Known as ‘The Predator‘, Kai Greene is one of the greatest bodybuilders in the modern era of the sport. After winning numerous competitions and placing highly in Mr. Olympia shows throughout his career, he’s become widely recognized around the world for his incredible physique.
Not only that, he appeared in the 2013 box office documentary, ‘Generation Iron‘, and launched his own supplement brand in 2015.
However, things weren’t always plain sailing for Kai – he had a tough childhood growing up, and spent most of his youth in foster homes after being orphaned at 6-years-old.
This is his story:
“Bodybuilding is an art. Your body is the canvas, weights are your brush, and nutrition is the paint. We all have the ability to turn a self portrait into a masterpiece.”
Weight 265 – 275lbs (120.2 – 124.7kg)
Height 5’8″ (172.5cm)
Year of Birth 1975
Profession Professional Bodybuilder
Alias The Predator, Mr Getting It Done
“The person with the biggest dreams is more powerful than the person with all the answers.”
1994 NGA American Nationals – overall 1st
1996 WNBF Pro Natural Worlds – 1st
1997 NPC Team Universe Championships – 2nd
1998 NPC Team Universe Championships – 3rd
1999 [World Amateur Championships – 6th]
[NPC Team Universe Championships – 1st (Pro Card)]
[World Championships, Slovakia – 4th]
2005 New York Pro – 14th
2006 Iron Man Pro – 20th
2006 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic – 14th
2007 New York Pro – 6th
Keystone Pro Classic – 3rd
Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic – 1st
2008 New York Pro – 1st
2008 Arnold Classic – 3rd
2009 Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
Arnold Classic – 1st
Mr. Olympia – 4th
2010 Arnold Classic – 1st
Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
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
Arnold Classic Australia – 1st
Arnold Classic Brazil – 1st
2009 – Overkill
2010 – Redemption
2013 – Generation Iron
“I am a believer. I believe that we shape and create the life that we choose – and I believe that the tool that we have to do that, is our mind.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York (USA), Kai experienced a difficult childhood – he was orphaned at the age of 6, and raised in foster homes for over 10 years.
He struggled to find a place in the community, and felt like an outcast for much of his youth. As a result of this, the future champion began misbehaving in school.
He continued misbehaving to the point he was at risk of being kicked out from both his school, and foster home.
But there was one positive Kai held onto in his early years, weight training. He used the gym as an escape from his problems, developing his physique from the age of 13, in 1988.
Introduction to Bodybuilding
Blessed with great genetics, Kai realized that his physique was growing at a much faster rate than others his age.
Fortunately for Kai, his 7th grade English teacher realized his potential to succeed as a bodybuilder. Knowing about Kai’s unfortunate situation, the teacher introduced him to bodybuilding, and began encouraging Kai to compete in teen shows.
This was the motivation he needed to turn his life around.
Kai at the age of 17.
Over the next 5 years, Kai entered numerous unofficial teen bodybuilding shows. As Kai was much bigger, and more developed than other teenagers his age, he dominated every show that he entered.
Kai continued his success towards the end of his teenage years. By the age of 19, he’d earned his Pro Card in a natural bodybuilding federation, the 1994 NGA American Nationals.
It was this early success that made him realize he had a future in the
First NPC Competition
By 1997, Kai Greene had sculpted an incredible physique for his age (22-years-old). He stepped on-stage at the 1979 NPC Team Universe Championships, aiming to score highly.
Although he didn’t win, Kai Greene placed a close second in his first big competition – an impressive achievement for the young hopeful.
At first, Kai Greene found the ‘big leagues‘ hard – he couldn’t replicate his performances in the teen shows, placing 3rd and 6th in the 1998 NPC’s and 1999 World Amateur Championship, respectively.
However, it wasn’t long until Kai Greene found his feet. By the end of 1999, Kai had established himself as a rising star by winning the NPC Team Universe Championship that year.
But that wasn’t the only thing he took home.
As well as walking away with the trophy, Kai Greene had fulfilled his ambition of becoming an IFBB professional bodybuilder. At the age of 24, he’d earned his Pro Card.
“In the summer of 1997, I set my sights on gaining professional recognition with the IFBB. It was brought to my attention that in order to gain Pro status, I would have to first qualify through their amateur organization called NPC.”
Taking A Break
Kai Greene’s first show as a Pro was the 1999 World Championships in Slovakia. He placed a respectable 4th, but he wasn’t happy with his performance.
Determined to make a name for himself in the IFBB, Kai took 4 years away from competing in bodybuilding shows. He spent his time away training hard, motivated to sculpt one of the greatest physiques in the world.
After 5 years away from the spotlight, Kai Greene made his comeback at the 2005 New York Pro. But it wasn’t a successful return for The Predator – he placed 14th.
Kai Greene struggled for the next 2 years, entering 4 shows and only placing in the top 3 once. However, he was determined to make a name for himself, and worked rigorously to improve his physique.
Eventually, the Predator was rewarded for his hard work – bouncing back from defeat, and finding success at the end of 2007.
By the age of 32, Kai Greene had finally won his first professional bodybuilding competition – the 2007 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic. But he was just getting started.
Kai (left) celebrating his win at the 2007 Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic, with Shawn Ray (right).
Winning The Arnold Classic
Over the next 4 years, Kai Greene entered a further 9 shows, taking home a further 6 trophies. During this period, he won the Arnold Classic in 2009, which was his biggest victory to date.
Kai Greene was handed the trophy by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Along with this success, he also qualified to enter his first Mr. Olympia competition.
At this point, The Predator set himself a new goal – to win the prestigious Mr. Olympia show.
Mr. Olympia Shows
At 34 years old, Kai Greene appeared in his first Mr. Olympia competition in 2009. Although he didn’t take home the trophy, he did place a respectable 4th in a fiercely contested line up. Which included Phil Heath, Branch Warren, and Jay Cutler.
Over the next 5 years, The Predator stepped on stage at the Mr. Olympia a further 5 times. He constantly improved on his performances, placing 2nd three times.
However, during this period, Kai Greene wasn’t able to compete for the Sandow trophy. He chose not to compete in the 2016 Mr. Olympia for unknown reasons.
Kai Greene with Arnold Schwarzenegger after winning the 2009 Arnold Classic.
Between 2010-2016, Kai Greene placed 1st in 7 shows – including four more Arnold Classic victories. It was this success that cemented his place as one of the greatest bodybuilders in the world.
After becoming widely recognized throughout the fitness industry, he began building his identity. His hair, physique, and off-stage performances became iconic. He was given the nickname ‘The Predator‘ by his fans around the world.
Bodybuilding had always been an outlet for Kai’s troubles, especially as a child. However, in 2011, he found another way to express himself – through artPages: