• Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • The Training Effect: Methods by Steve House
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Sam Elias Big Fall on Ice at Ouray
    Sam Elias Big Fall on Ice at Ouray

    Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump


    I get pumped really quickly while I’m placing gear. Any tips for avoiding the trad burn? —Sam Jones, London, England

    OK, here are the checks: First, are you on the best hold? It may be that you only need to make one more move to a jug instead of fighting to get the piece in from the first available crimp or thin jam. Next, can you re-arrange your feet to get more weight on them? (How many times have you found a more comfortable position after the piece has gone in?) Are your arms straight? The classic error is to stand up and straighten your legs while holding a lock-off, when all you need to do is bend your knees. It’s not your legs that are going to pump out if the route is steep. Straightening your arms will help prevent your muscles from tiring and promote circulation to your forearm to flush the pump out. Next, are you swapping hands mid-operation? If not, one arm is taking an unfair share of the strain. Force yourself to trade out and use both hands/arms while you fiddle in gear, even if it feels counter intuitive and you are in a panic to secure the piece. Finally, are you placing gear too high? Especially on crack pitches, it makes more sense to slot the gear below your top jam, where it is both easier to reach and to see.

    Another tactical tip is to retreat to a resting position a few moves down if a placement has been particularly taxing.

    If all this still doesn’t work, perhaps you need to tweak your endurance sessions at the gym. Instead of sprinting up the hardest individual routes, try doing two or three easier routes in a row without rest. Better still, slow down and hold awkward positions for up to 20 seconds at a time. Trad requires you to stop and lock off to place pro, and therefore is a slower burn than sport climbing. The more you can simulate this pace in your training, the more successful you will be.

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