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Two-time Arnold Classic champion and 2009 Mr. Olympia runner-up Branch Warren was the guest on this week’s episode of The Menace Podcast. Warren joined host Dennis James, Chris Cormier, and Milos Sarcev in this episode to reflect on his career, including why he feels he reached the high points he did. He credits his training partnership with fellow IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson for pushing him when needed. That may have even been happening before they officially joined forces because they trained in the same gym as amateurs.
“I knew that he knew what I was doing because he would do more reps. If I did 10 reps, he did 11,” said Warren. “I would think ‘f*** that,’ and I would put on more.”
Eventually both men turned pro and became one of the most famous training duos in bodybuilding history. By the end of the 2000’s, Warren found himself on the Mr. Olympia stage in 2009 alongside Jay Cutler as one of the last two men waiting to find out who the champion would be. Cutler would be announced as the winner, but Warren may have a surprising opinion about finishing in second place on bodybuilding’s biggest stage.
“Man, I’m gonna tell you right now. Second place at the Olympia is the worst place in all of bodybuilding. You don’t know if you want to cry or punch the wall.”
Warren’s most inspiring feat may have come in 2012. After tearing his quad the previous summer when he slipped on a sidewalk, he came back in less than six months to win the Arnold Classic for the second time. Warren explained what drove him to make that happen – people preemptively writing him off.
“I was looking at all these message boards, and they were writing my obituary saying ‘he’s done,’” he told the panel. “I was like ‘I ain’t going out like this. Ain’t nobody going to tell me I’m done.”
Warren would win his second Arnold and ten shows in total before retiring in 2016. To see more of this interview, subscribe to the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel to see the show in its entirety, and catch new shows every Sunday at 3 PM Eastern time.