A Bittersweet End to My Training Cycle (Athlete Journal 41)

Thirteen weeks of training hard came to an end this week. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and ready to compete.

The time has gone by pretty fast, and I have now finished my last full week of training before the IBJJF New York Pro and Masters Worlds. I guess the best word to describe the experience of preparing for Worlds would be “bittersweet.”

On one hand, I am excited and beyond ready to go and compete after devoting so much time and putting so much work in for these next two weeks. I am as mentally and physically prepared as I can possibly be. I have an extreme amount of confidence that I will do well, because I have done everything within reason to get ready for this competition.

The Last Five Weeks of Training

I have trained at three different schools over the last five weeks and put some serious mileage on my truck in the process. My hotel for Masters is taken care of, plane tickets are taken care of, and I have already made up my meal schedule for three days of eating away from home. I feel like all of the time and preparation that has gone into getting ready for the next two weeks will pay off, and I am ready to fly across the country and put it on the mat.

But on the other hand, I am definitely disappointed to wrap up all of the great training I have received over the last several weeks. In the six years I have been training in BJJ (three years in no-gi and three with a gi), I have never made as big of an improvement in my game as I have in the last five weeks. My transitions are super smooth, my control and pressure feel great, and my technique is better than ever.

I have an extreme amount of confidence that I will do well, because I have done everything within reason to get ready for this competition.”

This would not be the case if I wouldn’t have put so much time into my training. I can’t tell you how many different guys I have met and trained with during this process. So as excited as I am that it is finally time to go and get it, I will miss the entire progression from then to now. 

Strength and Conditioning Program

I have also concluded another successful strength and conditioning program. I finished my last full week of my two-day split. I will do one day of plyometrics and barbell complexes on the Monday before the New York Pro and Worlds. These days will be more focused on maintaining rather than improving my current strength, power, and conditioning.

I hit some numbers in my lifting that I haven’t seen in a while, especially at a bodyweight of 201-202lb. Overall I was pleased with my strength improvements during this last program. I wasn’t sure how my body would react to being about seventeen pounds lighter and still overloading it during my strength program, but I continued to get stronger and more explosive. I also only missed one day due to injury.

RELATED: What Every Good BJJ Strength and Conditioining Program Should Look Like

Next week, training will start to slow down. I will only drive out of town once to train with Daniel Beleza, and then I will finish out the week training at Tactical Combat Academy (TCA). It is all winding down, and I feel like it has been way too long since I have competed. So, in the famous words of Bart Scott, “Can’t wait!”

This Week’s Training

Week 13 of 13-week Conditioning Phase

Bodyweight: 201lb

Sunday – BJJ

Drilling at TCA

Monday – Strength and Conditioning:

Box Jumps 3×11

Oblique Push Ups 3×4

Plyo Pull Up 3×6

Barbell Complex: 55kg

  • Hang Clean x5
  • Push Press x5
  • Front Squat x8
  • Row x8
  • Romanian Deadlift x8
  • Hanging Leg Raise

Monday – BJJ

Drilling, rolling at TCA

Wednesday – BJJ

Technique, rolling at TCA

Thursday – BJJ

Drilling, rolling at Daniel Beleza’s

Friday – Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3×11
  • Oblique Push Ups 3×4
  • Plyo Pull Up 3×6

Circuit x3:

  • Dumbbell Split Squat x15
  • Pull Up x15
  • Incline Push Up x15
  • Hammer Curl x15
  • Medicine Ball Push Up x15
  • Dumbbell Farmers Walk 120 pounds 3x 45 yards,
  • Medicine Ball V-Sits 20 pounds 3×15,13,13

Friday – BJJ

Rolling at Harisburg BJJ & Judo

James Kearns is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting.Follow his journals here every week.