The popular professional bodybuilder Branch Warren has become quite famous for his training style. Warren and his training partner Johnie Jackson were recorded training like mad men in many workout videos and promotional clips. Both of them seem to be lifting quite heavy but are they really that strong and how much weight can they move with proper form?
In the video below you can see Branch Warren and Johnie Jackson trying really hard to tear muscles and/or connective tissues:
What most people notice immediately when they watch Branch Warren train is the never ending body swinging and the partial range of motion used on all exercises. He always lifts more weight that he can handle no matter what the exercise. Of course, that way of training comes with a healthy dose of massive orangutan like screaming.
Can you build muscle training like that?
When I was in middle school my math teacher told us to bring a triangle for the next lesson? I brought a ruler because I didn’t saw the difference. Her response was that I could use my foot if I want to, but triangle was the optimal choice for that particular task.
So, if we apply the same logic here, the simple answer is: Yes, you can build muscle training Branch Warren style, but it’s just not optimal.
The fact that you are lifting heavy weights means nothing when you are also using such atrocious and potentially dangerous form. Your connective tissues and muscles are under excessive stress with all that back arching, swinging and overall cheating.
You may have a lot of plates on the barbell, but does it matter? You can achieve virtually the same level of muscle stimulation by using much less weight and proper form. This will not only build muscle but also reduce the chances of injuring yourself.
The ego lifting Branch Warren does has actually caused a lot of injuries in his career. He tore his quadriceps and that’s why one of his legs is much smaller than the other. Of course, there are many other factors that surround an injury and there could be more to the story.
But man, Branch Warren is training hardcore style…
There are a lot of people who consider Branch Warren’s style of training ‘pure’ bodybuilding, ‘hardcore’ and of course ‘macho’ .
The reason for that is of course the need to feed the ego and make yourself believe that you are actually accomplishing something through similar foolish and childish behavior.
True hardcore lifting does not require one to lift with extensively bad form. When the weight is heavy there is always some deviation and form failure of some kind but it should never be as severe as the what Branch Warren’s style of training displays.
Try to find a video of the legendary powerlifter Ed Coan where he lifts with bad form. You won’t find one because he always tries to keep his technique as perfect as possible even when he does assistance exercises like biceps curls.
If you can achieve the same results safer, there’s is absolutely no point in killing your joints training like a crazy person. Not to mention the fact that guys like Branch Warren aretaking cocktails of anabolic steroids and growth hormone which is the primary reason for their looks. If you doubt the power of steroids, just read THIS article.
Do yourself a favor and use good form on your lifts. As they say: ‘Strength training is a marathon, not sprinting.’