Open class bodybuilder Branch Warren joined former seven-time 212 Olympia Flex Lewis for a discussion regarding his career and current physique. During the video, Warren revealed he’s running two miles a day and weighing around 230 pounds years after retiring from the sport.
“When you’re in your 20s or 30s, you can be super heavy, train, and do all that stuff. When you get into your 40s, it catches up to you. When you get to your 50s, it definitely catches up to you. I had my fun,” Branch Warren shared.
Warren established himself as a perennial Olympia contender throughout the 2000s. While he was unable to procure an Olympia title during his tenure, he proved himself against the cream of the crop in the Men’s Open division. Warren was held in high regard for his freaky and full lower body, which he maintained with an incredibly intense training regimen.
In 2009, he came the closest to winning the prestigious Olympia title after taking second place to four-time winner Jay Cutler. The outcome was especially difficult to accept because Branch defeated the reigning Mr. Olympia at the time, Dexter Jackson.
Given the size and conditioning he’s carried in retirement, fans have called for Branch’s return to the sport. He still trains with a chip on his shoulder, but made it clear he’s done with bodybuilding drugs and said he has no desire to compete again.
Speaking with Flex Lewis, Warren revealed what measures he’s taken to preserve health and longevity at 47. In addition, Warren shared that his knees/joints are in good health following a career full of heavy lifting.
230-LB Branch Warren Talks Staying in Shape, Says He’s Dealt With ‘Tendon Injuries’ But Nothing Joint Related
As he approaches 50 years of age, Branch said he’s been focused on losing weight and downsizing.
“For 15 years I got to live my dream, I had a blast doing it. Then, it was over, and I’m like, ‘I’m going to lose weight,'” said Branch Warren.
Warren explained that he didn’t lose weight right after retiring because he was helping train his teammate Johnnie Jackson. Unlike Branch, Johnnie recently hinted that he’s considering a Masters Olympia return.
“Well, Johnnie, I was still training with Johnnie, he was still competing. The year after I retired nothing really changed to be honest with you,” says Warren. “I wanted to push him for him to do good. So, for the first year I didn’t lose any weight I stayed about the same. Year after that, I was like, ‘alright, I’m going to focus on this.”
To lose weight, Branch reduced his daily meals. He clarified that he’s weighing around 230 pounds. Warren added that he started implementing cardio by running two miles daily.
“Instead of six, seven meals a day, I cut a meal out, lose some weight, and then plateau. I got down to about four meals and a protein shake and my weight started coming down. I bounce between 225 and 230. I [weigh] around 230 [right now].”
“I feel good. I started running, I got to three days a week, I was running two miles a day. People were like, ‘how do you run,’ I just said I put one foot in front of the other. My knees are great. My joints… somehow are great. The only problem I have, I had a tendon – I had several injuries that were tendon related. As far as joints… knock on wood, I’ve felt good.”
Warren Has ‘No Regrets’ Following Bodybuilding Career, ‘Wishes’ He Could Have Won Mr. Olympia
Branch Warren said it was difficult to enjoy special moments throughout his career because he was always ‘on the hunt.’
“I’ll tell you something, I was on stage at 2009 Olympia, and I was next to Jay, he looked at me and said, ‘dude try to take this in and enjoy it, I never have, and I’m going to try to.’ You hear that, but I didn’t think about it till later. You’re right but you can’t.
“But you’re so focused, and when you win a show, even a big show, you might go out and celebrate that night, the next day — I didn’t even want to talk about it. I’d look at the pictures and be mad. I could have done this better or this, this, this. I just wanted to go back to the gym and keep training,” says Warren.
Looking back on his career, Warren has no regrets, though he would have loved to become an Olympia titleholder.
“My thing was to outwork everybody. If I could outwork everybody, I believed I could beat everybody. In football, you can outwork everybody but if the other guys isn’t doing it, you can still lose. That’s what attracted me to it. So, I miss that, that laser focus. The actual competing and all that — no. I have no regrets. Do I wish I won Olympia, of course but I did everything I could do bro, and it is what it is.”
Warren may have stopped competing, but his training style and methods are sought after by others today. He trained 2022 standout Martin Fitzwater last year, who finished second to Andrew Jacked at the Texas Pro before taking home fourth at the Arnold Classic UK show. Additionally, Branch has guided a number of high-profile talents through the weight room, like Olympia runner-up Derek Lunsford.
Branch’s style of training might differ from the status quo, but he proved his methods on some of the sport’s most decorated stages. Despite fans calling for his comeback, Warren seems to be happy in retirement, helping shape the next generation of bodybuilders on the rise.
Check out the full video below: