Kai Greene sees a bright future for bodybuilding in India

Kai Greene, one of the world's leading bodybuilders, says he sees a bright future for competitive bodybuilding in India.

"I am delighted to see the growing awareness for bodybuilding in India and (I'm) now convinced that with increased infrastructure and support system, the Indian bodybuilders could become highly competitive in the national and international championships," said Kai Greene.   -  Special Arrangement

Success in sports brings name, fame and money and that is what most professional sportspersons crave for in their careers. But there is one more goal that drives a person to succeed in his chosen sport, which is discovering a sense of identity. Ask Leslie Kai Greene, 44, the champion bodybuilder from the United States. He says it was the one thing he yearned for in his life more than anything else.

Greene, who was in India to promote the sport as an ambassador, says, “Many would think bodybuilding is all about having an Adonis kind of physique, but to me, it was a conduit, the intermediate. It was the vehicle that helped me learn how powerful my thoughts are and that my thoughts and the right use of my thoughts helped me create a better quality of life for myself."

These words from Greene are not surprising as he grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in the foster home system. He took up bodybuilding and soon came to understand that it was indeed a ticket to self-realisation, through sports.

Becoming a successful bodybuilder and staying at the top is not easy. “The key to that is to unlock your potential, putting heart, mind and body together. In any sport, you have two options, success or failure, it is for you to choose the right one,” he says.

Greene has several major titles to his name, including the Arnold Classic (in 2009, 2010 and 2016) and a runner-up tag in the Mr. Olympia competition (2012, 2013 and 2014). He says each one these awards was special. “The most important title a person can win is learning to identify themselves as a champion because with doing that you give yourself the liberty to expect great things while giving yourself the responsibility to use your power to work to create great things.’’

Greene is not just bodybuilder, he is an artist, sculptor and also an actor. He has starred as Funshine in the second season of the hit Netflix Sci-Fi series Stranger Things. He also goes by his popular nickname 'The Predator'. “It is quite funny how I got this name. When I started my professional career, I used to sport long hair and locks, while the standard at the time in the sport was a clean cut look. My efforts were starting to be recognised and because I had the long hair and a really solid work ethic, that allowed me to become a top champion and it wasn’t an odd place to find myself labelled the predator," says Greene.

Greene who has been training for the better part of 20 years, says he stopped counting at 20 years and is still going as he has a lot more to do and is excited to do it.

He goes on to add that he has been to India earlier too: "I am here as an ambassador for the sport and over the years have been building a strong relationship with iFITNESS, providing them new trends on training and equipment which helps me realise a much fuller potential and working to do things to make bigger opportunities here in India.”

On his current trip, he is here to launch Kai gyms called Dynamic, which he says will represent not just the best of exercise training equipment but also healthy lifestyle promotion. “I am delighted to see the growing awareness for bodybuilding in India and (I'm) now convinced that with increased infrastructure and support system, the Indian bodybuilders could become highly competitive in the national and international championships."

iFITNESS, the Bengaluru-based bodybuilding centre, which hosted Greene, unveiled plans to promote the sport across the state in a big way, scouting young talent in all districts and offering them training in their state-of the-art training centre.