Great Expectations (Athlete Journal 35)

James Kearns

Athlete Journal - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Now that the Boston Open is over, it is time to start focusing on Masters World Championships in November. After my performances competing in the New York Open and the Boston Open, my confidence is high heading into Worlds.


I can tell all the hard work I’ve been putting in over the last several months is paying off. My timing and transitions are firing on all cylinders and my overall strength and conditioning is possibly the best it’s ever been. Coming off my most meaningful win last week in Boston, I briefly thought I may get a little complacent in my training, but that was far from the case. 



Great Expectations (Athlete Journal 35) - Fitness, martial arts, BJJ, athlete journals


Ready to Commit

When I began 2014, competing at Worlds was something that was just a consideration. Since this was my first year competing at purple belt, I wanted to see how I progressed during the competition season before I made the commitment.


I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t fly out to California if I didn’t think I could actually compete for a spot on the podium. I don’t want to make the three-day trip and spend all that time away from my family just to get blown out of the water and get shut out or submitted my first match. To actually compete, you must actually be competitive. It wouldn’t be fair to my opponents or me if I couldn’t compete.


Now I’m nine months and eight tournaments into 2014 and am progressing better than I thought. Competing in the IBJJF Masters World Championships is more than a consideration - it is what I will be thinking about every time I step on the mat to train, every time I do my strength and conditioning program, and every time I look into the refrigerator to get a snack.


This Week's Training

This week I did miss my drilling session on Sunday, but that was due to driving home from Boston and not getting home until 5:00am. I still got three solid days of training at Tactical Combat Academy and another great ninety-minute roll-a-thon up at Harrisburg BJJ and Judo. 



Saturday marked the start of week six and the beginning of the power phase of my thirteen-week strength and conditioning program for Worlds. This consists of the addition of plyometrics into my program as well as an increased intensity on Olympic lifts. I normally run a three-day training split. My day one is on Saturday, so my split looks like this:



  • Day 1 – Saturday
  • Day 2 – Monday
  • Day 3 – Wednesday


My body weight continues to stay around 203-204lbs, so losing or cutting weight won’t be any concern. I’m ready to get this next training week started and continue to work on my game plan and implement new techniques. 



Monday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Power Jerk 175x4, 185x4, 190x3, 195x3
  • Squat 345x4, 350x4, 355x4, 360x4, 365x4
  • Close Grip Bench Press 160x3x8
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls 50x3x8
  • Core Work


Monday - BJJ

Drills - Technique, Passing, Rolling


Wednesday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Deadlift 355x4, 365x4, 370x4, 380x4
  • Chin Up (With 25 pound plate) 16, 11, 8
  • Core Work


Wednesday - BJJ

Drilling, Helping Teammates Prepare For Atlanta Open, Rolling


Friday - BJJ

Harrisburg BJJ and Judo, Marathon Rolling


Saturday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3x5
  • Oblique Plyo Push Up 3x2
  • Plyo Pull Up 3x3
  • Hang Cleans (kg) 90x3, 90x3, 92.5x3, 92.5x3, 95x3
  • Dumbbell Incline Press 95x4,100x4, 100x4, 100x4
  • T-Bar Row 145x3x10
  • Core Work


Saturday - BJJ

No Gi Rolling, Instructing


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

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