Muscle Sport Magazine

Branch Warren an Olympia Non-Factor, Anyway

Branch_Warren_2015_Olympia_AJ Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo

We’d like to make one thing perfectly clear before getting into this topic: we love massive bodybuilders and freakiness goes hand-in-hand with our hardcore style. With that said, there is a time and a place for everything and a championship physique is not necessarily always the biggest. So when Evolution of Bodybuilding‘s Kevin Grech penned an article recently entitled “Branch Warren Out of the 2016 Mr. Olympia,” it seems as if The Texas Rattlesnake’s absence at the IFBB’s most prestigious show of the calendar year would leave a large hole in what is an interesting line-up.

But will it?

We say no and emphatically, as well.


Warren, 41, has had a great career donning the posing trunks. He won two consecutive Arnold Classics (2011, 2012) and also had two top two placings at the Olympia – second (2009) and third (2010). He has also endured some debilitating injuries and come back to win, as he did in Columbus the second time, which many felt he didn’t deserve (this space included).


But Warren has not fared as well since then, slipping to fifth, ninth, sixth and sixth at the last four Olympias, with last year’s placing being questioned, as well, according to an industry insider.

“Branch was given a gift last September by getting into the pose down after he went to bat for the NPC/IFBB as hard as he did,” said the source, who requested anonymity. “With all of the nonsense going on with Lee Thompson at the time, Branch made sure to make his ‘pledge of allegiance’ very obvious and was rewarded for that.”

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Perhaps so, but it is hard to argue that there was a big drop off from Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay in fifth to Warren. A case can easily be made that Roelly Winklaar (seventh), William Bonac (eighth) or Victor Martinez (ninth) were more deserving than Warren to be up there with the top six.

To his credit, Warren had stated earlier in the year that he would not compete at the 2016 Olympia unless he won a show, regardless if he had enough qualification points our not. He has competed twice, third at the Kevin Levrone Classic and sixth at the Arnold Classic, and has only eight qualification points, not enough to be in the top five in that list, which get an Olympia invite. And there are no other shows between now and the O. So even if he wanted to compete, Warren would be left at the altar.

In a hypothetical situation if Warren did compete, he would not have been a factor, anyway. Yes, he could and would have been able to surpass the names ahead of him on the qualification points list (Ronny Rockel, Michael Lockett, Maxx Charles, Brandon Curry, Fred Smalls), but the list of qualified competitors includes enough quality bodybuilders than Warren would have had to be spot on to crack the top 10.


  1. Mike Cox

    August 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Branch has been given a few gifts the last few years. With 23 guys in the line up, its smart for him to give it a pass. He should pick a few shows and go out gracefully. Im sure he knows the end is near.

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