Athlete Journal: James Kearns, Entry 4 – 1/29/2014

For the first time in a few weeks, I had a solid training week with no injuries, illness, or schedule conflicts. I increased the intensity this week to prepare for my upcoming BJJ meet.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of James Kearns. James is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting.Follow his journals here every week.

Athlete Journal Entry 4 – 1/29/2014

For the first time in a while, I had a good training week that was free from conflicting schedules, illness, or injury. This past week I was actually expecting to be pressed for time due to my winter break for school ending, but I had no time issues and training went great. I even got to do an AM/PM day on Monday, which I enjoy doing because it gives me an extra rest day during the week.

For Brazilian jiu jitsu, I turned my training intensity up, which is what I usually do when I am two weeks out from competition. I always train at a high intensity, but right before competition I really turn it up, so thanks so much to my training partners who tolerate me during this time. Many competitors will then turn it back down during the week of competition and not roll hard so they can just go over game plans, but I will continue to go hard this week as well. I feel like when I’m training at a high intensity, I need to keep that same pace going all the way to tournament time. If I were to slow down and take it easy a few days before the tournament, then that’s how I would compete – slow and easy.

I’m looking forward to my first BJJ tournament of the year on Saturday at NAGA Philadelphia. This is going to be a busy competition year, so it’s time to get started. Fortunately, we had some big classes this week. When I say big, I’m talking about both the amount of people in the class and the size of the people in the class. This is great timing for me, because anyone who weighs over 200lbs knows how difficult it is to find bigger guys to train with. Since I am a heavier competitor, a lot of times I will have to travel to find multiple guys to roll with who weigh as much as I do, but it’s important to get used to moving that weight around. That way when you are on the mat during competition and your opponent gets top position you don’t think, “Dang, this guy is heavy,” and start to panic.

Weightlifting also went great this week. My snatch is really starting to come around, my mechanics are feeling good, and the bar is moving fast. I will keep on focusing on snatch mechanics for the next two weeks, which is basically just me being able to concentrate and focus on my cues right before the lift. Then I will start adding some heavier weight to the bar to work on power. As always, my barbell complexes (which I love) were the best part of my weightlifting week. I did forget to add weight to my second set of barbell complex #1, but that is not a big deal.


BJJ: Competition drilling.

Monday (AM)


  • Power Jerk 90kg 4×3
  • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats 60 lbs 5×6
  • Dumbbell Incline Press 80 lbs 4×8
  • Deadlift 145kg 3×6

Monday (PM)

BJJ: Drills, lapel chokes from side control, rolling, core work


BJJ: Drills, sweeps from half butterfly, rolling, core work



  • Overhead Squat 65kg x4, 67.5kg x4, 70kg x4, 72.5 x4
  • Hang Squat Snatch 60kg x3, 65kg x3, 70kg x2, 72.5kg x2, 75kg x1



Barbell Complex #1

  • Power Clean
  • Push Press
  • Lunge 82.5 kg 2×3

Barbell Complex #2

  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift 102.5kg 1×3, 105kg 1×3, 107.5 kg 1×3
  • Oblique Plyo Push-Ups 3×5
  • Core Work

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