Kai Greene – The Rage Speech

In the following video, Kai Greene discusses the significance of rage as it relates to training.

I enjoyed this short clip as I understand Kai’s message. There is a time when it is useful to call upon the rage that lies within. Harnessing this rage does not make you a bad person. It just confirms that you are human.

In listening to Kai, two particular lines stuck out to me:

“Theres something else that has to be motivating me…”

This simple line carries a powerful message. To stand out from the crowd, you must be willing to push yourself to another level. You can’t conform to the norm when trying to be (or do) something that isn’t normal. I’m a different person in the gym. I’m not an angry person, but I can put myself in another state of mind.

Kai shares a similar belief…

“Be able to call on that when I need to, and that’s what makes me proficient at my job.”

You don’t need to live your life as a raging lunatic. You can however call upon the rage and intensity (or whatever you want to call it) when necessary. I might laugh with my children at night, but early in the morning when I’m back in the gym, I go somewhere else. I’m not a happy-go-lucky person when training. I’m focused and intense.

I prefer to train alone. I’m not looking to make small talk in the gym. I don’t care what you did last night or what you are doing tonight. I don’t want to be bothered or interrupted. When I’m in the gym, I like the music loud. I might get loud myself. I often pace back and forth between sets. I may grunt, scream, and mumble obscenities. I look and sound like a lunatic. Fortunately for me, no one is watching.

Find What Works For You

Please don’t misinterpret the message behind this entry. I’m not suggesting that you act like me. I’m simply sharing some of the things that go on inside my head. I love the intensity. There is no way I would achieve the same results if I trained peacefully with opera music playing in the background.

It’s also worth noting that such rage and intensity are not required for general health and fitness. You can certainly get in shape with a more peaceful approach. I do however believe that certain activities require a more intense state of mind. For example, if I’m training a fighter, I want him ready for war inside the ring. He needs to find that intensity in the gym. You can’t live without it and expect to find it on fight night. The intensity must be harnessed all along when training.

How You Do What You Do

I’ve often said that how you do what you do is more important than what you do. This is particularly true for those who bring real intensity to the gym. While training tools and styles are often debated, many forget the significance of individual factors. Intensity is one of these factors.

I don’t care what program you follow. If the intensity and drive aren’t there, you won’t achieve anything significant. Conversely, if you are truly committed with raging intensity, you can do well with almost anything, as no matter what you do, you’ll continue to seek out greater challenges.

I believe my greatest strengths are my intensity and competitive drive. I like to be challenged and I like to challenge myself. I feel like an animal in the gym. I love to feel and harness the rage. Once I’m in the zone, I feel like I can do anything.


  1. So true. I feel this kind of rage when I´m training motivated, running hills specially. This is the most useful thing I have for achieving results. This rage surges (at least in me) when thinking about other people, about competition, about how bad you do not want to be beaten in the ring, how bad you want to win.

    I have been wondering if this is a bad thing of myself, or if this is something that everybody feels on a regular basis like I do.

  2. So very true, Ross… there is a reason the term extraordinary exists, and it makes perfect sense that in order to achieve extraordinary results, the methods employed can not be ordinary (or routine). This is why I relate so well to your training protocols, because they take ordinary things and combine them in ways that achieves the extraordinary. Keep it up!

  3. Thanks for this, Ross. I still can’t really see myself liking or enjoying working out. I can however clearly see and understand my motivation for working out and rage and intensity fit very well. Thanks for being inspirational not just to yourself, but the rest of us too.

  4. Good post

    Being able to turn it on and off at will is a real trick though – and it is easy (for me at least) to get overworked, and peak too soon during a training session

  5. Ross

    I am exactly the same way I can’t stand when I am training and someone wants to try to talk to me. I am so intese that I have pissed people off. I will ignore you if you ask me a dumb question like do you want the tv or music off. Since I have a hearing problem I don’t listen to music but my mind is focused on being a 175lb animal ready for combat.

  6. im a newly founded kai greene fan. i agree w you 100% ross, sometimes the rage is what u need to keep the fuel burning.

  7. Well said and something I have been working on myself to find that drive and something extra to motivate me. Thanks for the video and do you or anyone else know what documentary or whatever that is from?

  8. Ross,

    Great comments regarding intensity. I have found that truly, we can do a lot more than we think we can. The key is discipline and desire, which brings about focus and intensity. Thanks again Ross, you are a great motivator!

  9. Everyone is different. Personally I don’t agree with what was said in this video. I mean rage doesn’t do it for me. I am sure it works for others.

    I feel I can push myself harder than most but rage drains my focus and lowers the quality of my session.

    When I train, I have a goal to reach, a stat to surpass. 90% through the session I have a strong gut feeling what is left in me. I push myself to the outer limit of what I believe I can do. What motivates me is not rage, but the recognition of who I am and what I want. I am simply the person that reaches that set goal. In my opinion, rage is not a pure emotion and it dilutes my effort.

  10. Thanks for the post man. In JKD we talk about being able to turn the “animal” on and off when needed during a fight. I’ve used this in my workouts by making my workouts so tough I’m scared of them, they make me sick when I think about them the night before. I have to hit that intensity just to complete them. I’m with anthony though that too much of it can dilute you, but I think when used strategically you can definitely hit higher levels of training.

  11. i always have a fire lit under my ass when i train but BOY OH BOY !!! wat this post has created has tooken me to another level ! let the F**king games beging when i get back to the gym tomorrow morning !!!

  12. I don’t like rage during my workouts. I do like the challenge and feeling the rush of the workout and the immense gratification of the change I’ve made in my life by working out (I’ve lost about 70 lbs and added a lot of muscle in about 1 year: freaking crazy change from a 48 to a 34 waist in pants, lol)—people at work say to me: “You look like a completely different person. I don’t recognize you.” “You inspire me.”

    When I need to “step it up, etc”, I think of my grandfather—he wasn’t a quitter, neither am I; same tree—made out of the same hardwood, just hang in and battle it out.

  13. Great clip, it´s weird how i find some things he says completely similar to what i feel when training, i try to calm down and train, but sometimes this doesnt work, specially when i am in the middle of a conditioning drill.

  14. After reading some of the comments here, I think it would be helpful not to think of “the rage” just as a state of mind that carries you through the workout, or a way of psyching up for whatever you are training to do.

    I think Kai is talking about a rage that exists within all of us that pushes us to do extraordinary things, things that we might have never considered doing with ourselves. The word rage, used without an object, can mean “to move, rush, dash, or surge furiously.” Especially if you train on your own, you must have at least once wondered why you push yourself so hard. 800lb squat, losing 70lbs, boxing, ultra-marathons, boxing, mma, …etc.

    Kai even states that he might be a nasty motherfucker “behind the scenes,” suggesting that even the individual might not be aware of his own potential and power, although it can be called upon later on. Last week I had a new PR for my deadlift. Nobody was paying me to do it, I wouldn’t get a better grade in school, girls wouldn’t find me more attractive, it’s not making anything but my ass look better, and it sure as hell more than curiosity! “There has to be something else motivating me…” What pushes you, where is your rage?

  15. Incredible! Deep thoughts on motivation and on why we push like we do. I like it! The word rage seems perfect to me. Especially when you consider on why you get thrown out of commercial Globo Gyms. It’s because many people are afraid when they see the rage and they don’t want you in their gym scaring away other customers.

  16. If true, what does this say about fedor emelianenko?

    True. Doesn’t have to be there for everyone.

    I remember Mike Tyson once saying that it’s not necessarily the angry, mean or surly fighters one should be afraid of, but the calm and relaxed guys who love what they do and love taking care of business.

    Whatever attitude or mindset works for you, use it.

  17. I really like listening to Kai, he always has some interesting philosophical viewpoints, as does Ross whose words I enjoy a lot too. However, for me, rage can never be a good thing due to the damage it causes in the world, if we train ourselves to use rage to overcome obstacles then we will switch to that solution very easily under stress in everyday life (not just the gym). I can push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of physically without using rage. I cultivate a lazer-like focuss and determination to drive me though. Maybe I’m talking about the same thing though but just using different terminology.

  18. I think knowing and being aware of the rage and knowing how to channel that energy to something productive is of great benefit. The rage I think Kai speaks of is an state or mind with a lot of energy. To be fully aware of it makes and to use it gives us that extra UMPH to push harder.

    Rage could be from anger from the past that may be pent up. Lifting can be a good emotional outlet for many ppl.

  19. Ross, We all have to do what we have to do. When I’m training, I completely turn off to the world around me. It’s really the only way I can focus. If a car came through my garage while I’m traning, well..i will get to it when I’m done with my sets.

  20. Well I guess this also applies to close combat training. It is not so easy training in martial arts and the only thing that can push you to keep on is to concentrate.

  21. I never thought to use rage as fuel for training, but this is a thought I will have to play with and see what happens, Ross, thanks for the post, keep em coming you’re great brother.

  22. Forgive me for adding a religious aspect to this…

    In Buddhism, particularly the Japanese sects that practice “Shugendo” venerate a “wisdom king” called Fudo Myoo. He represents intense focus, perserverence, and controlled anger/rage to drive one through to reach a desired end. Another thing I find interesting about the shugenja (practitioners) is that they see themselves as warrior monks, and perform physically grueling tests of one’s mettle to purify themselves. All pretty cool, I think.

    It’s the same for me… each workout and each run are personal and spiritual tests I give myself to prove and purify. Maybe kind of flaky, but it’s a part of the whole package that makes me me.

  23. I’m pretty sure he is just insinuating that you have to be on the gear to lift 805 pounds. Rage is an obvious metaphor for steroids.

    “there has to be something else motivating me”
    roid rage

    “Be able to call on that when I need to, and that’s what makes me proficient at my job…”
    So here you can interpret it that he would be out of a job if he didn’t take the juice.

    1. @Kevin – Yeah, because everyone that Kai competes against is clean (sarcasm)… Yet he is still able to separate himself from everyone around him.

      He’s obviously talking about something you don’t understand.

  24. I actually manage to get the intensity nowadays despite the music or lack of it. It is like I’m entering some weird zone when the movements start. And for the record I’ve done some pretty extreme and intense workouts (for me) while listening to Wagner, Beethoven, Sibelius or Shostakovich. Weirdly they get me to the zone, as well as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Amorphis or Children of Bodom does. To be honest I doubt that music nowadays does anything. It feels like it’s me who is lifting the iron 😉

  25. I have a few major stressors in my life equivalent to my train stessors. I want to become one of the strongest and most conditioned persons on earth. I am in the gym 4-14 sessions a week for 1-3hrs per session. I take a very relaxed approach in between sets trying to calm myself as much as possible, but during the set I am not focused, I AM FOCUS! I try to manage my energy very well and not waste any because I am working towards my limit with finite ability to handle stress. If I were a professional athlete I would train more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *