Behind the veneer: Kai Greene ‘Muscle Machine’ on discipline and mindset

reality and dissapointment  

   NOT EVERYONE IS a fan of working out. Not everyone is keen on it, although judging by TV viewing figures and packed stadiums, irrespective of body fat percentage, people love to watch athletes. Now, if I mention the word bodybuilding yet more people will tune out. It conjures up images of ridiculous muscular gargantuans that make Action Man look like a wimp. Steroids is inevitably one of the next synaptic matches made and yes they are abused. Let’s go beyond that.

Below is a documentary about Kai Greene a bodybuilder from humble beginnings who doesn’t do flash, or bragadocious chest thumping. There’s no ‘here’s my three storey, here’s my fast car…now check out my delts!’. Here is a man who wants you to see what lies (in both meanings of the word) beyond the lenses: video and camera. The super slick glossy images you see on mag racks or TV are what we are peddled daily. We are sold perfection, the sort that can only exist in heavily edited form whether that is photoshopping or selective words and footage. It creates a false reality. One that tells us, that to go from A to B is one way, while eschewing the daily grind, the boring minutae of each hour we are awake. According to the media, life is easy. We only see a snapshot of someones life, the part they have worked towards and it is staged. This is not how people live but I really feel this leads to people being very naïve about life and expectations of an easy ride come with it.

Why is it important to see the seldom seen? Well, I wish there was such a grounded look at a niche life like bodybuilding or writing readily available to everybody. Because the reality is so, so seldom what we see – illusions are what we fall for irrespective of what it is. Your job is sold at the interview as one thing, the real job is never the same. Your McBurger once opened in it flimsy cardboard, does not look like the picture on the menu. Kai Greene shows what a façade can do to our perceptions. This documentary focuses on bodybuilding but can be transposed to anything or anywhere, which is why I feel it is such a powerful and inspirational piece of media. See for yourself.

7 Comments

  1. For me, the most strenuous part of his routine was spending two hours cooking. Don’t know if I could do that.

    I heard a female bodybuilder talking recently. She broke her neck lifting weights.

    1. Yeah the cooking part is tough I imagine – but he batch cooks so it’s done in a day or so, but still, it takes a TON of discipline to eat those meals. I found even on a 3k calorie diet eating it all was no mean feat – to eat becomes a chore as strange as that may seem.
      As for the female bodybuilder…dam, there must have been some bad technique or something, a mega rare but serious injury from weight lifting.

  2. This is so true. I used to bodybuild, (not to compete), and am doing those kind of workouts again. Getting great results, BUT . . . just like this shows, so much of your day is taken with diet. When to eat, what to eat, how much protein – and the workouts, wow, you push past what you think you can do, totally exhausted. No one sees those things, just that snapshot of a result. Great post!

    1. Cheers!
      I’ve heard it’s 80% diet, lifting is such a small part of it. It is definitely true and actually eating the food these lifters require to grow is in itself insane. Seven meals a day type thing. Jay Cutler says he hates eating and I can see why, especially the diet they have to be on.

      I’m gearing myself up for another gym run having been out for a couple months. Good luck with your routine!

      1. I’m having great results – literally looking as good and as strong as when I was in my twenties, (but this fifty-year old body hurts a lot more!) I have to agree with Jay Cutler – I have to force myself to eat when I’m not even hungry. It’s quite a nuisance, and mustering up the mental energy for the intensity of the workouts is no picnic, either! Good luck to you, too!

    1. Ha ha. It’s a great documentary in that it doesn’t even get into bodybuilding in terms of competing oreven routines that much, but gets underneath the fingernails of what it takes on a daily basis to be great at something.

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