This week was full of more ups and downs. On the positive side, I finally got back into the weight room after almost five weeks of not being able to train due to injury.


I tried to take it easy and see how my chest injury would hold up, and it went really well. It felt great to be able to start lifting again and it was just what I needed after my disappointing trip to New York.


On the negative side, after talking with my Olympic weightlifting coach, we decided that it would be best for me to withdraw from the upcoming weightlifting meet in May. I hated to do it, but I just missed too much time over the last five weeks and there wasn’t enough time to get ready. We also talked about my competition schedule the rest of the year and what I wanted to accomplish in Brazilian jiu jitsu. After that I decided that as much as I like Olympic weightlifting, I am going to put it on hold for a while and get back to focusing 100% of my competitive efforts on BJJ.



Although my weightlifting program won’t be geared for competition, my programs will still include Olympic lifting. I have firsthand experience in how well the power and explosiveness from Olympic lifting translates to grappling, and would never exclude it from my program.


I did get back in the weight room, which is great, but I got pretty sick on Monday and could not get on the mat at all this week. I do feel like I am finally getting over of all these injuries and am more motivated than ever to get on the mat and improve my game. I don’t remember a time when I have been this determined for success in competition. I am pretty sure that my last completion will give me motivation for months. The New York Summer Open is in July and I already can’t wait. I will probably jump in something before that, but New York will be my focus for the next three months.


Monday - Weightlifting


  • Cleans- 80kg 4x4
  • DB Bench Press- 80 lbs 4x5
  • Overhead DB Ext.- 65 lbs 3x12
  • Lower Back Stability Drills
  • Core Work


Thursday - Weightlifting


  • Barbell Squat- 315 lbs 4x5
  • Romanian Deadlift- 100kg 4x5
  • Barbell Rows- 60kg 3x12
  • Hammer Curls- 35 lbs 3x12
  • Crunch- 3x max
  • Plank- 1 min


Saturday - Weightlifting


  • Barbell Complex (60kg, 62.5kg, 65kg):
  • Hang Clean x3
  • Push Press x4
  • Squat x5


  • Towel Pull Up- 12, 12,10
  • Trap Bar Shrug- 95kg 3x12
  • Lower Back Stability Drills
  • 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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