Connect
To Top


Getting Back Up Again


Pro bodybuilder Branch Warren once said something to me that stuck: “It’s not about how many times you get knocked down. It’s about getting back up and fighting again.” He ought to know. While training for the ’07 Mr. Olympia, he tore his triceps in a freak accident at home.

Warren is no stranger to injuries, but he does seem to have a talent for overcoming adversity. After tearing his biceps while still an amateur, he came back and won his pro card at the Nationals the next year. A couple of years into his pro career he tore his triceps and the following year won back-to-back pro shows.

His latest injury—to the other triceps—won’t slow him down, either. I spoke with Branch just 12 weeks after his surgery, and the injured arm was actually a half inch bigger than the other one.

Another top pro who is a testament to triumph over trouble is Victor Martinez. In just the past three years he’s been through the death of his mother, a brief prison sentence, a partial pec tear, a horrible knee injury that knocked him out of competition for an entire year and, most recently, the death of his father. Somehow in the middle of all that he won the Arnold Classic—perhaps twice by the time you read this—and came within points of winning the Mr. Olympia.

The point is, life is full of surprises, and they aren’t always good. Or, as the saying goes, “Shit happens.” Sooner or later you may get injured or ill. You may lose your job, relationship or someone close to you. How we choose to react to the things in our lives that can and will go wrong makes all the difference. Do we lie down and give up, or do we get up and keep swinging? That’s a choice that every person has to make for himself or herself. Champions get knocked down by life, just like everyone else. They don’t stay down.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Injury & Prevention

  • True Blood

    For IFBB pro and type-1 diabetic Dr. Brett Kahn, nutrition is a matter of life and death. By Mike Carlson  ...

    Sharon OrtigasAugust 13, 2017
  • How do I build sweeping triceps without pain?

      Q: I have trouble with my triceps, specifically the long-head sweep. I’m sure it’s because overhead extensions hurt my elbows,...

    Steve HolmanApril 3, 2016
  • The McGill Pull-Up

    Improve speed, power, and neuro drive with this exercise created by a foremost authority in spinal biomechanics

    Brian CarrollMarch 27, 2016
  • Beat Back Pain

    When lower-back pain flares up, working out seems like a bad idea. Might as well go home and do some reps...

    Iron Man MagazineFebruary 8, 2016
  • Sweating The Small Stuff

    As you get older, lifting weights demands greater attention to detail

    Iron Man MagazineDecember 4, 2015
  • Scientist: Stay Away From The Smith Machine

    The shoulders are arguably one of the most important muscle groups for Physique competitors. Nothing else contributes as much to the...

    Iron Man MagazineOctober 9, 2015
  • Getting Older Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Hardcore

    “Now that I’m 40 years old, do I need to stop doing certain exercises or run the risk of getting injured?”...

    Iron Man MagazineSeptember 2, 2015
  • Perfect Warm-Up For Serious Weightlifters

    A proper warm-up is essential to making the most of your training session and staying injury-free. I have a comprehensive warm-up...

    Iron Man MagazineAugust 3, 2015
  • Preventing Injuries While Training Heavy

    Q: I have a question about preventing injuries. I’m trying to train with as much intensity as possible, but I’m concerned...

    John HansenMay 29, 2015