recommend it)

Keg Conditioning (If this product is up to the level of his other one, it's probably pretty dang good as well. Both are excellent if you're sick of the typical gym scene and want something better)

Even if you don't want to buy these (which is fine, I'm not getting anything for promoting them), sign up for his "newsletter/tips" on each website. He sends them out almost daily and I've learned A TON from him so far. Great stuff.

Train hard. Don't let your lack of equipment or money be an excuse. All you need is yourself.

- Max