Training

Branch Warren on Leg Training

How was Warren growing his lower limbs in his rookie year?

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Branch Warren on Leg Training
Chris Lund

Usually our "retro athlete" space is reserved for bodybuilders who haven’t competed for three years or more. For Branch Warren, it’s only been a year and a half, and though he claims he’s “unofficially retired,” he’s as big and strong and hard-driving as he’s ever been, so there’s a chance he could return at 43 in 2018. After all, his training partner, Johnnie Jackson, won two pro shows this year at 46. So we’ll call this an “unofficial Retro” and do something a bit different. Step into the time machine and return to 2004, when Warren was 29 and made his long-delayed pro debut with little fanfare. He’d go on to win nine pro titles, including the Arnold Classic twice (2011–12), and finish second in the 2008 Mr. Olympia. But on this day he’s under a bending bar in the squat rack at Metro Flex Gym, building two of the best wheels of all time, one torturous rep at a time.

WARREN ON LEG TRAINING

  • “I keep a pretty narrow stance when I squat compared with most guys, and I keep the bar high on my traps.”
  • “With leg presses, I’ll often do a dropset on the last set.”
  • “I think regular squats and lunges are the best things you can do for your quads, hams, and glutes.”
  • “I don’t do stiff-legged deadlifts because of an injury, but I recommend them to others.”

FLEX FACT

  • In 2004, Warren said: “I’m not in this just to stand onstage. I’m all about winning.”

 WARREN’S LEG ROUTINE 

  • Leg Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 30
  • Squat | SETS: 5 | REPS: 6-10
  • Hack Squat or Leg Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8-10
  • Walking Lunge | SETS: 3 | REPS: 100 yards
  • Lying Leg Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 15-20
  • Standing Leg Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15-20

 FLEX 

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