This entire training week was almost completely derailed after I noticed some staph on my forehead on Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, I caught it early and got on some antibiotics that same day and the staph infection was cleared up in time for jiu jitsu class on Wednesday night. 


Even though I had to sit out of class on Monday, I still got four good training sessions this week. I had my usual drilling session on Sunday, before I noticed the staph infection, then I attended my second no-gi class of the year. A bigger brown belt came down from another school and we had some pretty productive rolls. I always like training with a variety of competitors from different gyms to keep getting different looks. It will also force me to work on holes in my game that I may not have been aware of if continuously trained with the same people. I will try and add as much no-gi in as I can the rest of the year. 



Saturday was a tough one. I got to travel up to York, Pennsylvania and roll at Daniel Beleza’s school. It’s always nice going up there because even on a Saturday when the weather is nice, there are still fifteen good guys to roll with. After a warm up and some drilling, we all took part in a sixty-minute roll-a-thon. It’s tough enough rolling for an hour, but when everyone there is good, you never have an easy roll to catch your breath. To go along with the long training time, it is one of the hottest places I have ever trained at. Even in the winter it must be ninety degrees in there. If you aren’t used to the heat, it can really take it’s toll on you, but training in the heat is good for preventing injuries and is great for conditioning.


After I was completely exhausted and beat to hell, I left York and drove two hours back down to Greencastle, Pennsylvania and trained some other athletes for a while. After their training, it was time for my workout. I wasn’t really sure if I would finish it or not, but thanks to some Red Bull and half a gallon of Gatorade, I completed the last training session of the week. I did take it a little light on the hang clean and push press and briefly thought about skipping Romanian deadlifts, but knowing how important hamstring strength is for injury prevention, I decided that skipping them would do more harm than good.


This week marked eight weeks out from the New York Summer Open and I began to work in some plyometrics and some more sport-specific exercises to my strength program. Once it gets four weeks away from competition, I will start to focus on my conditioning and continue my focus on sport-specific exercises. 


Sunday - BJJ

BJJ: Competition Drilling


Monday- Weightlifting

  • Vertical Jump 3x5
  • Plyo Push-Up 3x5
  • Barbell Pop-Ups 3x5
  • Push Offs 3x5
  • Cleans 100 kg x3, 102.5 kg x3, 105 kg x3, 107.5 kg x3, 110 kg x3
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 105 lbs 2x4, 110 lbs 2x4
  • Overhead Dumbbell Extension 85 lbs 3x10
  • Core Work



AM Training - Weightlifting:


  • Barbell Squat 345 lbs x4, 350 lbs x4, 355 lbs x4, 360 lbs x4
  • Barbell Rows 185 3x10
  • Hammer Curls 45 3x10
  • Core Work


PM Training – BJJ


De La Riva Sweeps, Rolling



No-Gi BJJ: Takedowns, Rolling



AM Training - BJJ


Drills, Rolling, Rolling, and more Rolling


PM Training – Weightlifting


  • Vertical Jump 3x5
  • Plyo Push Up 3x5
  • Barbell Pop Ups 3x5
  • Push Offs 3x5
  • Hang Clean & Push Press 135 lbs x3, 145 lbs 2x3
  • Romanian Deadlift 280 lbs 4x4
  • Rope Pull Up 15, 12, 10
  • Barbell Shrug 265 lbs 3x10
  • Core Work


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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