Periodization, Rest, and Injury Prevention (Athlete Journal 40)

These three principles have helped me stay on the mats and be successful in tournaments this year.

For the last seven months or so, I’ve been relatively injury-free. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, factor that has contributed to my competition success in 2014. It makes perfect sense, because I can’t improve my BJJ game if I’m at home lying on the recliner trying to recover from something.

Periodization, Rest, and Injury Prevention

Since I have gotten older, my training has gotten smarter (or so I would like to think). I’ve started to focus on not getting injured, and based my training on periodization and rest. But over the last five weeks, I have been in the gym training BJJ, weightlifting, or training others about eleven times a week. I think this may be starting to wear on me a little, because now it seems like every week I am getting some type of small but annoying injury.

Most of these injuries are more of an inconvenience than anything else. In the beginning of the year I had some pretty bad injuries that forced me to miss a lot of mat time. But so far, while preparing for Worlds, I have not missed any BJJ training days, and this past Saturday was the first time I missed a strength and conditioning day.

Make the Commitment

My shoulder, which has bothered me for years, forced me to miss Saturday. It was the result of a combination of fighting off a deep omoplata for about sixty seconds on Thursday and rolling for an hour and a half on Friday. My shoulder was killing me on the hour-long drive back home. Although I hate missing training time, it wasn’t a big deal at all because I had a huge paper due in kinesiology. So my Saturday consisted of ice, rest, and more ice. That seemed to help, and I don’t see it being an issue the rest of the week.

Really, it doesn’t matter anyway. I have made the commitment to compete at Worlds, and super annoying injury or not, that is what I’m going to do. I hate seeing people train for a competition and then they miss a day or two or jam their finger. Then they have to drop out because the moons don’t align and the moment isn’t perfect for them to compete. I can’t believe how often this happens.

There’s no way that out of all the competitors competing at a tournament everyone is 100% and trained every day before they competed. We are all busy, we all have injuries, and we all miss time in the gym. The sooner we accept this reality, the better off we will be.

This Week’s Training

Week 12 of 13-week Conditioning Phase

Bodyweight: 202lb

Sunday – BJJ

Drilling at TCA

Monday – Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3×10
  • Oblique Push Ups 3×3
  • Plyo Pull Up 3×6
  • Barbell Complex: 60kg
  • Hang Clean x5
  • Push Press x5
  • Front Squat x8
  • Row x8
  • Romanian Deadlift x8
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • 30 Yard Sprint Internals 3×5

Monday – BJJ

Drilling, Rolling at TCA

Wednesday – BJJ

Technique, Rolling at TCA

Thursday – BJJ

Drilling, Rolling at Daniel Beleza’s

Friday- BJJ

Rolling at Harisburg BJJ & Judo

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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