Kai Greene, aka The Predator, has built one of the most impressive and massive physiques in the bodybuilding community.
Although he hasn’t competed in several years, he’s maintained a hulking physique that constantly feeds rumors he’s returning to Mr. Olympia.
With such an impressive body, it’s no surprise that Greene has formulated a unique and effective training philosophy.
Although rooted in conventional mass building routines, Greene goes above and beyond in cultivating his mind-muscle connection and packing on unbelievable mass.
Follow his training, nutrition, and rest, and you’ll be making your gym buddies green with envy soon enough.
Greene was born in Brooklyn, New York, being sent to an orphanage at the age of 6 due to his behavior. Although his start was rocky, he found a love of lifting that helped him get through this period of his life.
Before his 19th birthday, Greene became a pro bodybuilder—getting the title of the youngest pro bodybuilder in the world.His fame and reputation began at the 2009 Arnold Classic, where he missed out on first place by just a single point.
Most recently, he won the Arnold Classic in 2016. Throughout several years in 2012, 2012, and 2014, he would place second place in the Mr. Olympia competition—nearly beating out Phil Heath in 2014.
Although he never ended up winning Mr. Olympia in his years as a professional bodybuilder, he’s widely regarded as one of the best bodybuilders that have never won.
With such an impressive resume, his approach to training is definitely one to emulate if you’re looking to pack on some mass.
For someone like Greene, it wouldn’t be overstating to say that training is an art. With high rep counts and lower weights in a conventional hypertrophy training regime, Greene is able to cultivate the mind-muscle connection.
This ensures he’s also hitting the muscles he needs to hit, and doing so in a way that puts the needs of his body at the forefront of his training.One of the keys to this is properly warming up.
This is kind of unconventional, as Greene begins all of his workouts with trisets of various exercises. This takes about 15 to 20 minutes, which is also sometimes supplemented with some cardio.
Warming up is always recommended to get your blood pumping and muscles primed to work out, but Greene goes a step further with his warm-ups.Warming up for Greene also means getting his mind ready to exercise.
For example, during his warm-up, he’ll listen to his muscles and decide which movements to do and in what order. Whether he’s going for thickness or for width will dictate how the workout session will go.
While a workout inspired by Greene has been put together below, it’s important to keep this aspect in mind because it’s the key to his success.This is also seen in the rep and weight schemes that he uses in his training.
As opposed to strength training which uses low reps and heavy weights, training for muscle growth requires many reps and lower weights. This type of setup also helps to cultivate the mind-muscle link, since your body is going through the motions many more times and perfecting the movement through that volume.
Greene takes this to the next level by never exactly knowing how many reps he’ll be doing before he starts his gym session. Although he will range anywhere from a minimum of 10 to upwards of 20 sometimes, what matters is that he listens to his muscles and decides what his body needs at that moment.
However, it’s not just what exercises you choose and how many of them you do, it also comes down to how you do them.Form is obviously important because it’ll help you get the most out of exercises while also keeping you from injuring yourself.
However, it’s also important to do movements with intention—focusing on the contractions and stretches throughout the motion.You want to be lengthening the amount of time your muscles are under tension.
This means stretching your muscle at the top of each lift, while also going through them slow and steady. A pause at the top of a row, for example, will emphasize your traps and delts.
The key is to know which lifts hit what muscles, and then do those lifts in a way that brings the target muscles even more to the forefront.
Tackling your lifts with this in mind also helps your ever-important mind-muscle connection. Strengthening this aspect will give you better feedback on your body, and will allow you to more efficiently tailor your workouts and lifts for your needs and goals.
Visualization also helps in this manner—seeing how the set will go, what muscles will be activated, and how much force you’ll have to exert. This is a powerful and underutilized tool in training.
Finally, Greene also utilizes posing in his training. We often think that posing is just…well…posing. But the tension is also a good way to hit muscle fibers that you might’ve missed in the lift. Consciously flexing certain muscles before or after a set is a good way to ensure that they’re properly activated.
Keeping in mind the training philosophy outlined above, below is a Greene-inspired training routine to pack on muscle. Ensure that you’re warming up and that you’re familiar with all of the exercises.
This is targeted for intermediate to advanced lifters, so don’t go rushing into things if you’re a beginner.The schedule is broken down as:
Resting should also take precedence along with training and proper nutrition. Your muscles can’t grow if you’re not allowing them to recover—and that goes double when you’re training at the volumes that this routine will require.
Proper sleep and muscle recovery is the key to long-term, well-rounded gains.Without rest, you’ll severely kneecap your progress before it even gets off the ground. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep active on rest days.
Things like hiking, sports, or swimming are good options to keep your body moving while also allowing your muscles to recover.
Day 1: Chest and Calves
Day 4: Legs
Greene hasn’t said a lot when it comes to his diet, but it’s obvious that the man eats a lot. And with his cut frame, we can be sure that he’s usually not dirty bulking either. That means eating plenty of healthy proteins, fats, and carbs.
You want to be making sure that your protein is lean, your fats are healthy (such as those in fish and avocado), and your carbs are complex and healthy.To put on mass, the macronutrient you’ll be wanting to pay special attention to is protein.
Without enough protein—the muscle-building ingredient—you’re just going to be leaving gains on the table. However, that doesn’t mean the other two macros should be ignored as they’re critical for overall health.
Also, make sure you’re eating enough greens. Vitamins and minerals are going to help build the foundation that supports your muscles, and skimping in this area is a road to stunted growth.
Steroid use is no secret, but it’s worth mentioning. While a ton of hard work goes into getting to the size that Greene is, there’s no way to do it naturally.
However, steroids should be done with the proper plan in place. For those who want to go the natural route, there’s plenty of supplements that can give an edge as well.
As we saw in the diet section, the key to getting big is to eat enough. And on top of that, it’s going to be the protein that really packs on some muscle to your frame. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re getting enough protein from day to day.
A very easy way to do that is to make yourself a whey protein shake or smoothie, and drink it (or a couple) through the day. Mix it with milk instead, and you’ve just increased your protein intake by a lot.
It goes without saying that whey protein is an important part of any serious gym-goers routine, but what sets it apart?Whey is one of the best-studied supplements in the world, and it’s produced in the cheese-making process since it comes from the watery portion of milk.
After being processed, it’s often flavored to taste better. However, it is important to always check the ingredients: you want to be getting something that doesn’t have any gunky fillers.
With whey protein, you’ll be getting all nine essential amino acids and a ton of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). This will help the development of your organs, skins, hormones, enzymes, tendons, and of course, muscles.
We touched on BCAAs above, but they deserve some of their own attention. They can also be taken as a supplement on their own, without the need to take them through a whey protein powder.
This is a group of three essential amino acids, consisting of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Not only do they help with boosting muscle growth and performance, but they’re also useful in helping with weight loss and helping to reduce fatigue after a gym session. T
hey are building blocks for protein and muscle, and aid in regulating blood sugar levels by pushing your cells to take in sugar from your bloodstream.What sets these amino acids apart from other amino acids, is the fact that they’re mostly broken down in the muscles as opposed to the liver.
Due to this fact, it’s believed that they play a much larger role in energy production during exertion and exercise. While studies range in their recommendations for daily intake, a commonly cited number is 55 mg of BCAAs per kilogram of body weight, per day.
If you’re not training or exerting yourself throughout the day, this number shouldn’t be too difficult to reach. But if you’re regularly training—and especially if you have your eyes set on mass monster status—then taking a high-quality supplement is the way to go.
Creatine is also one of the most tested supplements in the world. Although some claim that it can have negative effects on individuals, this hasn’t been proven to be true.
Creatine is naturally found in your muscle cells since it’s a compound that helps you produce energy during heavy lifting or intense movements. Taking creatine as a supplement is a sure way to increase your strength, exercise performance, and gain muscle mass.
Being chemically very similar to amino acids, creatine helps your body produce more of the ATP molecule. ATP is one of the ways your body powers itself, especially when it comes to high-energy movements over a short period of time.
That’s what makes creatine especially useful for putting on mass and also training strength.As always, it’s important to opt for a high-quality creatine supplement. But if used correctly and consistently, it’s a great way to turbocharge your gains.
Well supporting your muscles is all well and good, you’re not going to get very far if you’re not building your gains up on a solid foundation. And what makes a solid foundation?
A healthy body, overall. That means exercise, rest, and nutrients. Without all three of these aspects, you won’t be able to realize your full potential. That’s why multivitamins can be useful for hitting that last factor—nutrients.
While a well-rounded diet will get you most of the way there, it can be beneficial to supplement your regular eating with a multivitamin. This is especially true if you’re going through a lot of energy from day to day.
While multivitamin brands differ, your body needs 13 vitamins and about 15 different types of minerals in order to produce enzymes, hormones, boost immunity, and keep nerves and organs functioning properly.
It’s especially important to keep an eye out for good multivitamins since they’re not regulated as heavily. But get a solid source and stick to it consistently, and your body will thank you in every aspect of your life.
When it comes to training, the key Greene’s workout is cultivating that mind-muscle connection. You want to do each movement with not only perfect form, but also with intention.
Know what your muscles are doing and what they need to develop, and that will get you a lot further than following cookie-cutter training routines.However, proper rest and nutrition are equally (if not more) important.
Without the proper foundation of health, your muscle-building isn’t going to get very far. If you want to turbocharge your gains, supplements are always an option. But for mass monster status, holistic health is necessary.