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. Learn more about James at his website, BJJ Barbell Strength, and follow his journals here every week.


Athlete Journal Entry 2 - 1/15/2014


It’s not how you start but how you finish, or so I’m told. This week started out much like last week, missing my Sunday drilling session, the most important day of training. Like much of the United States, we had pretty bad weather in Pennsylvania and my driveway was a sheet of ice, so I decided to stay home. I did make it to both BJJ classes at Tactical Combat Academy and finished out the week strong on Saturday with another trip up to train with Daniel Beleza in York, Pennsylvania. This is also where Doug Kline, the owner of D-Kline Designs trains. He is the photographer who takes all the pictures of me in competition.


Breaking Muscle Shop

I’m still planning on competing in my first Brazilian jiu jitsu competition on February 1st in Philadelphia, so this week I will start adding in a little conditioning work to my training. My weight class for NAGA is 200-225. Right now I weigh 225lbs, which is right where I need to be, so I’m not concerned about my weight for this tournament. 


My weightlifting followed a similar pattern as my jiu jitsu training did. My day one (general strength) went well, but my day two workout might have been the worst weightlifting day I’ve ever had. Since I’m not doing a weightlifting competition for a while, I am using this time to focus on my technique on the snatch. The weight is light and my bar speed is fast, but there’s something wrong with my form that I need to fix. Every lift on day two was awful and after every rep I just got madder and madder.


Thankfully, my day three workout consisted of my favorite training technique, barbell complexes. After that training session was complete, I felt much better and was thinking clearly about how to address my day two disaster. Looks like it’s time to get out Dartfish (the video training tool, not the underwater creature).



Missed training due to bad weather. 



BJJ: Attacks from backpack position, rolling



Weightlifting Day 1:

  • Power Jerk 85kg 4x4
  • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats 60 lbs 5x8
  • Dumbbell Incline Press 90 lbs 5x6
  • Chin-Ups 15,12,10,8
  • Core Work



BJJ: Leg locks, rolling



Weightlifting Day 2:

  • Overhead Squat 70kg 4x5
  • Pressing Snatch Balance 50kg 4x4
  • Snatch Grip Shrugs 80kg 3x3
  • Snatch Grip High-Pulls 80kg
  • Hang Squat Snatch 60kg 3x4
  • Core Work



Weightlifting Day 3:


Barbell Complex #1

  • Power Clean
  • Push Press, Lunge 80kg 3x3


Barbell Complex #2

  • Power Clean 102.5kg 1x3, 105kg 1x3
  • Front Squat 102.5kg 1x3, 105kg 1x3
  • Romanian Deadlift 102.5kg 1x3, 105kg 1x3
  • Core Work



BJJ: Arm attack from mount, rolling

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