Chase Skinkis Jumps 48″

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Chase Skinkis-blue

Hey Chase, thanks for taking the time out to do the interview. Please tell us about your background (age, height, and weight, and how you got into jump training?  What was your jump like when you started training and what are your standing and running vertical jump heights currently at?

I am 29 years old, living in Las Vegas. I am 6 ft tall and around 190 lbs. I started wanting to jump higher and dunk like most kids because I played basketball. It went a little deeper for me though. I would always lower the rim or dunk on my doorway hoop haha. Literally every day I would dunk on these mini baskets, there’s no telling how many nerf hoops I broke. I had the desire to jump higher from the day I started playing, but I took it more seriously around my sophomore year in high school. At that time I started trying to find ways to train my vertical. We did a little lifting and plyometrics with the basketball team, and that year was my first time trying a program (air alert). I had some gains and I also grew and was able to touch the rim for the first time that summer. For the next few years I just did some training with the basketball team and practiced trying to dunk a lot. When I say I practiced trying to dunk, I mean I practiced and did tons of attempts. I must have missed every attempt for more than two years befor efinally landing a dunk after my senior year of basketball. the new few years I mainly just played ball and jumped a lot. I got a little better, landing two handers and 180’s, but I began to get injuries from overuse and improper technique, battling things like shin splints. I could no longer dunk at around age 21 years old. That’s what got me to really get into training and set me on this path. I started reading studies and getting involved with some of the jumping forums on the net. I would read as much as possible. I bought a few programs and tested out what I was learning. I was having bits of success here and there with different methods through the years. I have kept up with the training, and continue to do so to this day. The little gains have added up to a staggering number, far surpassing my expectations. As far as a total number, it’s difficult to say for sure because I started so young. I do know that I have gone from very low 20’s in standing/running to a peak of about 48 ” running and 38″ standing vertical. I am not a guy that peaks everyday, or even most jumps, however I am consistently able to get mid 40’s these days on good jumps.

I have seen you mention that there are many jump training myths out there, could you elaborate and give a few examples?

Some examples would be things like: “jump roping”, “just jumping”, “sit ups”, “just squats”, “jump soles”, “just do plyos”, etc. these are all things you hear people recommend to trainees. Most of the people giving this advice are either naturally gifted, or they never actually improved much. There are far more complete and competent methods of improving ones jump.

What does your training currently look like? What are your goals? What are your max lifts, (squat, deadlift, etc)?

This is a great question because these things evolve. I started just wanting to dunk again, and maybe land a windmill or dunk in games as a long term goal. As I passed those, I set bigger goals and eventually reached those too. Things are a little different now that I have a kid and have less time. I want to be the best father I can, so everything else comes after that including the time I have to train. I also have lost some time to work and to coaching. With the new limitations I have had to adjust my training expectations and decide what was most important goal wise. 50″ and landing 360 btl dunks were my end goals, but now I have shifted more to maintaining what I have gained and becoming a bit more consistent with my dunks. Things that take less time commitment.

Could you talk about your experience with Project Vertical as well as with Tyler Ray?

My first opportunity do do a dunk show came thanks to Adam with Vertfreak. He and I had talked training a ton and I’d posted some vids on his training site. He brought me to a show with some well known dunkers, Tyler being one of them. From there Tyler and I became friends and he asked that I try out his training methods. I did, and had some solid success. I documented some of that on video and agreed to post some videos for his help. Eventually we met back up for some other events and talked about a possible partnership. As things sometimes do, it didn’t really work out timing wise for that to happen. We had different visions and goals, so it was best for me to step away from that opportunity. I want the training program I promote to be based off what I have personally learned and the methods that have been the most successful. As much as I’d like to be successful financial with that, it is far more important for me that the program be centered around client success firstly.

What have you found to be the most beneficial for you in increasing your vertical?

I believe that my rounded approach is the biggest factor. Meaning, making small differences and gains in many aspects has together added up to much larger results. Consistent well rounded training (and recovery) has surely made all the difference for me.

Thanks for taking the time out to answer all these questions Chase!


Joseph Gambino- Personal Trainer and future Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Ori: Hey Joseph, thanks for taking the time to come on and chat. Could you tell us about your background?

Joe  :My background is personal training and strength and conditioning. I have been training for 7 years now primarily in the gym setting, focus on strength training and corrective exercise. I have combined 2 years experience of strength coach experience between Queens College, St. Johns and Brooklyn LIU mostly with men’s and womens basketball

I am also kettlebell certified, have my CSCS and a degree in exercise science and nutrition from Queens College .I will be teaching a fitness through exercise and diet class at queens college this fall and I am in my second year of PT school

Ori: Very cool Joe, would you mind on expanding on your experience training the basketball teams, along with what got you interested in the field of Physical Therapy and Personal Training?

Joe: I was the assistant strength coach at queens college for about a year and a half and interned at LIU brooklyn and St. Johns prior to that job. I learned how to program design very well from those experiences. The interesting things that I saw were how impressively strong the D1 athletes are. I also got to see personality traits and how this affects players performances. 

Some of the kids, you look at in the weight room and they are strong as hell, but mentally they are not that strong, so they slack off a bit, and then you find out that those players are coming off the bench or they end up under performing.

The reason I got into personal training was that I loved to learn about anatomy and different exercises when i was training myself at 17 years old so I enrolled in an exercise science and nutrition program after originally being a computer science major.  After a year in the program i got certified by NASM.

And my experience training clients with injuries lead me to want to become a physical therapist. I have helped many clients over come injuries without physical therapy, and post physical therapy, but i knew if i had more knowledge id be able to do a better job.

I really enjoyed what I do, so I felt this would be the best way to take my talents to the next level to help more people enjoy a greater quality of life.

Ori: Very interesting, if you do not mind sharing, with the readers, how did you get the opportunity to teach at Queens College?

Joseph: The head of the program over at Queens, reached out to me. They like having old alumni from the program come back and teach, and they kept me in mind and reached out and asked if I was interested.

Ori: Awesome. How has your Physical Therapy education so far, after about 2 years of schooling, affected what you do as a trainer?

Joseph: Honestly, I think that my background makes me a stronger therapist as much as the other way around. PT school for my training life has made my assessments better, and my eyes better. This has not changed the way I go about things day to day though. My background gives me a different lens in which i look through school, where i do not sit there and learn the material. I sit there and see how what I am learning applies to what I do now. We will see how this all changes as I get more experience In PT, but my background in strength training and correctives is what I think will make me a great therapist.

I think the training field is weak because it is easy to get certs, and not everyone who gets the cert has the best intentions in mind. However, if trainers could work side by side with therapists, they would make each other look better as well as perform better. Does that make sense?
Ori: Perfect sense, that is exactly what I do. I think how I can relate everything I learn in school to training clients, working out, etc. I think it makes the learning process take longer, but the result is you truly learn the material and how to apply it instead of just knowing facts.

Joseph: Application is the best part. I want to become the best at evaluations and assessments.

Ori: Cool, there is clearly a cross over between what personal trainers do and what physical therapists do, since both look at movement and apply exercise protocols to help their clients. Is there anything specific that you think personal trainers are not taught that PT’s are, and vice versa?

Joseph: There are cross overs between the two professions, but you are tought nothing fully worthwhile in the certs. NASM is kind of nice, because they talk about Janda and go into correctives for upper and lower cross syndrome, but you do not learn much. You need to learn that stuff from seminars and reading, along with practicing the stuff that you read before you teach it.

Ori: Yeah, how about the other way around, something that physical therapists could learn from personal trainers?

Joe: The post rehab work. Those trainers who are good at what they do take someone from baseline fitness to higher levels, so I fell that some of the exercise and techniques we use could be useful in the PT world, but most of that stuff is post rehab these days, especially with how insurance is. I will be better able to answer that when I am a PT.

Ori: Thanks so much Joe for taking the time out to chat.  Folks, Joe is currently in his second year of his Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy at Touro College. You can learn more about Joe and contact him through his website;

Reggie Miller – Jumper Extraordinaire

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Ori Biala: black font
Ori: Hey Reggie can you give us some background on yourself?

A lot of people think that I have a lot of natural talent for jumping. As if I just woke up one day and had a 40 inch standing vertical. but this was not the case for me.

I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri in an urban environment. My high school had the lowest avg test scores in the state of Missouri and was 85% African-American. During my freshmen year of high school I was 4’11 and 106lbs. I tried out for basketball and didn’t make the team and I was too small for football. So I took up track.

I remember during Freshmen year it was my first time seeing someone ever dunk a basketball and at the time it was probably one of the most incredible things I had seen in my life. In an environment that is mostly African American being able to dunk will instantly make you revered by all of your classmates in school and other athletes. Because the dream of Black kids is to be able to play basketball in the NBA and be able to dunk.

So that’s when I made up my mind I was going to learn how to dunk because it seemed like the cool thing to be able to do.

I hope that wasn’t too long

Ori: Nah man its very cool to hear all that. So i have a follow up question, when did you hit your growth spurt and how were your jumping abilities before and after?

I grew 4 inches a year, then I stopped growing when I hit 5’11
When I started I was 15 years old and 5ft tall and I had a 21 inch vertical.
My strength sucked when I first started squatting I could only use the bar. Luckily I had a good coach when I started. he taught me how to squat and clean.

I consistently did plyo metrics, squats, and cleans for 4 years gaining about 6-7 inches a year until my standing vertical reached 40 my senior year.

Ori: you did all the jumping events in high school?

Reggie: Once I got to 40 I stopped trying to increase my vertical. Idk why but 40 inches for a standing vertical just seems like the magic number. Like no matter how much stronger you get your standing vertical won’t exceed 40 inches. So my vertical stayed at 40 inches for 2-3 years before I started vertical training again

Yeah I did all 3 jumping events and I was the best long jumper, triple jumper, and high jumper,In the state of Missouri my senior year.

Ori: Do you remember your PR”s in high school for those events?

Reggie: Freshmen year: High jump 5’2 Long Jump 16ft Triple Jump 32ft Sophomore year: High jump 5’10 Long Jump 18ft Triple Jump 38ft Junior year: High jump 6’6 Long Jump 21ft Triple Jump 46ft
Senior year: High jump 6’9 Long Jump 23ft Triple Jump 48ft

Ori: sweet, give me a rundown on your vertical, track stats, training since high school till now

In high school my vertical was 38-40 inches and my power clean was 235. I just guessed it was 40 inches because I had no problem dunking in high school off of vertical.

I tested my vertical last month and got 43.5 inches which surprised me because it was after a workout and I was pretty tired.

Right now my power clean is at 270lbs and I weigh 15lbs less then I did in high school.

Ori: 5 ft 11 and how much is ur weight at now?

Reggie: 170lbs now, 185lbs when I was in high school

Ori: Any idea what your current squat and deadlift maxes are?

Reggie: I never dead lift
Max front squat is 340lbs
My front squat and back squat might be the same
I’ve never done more than 335 on back squat.

Ori: So what do you think has been the most beneficial for you in increasing your vert?

Reggie: I think this whole vert thing is just simple
The more force you can put into the ground the higher you can jump.
In track and field we have the numbers called strength to body weight ratio.
Which is how much weight you can lift compared to your body weight. A lot of pro jumpers in track have a strength to boy weight ratio of 2
Which means they can power clean double body weight
For vertical jumping I think it is like the same. The more weight you can clean or snatch compared to how much you weigh will determine how high you can get off of the ground
There are also other factors like core strength and technique.
but at the end of the day, it’s just based on how much force you can put in the ground and how efficient you can make the jump

Ori: Do you think anyone is capable of jumping as high as you if they put in the time and work like you did?

Reggie:I think that everybody can reach 40 inch vertical as long as they are strong enough, have a low body weight, and take the time to teach their body how to properly jump off of 2 legs.

Ori:  How would you compare jumping and training the 1 legged jump vs the 2 legged?

Reggie: I think training for one leg jumps is the same
people that jump off of one leg or sprint, have just taught their bodies how to apply power in a efficient manor for what they need
Ori: Any idea what your running 1 and 2 leg vertical jump maxes are,a long with your current track pr’s?
Reggie: 2 leg vertical around 48-49, 1 leg around 44
23’9 long jump 51’11 triple jump 7’1 high jump
Ori:Alright last question, you mentioned the ratio of 2x bw for the power clean being a very important number to hit? Why is that, or what is so special about the power clean and jumping?

Reggie:It just measures how much force you can put into the ground compared to how much you weigh. Like I said jumping is all physics.

Ori: Thanks Reggie for taking your time to chat with me and fill in the readers.

Folks, you can find more videos of Reggie on his youtube channel:

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Blog is UP!!!

Hey everybody, welcome to the blog. This is the first of many posts and I will be covering a lot of topics, including of course, tons of posts regarding jumping and a bunch on injuries and preventing injuries as well.

I plan on interviewing a ton of very talented jumpers and coaches, to get their perspectives on jumping and improving the vertical jump.

FYI, some of the posts will be more science heavy and some will be very anecdotal and just cover some things that are on my mind, or things that I have noticed. Please always question what you read and take everything with a grain of salt. This blog is not intended for the purpose of me giving off information as fact, but rather to invoke thought based on the view of many people who who are experts in their fields, along with learning based on scientific principles.

Hope you guys enjoy, and feel free to comment and contact with me with any questions, concerns, etc.