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7-Time Olympia Phil Heath Explains Why His Rivalry With Kai Greene Was the Biggest Rivalry in Bodybuilding History

Rahul Goutam Hoom

7-Time Olympia Phil Heath Explains Why His Rivalry With Kai Greene Was the Biggest Rivalry in Bodybuilding History

When two competitors compete in the same category, it is quite common for them to form a rivalry. In fact, bodybuilding has been witness to several such rivalries including the ones between Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. Such rivals may even appear aggressive in front of an audience, but they tend to share a friendly relationship in real life. However, the Kai Greene-Phil Heath rivalry triumphed over all as detailed by the seven-time Mr. Olympia on ‘The Menace Podcast with Dennis James.’

Host Dennis James was accompanied by Milos Sarcev, Chris Cormier, and the legendary Phil Heath on the podcast. Pretty soon the conversation turned to bodybuilding rivalries, with Heath taking the examples of Rich Gaspari and Lee Haney as well as Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman. However, Dennis had none of it as he insisted that the Greene-Heath rivalry was the best the sport had ever seen.

Surprisingly, Heath seconded Dennis’ opinion and claimed that Cutler and Coleman’s rivalry only lasted until the stage, since they were excellent friends behind it. He also revealed a significant distinction between his feud with Greene and the other bodybuilding rivalries, saying,

“Jay would jump on Ronnie. Pick him up and stuff. Kai and I would have never done that, and our fans hated each other. I have never seen Ronnie’s fans hate Jay’s fans and vice versa.”

Heath believes that he and Greene never disrespected each other, but it was only the internet that took both sides seriously. The bodybuilder even recounted how his opponent pushed him hard during the 2009 and 2010 Arnold Classic contests. On top of it, the 44-year-old recalled a hilarious moment from the Sheru Classic when he was on the bus with Greene.

Incidentally, there was just one seat available on the bus, immediately next to Heath, and the bodybuilder kept his meals on it to keep it empty. However, Greene was the only one who didn’t get a seat, and everyone on the bus, including the athletes, began screaming like high school students. Heath then set aside his meals before inviting his competitor to sit by him, and despite the awkwardness, the bodybuilder spotted a detail, as he said:

“I think we both noticed at that time, I could speak for him on this that there was a lot of energy. I never experienced that type of energy in bodybuilding with another person. I’ve never seen that type of energy between two other people.”

Well, the Phil Heath-Kai Greene rivalry was truly one of a kind and everyone on the podcast acknowledged Heath’s point of view. At the same time, the seven-time Mr. Olympia discussed how he felt about his long rivalry with Greene when filming his newly released documentary.

Phil Heath getting to know about the other side of his rival

While their rivalry won hearts around the globe, Phil Heath shared a love-hate relationship with Kai Greene. In fact, when filming the documentary “Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story,” the seven-time Mr. Olympia claimed he always wanted to know how Greene felt while competing against him.

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A post shared by Phil Heath (@philheath)

This was also the moment when Heath saw his competitor as vulnerable, displaying a side he had never seen before. He admits that their feelings were mutual because they had previously hated themselves, but it soon changed into love and admiration as they both pushed themselves beyond their limitations.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

About the author

Rahul Goutam Hoom

Rahul Goutam Hoom


Rahul is a US Sports Journalist at The SportsRush. Since 2022, he has covered many American sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby and other important events. Rahul's skill sets begins with the lightning-fast skating of Connor McDavid and continues with the unique surfing stints of Jamie O'Brien. When he is not busy penning excellent pieces for his readers, you can find him glued to his gaming laptop, either ranking up in Valorant or taking a shot at Honkai Star Rail.

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