Bodybuilder Kai Greene is notorious for his tumultuous rivalry with seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. The two Men’s Open bodybuilders battled on the grandest stage in the sport for the better half of a decade, from the late aughts to early teens.
On Aug. 26, 2022, Generation Iron released a documentary titled “Kai,” a biopic that tells the story of one of bodybuilding’s greats. Alongside the Vladar Company and producer of The Last Dance, Matt Maxson, “Kai” chronicles the life and career of Greene with “first-ever, all-access” interviews, including with Heath. Check out the trailer in the video below:
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Per Generation Iron, “Kai” tells Greene’s story of “growing up in Brooklyn without parents and later locked up in a juvenile correctional facility, bodybuilding became Kai’s source of hope that eventually took him to stardom.” That stardom came in the form of multiple three silver medals at the Mr. Olympia contest (2012-14), three Arnold Classic championships (2009-10, 2016), and a career on the big screen in television shows and movies, such as Stranger Things, Crazy Fist, Pogaru, and College Debt.
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Kai Greene’s Bodybuilding Career
Greene’s first foray into competitive bodybuilding came in 1994 when he competed in the National Gym Association (NGA) American Nationals. Two years later, he placed first at the World Natural Bodybuilding Association (WNBF) Pro Natural Worlds. He parlayed that into back-to-back podium finishes at the National Physique Committee (NPC) Team Universe Championships, finishing second in 1997 and third in 1998. He went on to win that contest on his third attempt in 1999.
In 2005, Greene entered the IFBB New York Pro, earning a 14th place finish. He returned to that contest two years later and improved by eight ranks to sixth overall. In 2008, Greene won the New York Pro and followed it up with a bronze finish at the Arnold Classic that same year. In 2009, he won the Arnold Classic and ranked fourth in his Mr. Olympia debut — besting rival Phil Heath, who finished in fifth. Jay Cutler won the title that year.
In 2010, Greene fell to seventh at the Mr. Olympia contest, as Cutler won again with Heath in the silver-medal position. The following year, Greene reached the podium but was still bested by Cutler and Heath, who ranked second and first, respectively.
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2012 marked the rivalry of Heath and Greene at the Olympia. From 2012 through 2014, Greene and Heath clashed on bodybuilding’s biggest stage. Heath emerged victorious each time, eventually scoring seven total Mr. Olympia titles — tied for the second most all-time with Arnold Schwarzenegger — before losing the title to Shawn Rhoden in 2018.
Greene would compete three more times in 2016. He ran a flawless season consisting of wins at the 2016 Arnold Classic, the 2016 Arnold Classic Australia, and the 2016 Arnold Classic Brazil.
Where to Watch
“Kai” is available now on iTunes for $14.99, Vimeo on Demand for $13.99, Amazon Instant Video for $14.99, and Google Play for $12.99. This is the first-ever “authorized biopic of Kai Greene’s life.”
Featured image: @kaigreene on Instagram