The Dunk-Master Regimen

Want to dunk a basketball? No? How about maximizing your performance in every sport you do? We thought you'd be interested in that. The following training program was followed by writer Josh McHugh, who writes about his quest to dunk a basketball in the March issue of Outside. Adhere to it the way Josh did, and you may remake yourself into a bone-a-fide

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Mondays and Thursdays
Increase starting weights in each exercise by 5 to 10 pounds per week

•15 reps at whatever weight you can squat 15 times.
•12 reps with 30 pounds more weight
•8 reps with an additional 30 pounds
•6 reps with 20 more pounds
•6 reps with 10 more pounds
•4 reps with 10 more pounds (you should be lifting 100 more pounds than you did on your first set)

Step-ups with barbell on shoulders (Step-up onto a bench or platform that’s at least 18 inches high)
•10 reps with a light weight
•10 reps with 10 more pounds on the barbell
•10 reps with 10 more pounds on the barbell (there should be 20 more pounds on the barbell for this set than used for the first set)

Bulgarian squats (lunges where you step your front leg up onto a 12-inch platform)
•3 sets of 8 reps with a moderately heavy (for you) dumbbell in each hand

Stiff-leg deadlift with barbell
•4 sets of 8 reps. Start with a light barbell and add 10 pounds to the barbell with each set.

Hamstring curls
•15 reps at a moderately heavy weight
•12 reps with an additional 10 pounds
•10 reps with an additional 10 pounds
•8 reps with 10 less pounds than the last set

Vertical jump squats holding dumbbells.
•From a squat position jump straight up and as you land return to a squat position.
•4 sets of 8 reps with light dumbbells in each hand.

One-legged Calf raises
•4 sets of 10, starting with your body weight and add 10 lbs per set. Use a dumbbell, so that by the fourth set you’re holding a 30-pound dumbbell.

Dips at a dip station.
•4 sets of 8

•4 sets of 8


All exercises except for hill sprints done with Jumpsoles plyo training apparatus. After two weeks, begin wearing hypergravity belt, adding 2.5 lbs per week.

•1 set of 30 reps
•1 set of 25 reps
•1 set of 20 reps

Step-ups (onto bench, or 12″ platform)
•2 sets of 15 reps
•1 set of 10 reps

•2 sets of 15 reps
•1 set of 10 reps

•3 sets at 50 yards

Two-legged hops (frog-style)
•3 sets at 40 yards

Double one-leg hops (left, left, right, right)
•3 sets at 40 yards

Vertical jumps
•2 sets of 15 jumps
•1 set of 10 jumps

Knee-tuck jumps
•1 set of 10 reps
•1 set of 15 reps

One-legged 12-inch bench hop-ups
•3 sets of 10

Depth jumps (jumping down from 12-inch bench)
•First 2 weeks, jump and land only after 2 weeks, 3 sets of 10, exploding straight upward upon landing

Uphill sprints
•1 x 30 yards
•1 x 60 yards
•1 x 90 yards

Sit-ups, holding 10 lb medicine ball to forehead
•3 sets of 20 each: twisting left, straight, twisting right (180 total)


Super Mini Gym isokinetic squats, wearing jumpsoles

•6 sets of 45 reps, starting at max resistance and decreasing resistance with each set


•Speed ladder with 18 rungs
•Ankle skips, keep leg straight, flexing only at hips and ankles, hit every square,
•Knee-raise skips, swinging arms, hit every square,
•One-leg hops, hit every square
•One-leg hops, hit every other square
•Standing long-jump, landing with feet outside 4th square, launching with feet
•inside square, jump four more squares
•Standing long jump, as above, to 5th square
•Standing long jump, as above, to 6th square
•Standing long jump, landing (and launching) with feet inside 4th square
•Standing long jump, as above, to 5th square

Resistance jumping, with surgical-tubing restraints clipped to belt and held to floor (by trainer, floor clips or weight)
•10 jumps for maximum height
•20 quick “ankle jumps,” knees bent only sightly
•10 jumps without resistance for max height
•20 ankle jumps, no resistance
•repeat once

Platform jumps, using 12 inch, 18 inch, 24 inch and 30 inch high platforms
•20 two-foot hops to each platform
•2 sets of 10 two-foot hops to highest platform
•5 sets of progression: small/floor/medium/floor/large/floor/med/floor/small
•10 jumps: mid-height platform/floor/highest platform/highest/floor/mid-height
•4 sets of 20-hop freestyle jumps. Hit all platforms in random order five times.


Jump rope with 20 lb. ankle weights
•150 two-legged jumps
•75 one-legged jumps on each leg
•200 push-ups


South Beach Diet
•Whey protein shakes within 90 minutes after each workout
•ZMA compound before sleep (increases testosterone levels and muscle growth rates).
•After desired weight loss is achieved, take a serving of creatine 1 hour before each workout

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