Greene Screen

Mr. Olympia runner-up Kai Greene’s arm workout is like a Hollywood thriller—you never know what twist is coming next



That’s the Tao of Greene—he’s not one to just bullet-point a workout for you. In every interview, he constantly strives to put words to what exactly it is that whirs in his head during the pure action of lifting and lowering a weight. In the span of a few moments, he’ll veer from a comparison of weight training to school attendance to a baseball player in a batting cage, to even seeking feedback on sexually satisfying your significant other. (We’ve spared you the details on that last one.)

But that wild ride does, often enough, arrive at a clear destination. As difficult as it may be to pin down a “typical” Kai Greene workout, the larger lessons he shares are the lifeblood to be drawn. His results may never be duplicated by anyone else who tries to follow in his footsteps, but his tenets can be assimilated into any workout, improving the end result significantly.

Such is the aim of the following arm training treatise, captured on that wintry day in New York, deep in his training of-season, seven months from the next Olympia fray. As Greene would tell you, “Take this, and make it your own.”


STAGE DIRECTION: 4 sets (each exercise), 15, 12, 10, 8 reps

Dialogue “With my forearms

pumped, I go right into biceps and triceps. Usually, the frst exercise is indicative of the lead muscle group for that day. If today’s focus in on biceps, I’ll start each superset with a biceps move. Next workout, I’ll lead with triceps.”

Action For barbell curls, Greene stands holding a barbell with a shoulder-width underhand grip, arms extended. Keeping his abs tight, chest up, and head straight, he contracts his bi’s to curl the bar toward his chest, keeping his elbows tight to his sides, then lowers along the same arc. After completing that exercise, he heads to the nearby cable station. He grasps a rope attached to the upper pulley, with the pinkie side of each hand against the bulb at the end of the rope and palms facing each other. Greene brings his elbows to his sides and positions his forearms just above parallel to the foor, then starts repping, extending his elbows fully and bringing them back to 90 degrees, not letting the weight stack touch down between reps.

Close-Up As with every exercise, being wholly immersed in the moment mentally is paramount to Greene. “Picture yourself to be a powerful battery, and this battery is loaded with energy,” he recommends. “When you go to the gym, think about how you want to make your arms bigger, fuller, everything you think they can be in your head, and put that into your repetitions.”

Deleted Scenes Greene will sometimes trade standing barbell curls for the dumbbell version, curling both weights simultaneously.

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