Talented stars, killer physiques.Read article
Clash of the Titans Five: Kai Greene vs. Chris Cormier
September 14, 2009
The 2009 Mr. Olympia on September 25-26 is shaping up to be the most competitive in history. Loaded with star power that hasn’t been seen since the explosion of talent that populated the lineups of the nineties and into the new millennium, it sparks the timeless debate: Who was better, the champions of yesterday or the champions of today? To answer that, we’ve pitted the class of ’09 against legendary names from the past, each in a one on one battle to determine once and for all, who will reign supreme.
The fifth in our Olympia Clash of the Titans series pits an Olympia rookie against a veteran with 10 O’s behind him, including third place finishes in 1999 and 2002. The neophyte, though, has something that barely eluded the vet six straight years: an Arnold Classic title. While the former is known for his shocking collection of parts, the latter was known for the harmony of how his parts flowed together. It’s a contrast in experience and body types as the Kai Greene or 2009 challenges the Chris Cormier of 1999.
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OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: GREENE VS. CORMIER
TALE OF THE TAPE
|NAME: Chris Cormier
WEIGHT: 245 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 1994, 6th; 1995, 6th; 1996, 7th; 1997, 8th; 1998, 6th; 1999, 3rd; 2001, 5th; 2002, 3rd; 2004, 7th; 2005, 13th
|NAME: Kai Greene
WEIGHT: 260 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: none
SCOUTING REPORT: CORMIER
He had two of the best quads in the game, replete with the deepest delineated sartorius muscle the O stage has ever seen. Still, the beauty of the Real Deal’s physique a decade ago was the balance of his parts. He lacked the “wow” factor of one or two overwhelming bodyparts–the sort that draw your eyes in a lineup–but once the initial “wowing” wore off and you contemplated which man had the best overall body, Cormier’s completeness was the real deal.
SCOUTING REPORT: GREENE
There’s a quad with lines going every which way. There’s hams as big as glazed hams from the side and with lines like horizontal blinds from behind. His lats seem to sweep the stage, his biceps seem to touch the rafters. Greene’s parts don’t just stand out in a lineup, they grab you and force you to watch. They don’t flow together in every pose and his low lats make his already wide waist appear wider, but Greene’s “wow” factor is a 10.0 on the Richter scale.
Standing relaxed, Cormier’s aesthetic X-frame wins out the longer you look at the two physiques. Greene’s arm and lat size take the double bi comparison, but the front lat spread is a close call. A strong pose for both men, Cormier’s smaller hips and deeper quad separation narrowly win the day.
The two side shots tell you the least about physiques and provide ample opportunities for bodybuilders to hide faults. Not the best shots for either man, they split the results. Cormier takes side chest and Greene takes side tri. The relaxed views are tossups.
Cormier can hang with almost anybody in the two rear shots, but Greene isn’t anything like anybody. He has too much lat and delt meat and too many ham and glute lines. He wins the rear relaxed and both rear compulsories.
Add it up and Greene takes more shots than Cormier. In that sense, it’s an easy call. Still, bodybuilding is not judged by who wins the most poses. Those who favor aesthetics are going to favor Cormier. Those who want to be shocked and awed are going to go with Greene. It’s two unique bodybuilding approaches, or as Ronnie famously said, “It’s apples and oranges.”