Putting the Pieces Together

Kai Greene brings his life's work to the stage

FLEX: You’re a fan of the sport as well as one of its top competitors. If you could stand and be compared with a bodybuilder from any era of the sport, who would it be and why?

KAI GREENE: There are a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. Early on in my career, I looked up to guys like Mike Ashley, Paul-Jean Guillaume, and Roy Callender. Later on when things changed, (Kai laughs again; he means when he put on considerable mass) Victor Richards comes to mind. I wouldn’t want to stand next to them to discredit them or take away from their brilliant careers. They’ve made contributions to my life and the lives of all the fans. I’d want to stand next to them out of respect, to pay homage to the best. I think this is an important point to make because I wouldn’t want fans or athletes to lose sight of the beauty of our sport or do it a disservice. Whether we know it or not, we stand on the shoulders of the athletes who came before us. For example, Tom Platz single-handedly changed our conception of what leg development could be like. And it still took 15 years after Tom’s competitive heyday before having great leg development became common-place. So even though Tom never went on to see his star realized at the Olympia, the contribution he made is now a part of the continuum of our sport. He showed us it could be done.

FLEX: Do  you do anything differently from year to year when it comes to your training and nutrition?

KAI GREENE: I do a lot of things very differently. The truth is, 38 is a hell of a lot different from 20, 25, or even 35. Connective tissue and muscles aren’t the same as they were when you were 16. That means when an athlete goes into the gym there are a host of different variables that have altered in response to being 38 versus 16. Therefore your approach to iron game training is a lot different, a lot more nuanced. The differences are a continuing set of decisions made in the trenches step by step. You’re going by feel and you’re making decisions as you move based on the feedback from your body and the guidance of those who have been here before you. Then when you start to tally it up, it’s not one or two or 10 little things, it’s thousands of things in the course of a week or a month. And a lot of times you yourself don’t know how much those variables have changed or what exactly those variables are, so you have to constantly troubleshoot.

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