Vert Code Elite Review (2023) – PJF Performance

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Vert Code Elite Review Summary

Vert Code Elite

After having reviewed every vertical jump program on the market, I've concluded that Vert Code Elite is currently the best overall choice, especially for advanced athletes.

Harvey's Rating:
4.9

The Good

Excellent formatting and presentation of the program/workouts. The exercise demonstrations are on another level!

Comes with access to a huge video library of training materials.

One of the best jump technique/mechanics guides I’ve ever seen.

Extremely smart programming from an exceptionally experienced coach.

The Bad

Could include more information surrounding the fundamentals/scientific principles involved in jumping higher.

While you get access to a basic discussion board, you don’t really get access to any form of 1 on 1 coaching.

Recommended For

Vert Code Elite is a great option for virtually all athletes, but is best suited to those who aren’t complete beginners and have at least some history with resistance training.

Vert Code Elite Review – Most Comprehensive Vertical Jump Training?

Vert Code Elite by PJF Performance has gained a reputation of being arguably the most comprehensive vertical jump training program on today’s market…

In this article we’re going to uncover exactly why that’s the case by unpacking how the program works, what you should expect, and which athletes are a good match for this program.

Before we get into it, make sure you check out my list of the current best vertical jump programs for 2023.

How Does Vert Code Elite Work? & What To Expect

Vert Code Elite is a year-long vertical jump training program available as either a monthly subscription ($27.50) or a lifetime membership ($275).

Vert Code Elite Logo

It was created by legendary NBA trainer, Paul Fabritz, and is a very logical progression from the Vert Code (Bodyweight) program.

Vert Code Elite Training Description

If you’re wondering exactly what sorts of things can you expect to see in Vert Code Elite, I’d describe the program as the following…

  • Requires Access To A Weight Room – You must have access to a fairly well equipped gym in order to do Vert Code Elite. A little later on I’ll discuss exactly what equipment is needed.
  • 5 Workouts Per Week – This is a serious training program for experienced athletes who already have exposure to resistance training.
  • No Upper Body Training – VCE focuses entirely on lower body training. You won’t do a single upper body exercise in this program, which could be problematic if you’re following the program verbatim for 12 months… Having said that, Paul does a decent job of explaining how you can integrate upper body workouts alongside VCE.
  • Mixture Of Lower Body Strength, Core, & Plyometrics – Aside from not having any upper body training, VCE is about as comprehensive as things get. This program has a bit of everything and is extremely well balanced.
  • Long Workouts – The VCE workouts are probably longer than any other vertical jump program on today’s market, so this might not be the best program for extremely busy people.
  • Large Focus On Agility – Paul tends to largely favor agility and change-of-direction drills. There’s actually not a crazy amount of jumping in this program, especially when compared to the likes of Vert Shock or Bounce Kit.
  • Large Focus On Mobility & Rehab – There’s a lot of mobility work baked into Vert Code Elite. Expect significant improvements to your hip, knee, and ankle mobility throughout this program!
  • Lots Of Unilateral Exercises – If you’re a one foot jumper, you’re in luck because VCE is absolutely jam packed with unilateral movements!

Vert Code Elite Structure

In Vert Code Elite you’re looking at 12 month-long training phases, each with a slightly different focus which builds upon the previous month’s training.

These 12 phases can be encapsulated in the following 4 training cycles…

Vert Code Elite Structure

Phase 1 of the program begins quite slowly by easing you into things, cleaning out the cobwebs, as I like to put it.

Phases 2 and 3 introduce more heavy lifting as well as some more advanced plyometrics.

Phase 4 is an entire month of exclusively plyometrics and in phases 5 and 6 we’re adding back a lot of the heavy lifts, but still focusing primarily around speed strength work.

We’re adding in a 4th weekly training session from phase 7 onwards (but shortening each session’s duration) and cutting out most of the plyometrics for the final 2 phases.

Do I Need Equipment For Vert Code Elite?

Yes, you’ll absolutely need some equipment in order to do Vert Code Elite.

Access to a weight room with a power rack, barbell, bench, smith machine, leg press machine, dumbbells, as well as some minibands will be required.

You’ll also need some hurdles – a set like this should do the trick nicely.

Although not required, Paul also recommends having access to a pool.

There’s a number of pool-based exercises in the program which are highly recommended, but if you don’t have access to one, a replacement workout is supplied.

What I Liked About Vert Code Elite

There’s so much to love about this program, so let’s dive straight into it…

Best Exercise Demonstrations Of Any Jump Program

One thing PJF Performance does exceptionally well is their multi-level exercise demonstrations.

There’s usually multiple ways to perform a movement and the exercise demos in this program often include several options for varying levels of difficulty.

It’s tiny little things like this that make the PJF programs so much nicer than the competition!

Formatting & Display Of Program Is Excellent

I’ve reviewed every single vertical jump program in existence and none… I repeat none come close to the visual brilliance you get with Vert Code Elite.

The layout of the dashboard is extremely user friendly and organized.

Vert Code Elite Dashboard

Contrast this with the old school jump programs like Jump Manual and Vert Shock, which have pretty nasty interfaces, and we’ve come a long way!

In Vert Code Elite you can even toggle Paul’s notes on and off, so you can see the coach’s thoughts about each workout with the click of a button.

Vert Code Elite Notes

Many modern vertical jump programs use a third party app or training platform to deliver workouts (THP Strength and Mac McClung Jump Program for example), but Vert Code Elite is conveniently accessible through the PJF website and mobile app.

User experience is unquestionably a 10/10!

Largest Training Resources Library Of Any Program

Most jump programs come with a few ‘resources’ which aim to give you some additional advice that’s slightly outside the scope of the training program itself.

The PJF Performance programs are the best in the game when it comes to that extra content.

With Vert Code Elite you get additional information on,

  • Foot training protocols
  • Jumper’s yoga routine
  • Explosive athlete’s mentality guide
  • Patellar tendinitis management advice
  • Upper body training guide
  • Flexibility assessments
  • Jump mechanics masterclass
  • Nutrition guide
  • Ankle mobility assessments
  • In-Season Training Guide*
  • Pre-season conditioning guide
  • Weekly schedule guide (balancing jump training with skills)
  • Ball handling workouts
  • Information on different training surfaces
  • Posture guide

Also worth mentioning is that these aren’t just a few paragraphs in a PDF rushed together like we see in other programs; they’re super detailed resources with a ton of really valuable information!

Vert Code Elite Videos

Unlike other jump programs where you have to read through several pages of dense text, many of these resources are super well produced videos similar to the ones we’ve seen on the PJF YouTube channel.

This makes consuming the content super easy, enjoyable, and honestly quite binge-worthy!

Extremely Good In-Season Training Guide

Perhaps the most valuable resource on this list is the In-Season Training Guide which is simply a 16 minute video of Paul sitting in front of the camera explaining how to integrate Vert Code Elite training with your regular sporting season.

One of the major criticisms of Vert Code Elite is that it’s duration is a year long, which means it will 100% overlap with your sporting season.

Understanding exactly how you need to modify the Vert Code Elite system so that you’re not overextending yourself during the season is extremely important.

Paul has so much experience helping NBA players manage grueling 82-game seasons that he knows exactly what levers to pull to ensure you successfully tread that line between maximizing progress and avoiding overtraining.

This is one resource you get in Vert Code Elite that you don’t get in the bodyweight version of Vert Code, which adds a ton of value to the VCE program in my opinion.

Fantastic Jump Mechanics Guide

Most vertical jump programs talk briefly about jump mechanics, but none of them come close to Vert Code Elite’s jump mechanics masterclass!

We’re talking almost 40 minutes of video content explaining all of the various cues you need to know about for the standing jump, bilateral running vertical jump, and single leg jump.

For the basketballers out there, Paul also explains how to jump with a ball, which is something we’ve never really seen before in a jump program!

The level of detail you get with these videos is second to none. Paul is an absolute master of his craft!

You’re also encouraged to work on your jump mechanics all throughout the program.

Smart & Comprehensive Programming

You can tell just by looking at the exercise selection that there’s been an immense amount of thought that has gone into this program.

Exercises Translate Very Well

Paul has selected exercises that not only translate well to vertical jump improvement, but are designed to improve your agility, speed, durability, and overall athleticism as well.

If you’re a basketballer, you’re not only going to learn how to jump higher, but you’re going to move around the court significantly more efficiently.

Balanced Approach To Jumping

Vert Code Elite takes a very balanced approach to jump training and prescribes jumping from all variety of approaches: right/left, left/right, and unilateral approach jumps – to prevent muscle imbalances and to avoid being a one dimensional athlete.

You’re Encouraged To Listen To Your Body

One thing I really like about Vert Code Elite is that Paul really emphasizes how important it is to avoid overtraining…

Vert Code Elite Load Management

Many programs mention this at some point, but don’t give you a framework for whether you can skip workouts or exercises like you get in Vert Code Elite.

The emphasis on this shows Paul really understands that jump training is not a sprint, and that slow and steady will always win this race…

Other jump programs immediately prescribe heavy squats and deadlifts as well as intensive plyometrics right out of the gate and give very little advice on managing pain or discomfort.

This speaks to Paul’s experience as a trainer. He understands that the reality of jump training isn’t always going to align with what it looks like ‘on paper’.

What I Disliked About Vert Code Elite

Honestly I had to try pretty hard to find some things I didn’t like about Vert Code Elite.

Most of the cons I mention in this section are extremely minor and are massively outsized by the aforementioned pros.

No Vertical Jump Physics/Theory Guide In Resources?

I talked earlier about how fantastic the resources library is for Vert Code Elite, but no where does Paul discuss the basic fundamentals of vertical jump improvement…

I’m referring to stuff like Power = Strength*RFD – that sort of thing.

If Paul could add a video explaining the scientific principles behind jumping higher, maybe talking a bit about concepts like the explosive strength deficit, basic biomechanics, as well as give an intro to the theory behind vertical jump programming, I think the resources library would be perfect.

Jump Manual as well as Overtime Athletes’ Elite Vertical Academy does a magnificent job of introducing the athlete to the theory of jump training, which is why I think both of those programs are also fantastic for beginners.

No Upper Body Training

Personally I’d like to see some upper body movements included in VCE…

Your upper body contributes to at least 10-15% of your vertical jump, so it makes sense to do some work in this area.

Many other jump programs also omit upper body training, so it’s not as though this is particularly surprising and it seems to be fairly standard…

However since Vert Code Elite is a year-long program, that’s quite a long time period to go without doing any upper body work…

Even just a couple exercises once or twice a week would improve this program quite a bit in my eyes.

Having said all that, Paul does talk quite a bit about how you can integrate upper body training into VCE if you choose to do so, which was really nice to see.

Some Missing Training Videos

Unfortunately quite a few of the videos in the training resources library appear to be missing.

Vert Code Elite Missing Videos

This definitely detracts from the overall product and could be fixed relatively easily.

Vert Code Elite Video Library

This sort of stuff is really important but it’s missing!

Duration Is Very Long

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the 12 month training program duration…

This time horizon is simply too long when athletes are often looking to ‘peak’ their vertical around a certain time of year such as playoffs.

Since most people who get Vert Code Elite will purchase the monthly membership option, it obviously doesn’t make much business sense for PJF to have an 8 week training program – they’re instead incentivized to keep paid customers in the membership for as many months as possible.

I get that, but still I think a large fraction of the market would prefer an 8-16 week program that they can follow for a very deliberate period of time (i.e. the offseason), so they can see results faster.

Of course the smartest athletes will recognize that real vertical jump training isn’t a race, but more of a slow burn, and these guys will appreciate having access to an extremely good program year-round.

Since this is a really long program, having that In-Season Training Guide is really important and I’m super pleased that Paul put this together!

Slow Discussion Board Responsiveness

As part of Vert Code Elite you’re given access to a very basic forum/discussion board where you can ask the staff and other athletes questions.

I would like to see the PJF staff doing a better job of staying on top of questions and comments in this section, as people are currently sometimes having to wait days for their questions to be answered…

Vert Code Elite Discussion Board

This would again be a fairly easy fix to implement!

Membership Progress Lost If You Get Injured?

One user brought up an interesting point about the structure of the membership program…

The Vert Code Elite phases are drip fed on a month-by-month basis, meaning you only get to see month 7’s workouts after being in the program for 7 months.

But what happens if you’re 8 months into VCE and you get badly injured, forcing you to cancel the membership until you’ve recovered?

Are you expected to remain in the program as a paid customer for months while your injury heals and you’re unable to train? If you cancel your membership are you forced to begin again at the start of the program?

Vert Code Elite Membership Cancellation

Although their response in this instance wasn’t super promising, I’d like to think PJF would be willing to pull some strings in the backend of the system to help athletes in this boat get back on their feet.

Who Created Vert Code Elite?

Vert Code Elite Creator, Paul Fabritz

The creator of Vert Code Elite is Paul Fabritz, an NBA trainer and founder of PJF Performance, a site which provides online training programs for athletes looking to edge closer to their genetic potential.

Paul is, in my opinion, a legendary figure in the vertical jump training arena, and after reviewing all 3 of his vertical jump programs, I think it’s safe to say Fabritz is perhaps the world’s foremost expert when it comes to jump training.

The PJF Performance Podcast has an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to jump training and the PJF YouTube Channel also publishes fantastic content surrounding this subject.

Paul has years of experience training some of the world’s most experienced professional athletes and has earned a reputation as someone who gets his clients results.

Paul Fabritz & James Harden

There is perhaps no one on earth better qualified to teach about vertical jump training than Paul Fabritz and it’s clear that he’s put countless hours of hard work into Vert Code Elite!

Vert Code Elite Results

Let’s now take a look at some of the success stories and testimonials we’ve seen from athletes who have participated in the Vert Code Elite program.

Paul Gained 3″+ In 30 Days

Paul Fabritz decided to put his own program to the test by attempting to do a 66″ hurdle jump, but he gave himself only 30 days to prepare.

His prior max hurdle jump was 63″, so he’d be achieving a 3″ PR in just 1 month of training!

Paul followed Phase 4 of Vert Code Elite for the 30 days to prepare his tendons for maximum elasticity and was able to complete the jump.

This is a super impressive gain in such a short period of time because Paul is an athlete with a long training history, which makes any improvement exponentially more difficult!

Tristan Gained ~5″

Tristan started about as slow and unathletic as could be and was able to massively improve his explosiveness after about 4 months of Vert Code Elite.

His jump mechanics also improved out of sight!

Fraser (9to5strength) Gained 3.5″

Fraser also saw some great results after just 12 weeks of Vert Code Elite.

Fraser had also completed other jump programs prior to VCE, so 3.5″ is still very impressive!

How Does Vert Code Elite Compare To Other Vertical Jump Programs?

By now you’ll probably agree that Vert Code Elite is right up there with the best vertical jump programs on today’s market.

As far as length goes, Vert Code Elite is the longest vertical jump program on the market with a duration of 12 months. Most other programs tend to go for 8-16 weeks.

Vert Code Elite Is Super Affordable

As far as jump training memberships go, VCE is actually one of the most affordable on the market…

Other vertical jump training memberships include the following,

Having reviewed each of these memberships, I can say that Vert Code Elite isn’t just more affordable than each of the others, but it’s also a lot better too!

Vert Code Elite Vs Vert Code (Bodyweight)

The Vert Code (Bodyweight) program is designed for athletes who either don’t have access to a weight room, or are complete beginners.

Vert Code Elite, on the other hand, is aimed towards athletes who are more experienced and have access to a fully equipped gym.

Vert Code is a 12 week program you need to buy outright, whereas VCE can be purchased as a monthly membership.

Both programs are presented extremely well and I’m a huge fan of both. Which one you should choose primarily comes down to your experience level as an athlete and whether you have access to a gym or not.

Regardless of what level you’re at, you’ll get fantastic results on either program!

Vert Code Elite Vs Jump Manual

These two programs are quite different but I’m a huge fan of both.

Jump Manual does a really excellent job of introducing the scientific principles involved in vertical jump training, an area which Vert Code Elite does poorly.

It’s also extremely well designed and I think Jacob Hiller is arguably the second best vertical jump coach on the planet, behind Paul Fabritz.

If you’re new to vertical jump training and actually want to understand why we’re doing the exercises we are, and you’re looking to save a bit of money, then Jump Manual is a fantastic alternative to Vert Code Elite.

Vert Code Elite Vs Vert Shock

It doesn’t make a ton of sense to compare Vert Code Elite to Vert Shock as they’re apples and oranges really… The Vert Code (Bodyweight) program is more similar to Vert Shock as it also doesn’t require a gym.

While Vert Shock isn’t a terrible product, it pales in comparison to both Vert Code and Vert Code Elite in virtually every aspect.

I’d only recommend choosing Vert Shock over the PJF Programs if you are on a super strict budget and/or have very minimal time to train each week.

The primary differences between Vert Code and Vert Shock are the length of the workouts (PJF workouts are quite long, whereas Vert Shock workouts are relatively short), and the price tag (Vert Shock is more affordable).

Vert Code Elite Vs THP Strength

Having signed up to both memberships, I can say the overwhelming majority of athletes are going to get more value out of Vert Code Elite.

THP Strength lacks information and resources like the VCE In-Season Training Guide and jump mechanics tutorials…

If you choose THP Strength, you’ll pay 5 times as much for some very basic program customization which I simply believe isn’t worth the cost.

Personally I think Vert Code Elite is the superior choice.

Who Should Do Vert Code Elite?

I recommend Vert Code Elite for more advanced athletes who have at least some experience with resistance training.

If you’re brand new to vertical jump training or are under the age of 13, you’ll get plenty of benefit from instead doing the bodyweight version of Vert Code, and might actually struggle with some of the more difficult lifts in VCE.

You’ll also want to have a decent amount of time on your hands each week to complete the fairly long VCE workouts.

If you’re already super busy with sporting commitments, you might struggle to manage the additional workload of Vert Code Elite.

VCE is ideal for anyone who is willing to put the hard work in all year round, and isn’t necessarily trying to peak their vertical for any specific time period – they just want to see consistent gains over time.

Who Shouldn’t Do Vert Code Elite?

Although Vert Code Elite is probably the best overall vertical jump program on the market, it’s not necessarily a great fit for the following athletes,

  • Anyone who can’t find at least an hour to workout 5 times per week – VCE workouts are fairly long. If you’re low on time, consider Jump Manual, Vert Shock, or Project: Vertical.
  • Anyone who doesn’t have access to a full weight room – Vert Code Elite requires more equipment than most vertical jump programs and, while it can be completed in the vast majority of gyms, smaller gyms might lack some of the more important equipment such as a smith machine or leg press machine.
  • Anyone looking to peak their vertical for a specific time period – If you want to maximize your vertical jump for a certain time, such as the start of the season or prior to a particular tournament, you might be better off choosing a program with a set duration. Something like Vert Shock or Vert Code might perform better over a shorter timeframe.
  • Anyone interested in learning about the scientific principles behind jump training – Vert Code Elite won’t really educate you about the theory behind jump training. Beginners and novices may want to consider Jump Manual for their first program so they can get this comprehensive introduction.

What’s The Verdict?

After having personally gone through and reviewed every vertical jump program, as well as each of the training memberships on the current market, Vert Code Elite is right at the top of my list as one of the better options for more advanced athletes.

Paul Fabritz has poured an insane amount of time and effort into this program and it’s extremely well put together.

You will most definitely not be disappointed with Vert Code Elite!

Vert Code Elite FAQ

Below I’ve answered a few of your most commonly asked questions regarding Vert Code Elite.

How long are Vert Code Elite workouts?

Vert Code Elite workouts typically last about 60-80 minutes, which are on the longer side compared to other programs. I advise studying the workouts the night before so you’re not stuck in the gym for too long.

How long should I buy Vert Code Elite for?

This is obviously going to be very individual and will depend on your budget as well as other commitments. On paper it makes the most sense to stick with the program for the entire 12 months, as that way you’ll have had a chance to complete all phases. However we’ve also seen plenty of athletes achieve great results from just 3-8 months of Vert Code Elite.

Does PJF Performance Offer Refunds?

PJF Performance offer a 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.

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Harvey Meale

I'm the founder, editor, and head product tester at Jump Stronger, a publication dedicated to helping athletes become stronger and more explosive.

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