The only thing larger than Kai Greene’s muscles is his personality.
November 16–18 Victoria, Brazil
Within hours of his landing in Brazil for a MuscleMeds promotion, thousands of fans are mobilizing to meet bodybuilding superstar Kai Greene at a variety of locations. As he walks down the street in Victoria, thousands of people follow him as if he were the bodybuilding Pied Piper. More than 1,000 fans wait in line for hours and then try to cram into a supplement store—so many that the store owners have to limit the entrants in concern for Greene’s safety.
The spectacle illustrated above describes the scene of every public appearance Kai Greene makes. Just what is it about this IFBB pro that makes him such an attraction? Is it his massive 300-lb superhero physique, with perhaps the greatest legs and back the bodybuilding world has ever seen? Is it the electrifying breakdancing/hip-hop routines with his signature handstand posing shots? Is it the way this braided beast of a man prowls the stage in a style that helped lead to his nickname “The Predator”? Or is it the famed biting-into-a-raw-steak photo seen in the MuscleMeds Carnivor ads? The fact is, these are mere physical representations of a philosophical and inspirational man.
Despite not (yet) winning the Mr. Olympia title, Greene’s popularity among fans often overwhelms other active competitors, even Mr. Olympia himself. Few can draw a crowd like the charismatic but enigmatic Mr. Greene when he appears at any bodybuilding show or expo. He is humble and gracious to his fans, taking time with each individual who waits in line or accosts him as he’s walking around, always anxious to speak about his love of the sport.
But make no mistake—Kai Greene is a hardcore bodybuilder through and through. He possesses one of the most massive, chiseled, vascular and ripped physiques in the business, and his posing routines are the stuff of legend; prop-heavy, musically eclectic, electrifying performances. When he takes the stage, he is a pure entertainer.
Beyond the superhuman physique and unparalleled posing skills, it’s Greene’s personality that’s the greatest source of inspiration and adoration for his fans all over the world. There is no “performer persona” he transitions to when he takes the stage or sits down to sign autographs. His message of perseverance, honesty, inspiration and ultimate triumph never changes. Greene’s videos are among the most viewed of any bodybuilding videos ever. His popular DVDs, “Overkill” and “Redemption,” have inspired tens of thousands worldwide.
April 20–21, Essen, Germany
Greene makes his first appearance at the FIBO trade show, Europe’s signature fitness and bodybuilding event. He causes a near-riot as fans jostle to get in line at the MuscleMeds booth to meet The Predator himself. The lines waiting to see Greene far exceed any other pro competitor on hand.
“In life, it is really up to you,” says Greene, summing up his philosophy on bodybuilding and life.
Sounds simple, but when you learn of Greene’s childhood, you realize that the message has a profound depth. The Brooklyn native spent most of his formative years in youth homes, a hardship that he overcame by learning the power of positive thinking and visualization. He found solace in the gym, and since his teens, he’s attacked the weights with a focus and determination that never abates. Harnessing his positive mental outlook with an undying work ethic, Greene turned his physique into a chiseled mass of mountainous muscle. He quickly rose to the top of the amateur ranks, but found that winning his IFBB pro card was elusive. After taking a four-year hiatus to further refine and build his physique, he finally turned pro in 2004.
The Predator Thrives
After several lackluster appearances on the IFBB stage, Greene finally won his first IFBB show, the Colorado Pro Classic in 2007. The following year, while preparing for the New York Pro, he came to the attention of Gerard Dente, a former bodybuilder who had founded a new company called MuscleMeds. The pairing was a perfect match: Greene has always believed in the muscle-building power of beef, and MuscleMeds’ newly developed beef protein isolate proved to be the ideal supplement to feed his muscularity. Greene became the icon for Carnivor and helped put the fledgling company on the map.
Greene went on to win the 2008 New York Pro, 2009 and 2010 Arnold Classic titles, plus the 2011 New York Pro, establishing himself as one of the top competitors on the pro circuit. But the Olympia title has been elusive for the superstar bodybuilder. His very close runner-up finish to Phil Heath at the 2012 Mr. Olympia saw millions of fans around the world calling him the “Uncrowned King.”
In the gym, Greene’s iron-hurling sessions are otherworldly. His raw power, intensity, strength, endurance and focus cannot be equaled. His training looks something like this: On day one, he blasts shoulders and traps with barbell presses, various laterals, shrugs and rows. The following day he hits back and abs, performing chins, pulldowns, rows and assorted midsection exercises. Chest and more abs are reserved for day three, where Greene uses a variety of dumbbell and barbell presses, dips and crossovers to hit his pecs, plus more ab movements.
Day four of Kai’s routine is an all-out arm annihilation, where he completes a total of 30 sets for biceps, triceps and forearms! The fifth and final training day comprises a heavy leg attack, including squats (with 505-lb work sets!), walking lunges and calf exercises.
“All my training must be applicable to how I look onstage,” says Greene of his training philosophy. “I don’t want to just move the weights—I’m bodybuilding. So the weight on the bar isn’t as important as the feel of the muscles working to their full potential. I go only heavy enough to stimulate growth, not just for the sake of pushing weights around.”
Greene performs 45 minutes of cardio every day on a stair stepper to induce capillary density in the off-season and burn off body fat during precontest prep. “My trainer, George Farah, has me doing cardio in the morning on every training day,” he explains. “It’s not excessive because I don’t want to burn up too much muscle, but I have to be breathing hard and sweating a lot to feel like it’s doing anything.”
March 2–4, Columbus, Ohio
After winning the Arnold Classic twice, Greene now makes regular pilgrimages to the Arnold Sports Festival as a bodybuilding fan, spending his days on the Expo floor at the MuscleMeds booth rather than onstage at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. He can’t go five feet without being surrounded by fans asking to take photos with him; the wait for an autograph or photo with the big man can exceed two hours. After the Expo has closed, security has to escort Greene out of the hall, or he’ll be there until midnight with his fans.
Building A Mean, Greene Machine: The Musclemeds Advantage
Kai Greene eats clean year-round. He typically consumes five or six meals daily, alternating between lean steak, chicken and fish for his protein intake. For carbs he prefers rice and sweet potatoes. On the supplement side, he takes both Carnivor and Carnivor Mass daily, in addition to Methyl Arimatest in the morning, MethylBURN before cardio, NO BULL preworkout, Amino Decanate during his training and HexaGHen and Glutamine Decanate before bedtime.
“MuscleMeds has been instrumental in my success,” Greene says. “Carnivor has been a lifesaver. Instead of having to consume pounds of beef each day, it provides all the protein and creatine, but without the massive calories and fat. It’s helped me tremendously.
“I have been fortunate to be partnered with an innovative company like MuscleMeds,” he continues. “Their products are top-notch. The new NO BULL preworkout formula is the only preworkout that contains eNOXIDE, which is real nitric oxide! It gives me energy to train and a massive pump every time.”
Greene’s superhero-type physique and dynamic personality have made him the most popular bodybuilder today. He is the #1 threat to take the Mr. Olympia title from current Mr. O, Phil Heath, in 2013, but he reigns supreme to many fans as the people’s champion because of the essence of who he is. Greene represents the classic tale of picking yourself up by the bootstraps and creating your own destiny. He came from nothing, yet has risen to be one of the greatest physique competitors ever, and today motivates others to do the same.
“As the philosopher Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore I am,’” says Greene. “I live by this credo. My success begins in my mind and is driven by every single thought. I live my life with a purpose to be my absolute best at everything I do. That’s what success is at any level.”
Image courtesy of Jason Breeze.