GetbigBodybuilding & Fitness

King Kamali
May 23, 2006

Shari 'King" Kamali is always a very dynamic, controversial figure in the bodybuilding sport. Outspoke, focused and a favorite topic of discussion on the Internet boards, whether good or bad, King Kamali's move are watched by legions of fans and others. In some ways, a lot of pro bodybuilders would be happy with 6th place at the IFBB New York Pro, but for his fans, that is not good enough. They expect more. Whether you like it or not, King Kamali get a tremendous amount of attention, and here are some questions and answers with King a few days after the 2006 IFBB New York Pro.

King Kamali, Questioned by Ron Avidan

  • How did you feel you placed at the IFBB New York Pro competition?

      I will answer this in a two-fold process. How I feel how I placed, and how I feel how I looked? My placing after prejudging - I personally thought I was anywhere between 4th and 5th. Nothing past 5th. I thought it was down to me and Dennis James for 4th place. That is the feedback I was getting from people. But by the way the callouts were going, it looked pretty obvious what was going to happen, and it did. Now as far as my conditioning and my physique, I am night and day different from last year, much much better, much more streamlined,

      I got some of my taper back that I have lost the past few years, and it was the leanest I have ever been, even though it didn't show it. If we had Ironman lighting, it would of shown it. It would of shown all of the shadows and shown how hard I really was. But I am not using the lighting as an excuse, I am saying it washed almost everybody out. Everybody looked a little soft. But my conditioning was right on. A little flat, but it was spot on.

  • Why are people complaining that your stomach is too big?

      First of all, people are not complaining. The only people that I see are complaining are a few ass clowns on Getbig and Shawn Ray. My stomach was not distended at all - zero distention. It is my waist. My waist. There is a big difference. People just don't seem to understand that. Dennis James - his stomach protrudes forward - that is the distention. That is why he gets deducted. My stomach is not big like that. What happens is my waist is wide - and that is due to the style of my training.

      I train like a powerlifter. I don't know any other way to train. I go as heavy as I possible can and I get spotters to keep me moving during the force reps. Everything I do is galley slate type weightlifting. 600 or 700 pounds squats. Eight plate one arm rows. Seven or eight plates quarter deadlift. That is how I have always trained. Up to a certain point, probably 2001, it still was a pleasing look with my structure and frame, but as I got into my 30s, I started to slow down, my physique started to change, and the way I change, it was for the worst, because what happens was all that powerlifting started to make my waist more muscular. Unlike some people that cannot solve this problem, this is very fixable, and the way we fix it is we are going to put aside all of the power movements because I am big enough. I have enough muscle to stand on stage next to the best. I was 251 at prejudging and 256 at the night show this past weekend. That is on a 5" 9 1/2" frame.

      I am going to stop the powerlifting and incorporate more bodybuilding type movement and increase the reps. And that will slowly but surely, as the New York Pro was step one in the process. That is why I stayed quiet. That is why I didn't say anything to anyone or respond to the people on the boards. I didn't want to go out there and say 'I was going to win this, and I am going to win that". I didn't say any of that. All I wanted was to be better than I was before, and that is exactly what I did. When I sat down with Joe McNeil eight months ago, that is exactly what he said to me. He said to me "I cannot fix your structural problems in one year, it is going to take time, but I will get you in the best conditioning you have ever been." And that is exactly what he did. That is why I am not disappointed. That is why everybody is surprised that I am not hurt from all from all of this. Of course not because we achieved our goal.

      Now granted, I wanted to qualify for the Olympia my first time out, first time back in a long time, and I thought I did. There are a lot of people that I should have been in the top 5. But I am no going to complain. I am not going to sit back and cry about it. I am not going to let the losers on the boards get to me. No. I am just going to keep on improving, and going to Phase 2. Phase 2 for me is what Joe and I are doing - we are going to keep on fixing the structural problems. And the next time I step on stage, my waist will be even thinner. Now just imagine what my physique will look like if I took off one inch off my waist and added a little bit more quad sweep, and a little bit more delt size. That is going to make my physique a thousand times more pleasing. Don't you agree?

  • Yes, I agree.

      That is what we are doing. That is exactly what my goal was, and we are on target. We did what he had to do, and now we are going to keep improving. Step one is done, now we are going to Step two.

  • Ok. If you are a bodybuilder, then why are you training like a powerlifter for the contest? Does that make sense?

      Because that is all I know. From day one, where I first started lifting weights when I was 16 years old, I joined Tyson's Olympia Gym which was a very hardcore gym, and that is how they trained. So I learned from day one that this is the way it has to be done. That is the way Dorian did it. That is the way how a lot of people did it. But it gets to a certain point where you now have to use your brain instead of your muscles to improve. I am honest with myself to sit back and look at my physique and look at last year's Ironman contest and say 'Oh my god, it that my waistline?" Yes, I was huge, I was the biggest guy in the top five, I was 5 pounds heavier than Gustavo. That doesn't mean that I looked better than Gustavo at all.

  • Why did you switch advisors from Chad Nicholls to Joe McNeil?

      I didn't like the way the direction that my physique was going. Whenever any athlete is at a stalemate, and they need change, they go back to square one. They go back and try something completely different. Victor Martinez is a good example. He worked with Chris Aceto until he started losing some conditioning and started to go down in the placings last year. So he did the same thing. He chose a different advisor and came back a monster. Sometimes you need to do that

  • I take it the New York Pro was Step One. What is Step Two?

      Step two will be the Europa Super Show where I am going to compete, followed by the Montreal Pro Show, which is in 13 - 14 weeks?

  • And what will be your improvements for these shows?

      Exactly what I said before. I will be harder. My bodyfat will be ever lower, and I will be a lot more streamlined.

  • King, what's with the wedgie on stage at the New York Pro?

      Ha, why does Ronnie give himself a wedgie on stage? How many times have you seen Ronnie pull up his trunks? Because he is trying to show his glutes. So if your strong points are your glutes, and they are striated, you try to show them off. And how do you show them off is by bringing attention to them. So that's why I diid it?

  • Can you perform your front double biceps with a vacuum instead of squeezing your abs like you did in the New York Pro?

      We are working on that right now, but for this particular show, we had to blow it out because the waistline is not streamlined. But they next time I step on stage, it will be vacuumed?

  • What happened with the incident with George Farah on stage at the New York Pro?

      I will elaborate more on that when I go on the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly radio show in a few weeks, but the quick version of that is, I will use a line from the move 'Dragon - The Bruce Lee'. If you touch me, I am going to touch you back. And George shoved my arm during the front double biceps shot, and he also said something, which I am not going to repeat, which was disrespectful to me, and I sort of put him in his place. I don't take shit from anybody, especially when I am competing on stage.

  • What about during or before contests? You are so serious, so stern looking?

      That is because I am focused. Focused because I need to put myself in a certain mode for the competition. I have been like that from back in the NPC days. You have to have the right mindset for the competition. This isn't fun and games, this is my livelihood, I take this seriously. If people think that is having an attitude, that is wrong. I don't go around backstage cursing. I stay quiet and focused. It is a battle on stage, it is a war. You are fighting for your life on stage. You train for 16 weeks, no - train your entire life for one war onstage. That is tough. Because if something goes wrong, you are fucked. Some people have no idea how tough that is - the pain, the suffering, the sacrifice to get it done. And pressure - pressure from your sponsors, pressure from your family, pressure from your friends, pressure from your colleagues, pressure from the fans on the internet - now that is pressure.

  • Shawn Ray's commentating at the New York Pro talked about your distention in your stomach? Was he biased or not biased in his analysis?

      I don't give a rat's ass about Shawn Ray. I don't care what he does. He is a sick man, he needs help. He is obsessed with me. Every time there is a thread about me on the boards, he said something derogatory about me. And how many times did I respond to it. I didn't respond. That just shows you what kind of person Shawn Ray is this year, and what kind of person I have become?

  • Ah, the boards. Lots of comments there. What did you think about the comments that you used Synthol and Diuretics all of the time?

      I don't think anybody uses Synthol anymore. That is a complete misconception by a lot of bodybuilders and general people who are don't compete. Synthol is something that came around for a few years, and then all of the athletes realized that this stuff does not help you, it destroys physiques. It makes you lumpy, gives you a distorted look, it builds up incredible amounts of scar tissues, and nobody uses it anymore. So that it a mute point. As for diuretics use, well, that is why I am working with Joe McNeil right now. What people don't realize is that, yes steroids are bad for you if you do a lot of it for a long period of time. It is very harmful and does a lot of damage. But diuretics is what kills. Benaziza died from diuretics, Matarazzo almost died from diuretics, Dillett almost died from diuretics, Flex Wheeler has problem because of diuretics. I didn't use any diuretics this time around. I didn't need to. That is why I hired Joe McNeil because he doesn't believe in diuretics.

  • King - do you have an attitude? Do you talk shit about people?

      Who? Who have I talked shit about in the past year about? The only person you can come up with is David Henry. What I said about David Henry is that he needs to come back to earth a little bit because at this particular moment and time, I have talked to many people who said they went up to David Henry to congratulate him and shake his hand, and he had a chip on his shoulder. I am the only one who had the balls to tell him that he needs to come back down to earth. You are a great bodybuilder, you are exactly what they want now, the aesthetics, the streamlined looks, but don't let it get to your head. This is still bodybuilding, you are 180 pounds, and come back down to earth now.

  • So you have an attitude?

      Look, I just grew up. It's pointless. It doesn't matter if I stay quiet or go on the boards and go crazy. People are still going to hate, they are still going to talk their crap, because they don't have other things to do with their lives. I am willing to bet that the ones that talk the most garbage have never stepped on a bodybuilding stage, because true bodybuilders, even competitors that are not in the best of shape, people who compete, I still respect them because they have the balls to step on stage, and compete.

  • Are you saying that all fans have to go on stage?

      No, not at all, but if you are going to talk crap, at least understand what it takes. It takes competing on stage to understand the sacrifices and the suffering and what it takes to become a professional bodybuilder. It is extremely hard to become a pro. Some people just don't not understand it. They keep putting all bodybuilders down. Sometimes the worst thing that happened to bodybuilding is the internet boards. The funny thing is none of these guys will ever say these things to the pros if they go to a bodybuilding show or expo. What I am saying is don't malicious put people down because you want to become an internet celebrity on the boards.

  • I agree with you. The malicious bashing must stop. Constructive criticism though is important. However, the internet boards have changed the boards, but also for the positive. You get information faster, you can promoted shows and DVDs and guest posings, and more.

      Oh, I agree with you on that, but what a few of them are doing on the boards is just plain wrong. I get lots of emails from Getbig members saying that these few are ruining it for the majority of the fans. A lot of them love to hear from professional bodybuilders. My response to the majority of the fans is to use class to kill these morons. Shut them up, post and tell them they are wrong, and that it needs to stop. And the moderators need to back them up.

  • So back to the boards? Do you want a fresh start or are you ok with the past?

      I have no problem with the past. I didn't go anything wrong. A few years ago, when people came on and talked smack, I came on and talked smack right back into their face, and suddenly I became the bad guy because I speak my mind. No, I don't regret one second of it from the past, however, I grew up. It is called growing up.

  • Now, you made a comment on the boards that you are going to give Shawn Ray some harsh words and comments? What do you want to say?

      I am going to say what I have to say on Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Radio show, because I promised Bob Cicherillo I would wait, but I can tell you this, after I go on the radio show, Shawn Ray will never talk about me again. And I have physical proof on my statements. And I am not going to tell you right now, so don't keep asking me. Just wait a few weeks.

  • I hear you now write for MuscleMag Magazine? How is that going?

      I love it. Robert Kennedy is the man. He is incredible. He makes thing fun, he is honest, he is direct, and he loves the sport of bodybuilding, and he wants to make changes for the positive instead of taking steps backwards like other magazine do. He takes step forwards?

  • The PDI - Pro Division Inc. Wayne DeMilia. Speak now - what is your involvement in it? Are you going to the PDI?

      I have no involvement in it. But I know where these rumors start from - the boards. People believe anything they read. Because they think somebody wrote it - it must be true. I have no involvement with the PDI. Do I talk to Wayne. Yes, all the time. He lives a few houses down from me. We talk all of the time. Never has once Wayne has asked me to come to the PDI. We don't talk like that. I like to hear stories about bodybuilding in the past, and what Robby Robinson was like, and what Danny Padilla was like, and what Samir Bannout was like when he stayed at his house. Wayne is very knowledgeable. As for the PDI, I think it will make the IFBB a little better, a little sharper, competition is always good.

  • You just had a new DVD come out?

      Yes - it's called 'Back with a Vengeance'. I think it is very good, and I will guarantee that it is good. You know what - I will leave it up to you. I will put all of my faith in you watching it and writing your honest review. I will send you a copy, and you write your honest opinion on it. I think it will be the best bodybuilding DVD you have ever seen.

  • What do you want people to think of you - King Kamali?

      I want people to think of me as whatever they want? Everybody has their opinions. When someone criticizes you, and they are not malicious about it, it makes you a better person. You sit back, you read or listen to the criticism, and you think ok, maybe this person is right. Everybody who has ever met me in person knows what kind of person I am. I am honest, I am kind, I love the sport, and I take care of my friends. You know what Joe McNeil said to be before he left on Sunday night. He said "King, you are a very lucky man. You have the most loyal fans, friend and family I have ever seen in my life. They love you and care about you." I said 'Yes, because I take care of them. When you are my friend, you are taken care of, whether financially, spiritually, and so on." On the other side of the coin, I am also very confrontational, I don't take shit from anybody, and I am in your face and I tell the truth, whether you like it or not?

  • What about the people that meet you for the first time at an expo or a show? How do they react or you react?

      The people that don't know me and meet me for the first time are very apprehensible. They are a little nervous, but I immediately, I try to make the calm and relaxed. And by the end of the conversation, they are like "King, you are not like what we thought you were, you are all right".