Kai Greene Rage Philosophy

Posted on 16 Jun 2015 22:38


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I wouldn’t call myself a big fan of bodybuilding but I’d be lying if I said all the drama and trash talking from the last Olympia (2014) didn’t get me interested in knowing more about the big boys of bodybuilding. I’ve heard a LOT of stories of how Kai Greene is the underdog and he certainly appeared that way in the 2013 Generation Iron movie.

There is a video from 2013 which features Kai Greene discussing Ronnie Coleman and how it takes a lot of rage to lift weights and be a bodybuilder as you grind out rep after rep till you hit failure.

Kai Greene Rage Philosophy Video

I have a few points to discuss in this video. Kai Greene fans are not going to be happy but let me assure you that while I think Kai’s humility should win him the Olympia, he definitely is WAY off the mark about rage and lifting. So I understand if you guys get mad at me for not agreeing with your captain but don’t mistake that for me trying to discredit him as a bodybuilder.

First, Kai is about as deadly wrong as anyone can be about the dependency on rage to get you to lift. When you use mental crutches like rage to push you, you are unfocused and all over the place. What are you angry at? Are you so full of rage that you can switch it on and off like a switch? How long can you stay angry? You have a set of 30 reps of back squats: can you be mad all the time? Is anger a permanent solution to motivation? These are critical questions you have to ask yourself.

Another question to ask is, how much energy does it take to stay angry? The answer is it takes a shit-load of energy to hold on to some "rage" state. If you've ever gotten extremely angry and yelled, screamed, lashed out, etc. you may also remember being a bit exhausted after the fact!


It could be, though, that Kai is not wrong at all. It could be when he says rage, he actually means aggression. Many people mistake aggression with rage, after all. However, it is one thing to be aggressive and determined to get that last rep or lift that heaviest weight and it is a COMPLETELY different thing to just let blind red rage consume you. Such an emotion must be channelled, directed, and controlled. Rage is like a big flood-light lights up everything with a harsh, glaring, brightness. What you need for lifting is a laser beam! I believe that it is not blind rage at the world and all the wrongs it has done to you that motivates or drives you to push yourself but your determination that carries your pre-existing motivation to the finish line.

This leads me to my final point. I don’t think a lot of people got the subtlety of this but bodybuilding is about reps. It is about volume. Right now, it is being convoluted into some pseudo-strength-training nonsense. But Kai has touched upon a really important point without intending to: if you want that growth you need to do those insanely high rep squats with as much weight as you can. Training to failure is a huge component of bodybuilding. I find it refreshing to see this subtle point being dropped into the discussion of pushing yourself.

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