We need to first qualify this man's inclusion in the 'Hardcore Contenders' series with a big "not yet", for Warren, after six times on the Olympia stage with a 2nd place finish in 2009, is still very much in the midst of his quest for bodybuilding's ultimate prize - the Sandow. Like his fellow short man Gaspari, Warren wasn't blessed with a classical structure, but the 2011 and 2012 Arnold Classic champion can clearly accumulate mass, and he has charged ahead of those with more aesthetic physiques through sheer willpower, accepting no limitiations.
To witness a Branch Warren workout is to watch a gym tornado - kinetic energy unleashed, deadening noise, large objects moving through space - and all of it seemingly at great danger to the man in the middle. In chest workouts, 455 pounds bounces off of him over and over again; dumbbells the size of fire hydrants are violently shoved up at lightning pace; he seems buried in chains at the dipping bars, and as the set progresses, those linked weights hit the dusty floor with a resulting thunder. In pursuit of the only goal he has yet to reach, the Sandow, Branch Warren trains rediculously heavy, he trains fast, and he trains with a vengeance, making the metal suffer but making his muscles suffer more.
WARREN'S '09 CHEST ROUTINE
Incline bench presses, 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 455 lbs max weight
Barbell bench presses, 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 455 lbs max weight
Dumbbell bench presses, 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 170s lbs max weight
Incline flyes, 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 100s lbs max weight
Weighted dips, 3 sets, 20-25 reps*, 200 lbs max weight
*NOTES: Drop sets consisting of 7-9 reps with 200 pounds, 7-9 reps with 70 pounds and 7-9 reps with bodyweight.