Branch & Johnnie – Old School Leg Training
October 1, 2019
No one will ever give you anything.
And maybe you’ll get what you want.
Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson have set the standard for hard work and out-working everyone. Here is an in depth raw look at their high volume leg day doing what they do best set after set in the birthplace of real Texas bodybuilding grit Metroflex Arlington.
Branch: So what you saw today is how we train. We do this day in day out. We’ve been doing it this way for twenty years plus. You know, some of these instafamous people, you see them on the gram, they do one hard set of something crazy. They do it and that’s that. We go hard and balls to the wall day in and day out, every time we step into the gym. Even as amateurs we trained that way. That is how we do it you know. I think with todays’ generation, guys got soft. There are a few guys that want to bust ass and go heavy and try to give 100% and do better every time they go in the gym. Those guys are few and far between. For the most part these guys have gotten soft. Guys don’t train like that with the high intensity and almost no one trains super heavy anymore. You look at the great champions of the past, they all trained with high intensity and they all trained heavy. All the Ronnies, Jays, Dorians, Lee Haneys. People like this. They trained hard, they trained heavy and their physiques spoke for themselves. All these people online that say you shouldn’t go so heavy, you know what I say to that? FUCK YOU! What have you won?
Johnnie: The difference I think from today and yesterday from when we were coming up. Our goal wasn’t just to turn pro or just to make money or to live the lifestyle of a pro bodybuilder. Our goal was to be the best of what we were doing at the time no matter what it was. That happened to be bodybuilding. When we were in the gym, it was training. So it was to be number 1 in whatever gym we were training in. It didn’t matter what gym of the country or internationally. We were going to be the best in the gym that day. If they had Facebook or Instagram live when we were coming up, you would see that we were outdoing everybody and training the hardest and the heaviest without a doubt.
Most people’s goals are “I want to win this money. If I can get on stage and win a couple of shows, I can win some extra money.” Or to get recognition from people. “Look what i am doing, look what I have done.” This type of thing. That what is going on today. Not focusing on the gym, focusing on your workouts, improving your weaknesses, and making them your strengths – and making your strengths even better. Its more of “look at me, look what I am dong, look what I’m lifting after waiting 10 minutes between sets.”
Branch: You’ve all seen the videos of me and Johnnie training through the years. Especially when we were competing getting ready for shows. You know to be able to train like that, you need to be motivated, SUPER motivated. My motivation, speaking for myself, I wanted to win. I wanted to win what ever contest I was training for with the ultimate goal of winning the Mr. Olympia. If you’re trying to be the best in the world at something, if you’re not super motivated and you don’t live and breathe and sleep about it all day every day, you’re not going to be the best in the world at whatever your trying to do.
Every single time I came to the gym I tried to do better than the previous time I was in the gym. I tried to outwork myself, I tried to do more reps more weight and train harder every single time. And if you can do that consistently day after day month after month and year after year, you will get better and you will win!
Johnnie: As you can see on our Tuesday leg workout. You can see the intensity you can see the grind and you can see the struggle on our faces and our bodies. That what it takes to challenge each set. We will have a warm up set with each exercise but after that you got to challenge yourself each and every time you step up to the plate. First of all your concentrating on catching your breath. I could never catch my breath before the next set. It’s kinda like, get done, settle down, get some oxygen so you can maximize your strength for your next set. So like I said, your mind is going, it feels so heavy but feels so good to accomplish each set like another notch on your belt that you accomplished and got through. There’s so many things going through your head and your trying to calm it all down and focus on your reps and getting the right form for the weight your doing. So yeah there’s a bunch of noise man, your body is screaming, your head is yelling you know. You’re out of breath and trying to catch that and meanwhile your scream trying to encourage the guy that your training with. I can’t put it all in a nut shell everything that you’re going through, the excitement, the fear, all that’s going on at once but it’s pretty amazing.
Branch: When you talk about someone being tough, what I think of when you say tough, it’s not physical it is mental. Toughness comes from within, If you’re mentally tough your body will follow. Your body will do what your mind tells it to do. I think toughness has something to do with being motivated. If you want something really bad, you know when we are in here training especially training when we were competing I wanted to win so bad I didn’t care how bad it hurt I would push through pain. I didn’t care it felt like the muscle was ready to rip of the bone it hurt so bad but I would not quit. I set the bar so impossibly high that I knew to get there I would have to go through more pain the I had ever been through to get there. But I was willing to pay the price. And, that’s just mental toughness. If you’re mentally tough you can overcome the physical pain to reach whatever goal you set for yourself.
Speaking of the mental toughness, I beat a lot of guys that I should have never beaten when I was competing for one simple reason, I was hungrier than they were, I wanted it more, I was willing to do in the gym what they weren’t. Even though they were probably more blessed than I was structurally or genetically or aesthetically, but because I was willing to pay the price and pay a higher price than they were I was able to bet them on stage. That is what it comes down to. Just because you’re not the most gifted person in the race doesn’t mean you cant win the race. If you want it more than they want it and you’re willing to pay the price and willing to pay a higher price than they are, then you can win. And you can beat a lot of people that are more gifted than you just by outworking them. That’s pretty much been the story of my whole career.
I see a lot of people at the press conference at the Olympia and at interviews at the gym and they say “Oh I am just happy to be here.” MAN FUCK THAT SHIT. I’M HERE TO WIN. You know when I was competing I was fighting for 1) to win 2) to be the best in the world 3) to support my family. I had a wife a daughter and a mother to take care of so losing was not an option. I didn’t have no rich parents or no rich grandfather or nothing to fall back on so all of that was falling on my shoulders. I was there to win. So fuck just being happy to be there. I WAS THERE TO WIN. Make a pay check and support my family. Most importantly I wanted to be the champion of the world. If you don’t have that mindset, you’re gong to get beat. And I am still working hard. I wanted to establish a legacy and I think I did that and I am still upholding being a top pro bodybuilder of the world and still dong it because I love it. If you’re just happy to be there then good for you, but I beat all those guys that were just happy to be there.
There are so many opportunities available here than anywhere else in the world. I don’t understand these lazy bums that they want everything handed to them. They think oh I won whatever show, pay me $100K a year. Man you ain’t done nothing. This is the one place in the world that you can do anything you want if you put the work in. This generation more so than any other generation, not all of them but more so than any previous has this entitlement attitude. If you want something go out and get it. If you don’t put the work in you don’t get shit. Let me tell you something, no one owes you shit. Nobody. And don’t get pissed off because I made it and you’re a lazy bum because I put the work in for 27 years and got where I am at and you ain’t done shot and you think you’re entitled to have the same life I have. Nah man it doesn’t work like that. So man the fuck up and go put the work in, and maybe, just maybe you can get what you want.