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Q: Getting in shape for jugging
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Partner kimgraves


Aug 4, 2005, 11:07 AM
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Q: Getting in shape for jugging
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Hi Gang,

Let me just begin by saying that I don’t think I’m out of shape. I do Stairmaster on a regular basis and run up and down the stairs in the subway without loosing my breath. My VO2 Max is 44, which is considered “excellent” (admittedly on the low end) for my age group. I keep up and even pass some of the youngsters as we hike into climbs. But last weekend I had to jug 30m and it really trashed me.

Having topped out I had rappelled from a rap station thinking that there were two additional stations below. We couldn’t see the stations from above because of two overhangs, but the guidebook said the stations were there. I took precautions: I fixed the rap lines in case I needed to jug and took the rack in case if I needed to build an anchor. Over I went and over the first overhang: no chains anywhere; over the second overhang: no chains. I continued down looking for a place to build an anchor. Finally found a horizontal crack 10 feet from the end of the ropes. But when I slotted in a cam a big hunk of rock broke off. Obviously no one had been this way before. Realizing that the rock was rotten and I would have to sacrifice three pieces I decided to jug up. It was no problem: I had a shunt for an ascender and a grigri. So I treated it just like I was cleaning an aid pitch. Up I went.

After the 30 feet I looked at my heart monitor (I use one as biofeedback for when I’m leading) and I was pegged at 100% of my max. I’ve never seen it that high except during a stress test with my cardiologist! I wasn’t uncomfortable, but I knew I had to slow down. So it ended up taking me quite a while to climb the 100 feet. Maybe it was the adrenalin; maybe it was the weight of the whole rack plus the rope I was carrying (I was tying knots every 20 feet as backup and so was effectively “carrying” the weight of the rope).

It’s taken me several days to recover. I lost 3 lbs that day. I know I was dehydrated: I had been having “stomach problems” that morning. I didn’t get straw color back for 24 hours, and my resting heart rate has only now returned to normal 4 days after. My performance on the Stairmaster has only been 70% of my normal. I decided to carb load (read beer and cookies) yesterday and that has seemed to help. But, I’m never going to get up El Cap at this rate!

So what’s the trick, guys. PTPP says he can jug a full rope length in 4 minutes! I only had to jug a half. Are there more efficient ways to jug? I actually forgot in the moment I could run the line from the grigri back up though a biner attached to the ascender in order to get a 2:1 pulley. But does that really help?

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks, Kim


esoteric1


Aug 4, 2005, 11:13 AM
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maybee its your method of jugging.....im willing to bet that ptpp is using jugs and not a shunt and a gri gri....


landgolier


Aug 4, 2005, 11:30 AM
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I think technique is the question here, not fitness. Jugging wrong is one step short of campusing, jugging right is maybe about as hard as rowing a boat; it's some work, but it shouldn't obliterate a fit person by any means. I'd read and maybe hang a rope from a tree in the yard and practice. If you want jugging technique advice, you might want to go over to supertaco, it's a bit more of an aid climber hangout, and Pete himself will probably chime in if he hears his name.

You didn't say if any particular muscles got worked or if it was just overall fatigue. Did your abs get especially toasted


caughtinside


Aug 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Sounds like you just need to hone your technique a bit. I think it would be more of a challenge with a shunt.

You wear a heartrate monitor while leading? Biofeedback? How about you just lead the sucker?


atpeaceinbozeman


Aug 4, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Simply get out there and jug more. Dial in that technique....


islandclimber


Aug 4, 2005, 1:31 PM
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I reccomend jugging with the "frog" system. its very easy to rest, and you can go very long distances. You make use of a pezl croll ascender and a hand ascender. Check out the petzl website


Partner euroford


Aug 4, 2005, 4:13 PM
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hang a rope out in your backyard and just practice. not only will you be getting a 100% acurate workout but you'll be fine tuning your skills.

i highly advise being fluent at what i consider the '4 standard' types of jugging as they are each usefull for diffrent things.

two ascenders with two footloops (i've hard this called 'yosemiti style', best for low angle)
ascender with footloop and croll (petzl frog, best for free hanging or steep)
ascender with footloop and grigri (my favorite for cleaning gear, but a little more work)
prusic loops

get good at all of them, and practice. it takes a bit to figure out good rythm and the best sling lengths. i also highly recomend something like the yates speed stirups. they are comfy and make for easy adjustment.


t-dog
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Aug 4, 2005, 5:29 PM
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Part of the problem seems to come from the setup you were using (gri-gri and ascender as opposed to ascender and chest harness for free-hanging jug), but I would also venture to say that part of the problem comes from not being used to doing it. It can get a little stressful and worrying when you're only jugging inches at a time. Just relax take a breath and make a jug move/cycle, then sit there in your harness and try to figure how you can make the next one using less energy. Do that for a while and you'll be all set to go!!


foxtrotuniform


Aug 4, 2005, 5:37 PM
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This is a mileage kind of thing. The more you jug, the better you will be. First off, your system sucks. Adjustments of even an inch or so to your leg loops can make all the difference in the world when it comes to efficiency. I understand you were in a less than ideal situation, and had to use what you had, so I'll leave it at that.

But everyone else's advice here is good. Go set up a rope the next time you are climbing, and jug/rap a few times. Keep adjusting your system so your "cycles" gain the most distance with minimum effort.

Or you could make friends with a caver and glean experience from them.

For more experience, you could also go on some photo missions. I end up climbing about 500' of rope every day I'm taking climbing photos. You should give it a shot.


epic_ed


Aug 4, 2005, 5:55 PM
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It's not unusual at all to get worked jugging a rope that is free-hanging. I'm assuming from your rappel description that the two over hangs created a situation where quite a bit of your jugging was past vertical, correct? If so, and you were ascending with a system that doesn't allow you to optimize technique for that angle then you're going to get baked. It's great if you know you're going to be ascending a fixed rope that is past vertical and you can prepare for it with some modified or specialized equipment, but if it's impromptu and you've got to go with what you've got then it's going to be painful.

For example, if you're fixing pitches on Leaning Tower or Zodiac you'd might bring along a Petzl Croll and a torse harness to help you ascend as efficiently as possible to your high point. Using the "frog" technique with that equipment is the best I've used for an overhanging rope jug. Cavers have additional specialized equipment that helps them (rope walker), but it's not usually practical for taking along for a wall.

The better your physical fitness and technique, the easier it is to ascend a free hanging line, but it's never easy. I'd be willing to bet that even with a full rack you'd be able to ascend 200' without pegging the heart monitor if the terrain was slabby or at least allowed you to get your feet on the wall.

Ed


texplorer


Aug 5, 2005, 9:25 AM
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If Pet the Penis Pete can jug an overhanging line in under 4 minutes I will tell you about my secret climbing spot with 100ft splitters coming right out of the ocean. :lol: :lol:

Overhanging jugging as ed says is just physical. It takes seasoned juggers probably 8-12 minutes to get up a 100ft pitch depending on exertion level. Less steep terrain is pretty much like being on the stairmaster and goes fast. One helpful thing I have learned while jugging steep stuff is to thrust your hips up first, while keeping your arms straight, and then slide up your upper ascender. Kind of use your body like a whip. Have fun-

Tex


glockaroo


Aug 6, 2005, 1:12 PM
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All good replies here. My contribution:

1) technique & gear setup is critical. You can be Lance Armstrong and if your setup sucks, you will be wasted by jugging a freehanging rope in no time.

2) great cardio condition does not imply good UBS (upper body strength). Even with proper technique & gear setup, jugging a free line is somewhat strenuous. You must be able to pull up some weight for many repetitions. A 50 beat/minute resting heart rate does not mean you can pull up 30% of your weight for 100 reps. Heavy racks add to the load.

Kim, start training on the weights as well as the StairMaster. Meanwhile get honed on the various jug methods as listed above, and learn the right situation to apply each method.


stevem


Aug 8, 2005, 5:40 AM
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I'll second the focus on setup and technique. I'm still learning about aid in and have only had the opportunity to jug 30m pitches - all the rock is short in Yorkshire, UK.

Having fine-tuned my froggie system this weekend, I was quite happily jugging a 20m free hanging rope with a cigarette whilst having a conversation with some tourists. I was less out of breath at the top than if I'd walked round to the top - and it took me less time 8^)

Steve M


golsen


Aug 8, 2005, 10:38 PM
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well none of these guys answered your original question; however, they did probably help you more by addressing technique. Here is what I learned about jugging fitness...

When I climbed the NIAD and the Salathe in a Day (diferent days) I was living in climbers hell (Kansas). The best training I came up with for jugging half of El Cap in a day (and do it fast) was to run stairs as fast as I could with about 30 lbs of books in a pack. I did it in a skyscraper that had about 300 feet of stairs, and I did it about 4 times a session, and went pretty slowly down so to rest a bit. This really helped the leg muscles and I think for jugging 200 foot pitches is pretty good because the distance is similar. Running a marathon does not work the same muscles the same way as jugging fast. I did this stairs thing about twice per week mixed with a lot of other training...Another thing I learned, careful with yarding on the elbow tendons. I did dumbell curls on an incline bench that seemed to help my elbow tendons.

Crap, after reminiscing about all of that training, I totally agree with the guys above, it is much easier and more fun to change your rig, definitely start there!


skinner


Aug 9, 2005, 3:28 AM
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In reply to:
I had a shunt for an ascender and a grigri.

Are there more efficient ways to jug?
Right off the bat I would have to agree with everyone about your setup, and that the best workout for jugging.. is jugging.

"foxtrotuniform" offered great advice with the cycle jug/rap routine. I used to do this a few times a week out at our (was private) little local crag, which had a diving board -like overhang that offered 90 feet of free air jugging. I would eventually increase this by wearing/hauling a pack, gear etc.

Not sure if you have somewhere that this would be possible but running circuits like this with no rest between each set, certainly builds up the stamina and forces you to hone your technique.

This is more of an observation, but...
Many people that I see jugging, seem to be working way too hard at it and as a result move inefficiently and expend a huge amount of energy in doing so.
They constantly lean back, and have too pull their upper body in each time before making each stride. They also employ what I refer to as "The Jumping-Bean Technique". Jumping/lunging up the rope each time rather then a taking smooth rhythmic strides.

For me, rhythm is the key.

In reply to:
jugging right is maybe about as hard as rowing a boat

Not only "as hard as", but much the same, in that without rhythm you work harder and move inefficiently.
I know the object is to maximize each move in order to ascend the rope as fast as possible, but if I start off taking smaller strides at first, and concentrate on a smooth and consistent rhythm (like rowing a boat) the strides find their natural length (for me) and I can keep the pace going for a remarkably long time without burning out.


Partner euroford


Aug 9, 2005, 1:20 PM
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That is a really good point on stride length. I find that I tend to start out at a slightly shorter stride and then get a rhythm working, after i get in the groove that stride will start getting longer and I'll get cruising. if I'm really tired i will purposely make my stride very short. I find it much easier to maintain a good rhythm when tired with a short stride, and its overall less taxing, but much slower.

also be sure to keep in mind what kind of terrain and in what situation you'll be jugging. i find cleaning aid isn't very taxing at all, despite moving as fast as i can the pitch is broken up with a bunch of little rests when i clean gear.

you'll only be jugging a free line if your fixing or climbing in a team of three.


dangle


Aug 9, 2005, 3:11 PM
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Not to bug Kim, but there was some good advice in this thread.

I just wanted to add the idea of doing offset pull-ups. My chinning bar has a hand ring about 10-12" lower than the bar. I switch off one hand on the bar, the other on the ring.
Taking turns putting more strain on one arm then the other seems to replicate jugging demands.


golsen


Aug 10, 2005, 8:41 AM
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dangle, I know it has been 20 years but I vaguely recall at the BitnSpur a Pitcher in one hand and a pint in the other. Sounds like the pullup variation is not nearly as enjoyable!


hbusch


Aug 10, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Hi,
is it possible that you forgot to breath (appropriately) ? For me I recognized that I forget to breath the steeper it gets. It seemed to get that worse that even my partner recognized that and reminded me to get some air.
Is that possible ? Just an idea...
I'd like to hear your comment.
Thanks
Harald


Partner kimgraves


Aug 10, 2005, 1:59 PM
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In reply to:
Hi,
is it possible that you forgot to breath? Just an idea...
I'd like to hear your comment.

Harald

Hi Harald,

It's of course possible. But I'm pretty good about remembering to breathe even in stressful situation: lots of yoga training. I mean, there was no panic or even concern about my personal safety or what I needed to do. I felt I was in a stressful situation, but I was in full control and unafraid.

As I said earlier, I really think it was dehydration from the diarrhea. When I got back to the ledge I was spitting cotton. I wasn't peeing all day and when I finally started producing my urine was dark yellow. Even though I drank 3 liters that day, and actively hydrated the next, it took over 24 hours to get my color back to normal.

I found a passage in one of Twight’s books, where he talks about getting trashed from not being hydrated. The symptoms he describes are exactly what I had: elevated heart rate, exhaustion, trouble sleeping, etc. It was bad. Won’t make that mistake again.

I was also carrying and extra 35 lbs on an overhanging jug. So maybe it also had something to do with the workload being not something I was used to. The advice to run laps seems like a good one. The body adapts to a specific repetitive workload.

Best, Kim


Partner kimgraves


Sep 24, 2005, 3:49 PM
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Just to put a cap on this story, during my annual physical, I asked my cardiologist about why my heart rate jumped so high doing the jug. His simple answer was, "you weren't trained for the workload." In other words, just because I'm in good cardiovascular shape, doesn't mean I'm good at all cardiovascular activities. I'm good on the StairMaster, but not jugging a rope, with big exposure, carrying a full rack and rope. That's a different kind or workload than I was used to.

Interesting.

Best, Kim


potreroed


Sep 24, 2005, 5:07 PM
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Imagine how I felt after jugging up 12 pitches with a heavy pack on my back and trailing three 200 foot static lines!!! Had to do that twice, actually, to get supplies up to my team on Timewave Zero.

On steep rock your best bet is to put both aiders on your upper jummar and fix the lower one directly to your belay loop so you can sit and rest often as you frog your way up.


veganboyjosh


Sep 24, 2005, 5:21 PM
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first you get your pins:

http://www.starmagic.com/catalog/1200338P.JPG

then you get some grease paint:

http://alexanderscostumes.com/store/images/c10800.jpg

some funny shoes:

http://www.costumesinc.com/.../images/25015-07.jpg

and you're all set:

http://www.live-wires.com/...gerballdricbody1.gif


btw, you mispelled "juggling".


lambone


Sep 24, 2005, 8:07 PM
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all jokes aside...hardyharhar...

Kim, you didn't mention what Kind of aider set-up you were using. The aider configuration is important here.

for overhanging jugging, whch it sounds like you were on, I like the texas style method, with two aiders clipped to the top jumar, and none on the bottom jumar or gri-gri. lose the Shunt, it is functional, but not really designed for jugging.

try to relax, do a few moves in a row then take a breath for a second and continue. try not to let your weight fall backward...and as imposible as it sounds, try not to fight against gravity too much.

plus, 35 pounds of crap is alot to jug with. take the least amount possible and haul the rest...every pound makes a big difference.


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