Generation Iron Kai Greene Who is Best

In a sport of pure subjectivity, what is the real definition of winning or losing?

I’ve come in first and I’ve come in last place. In a team sport such as basketball, baseball, or football, your ranking, or “place,” is determined over the course of a season. Society ranks that team by their statistics, by their win to loss ratio. From that point, we place the team into the next level of competition; the playoffs, and then the ultimate level of competition; the championship. This is where the winner is solidified as the champion. There is no subjectivity.

However, after watching the Olympia and competing as a Pro for the first time in bodybuilding, there is a definite difference in what defines a win or a loss. Some people may define it as the person that takes first place. Others may define it based on their perception of what they envision their ideal physique to be. For instance, Phil Heath was announced as the four time Mr. Olympia this past season. Almost immediately, the sensation began over social media with people comparing Phil Heath to Kai Green, often stating that Kai Green was robbed of the title; that Kai Green should have won. Others stated that Shawn Rhoden or Dennis Wolf were clearly the biggest, most conditioned athletes on the stage.

Bodybuilding is completely subjective, period.  There is no way to settle the dispute, to have everyone agree on which athlete is the best on stage, or to have everyone share the same opinion. We can only look to the judges and try to understand how each judge came to his/her decision. If we can agree to do this, the debate would be over and the decision would be accepted. Time and again, I have seen these outcries about placement and politics in the bodybuilding community. In order to compete in bodybuilding, or any physique related category, you must be willing to resign yourself to the fact that you can lose the competition based on an opinion, or preference, of a particular body type. It does not always matter if you worked the hardest, or if you overcame more obstacles than the competitors standing next to you. This is all part of the niche and you must be willing to accept it. Otherwise, you should think twice about whether you are mentally ready to step on a stage.

So, you may wonder how a competitor should define a true win or loss in the journey of bodybuilding, and that is a fair question. My perception is that bodybuilding, as I mentioned in a previous article, is a journey that never ends. It is a quest to constantly improve the overall look and the symmetry of your body. Every time you get on stage the whole point is to be better than you were the last time.  This could mean increasing the size of any specific group of muscles, or coming in more conditioned so that you can utilize the leanness to better highlight your muscular development.  Having the ability to continuously improve your physique, and maintain your nutrition on an ongoing basis is a victory in it of itself. Most quit before they even make it to stage! The placement should not be everything.

In my opinion, losing is for those who make excuses as to why they did not win. Losing is deciding against asking for the judges’ feedback. Losing is getting back on stage to look exactly as you did the last time you were there.  Losing, to me, is not giving your absolute best and then expecting that you are entitled to first place. A champion is not defined just by wins and losses, but by a person’s ability to continue through adversity.

If we want to rank the best bodybuilder by wins, then Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman are at the top. However, if you took a poll of what people think, you would get a variety of answers, some of which would include those who never won the title. The same would apply to basketball. Based on titles, Bill Russell would be ranked the best. Once again, if you polled the public, you would receive an assortment of answers.

So is a person’s success determined solely based on titles?


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Greg Robinson
Greg Robinson is 33 years old and a natural pro bodybuilder. This year he has placed first in his Men’s Open Bodybuilding Class at the OCB Battle for the Belt in Burlington, NJ and took 2nd in his pro debut on Sept 27th, 2014 at the ANBF Jersey Shore Natural VIII. He currently is the bodybuilding representative for the American Natural Bodybuilding Federation and maintains a full time job as an Index Manager You can find Greg Robinson on his Facebook and Twitter below.