EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of James Kearns. James 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.


Athlete Journal Entry 3 - 1/22/2014


My training schedule in 2014 continues to challenge and frustrate me. The week started off great with me finally getting in for Brazilian jiu jitsu competition drilling on Sunday night. Then on Monday I had a good night on the mat, going over transitions from mount and rolling, but on Tuesday I started thinking too much. I decided not to do any weightlifting on Tuesday and give myself a rest day, since I was on eight straight days without one. I decided that instead I would do my weightlifting at Tactical Combat Academy on Wednesday night immediately before BJJ class.


This was a terrible mistake. I got started with my workout late and to save some time I cut the rest periods a lot shorter than I should have. The weightlifting part of the night went well, with the exception of having to skip incline dumbbell presses because the weight room did not have dumbbells that were even close to what I needed. The problem was, as soon as I completed my workout I was absolutely spent for class and I missed the first twenty minutes. I could tell it was going to be bad because I was very sluggish going over the techniques that my BJJ coach (Brad Souders) had just showed me. Then we rolled at the end of class and that’s where it got really ugly. My first roll I got smashed, my second roll I got submitted, and my third roll I got smashed again. 


The reason this is so frustrating is that I can usually only train three days a week, so for me it’s a quality not quantity kind of thing. I rarely, if ever, waste training days, and the fact that it was my own fault is even more frustrating. Regardless of the setbacks I have had so far this year, I will still be competing on February 1st.


Thankfully, I had a much better week weightlifting. My weightlifting coach (Doug Lentz) and I went over and reevaluated my snatch. The bar is staying tight and the weight is moving fast. Even though the weight was light, my mechanics were great and that is what I’m after right now. I finished out the week on Saturday with some more barbell complexes and am feeling very good in the direction that my Olympic lifting is headed. I’m looking forward to competing this spring.



BJJ: Competition drilling



BJJ: Transitions from mount, rolling




  • Power Jerk 200 lbs 4x3
  • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats 60 lbs 5x6
  • Deadlift 315 lbs 4x6
  • Chin Ups 15,12,10,10
  • Core Work


Immediately after weightlifting:

BJJ: Triangle transitions, rolling




  • Overhead Squat 72 kg 4x4,
  • Hang Squat Snatch 40 kg 1x3, 45 kg 1x3, 50 kg 1x3, 55 kg 1x2, 57.5 kg 1x2, 60 kg 2x2
  • Core Work





Barbell Complex #1

  • Power Clean 82.5 kg 2x3
  • Push Press 82.5 kg 2x3
  • Lunge 82.5 kg 2x3


Barbell Complex #2

  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift 100 kg 1x3, 102.5 kg 1x3, 105 kg 1x3
  • Oblique Plyo Push-Ups 3x5
  • Core Work
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