Consistency and Focus (Athlete Journal 23)

With the New York Summer Open about a month away and an event in a few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time training.

Everything is coming along nicely for the New York Summer Open next month. I got four solid training days in on the mat last week, including another training day up at Daniel Beleza’s Brazilian jiu jitsu school. I have been adding some more takedowns, set-ups, and passes with my coaches Brad Souders and Bobby Knotts at Tactical Combat Academy.

The pace has started to pick up during classes, and the coaches have started focusing on each competitor’s individual game plans for the upcoming competitions over the next several months. It’s still another six weeks to the next IBJJF event, so I will be competing at the US Grappling event on the 21st in Richmond, Virginia. It’s always good to get more mat time and they have a 215lb weight division, which won’t be too heavy for me while I drop down to heavyweight in preparation for New York.

I just completed week eight of my thirteen-week training program for New York. For this training program I will have my last training day on the Sunday before the competition, but when I add in an unscheduled tournament such as the one for US Grappling in three weeks, I won’t change any of my training days. I will continue on the same weightlifting program as normal, completing my last workout on the day before competition. Then I will compete on that Saturday and go right back to drilling on Sunday, not missing any of my usual training days.

My strength and conditioning program has continued to go well, also. My strength and power have improved, while my bodyweight continues to go down. This is actually the longest I’ve been able to follow a program without missing any days or weeks due to injury this year. I am nearing the end of my strength/sport-specific training phase and will soon begin my endurance/conditioning phase to finish out the last four weeks of training.

Sunday – BJJ

Competition Drilling


AM Training – Strength and Conditioning (S&C)

  • Vertical Jump 3×7
  • Plyo Push-Up 3×7
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3×7
  • Push-Offs 3×7
  • Cleans 110 kg x2, 112.5 kg x2, 115 kg x2, 117.5 kg x2, 120 kg x2
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 110 lbs 4×4
  • Overhead Dumbbell Extension 90 lbs 3×8
  • Core Work

PM Training – BJJ

Takedowns and Set-ups, Rolling



  • BB Squat 360 lbs x3, 365 lbs x3, 370 lbs x3, 375 lbs x3
  • BB Row 200 lbs 3×8
  • Hammer Curls 50 lbs 3×8


Takedowns and Set-ups, Rolling

Thursday – BJJ

Drilling, Rolling

Friday – S&C

  • Vertical Jump 3×7
  • Plyo Push-Up 3×7
  • Barbell Pop-Up 3×7
  • Push-Offs 3×7
  • Hang Clean and Jerk 135 lbs x3, 160 lbs x3, 180 lbs x3, 190 lbs x3
  • Romanian Deadlift 315 lbs 3×8
  • Rope Pull-up 17, 13, 11
  • Barbell Shrug 275 lbs 3×8
  • 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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