Changing Up My Training (Athlete Journal 32)

Injuries, illness, tournament struggles, and all the other obstacles I faced earlier this year seem like a distant memory now.

I’m thankful for how well my training has been going lately. In the beginning of 2014 I was getting so frustrated due to poor performances in competitions, dealing with injuries, and not being able train how I wanted to. Now it all seems like a distant memory.

I have been fortunate to avoid any serious injuries and I have stayed consistent with my training. Hopefully this continues.

Changing Up My Training

This week may have been my best training week yet. I got five days of BJJ training, including a trip up to York, Pennsylvania to train with Daniel Beleza and his guys. Daniel, who is famous for his ridiculous guard game, went over nothing but submissions from standing. There were some techniques that I will be drilling on Sunday and trying to add in my game.

I also did some no-gi on Thursday morning while helping someone get ready for the Pan No-Gi Tournament in September. This was the first time I’ve done any training without the gi in a while, so I caught myself looking for grips that weren’t there quite a few times. I’ve said this before, but I would like to add some no-gi training into my schedule on a regular basis. I just don’t know where I would find the time. I’m already training with the gi four to five times a week, so I’m limited on the time I could give it.

A Growing BJJ Program

During the summer, classes always get smaller and this year has been no exception at Tactical Combat Academy. However, even though the classes have gotten smaller, they are still averaging around eight to twelve people. Over the winter we were averaging around 16-25, so this is a good sign.

Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program is growing and this has also contributed to my improved training. Even when rolling with beginners I can work on things in my game. It gives me a good opportunity to implement techniques that I just learned and it gives me more guys to roll with. So even when someone has only been training for six months or so, they are important to my growth as a competitor and a practitioner of BJJ. Then when they have been training for a couple years and are kicking my ass I can say, “Hey, remember how nice I was to you when you first started?”

I finally got my diet back on the right track and now I don’t even have to think about it. Right now I weigh 205lb, which is right where I need to be for the Boston Summer Open in two weeks. My strength and conditioning program continues to go well and my small groin pull from last week seems to be all healed up. I’m just going to continue to work on getting as strong and explosive as I possibly can in preparation for Masters Worlds in November.

Sunday – BJJ

Competition Drilling

Monday – Strength and Conditioning

  • Power Jerk (kg) 75×5, 77.5×5, 80×5, 82.5×5
  • Squat 325×5, 330×5, 335×5, 340×5, 345×5
  • Close Grip Bench Press 135×10, 145x2x10
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls 40x3x10
  • Core Work

Monday – BJJ

Drills Technique, Rolling

Tuesday – BJJ

Daniel Beleza’s – Drills, Technique, Rolling

Wednesday – Strength and Conditioning:

  • Deadlift 325×5, 330×5, 340×5, 345×5
  • Dumbbell Step Up 45x3x10
  • Chin Up 21, 15, 10
  • Core Work

Wednesday – BJJ

Sweeps, Rolling

Thursday – BJJ

No-gi, Rolling

Saturday – Strength and Conditioning

  • Hang Cleans (kg) 75×4, 80×4, 85×4, 90×4
  • Dumbbell Incline Press 90x5x4
  • Farmers Walk 55 Yards x3, 105lb dumbbell
  • T-Bar Row 145x3x10
  • Core Work

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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