Priorities in Life and Training (Athlete Journal 38)

James Kearns

Athlete Journal - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Training slowed down a little bit last week. I missed two BJJ days and one strength and conditioning day. There was nothing that I could do to make these missed days up. Kids, work, injury, and other priorities take precedence and can’t be rescheduled. I did however, have one really good judo training day, which I will explain later.


For a lot of masters athletes, their kids are their biggest priority and one of the biggest reasons for lack of training. Well, I’m definitely no different. Soccer, gymnastics, choir practice, and a birthday party are the things my kids do every week. Training around this isn’t typically an issue, but this week was a little different. My wife worked a lot more than normal, so I had to stay with the kids in the evening and on Saturday morning. This decreased my training time. 



The injury I was talking about above was my drilling partner's, not mine. It wasn’t serious, but he needed some off time to rest. Once again, there was nothing that I could do about the situation. 


Judo Seminar

My other priority was training, but I had to pick which training I would be doing with the time that was available to me. I skipped my strength and conditioning session on Saturday and replaced it with some training on the mat. That’s what I meant when I mentioned priorities. My priority will always be mat time over strength and conditioning, which has not always been the case. 


My training on Saturday was a two hour judo seminar at Harrisburg BJJ and Judo. I have little experience in judo, but I have always known that I need to add it into my stand up game. My takedowns are good, but I can always use some more. They have to have a high success rate, but more importantly, they can’t put me in a bad position if I miss and don’t hit it.


Although I normally am not a huge fan of seminars, this one was with Travis Stevens. Travis is a two-time Olympian and America’s highest ranked judo player. I had high hopes that he would be able to articulate his judo so that I would pick up some techniques that I had just not been getting from other judo practitioners. 


Priorities in Life and Training (Athlete Journal 38) - Fitness, brazilian jiu jitsu, BJJ, athlete journals


Overall, I was impressed. He explained simple things that didn’t make sense to me before, and everything just clicked. It was absolutely worth the price of admission, and I would recommend any BJJ practitioner to train with Travis if the opportunity presents itself. 


I’m looking forward to turning up my training this week. There are only six weeks left until Masters Worlds and five weeks until the New York Pro. This week I am planning on a few big changes to my training program. 


I would be remiss if I didn’t give a giant thank you to Covert Gas and Electric, LLC for their support as I prepare to compete at Worlds. Local companies supporting local competitors are great for anyone’s community. Thank you!


This Week's Training

Week eight of thirteen-week strength and conditioning program: Power Phase

Bodyweight: 203lb



Monday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Power Jerk (kg) 87.2x3, 90x3, 90x3, 92.5x2, 95x2
  • Squat 365x3, 370x3, 375x3, 380x3
  • One Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension 35x3x8
  • Hammer Curls 50x3x8
  • Core Work


Monday – BJJ

Drilling, De La Riva Guard, Rolling


Wednesday – BJJ

Drilling, Guillotine Set Ups, Rolling


Thursday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3x7
  • Oblique Plyo Push Up 3x3
  • Plyo Pull Up 3x4
  • Deadlift 380x3, 385x3, 390x3, 395x3
  • Chin Up (With 35 pound plate) 12, 9, 8
  • Core Work


Saturday – 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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