There’s a saying that I have heard a few times (and even read on this very website) that goes something like this: “Everything you eat will either put you one step closer or one step farther from achieving your goals." If this is true, then this week I definitely took one step back. 



Last weekend my wife and I took or first trip without our kids down to Miami to celebrate our ten-year anniversary. It was a nice break that included no training or eating anything that will move me closer to reaching my goal of competing at heavyweight in two weeks at the New York Summer Open. The worst case scenario is that I will just have to stay at super heavyweight, which isn’t really a big deal. It’s pretty hard to go to Miami and not eat and drink like crazy, so it was worth it.


Breaking Muscle Shop

When I left, I was an easy 209lbs, and a week later I’m back up to 210lbs. This really isn’t that big of a deal, but if I would have stayed on schedule I would be 208-207lbs right now. I will still be able to make the heavyweight limit of 208lbs with the gi on, but it just means I will have to do a little more road work, which I hate. There’s actually another saying that goes, “Running sucks."


Once I got back, I was able to squeeze in some good jiu jitsu training, including some no-gi. This coming week will be my last week of hard rolling, and then next week I will be drilling technique and reviewing my game plan that I have set up for competition time.


I am also winding down my strength and conditioning program. I just finished the third week of the conditioning phase and will wrap it up next week. My cardio has come along very nicely during this program. I am one of those people who fall into the “You improve your cardio for jiu jitsu by doing jiu jitsu" groups.


But that doesn’t mean that I don’t train my cardio outside of BJJ any less. I do a lot of cardio training, because while it’s hard to mimic the isometric demands of BJJ during a conditioning session, it’s important to be in the best condition possible for the huge disparities between matches.           


Unlike wrestling or MMA, there are no set rest periods between matches in BJJ. You could compete and have a five-minute rest between your next match, or it could be 25 minutes until your next match. If you do the absolute divisions, it could be four hours before your next match. If you combine that with the loss of conditioning you will experience from the stress of competing, it can make for an incredibly exhausting day. The only way to prepare for this is to try and be in the best possible condition at tournament time.


Gotta run (terrible pun intended).


Tuesday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Vertical Jump 3x11
  • Plyo Push-Up 3x11
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3x11
  • Push Offs 3x11
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 65 lbs 3x15
  • Dumbbell Row 65 lbs 3x15
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension/Dumbbell Curl (super set) 60/25 3x15
  • Core Work


20 Minute on Fan Bike


Wednesday – BJJ, Strength and Conditioning:

BJJ: Belt Promotions, Rolling


Strength and Conditioning:


Interval Circuit:

  • 4 Step Agility Run
  • Med Ball Chest Pass
  • Attack Sprawl
  • Med Ball Walking Lunge
  • Shrimp
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Dive Bombers
  • Med Ball Overhead Squat
  • Live Pummel
  • Plank
  • High Knees/w Step Through


Friday - BJJ, Strength and Conditioning

BJJ - Takedowns, Rolling


Strength and Conditioning:

  • Vertical Jump 3x11
  • Plyo Push-Up 3x11
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3x11
  • Push Offs 3x11


  • Dumbbell Squat (super set) Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 45x3x15
  • Pull Up 22, 15, 13
  • Dumbbell Reverse Fly 35 lbs 3x15


  • 1 Mile Run
  • Sprint Intervals


Saturday - BJJ

No Gi, Takedowns


James Kearns 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.


Photo courtesy of D-Kline Design Photography.

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