Everything's Bigger in Texas
It's two o'clock in the afternoon and a sweltering 110°F in the heat of summer. Far from the glitz and glamor, smiling faces and fitness bands of the mega gym chains is the most hardcore gym in Arlington, Texas - arguably the most hardcore gym in the world. "It's a big dirty warehouse! There's no air conditioning. If it's hot outside, it's hotter inside," describes the 2008 Arnold Classic Most Muscular award winner Branch Warren.
Branch is tucked into a corner training legs, but his groans can be heard from outside the gym. Today, he'll load a squat rack with nearly half a ton of cold iron and haul it up and down with so much force it'll bend the bar.
He'll fill the leg press with so many plates it'll take a calculator just to count how much he's lifting. As Branch knocks out mind-numbing set after set, the gym floor doubles as a wasteland for 45-pound plates.
Steadfast to a painstaking diet, hardcore training and the world's most powerful musclebuilding supplements, MuscleTech® supplements, Branch Warren has constructed the most formidable, freakiest set of legs ever to hit a pro stage. To do so, every leg workout is an all-out assault as he ruthlessly stacks more size onto his huge and striated wheels.
His gargantuan quads already stretch the tape past 30 inches, but after any given leg workout they'll swell with an extra inch of grainy, vascular size. Pushing weight that would leave mere mortals squeamish, Branch leaves his muscles screaming for mercy, and then lumbers home as they continue to flood with growth-inducing blood, exploding with new size after every workout.
To build the freakiest legs in the sport, Branch follows three rules - picture-perfect form, gut-wrenching intensity and heavy weight! And now, he's made his very own program available for Bodybuilding.com. If you think you're up to the challenge and are hardcore enough, try his program out. But a word of advice: it's for advanced trainers only!
Branch Warren's Hardcore Leg Routine
- 2-3 warm-up sets
- 2 heavy sets of 5-8 reps or until failure
The king of all leg exercises, squats are the all-essential massbuilding exercise. The principle is simple - rest as much weight as you can over your shoulders, lower your thighs within inches of the ground and then drive upward with so much force that it makes the plates rattle from across the gym. Remember to always keep your back straight and your chin parallel to the ground.
- 3 sets of 20 reps
- The 3rd set is a drop set of 20 x 20 x 20 reps
The leg press machine is a huge ego booster for any serious bodybuilder who wants to load up the sled with 45-pound plates to get noticed in the gym. Bring the weight as low as you can, but stop just before your hips begin to curl off the seat, then push the weight back up with your heels, as opposed to your toes. Also remember to stop just before locking out your knees at the top of the movement.
- 3 sets of walking lunges for 100 yards
You can train your quads all you want, but if you don't build up your hamstrings, your legs will disappear when you hit the side poses. The best way to hammer your hams with obscene size and thickness is with lunges. But when you're Branch Warren, even a simple lunge is meant to be hardcore.
Outside in his gym's parking lot, Branch hoists a barbell over his shoulders and performs walking lunges for the length of a football field... three times over!
Leg Extensions Superseted With Sissy Squats
- 3 sets of 30 reps
After pounding your quads and hamstrings into submission, it's time to carve them with deep canyons of separation and eye-popping definition. This superset will do just that, driving blood into your muscles, flooding them and causing your legs to really swell.
Lying Leg Curls
- 1-2 warm-up sets
- 3 working sets of 12-15 reps
By now, your legs are thriving, pulsating and begging for mercy. It should hurt just to labor over to the water fountain. But if you want Branch Warren's world-class legs, you can't stop now. Lying leg curls are to your hamstrings what a barbell curl is to your biceps.
- You can truly isolate the muscle and force some serious size gains. Remember to keep your body pressed against the pad so that you can't cheat the weight up with your hips.
Seated Leg Curls
- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- The 3rd set is a drop set of 15 x 15 x 15 reps
You've already attacked your legs with 19 mind-numbing, growth-inducing sets. If you're still standing, time for three more musclebuilding sets. Similar to lying leg curls, seated leg curls lock your legs into position and trigger growth directly onto your hamstrings. A few weeks worth of these and your Herculean hamstrings will command attention from all angles.
Earning Your Stripes
By finishing "Branch Warren's Hardcore Leg Routine" you've paid your dues and earned your stripes in the most intense, growth-inducing leg workout ever. Now you'll have earned your place among the most elite warriors in the world, and you'll have tree-trunk legs like Branch Warren to show for it. Not only will you turn heads when you enter a room, but you'll leave an impression on the way out!