AJ Warren is our Co-Armwrestler of the month with his brother Scott from Chino, California. I had a chance to speak with AJ about his career so far in the sport.
So now lets see why the guys in his weight class have to worry about him.
Q. So how long have you been Armwrestling?
A. Not very long. I showed up to the CA State Championship in June or July of 2013. Before that I had never competed, and really only heard of John Brzenk and Travis Bagent..Guys like them. I had no clue there was an entire underground community of arm wrestlers all over the world.
Q. Who introduced you to the sport?
A. Well, I’d say my dad gave me the passion for armwrestling. But as far as the competition aspect, I was probably just like every other new guy.. I thought I was good because I beat all of my friends so I just went online and searched for a tournement which ended up being the California States. I didnt expect to just show up and beat everyone..I thought I would do well but I definetly never pictured the pros being THAT much better than me. My first match was with Mike Wildey, I think he probably had to pull up three classes just to be in my class and I beat him by my weight advantage I believe. My second and third marches were to Scott Partington and he flashed the crap out of me. I had NO clue speed was even relevant in armwrestling. My mind was simply BLOWN!
Q. Where do you see yourself in armwrestling 5 years from now?
A. 5 years from now? Atleast a national title, working for one alot sooner than that hopefully
JO: ‘You’ll get it and I hope I’m there to see it.”
AJ: Thanks dude, I sacrifice alot to train the way I do and still manage my work schedule. I usually get 4-5 hours of sleep on work days, and thats with nothing but my commute, work and gym. No going out, no watching tv…Its a very boring and exhausting life but thats what it takes to be the best.
Q. Who to date would you say has given you the toughest match?
A. My toughest match I would have to say has been Scott Wynn. I think our record right now is tied up at 2-2 RH with him having the last win. But every match with him is just brutal. Our strength has got to be just about equal, and our styles are very similiar. We both go straight to a deep hook then it’s a war! He is just so much more technical than me it is very painful to pull him. Any mistakes I make he takes advantage of and it usually ends up feeling like i’m trying to escape an arm bar and win a match at the same time. As far as what I train with it kind of Depends what type of training I’m doing at the time. I’m constantly changing things and trying to balance my general strength and conditioning with armwrestling. I recently tore the ulnar collateral ligament in my right wrist so im just coming back from a little break to let it recover some and really taking it easy on my wrist and fingers. Right now my training is really basic with some extra rehabilitation for my wrist. I still use the small WRIST WRENCH and the karate belt regularly with light weights, advoiding all of the gat grips and heavy wrist and finger curls. Really trying to focus on recovering fully, increasing general strength and from there I will reintroduce the more strenuous armwrestling training; GULLEY GRIP, COUNTRY CRUSH and Fat Gripz.
Q. Who would you say was the arm wrester..dead or alive that has influenced you the most?
A. I could probably name a few but if i had to pick one, definitely Corey Miller. He’s a perfect example of what I believe every person is capable of but 99.9% will never achieve. He has no genetic gifts for arm wrestling, nothing freaky about him. He has achieved everything with a ridiculous work ethic. I think anyone who says they can’t be a world champion is only right with that attitude. I know that there are genetically gifted people who can do well without trying so hard, but i’m a firm believer that you can have anything you want if you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Training and dieting to achieve a huge goal is not always fun, or easy, after a while it just sucks somedays..Somdays to eat and train and study like a crazy person. But staying focus whether it’s enjoyable or not on those days it’s what separates the champions from the losers in my opinion. Not their genetic make up.
Q. What advie would you give a amateur arm wrestler?
A. I thnk Devon Larratt said it best “Stay Healthy and Don’t Quit.” It’s so easy to rack up injuries by thinking you can climb the ladder faster by training harder, heavier, etc….and of cource training hard is important don’t get me wrong…but you have to keep in mind alot of tendons and ligaments in your hands, wrist and elbows that we use in armwrestling are small…probably never been condiitioned for this kind of stain and can be easily injured. Just listen to your body. Find a team, coach, coaches..Someone that can guide you through the beginners phase safely and LISTEN to them. There are new arms breaking left and right lately and usually they’ve been preventable. Also a secret tool that every new armwrestler need to have if they ever want to do well in this sport…It’s called losing! You have to understand that there is no lose, and there never will be. So to get upset over a loss is foolish. But its probably the best way to learn. I take every loss as a free lession and if its a loss to someone I know I should beat then it’s a free lession and akick in the backside to remind me why I don’t deserve to miss a day at the gym.
Q. What do you do the most..Lift weigths or table time right before a match?
A. Usually before a tournament I will stay off the table for about two weeks. Starting one week out I will switch to lighter gym training, and usually rest for 3 or 4 days. I’m always experimenting with my training though, so if you ask me again in a couple months it will be completely different im sure.
JO: Well thanks bro for your time. It was truly an honor interviewing you. I Learned alot about the sport.
TEAM CRUSHING IT!