You Are What You Eat (Athlete Journal 22)

James Kearns


Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Due to the gym being closed for Memorial Day and one of my daughters having a softball tournament all week, I only had two days of jiu jitsu. The two days I did have were good, and I did get to do three days of weightlifting, so I really can’t complain.


I’m still torn on whether or not to drop down and compete in the heavyweight division at the New York Summer Open in July or stay at super heavyweight. Starting a few weeks ago, I decided that I would not purposely try to lose any body weight, but rather get my diet a little more dialed in and work on my body composition. My body composition has definitely improved, so I decided to check my weight for the first time in a while. "214 pounds," said the scale. I was a pleasantly surprised that I have actually lost three or four pounds and still am improving my strength and power in the gym. 



You Are What You Eat (Athlete Journal 22) - Fitness, olympic weightlifting, BJJ, athlete journals, brazilian jiu jitsu


I wanted to go back over my diet for the week to make sure that everything is still on track. I’m currently getting around 3,319 total calories a day, with 62% of my total calories coming from carbs, 26% coming from protein, and 11% coming from fat. 


My calories from carbs and protein are both good. I want to keep my total daily calories from carbs in the 55%-65% range, while protein and fat should be in the 20%-25% range. So, after calculating all my calorie totals, I noticed that I am not getting as much fat as I had planned. 


I had to decide if I should add some fat or continue my current diet as is. Right now my recovery time is good, I’m sleeping well, I’m getting stronger in the gym, and I’m rolling better on the mat. Taking into consideration all of these factors, I decided to continue on my current diet and reevaluate it in about three more weeks. After my reevaluation, I will have good idea of what weight class to compete in at the rest of the year.


If for any reason I start to feel like I am getting run down and not recovering from training like I should be, I will probably just add in two tablespoons of peanut butter. This will bring my total calories from fat up to 15% and my total calories up to 3,555. 


"You are what you eat" is right. The hardest thing for almost every competitor to do is to square away their diet, but eating food is no less important to your training program than weightlifting or mat time.


Sunday - BJJ

Competition Drilling


Monday - Weightlifting

  • Vertical Jump 3x6
  • Plyo Push Up 3x6
  • Barbell Pop Ups 3x6
  • Push Offs 3x6
  • Cleans

105kg x2

107.5kg x2

110kg x2

115kg 2x2

  • Dumbbell Bench Press 100 4x6
  • Overhead DB Extension 87.5 lbs 3x10
  • Core Work


Wednesday - BJJ

Drilling, Spider Guard, Rolling


Thursday - Weightlifting

  • Barbell Squat

350lbs x3

360lbs x3

365lbs x3

370lbs x3

  • Barbell Rows 190lbs 3x10
  • Hammer Curls 45lbs 3x10
  • Core Work


Saturday - Weightlifting

  • Vertical Jump 3x6
  • Plyo Push Up 3x6
  • Barbell Pop Ups 3x6
  • Push Offs 3x6
  • Hang Clean & Jerk

135 lbs x3

155 lbs 2x3

175 lbs x3

185 lbs x3

  • Romanian Deadlift 315 lbs 4x3
  • Rope Pull Up 16, 13, 11
  • Barbell Shrug 270 lbs 3x10
  • 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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