The Importance of Training at a Different Academy (Athlete Journal 39)

My BJJ training schedule has undergone some changes and I am already beginning to reap the benefits.

I’m now in the home stretch as I prepare for the Masters World Championship in November, and I’m feeling great. My BJJ training schedule has undergone some changes and I am already beginning to reap the benefits.

Training at Different Academies

Right now every Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, I am drilling and training at Tactical Combat Academy. Then every Thursday I head up the road to train with Daniel Beleza, and every Friday I get some hellacious rolling in at Harrisburg BJJ and Judo.

This is the first time I have ever had such a regimented training schedule for BJJ and I will be better off for having done it. I may add in another day of no-gi every now and then, just to mix things up a little. I have added a few new things to my game and have gotten to train with some new people. I have gone all in and will have no excuses for when the time comes to step out on the mat.

My Strength and Conditioning Program

I know it is getting closer to competition because I am now in the final phase of my strength and conditioning program. This program has progressed nicely, just like my last one. I hit some decent numbers on my last week of the power phase and now I’m onto the conditioning phase. My conditioning is mostly high-rep circuit training with some barbell complexes, plyometrics, sprint intervals, and farmer’s walks. The goal is to continue to improve explosiveness, while forcing my body to get rid of all the acid and waste that builds up in my muscles.

I don’t put a lot of stock in the cardio aspect of training for BJJ. I just roll more and longer. In the weight room it’s too hard to emulate the type of cardio needed for rolling with the gi on. If I needed to lose a few pounds, however, I would definitely bump up the cardio to work on burning calories.

I surely don’t need to lose any more weight. I am actually walking around at 201lb right now. This is about three pounds lighter than I would like. The three pounds may not be a huge deal, but I just don’t want that to turn into four, five, or six pounds. With the amount of training I’m doing right now, that’s possible.

Fortunately, this isn’t a hard fix. All I’m doing is adding in about 300 calories a day. I will weigh myself in a week and see where I’m at. If I have stayed the same or maybe gone up a pound, I will continue to consume the same amount of calories. If I am still losing weight, then I will add a couple hundred more and see where I’m at next week.

This Week’s Training

Week 11 of 13-Week Conditioning Phase

Bodyweight: 201lb


BJJ at TCA: Drilling

Monday – Strength and Conditioning:

  • Box Jumps 3×10
  • Oblique Push Ups 3×3
  • Plyo Pull Up 3×6
  • Barbell Complex:
  • 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 at TCA


Wednesday – BJJ at TCA

Technique, Rolling

Thursday – BJJ at Daniel Beleza’s

Technique, Rolling

Friday – BJJ at Harisburg BJJ & Judo


Saturday – Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3×10
  • Oblique Push Ups 3×3
  • Plyo Pull Up 3×6
  • Circuit x3
  • Dumbbell Split Squat x15
  • Pull Up x15
  • Incline Push Up x15
  • Hammer Curl x15
  • Medicine Ball Push Up x15
  • Dumbbell Farmers Walk 120 pounds 3x 40 yards,
  • Medicine Ball V-Sits 20lb 3×15,13,13

James Kearns is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting.Follow his journals here every week.

Leave a Comment