Years from now, after his bodybuilding career has ended, Kai Greene will be known as he is now: one of the most physically striking and cerebrally complex athletes to have graced the Olympia stage. Boasting 275 pounds of braided, tricked-out muscularity, Greene is also one of the most contemplative and driven competitors the sport has ever seen. When he’s not going calves-to-glutes at the squat rack with 500-plus, he’s philosophizing on the nature of his quest and agonizing over the minutiae that separate champions from also-rans. A two-time Arnold Classic champion (2009, 2010), Greene has found the coveted Sandow elusive. But consecutive second-place finishes to Phil Heath in 2012 and 2013 have only served to solidify his resolve. Could this be the year Greene is the last man standing at the Olympia.
So will 2014 be the year that you bag the Sandow?
I train and compete only to win. I cannot control the outcome, but I perform every action in a specific way to work toward the ultimate goal, which is to win the Mr. Olympia.
Have you done anything different with your training or nutrition to get ready for this year’s show?
I’ve been happy with my training and nutrition program for the past few years and have not made any major changes. If something works, you shouldn’t change it. The final few weeks and days going into the Olympia is where you can tweak things and position yourself to look your best. But my training has prepared my physique and helped me keep the physical balance, symmetry and muscularity needed to win the O. I’m doing the same this year to accomplish that goal.
You’re a big believer in the basics. Why don’t we see the same degree of specialization in your routine as in some of your fellow competitors?
The judgment of our bodies in competition has evolved, as has the look we’ve been able to achieve in recent years. But this relies on conditioning and effort — not on changes in the basic movements.
How do supplements factor into your daily routine?
I am so fortunate to have MuscleMeds supplements to help me in my daily search for excellence. Carnivor has been my protein of choice from the very beginning, allowing me to get the protein I want from real beef without all the cholesterol and fat that I used to ingest while eating 6 to 8 pounds of steak daily. In the past year, they have introduced Secret Sauce postworkout, which I’ve actually been using for two years. It has an amazing effect on my recovery and growth. And now with the new NO Bull XMT preworkout, I am able to build muscle and have unlimited energy for every workout. I also have used Phenbuterol fat burner for some of my guest posings, and I can’t wait to use it for my Olympia prep.
Everyone wants to know what you do to get those quads and hams.
I rely on squats and leg presses to build size and strength. I also perform walking lunges to etch in deep muscle separations and add mass to my quads and hamstrings while also doing stiff-legged deads on leg day to really blast my hams. As far as techniques, I rely on a form of modified pre-exhaust training where I do all my leg extensions and leg curls before moving on to any compound movements. For squats, I work up to 505 pounds for working sets of six to eight reps. For leg press, I go as heavy as possible in an eight- to 10-rep range. While doing deep walking lunges, I carry as heavy a barbell as possible and go 30 feet, then turn around to go back the same distance, doing four sets that way.