IFBB pro Branch Warren has been a world-class bodybuilder for so long, it's easy to forget he's still just 42 years old–and still as huge and shredded as ever. "The Texas Rattlesnake" opens up about his history, his favorite game meats, and how he trains today–including his personal "strongman biathlon."
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- On his first show at 154 pounds: "My goal was 'not get last place.'"
- How he began powerlifting, but kept bodybuilding as his "first love"
- "You know, the second bodybuilder I ever saw in my life was Ronnie Coleman."
- His introduction to Metroflex and real lifting–at age 17
- "All these big, jacked dudes walking around, and I remember thinking to myself, I just made it to the promised land. This is home."
- His unique membership agreement: "If you represent the gym, and you win, you don't gotta buy a membership. If you don't, you're gonna work it off."
- The difference between health club lifting and training with the big boys
- "I learned early on, you don't ask questions. If they say do 20, you don't ask why. You shut the fuck up and do 20."
- "[As a bodybuilder] you're more of a nutritionist than anything else."
- How he got started with hunting and eating game meat: "I grew up in west Texas, in the country. And the only two things to do out there was drink beer, and hunt. The two best-looking girls in my school were my cousins, so there wasn't much to do, man."
- On game meat: "I think it makes me stronger, tell you the truth."
- How he prepares his game meat
- How he feels in his 40s, and how he views competition: "I don’t want to say I'm retired. I'm just not competing."
- How becoming a father changed everything for him
- On the burden of eating: "I'll be up 'til one in the morning, sometimes, trying to finish my food. And you take a bite, and you chew it up, and you get some water and swallow, and then you get the next bite. And I just cuss my food."
- "Yeah, I got to where I hated food. Because it was always, you're either force-feeding yourself, of you're getting, you're hungry all the time because you're getting ready for competition."
- On his training: "I've got nothing to prove. It was fun, but my goal right now, when I'm in the gym, is 'Don't get hurt.'"
- Why he loves "functional" and strongman-style training
- The challenge of mixing training with shooting
- His introduction to strongman-style training from Tony Sentmanat
- "I like it because it's something different, and it's a new challenge. After doing what I've done for so long, it's just something new. Plus it's outside, you can do it outside, and it's just a new challenge, something different."
- His legacy in bodybuilding, and how he looks back on his accomplishments: "I wish I would have enjoyed it a little bit more, but at the same point, I don't know if I would have accomplished what I did, because I was so focused. No matter what you do, it never was good enough. I never looked in a mirror and was like, wow I look great. I looked in the mirror and pick myself apart."
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