Successful Time Management (Athlete Journal 20)

James Kearns

Athlete Journal - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Every now and then, I receive some simple strength and conditioning, nutrition or competition questions. Earlier this week, I received a question no one has asked me before.


The question was about successful time management techniques. I thanked him for his thought-provoking question and answered it the best I could. The timing of his question was fitting, because the last two weeks I have been struggling to fit everything into my schedule. I guess I have been successful since I was able to fit it all in, but it was definitely not easy.



Something came up on Monday morning, so I missed my first weightlifting session of the week. When I looked at the calendar, I had a hard time figuring out when I would make it up. Kid’s baseball games, Brazilian jiu jitsu, training athletes, and meetings filled my weekly schedule. A few years ago I would have just skipped it and not thought too much about it. Now, unless I’m sick or injured, I don’t miss workouts just because I couldn’t do it on that certain day. 


athlete journal, james kearns, bjj, jiu jitsu, grappling


I’ve seen it with myself and with others, that as soon as you become okay with missing one workout, it easily turns into becoming okay with missing two workouts, which turns into missing weeks and months. Then you see that person at the grocery store for the first time in a couple months and the first thing they say is, “Yeah, I really need to get back into the gym.” But if you don’t miss all that time in the first place, then you don’t have to talk yourself into getting back in. 


I did finally get to make up my Monday workout on Wednesday evening before BJJ class. This pushed my Thursday morning training session back until Friday evening. Then I was left with no other choice but to complete my last workout the very next evening. I never like doing weightlifting sessions on back-to-back days, but sometimes I’m left with no other choice. 


This week will put me eight weeks out from the New York Summer Open in July, and I will start to add some more sport specific exercises and plyometrics to my workouts. I won’t add any conditioning-specific drills until about four weeks out. I’ve been looking to compete somewhere before July and might have found a US Grappling event in Virginia that I could do in June. This will help keep me active with this big lay-off from my last competition.


Sunday - BJJ

BJJ: Competition drilling


Monday - BJJ

BJJ: Half guard passing, rolling



AM Training: Weightlifting


  • Cleans - 92.5 kg x3, 95 kg x3, 97.5 kg x3, 100 kg x3, 102.5 kg x3
  • Dumbbell Bench Press- 105 lbs 3x4
  • Overhead Dumbbell Extension- 80 lbs 3x10
  • Core Work



PM Training: BJJ


Half guard passing, rolling


Friday - Weightlifting

  • Barbell Squat - 340 lbs x4, 345 lbs x4, 350 lbs x4, 355 lbs x4
  • Barbell Rows - 175 lbs 3x10
  • Hammer Curls - 45 lbs 3x10
  • Core Work


Saturday - Weightlifting

Barbell Complex - 185 lbs x3:

  • Hang Cleans x3
  • Push Press x2
  • Speed Squats x5


  • Romanian Deadlift- 275 lbs 4x4
  • Barbell Shrug- 260lbs 3x10
  • Towel Pull Ups- 16,13,11


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


Photo courtesy of D-Kline Design Photography.

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