Brutal Branch Warren leg workout

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A champion can always say something new. You can always learn some new tricks you can incorporate in your training program. Some of these might prove to be effective or give you new motivation. Below you can read what Branch Warren shares with you about his leg training.

Regardless of his surroundings, God-given genetics, travel schedule, and duties required to run his freight company and crop farm, Branch maintains the intensity of a Yellowstone buffalo looking to break your liver because you took a picture with her calf. Once you survive this day with him, your life will change for ever. The enduring pain of physical manipulation with the 2011 Arnold Classic winner leads me to believe that Dante got it all wrong. There are not nine circles of hell. There is a tenth: a leg workout with Branch Warren.

But what follows this immense pain is absolute pleasure. I can honestly say that nothing is comparable to the euphoria of surviving a brutal leg workout, only to see a pair of largely striated legs staring back at you when you hoist the shorts over your legs.

Entering The Pain Zone

Warren's leg prep begins during the 30-minute drive to the gym from his house. "I usually stop for a coffee on the drive to the gym to further fuel my fire," he says. "If I'm not 100-percent ready for war by the time I arrive, I will drive around the block a couple more times until I am."

Mental preparation is a vital part of Warren’s training. And coffee or caffeine is a good mean to rev up yourself to the mental state which is essential to complete this training. You must be mentally totally focused in order to have an efficient training. You need passion, focus and motivation so you can do even better than you did the last time you entered the gym.

7 wonders by Branch

If you find your thighs are not showing any development, here you go: 7 wonders by Branch to help you overcome the problem:

  1. Train with mental and physical intensity

  2. Apply drop sets

  3. Combine extremely high- and low-rep principles

  4. Pre-exhaust

  5. Squat deep

  6. Wear combat boots

  7. Listen to loud hard rock music

Speak Now ... And You'll Get Your Ass Kicked

When I began training with Branch, the first thing I noticed was an unspoken law: No talking. Only after the workout ends does he explain the method of his madness.

1 Quads

After three to five warm-up sets on leg extensions, I like to start my actual leg workout with three 100-rep sets of leg extensions," says Branch. "This warms up the knees, flushes the muscle with blood, and works both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers."

The completion of 100 reps is achieved via the drop-set principle, starting with the heaviest weight that will allow you to reach failure at 20 to 30 reps. Having completed this number of reps, drop the weight until another 20 are completed. Follow this pattern several more times until 100 reps are accomplished. Do two more sets after a short rest. Branch likes to keep the back support adjusted so that only his upper back touches the pad. This way, he can accentuate the stretch at the bottom of the movement and the upper part of the thighs are worked, too.

2 Front squats

The second exercise is the front squat. This exercise places more emphasis on the quad than a conventional squat, while taking away a large amount of stress from the spine.

Seldom does Branch instruct during the workout. Instead, I am to learn by observation. Taking a "sumo" stance (minus the diaper), Warren will squat very deep while only moving three quarters of the way up.

He will explain later: "I can fully stretch the quads and activate all my muscle fibers by coming up in an explosive manner. I never lock out because I want my time to be under consistent tension in order better stress the quads and not the knees."

On this particular compound movement, Branch will go much heavier and lower the reps (15 reps).

Failure must be reached on all three working sets in order to achieve success. Yes, Branch believes you must fail to succeed.

3 Leg press

The third movement is another compound exercise, the leg press, with quads being the prime mover. Hamstrings and glutes also take a beating, particularly when I near the 50-rep mark.

The pain in the quads likes to keep me company for the first 20 reps, before moving on to hamstrings for a brief stint, and then visiting the glutes for the last 15 repetitions. The pain is immense, but what's worse is that the nauseating feeling that accompanies it.

"I like performing high reps because it promotes blood flow through the thighs and drains the thought of intramuscular fat settling, which is essential to bringing in feathered detail from quadriceps to the glutes," insists Branch.

These are basic exercises. But as you can see, you can always bring some more out of them. It’s just a question of determination, motivation and imagination. Varying training intensity, techniques, and repetitions will always bring variety and new stimuli for the muscles. A workout like this certainly separates the men from the boys. You should definitely try it, if you want to progress!


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