Kai Greene

Leslie Kai Greene (born July 12, 1975), better known as Kai Greene or Kai L. Greene, is an American retired professional bodybuilder, personal trainer, artist, and actor. He came in second place at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of the IFBB's Mr. Olympia competition and hasn't competed in it since,[2] and is often regarded as one of the best bodybuilders to have never won the competition.[3][4][5]

Kai Greene
Kai Greene IFBB 2009 Australia 5.jpg
Greene posing in March 2009
Personal info
NicknameMr. Getting It Done
The Predator
Born (1975-07-12) July 12, 1975 (age 46)
New York City, U.S.
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)[1]
WeightContest: 267 lb (121 kg)
Off season: 300 lb (140 kg)[1]
Professional career
  • IFBB New York Pro
  • 2005
Best win

Early lifeEdit

Leslie Kai Greene[6] was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on July 12, 1975.[7] From the age of six, he was raised in foster care and residential treatment centers in Brooklyn.[8] According to his online biography, his rapid physical growth and development drew the attention of his seventh grade English teacher, and since his behavior in school was troublesome, he was encouraged to enter teenage bodybuilding competitions as an outlet.[9]

Bodybuilding careerEdit


Greene became an enthusiastic bodybuilder when he worked at Johnny Lats Gym in Brooklyn, where he began training with personal trainer Jakob Panotas in 1996. He competed in the National Physique Committee (NPC) aiming to move into the IFBB. He perceives his success in the NPC as mixed. Although he won the 1999 NPC Team Universe, afterward he took a five-year break from competitions, before re-emerging in the 2004 NPC Team Universe contest, which he won again.[10] This victory qualified him for a career as an IFBB when his professional career started as bodybuilder.

New York Pro & Mr. OlympiaEdit

In 2011, Greene began working with preparation coach George Farah and placed 1st in the 2011 New York Pro Championship. His 3rd place finish at Mr. Olympia in 2011 qualified him for the 2012 contest, so he did not compete at the 2012 New York Pro in order to focus on Mr. Olympia. He placed 2nd in the 2012 Mr. Olympia, the 2013 Mr. Olympia, and the 2014 Mr. Olympia.[11]

Greene did not compete in the 2015 Mr. Olympia due to unknown circumstances, and issued a statement to say that "there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that [he] cannot discuss". Olympia officials allegedly denied any claims that he was banned from competing, but did confirm that he did not register and had been reminded to register several times since May of that year. Greene did request an extension on the registration period and was given an extra two months, but he did not meet this deadline either.[12]

Greene won the 2016 Arnold Classic, which he had also won in 2009 and 2010, but has not competed since.[2] In June 2017, he was given a special offer to compete in that year's Mr. Olympia competition without having to re-qualify, which he declined.[2]


In 2009, Greene worked with director Mike Pulcinella to release Overkill, which documented his preparation for his first appearance at the 2009 Olympia. In 2010, he reunited with Pulcinella to film the sequel Redemption, showcasing his training and philosophies for the 2010 Arnold Classic, which he won for the second year in a row. He features in the 2013 film Generation Iron, detailing the lead up to and events of the 2012 Mr. Olympia competition. He was also featured in the sequels Generation Iron 2 and Generation Iron 3.


Greene has often discussed the "mind-muscle connection". In an article published by Flex as part of his "Top Ten Big Back Principles", he explained, "The mind-muscle connection is the number one factor in training. You develop it over time by posing your muscle, and also by paying close attention to how your muscles feel when you work them. Eventually, you get to where your mind can read the feedback your muscles are providing, and your muscles can react to the stimulus your mind is providing. Practice posing between sets or anytime. And feel your muscles working throughout your sets. Eventually, your mind and muscles will speak the same language and communicate back and forth."[13]

Sponsors and endorsementsEdit

Greene was sponsored by Flex. He launched a supplement brand called Dynamik Muscle in 2015, and a training program called The 5P in May 2016.[14] The latter is named after the acronym for his motto, "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance".[15] He is sponsored by sportswear company Ryderwear, who have released lines of signature clothing and footwear in his name, and he signed a deal with sports supplement and clothing company REDCON1 in 2020.[16]

Other workEdit


Greene (left) with Aaron Warr (middle) and Toney Freeman (right) in College Debts (2015)

Greene portrayed a male stripper in the 2015 comedy film College Debts. In November 2016, he travelled to the Chinese province of Guizhou to start filming for the 2018 martial arts film Crazy Fist. He played a villain who fights the protagonist in an arena during the film's opening sequence. In January 2017, it was announced that Greene had signed with The Gersh Agency.[17] In 2017, he played Funshine in the second season of the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things.[18] He appeared in the Indian action-thriller film Pogaru in 2021.[19]

He has appeared in several scenes in gay erotica and worked with the Jimmy Z Productions studio.[20]


Greene is an avid artist who often creates self-portraits to help himself build and maintain his ideal physique.[21][22] In August 2011, he exhibited some of his work to the public; at the exhibition, he stated, "As a professional bodybuilder, I'm a master sculptor. The art show made me realize that I've always been an artist: my medium the human physique. My life is what I make it, just like the art I've produced on canvas and on stage. This art show makes this statement. I'm celebrating some personal accomplishments and my own artistic expression."[23]


In November 2015, Greene and fitness model Krystal Lavenne began co-hosting a weekly podcast titled Generation Iron, in which they discussed various topics while answering questions sent in by fans.[24][25] Greene left the podcast at an unknown point in time.

In October 2020, Greene began hosting his own podcast called Getting It Done.[26]

Contest historyEdit

  • 1994 NGA American Nationals
  • 1996 WNBF Pro Natural Worlds – 1st
  • 1997 NPC Team Universe Championships – 2nd
  • 1998 NPC Team Universe Championships – 3rd
  • 1999 World Amateur Championships – 6th
  • 1999 NPC Team Universe Championships – 1st
  • 2005 New York Pro – 14th
  • 2006 Superman Pro – 20th
  • 2006 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic – 14th
  • 2007 New York Pro – 6th
  • 2007 Keystone Pro Classic – 3rd
  • 2007 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic – 1st
  • 2008 New York Pro – 1st
  • 2008 Arnold Classic – 3rd
  • 2009 Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
  • 2009 Arnold Classic – 1st
  • 2009 Mr. Olympia – 4th
  • 2010 Arnold Classic – 1st
  • 2010 Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
  • 2010 Mr. Olympia – 7th
  • 2011 New York Pro – 1st
  • 2011 Mr. Olympia – 3rd
  • 2011 Sheru Classic – 3rd
  • 2012 Mr. Olympia – 2nd
  • 2012 Sheru Classic – 2nd
  • 2013 Mr. Olympia – 2nd
  • 2013 Arnold Classic Europe – 2nd
  • 2013 EVL's Prague Pro – 1st
  • 2014 Mr. Olympia – 2nd
  • 2016 Arnold Classic – 1st
  • 2016 Arnold Classic Australia – 1st
  • 2016 Arnold Classic Brazil – 1st


  1. ^ a b "Kai Greene: Height, Weight, Arms, Chest, Biography – Fitness Volt". fitnessvolt.com.
  2. ^ a b c https://www.evolutionofbodybuilding.net/kai-greene-teases-fans-with-big-announcement
  3. ^ https://generationiron.com/top-bodybuilders-never-win-mr-olympia/
  4. ^ https://fitnessvolt.com/29958/most-popular-bodybuilders-that-never-won-mr-olympia/
  5. ^ https://www.muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/news/8-popular-bodybuilders-never-won-mr-olympia/
  6. ^ Pinnacle Sports Media & Entertainment, Inc. v Greene. justia.com
  7. ^ "Kai Greene - About". Facebook. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  8. ^ I AM MORE than an ARTIST. officialkaigreene.com
  9. ^ "Kai Greene Online Biography".
  10. ^ "2004 NPC Team Universe Results". Bodybuilding.com. Bodybuilding.com. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Norton, Layne (August 21, 2015) 2014 Olympia Weekend: Mr. Olympia Final Results. bodybuilding.com
  12. ^ Kai Greene: Bodybuilder Banned From Mr. Olympia Competition, Could Lead To Major Rift In The Sport. Inquisitr.com. Retrieved on May 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "Kai's 10 Big Back Principles | http://www.flexonline.com". americanmediainc.com. Retrieved August 11, 2015. External link in |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Kai Greene Launches The 5P's Training and Diet Program". Ectomorph Bodybuilding | Skinny Yoked. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  15. ^ "Kaigreene". the5p.com. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  16. ^ https://redcon1.com/pages/kai-greene
  17. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/BO2e-EKhgPc/
  18. ^ Stranger Things (TV Series 2016– ), retrieved August 29, 2017
  19. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/BM-T1kSBYN-/
  20. ^ "Kai Greene – IFBB Pro". Bodybuilder Beautiful. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  21. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-MzQGKwhXY
  22. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9k5TvzPRw
  23. ^ http://www.flexonline.com/general-news/art-kai-greene
  24. ^ Audio « Play.It. .play.it. Retrieved on May 11, 2016.
  25. ^ Podcast With Kai Greene: Listen to the Premiere Now!. Generation Iron. Retrieved on May 11, 2016.
  26. ^ https://generationiron.com/kai-greene-reveals-new-podcast/

External linksEdit