DUEL IN THE DESERT
Ask any pro bodybuilder what his favorite biceps exercises are, and he’ll quickly recite a list etched in memory. Greene, however, hesitates before naming four: the barbell curl, the incline dumbbell curl, the preacher curl, and the alternate dumbbell curl. However, they come with a caveat.
“I’m reluctant to name these, because if I believe I have a preferred exercise, it can impair my ability to think clearly and make good decisions during a workout,” he says. “If I have a favorite, it may lead me to do one exercise when really I should be leaning toward another.”
His mantra? Don’t play favorites. “Don’t get into the habit of checking of a selection of favorite exercises each time. Think about it—how many people do you know who do a particular exercise in a particular way because they saw their favorite bodybuilder in a magazine recommend it? That can lead you down the wrong path.”
Earlier this year, Greene’s path ran straight toward September 27–28 in Las Vegas, where a two-time reigning Mr. O, Phil Heath, awaited a rematch of 2012’s one-two finish. But that final step is the most difficult breach to cross, as Greene knows. The annals of history are filled with amazing bodybuilders who’ve finished second—Mohamed Makkawy, Rich Gaspari, Lee Labrada, Kevin Levrone, Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray—who, despite maniacal efforts, were destined to fall just short of the pinnacle. Greene’s approach, however, is unrelenting.
“Honestly, my goal now is to amass a body of work…I’m still eager to learn and study,” he says. “I started on this bodybuilding journey as a teenager. Now my expectations of what I can do on stage are higher. I’m putting forth my highest effort. I’d like to stand and be counted at my absolute best—I want to know what that would look like. My goal and that of my team right now is to do that, to always bring the ultimate Kai Greene.”
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