Kai Greene – How He Took the Bodybuilding World by Surprise

The bodybuilding world wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Kai Greene, the bodybuilder. From meager beginnings to a physical phenom, this award-winning bodybuilder has created a name that will live on past any competition he ever competes.

How Did Kai Greene Become the Predator

Have you ever wondered about who Kai Greene is beyond the competition stage? The man before you wasn’t always a confident bodybuilder. However, his life began in a much different way.

Let’s look into the history of Kai Greene and how he became ‘The Predator.’ You may be surprised by what you thought you knew but did not know about.

Kai Greene a Blast from the Past

Brooklyn native Kai Greene, the bodybuilder, has made himself into a bodybuilding legend raging with confidence, but this wasn’t always the case for the 2016 Arnold Classic Champion. We know him today as Kai Greene, but his first name is Leslie. Kai was born July 12, 1975, in New York City. At six years old, Greene was turned over to the state because his home environment was deemed unsafe and unhealthy to raise a child.

Greene would spend the next ten years of his life bouncing in and out of various foster homes and other institutions created for children who have become state wards. Unfortunately, 20% of the foster care children will become homeless you see on the street every day.

Instead of becoming one of these statistics, Greene retreated to the local gyms in the area, and thus it all began. Although Greene had a passion for bodybuilding, pursuing this newfound love would genuinely take more encouragement. So, motivated by his seventh-grade English teacher, Greene competed in teen-level competition shows, getting his first taste of world travel.

Although he had much success while traveling by 19, he won yet another trophy but wasn’t satisfied. So, in 1999, Greene set his site on competing as a part of the NPC Federation. This decision would lead to him taking some time off to build his physique because he understood that the men he’d be competing against were bigger bodybuilders.

Kai Greene's Career

Kai Greene’s Career

Greene became one of the youngest bodybuilders to achieve PRO card success. At 5 ft and 8 in tall, his career bodybuilding weight would fluctuate between 260 and 300 pounds. This is common for bodybuilders due to bulking, cutting, dehydrating, and hydrating.

Bodybuilding is complex and, in many cases, unhealthy for the human body. So Kai would dedicate the next five years to creating a physique that the world would envy and look upon with intrigue. During these five years, he trained to sculpt himself and become one of the most incredible physiques in the bodybuilding world.

In 2005, Greene emerged onto the scene, competing in the New York Pro, placing 14th overall. However, as the next two years of competition wore on, the success that Greene was accustomed to wasn’t coming as quickly as one would imagine. Between 2006-2007, he found it hard to break into the top 3 until he competed in the 2007 Keystone Pro Classic.

Greene took 3rd place at this competition, and things would look up for the competitor as it appeared he’d finally hit his stride. Hard work and dedication paid off how Greene had hoped they would. The Predator took first place at the 2007 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic in the same year. From 2008 to 2011, he would take trophies away in various placings of the competition, including:

  • Six first-place championships
  • Three third-place championships
  • One fourth-place championship
  • One seventh-place championship

One of the largest championships he would win during this time was the first-place win at the Arnold Classic in 2009.

Kai at Mr. Olympia

Thus, this is where things become pretty murky for the competitive life of Kai Greene, a bodybuilder. From 2009 to 2014, he competed in the Mr. Olympia competition six times. But unfortunately, not one of those competition entries was awarded the first prize. In fact, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, he was the runner-up to Mr. Olympia champion Phil Heath. Although they both faced touch competitors repeatedly, they stood next to each other on the competition stage, head to head for the title.

After taking his last second-place defeat to Heath at the 2014 Mr. Olympia, Greene has not set foot on that competition stage again. There has been much speculation about why he’s chosen not to enter the competition, with many being saddened because it was a treat to see both men push themselves to higher levels each year.

What caused Greene to no longer compete in the competition? Some rumors have circulated, stating that around the 2005 competition, Greene was releasing his brand new supplement line called Dynamik. Upon removing the cable, Green requested a booth at the competition to demo the product and got denied.

Also, this may be the story, but representatives for the competition have denied placing any ban on the bodybuilding superstar. Although the truth has not yet gotten uncovered, Greene has still moved away from the competition. After this, Greene would compete in three different Arnold Classics in the 2016 season, taking 1st place. We know Greene as a bodybuilder, but he has dabbled in various other creative avenues.

Kia Greene's Artistic ability

Greene’s Artistic ability

Beyond the stage, Greene fell in love with another aspect in a different space. He used art as expression beginning in 2011, trying his hand at various art types, including painting, sculpting, etc. This year was also the same year he would host his first art show after creating an accumulation of pieces painted on a large canvas. His work features depictions of his muscular physique in the natural or graphic form.

These drawings show the body in different lighting forms, playing with shadows and color to bring them to life. As a professional bodybuilder, I’m a master sculptor. However, the art show made me realize that I’ve always been an artist: my medium being the human physique. My life is what I make, just like the art I’ve produced on canvas and stage. This art show makes this statement. I’m celebrating some personal accomplishments and my artistic expression.

These were the words that Greene had to say in an interview following his first art show. Hey, who knows? If you’re in the New York area, you may have seen him posing on the streets wearing a mask. Not every day do you get to see someone like Kai up close.


Many people have become more and more interested in the world of podcasting. And Kai Greene, the bodybuilder, is no exception to this rule, as he joined the fitness model Krystal Lavenne on the Generation Iron podcast. Greene has even recently started his podcast called “Getting It Done.” He focuses on sharing his secrets of success with listeners on his podcast, hoping that what he offers will inspire and motivate everyone.

On-Screen Talent

Greene has also spent his fair share of time in front of the camera, participating in several documentaries. In particular, one documentary follows him as he completes some of his early artwork and poses on the streets of NY.

This documentary also follows him through his training session to prepare for Mr. Olympia. Greene has many aspects of himself that he shows to the world. He enjoys inspiring and creating, whether in his studio or the gym. You’ve all been waiting for an up-close view of a Kai Greene workout.

Kai Greene’s Workouts

Greene focuses on warming up first, as warming your muscles properly will reduce tears and other injuries you may gain when skipping a warm-up. The average warm-up features up to twenty minutes of warm-up time before he gets into his workout.

Kai spreads his training regime over five days, beginning with beginner lifts and ending the week with more advanced and complex exercises. But let’s be honest, when your nickname is the Predator, is there anything beginner-level with your lifting regime? This workout schedule will work best for those accustomed to being in the gym and understand each muscle group and how to work them properly.

1. Chest & Calves

The first day of Greene’s workout schedule focuses on the chest and calf muscle groups. First, he does three sets of bench presses at 20, 15, and 12 reps. Then, moving on to the dumbbell, fly again at three sets with the same reps as the bench press. He also does the decline bench press, seated calf raises, donkey calf raises, arm pullovers, and standing calf raises. It’s no wonder he’s got monstrous thighs and calves.

2. Arms

Arms are essential to any professional bodybuilder’s workout, and Greene is no exception to this rule. Unfortunately, by the time this workout day is over, you can expect your arms to be ready to fall out of the socket. You can expect to do exercises that include hammer curls, wrist curls, front raises, and lateral raises, to name a few.

3. Back

The back has quite a few muscles. You can work out. But Kai Greene, a bodybuilder, has proven that no muscle will go untouched during his workout sessions. The back workout day doesn’t feature as many exercises as other days, but Kai will perform each exercise in three sets with a max of 15 reps. These exercises include barbell pullovers, seated cable rows, lateral pull-downs, and bent-over barbell rows.

4. Legs

Leg day is crucial, especially when you want a physique that resembles Greene’s. Each exercise is done in three or four sets on leg day, depending on which exercise you complete. Greene performs squats, deadlifts, lunges, standing calf raises, and more on leg days. With each set featuring 15 reps, by the time the workout is complete, lay on the gym floor until you can feel your legs again.

5. Arms

On another day, he is dedicated to the arm workout featuring various exercises at varying sets. For some activities, you’ve got to do reps as high as 20, such as the tricep pull-down or the dumbbell kickbacks. Other exercises performed during day five include hammer curls, preacher curls, and spider curls. If you’re curious about Green’s weight when working out, you’ve got to search the internet; tons of videos show him in workout mode with his trainer.

Kai Greene: The man, the myth, the real-life legend

Kai Greene, a bodybuilder, started life with tough cards and pressure that would cause most to crumble. But that didn’t stop him from using pain and suffering as motivation for success. He turned himself into one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Kai took some time off from bodybuilding at 45. He still hasn’t confirmed whether he has retired.

But Kai now helps young bodybuilders train. Kai was spotted working out with the Boogyman as he prepared for Mr. Olympia 2022. Also, Kai has entered into a partnership with ISSA to offer bodybuilding coaching courses and certifications to those wishing to train bodybuilders. Who knows what Kai’s next adventure will be, but we can’t wait to see it.

So if you’re focused on your fitness and working on your body how Greene has, TFC Clark Fitness has tons of information for anyone from intermediate to beginner. Whether you’re looking for sample diet plans or tips for bodybuilding, we’ve got it all.

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