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Trey Brewer vs Steve Kuclo

Trey Brewer vs Steve Kuclo

A decade ago, when talking about the future of bodybuilding, Trey Brewer, and Stephen Kuclo would inevitably be brought up. Both names still ring bells in the bodybuilding world, but for entirely different reasons. Brewer, currently considered by most a ‘flop’ while Kuclo, the classic definition of ‘success.’ But for a brief period, their paths were very similar, born the same year, aspiring firefighters, who shared a passion for bodybuilding.

The first time the duo would meet was 2005, at the NPC Teen Nationals, where the returning heavyweight champ, Kuclo would handily beat Brewer, though both represented themselves well.

Trey looked good at the show, and demonstrated his potential, but he still had a very raw physique that had prominently developed from his time as a high school football player; 2006 this would change. Competing as a Super-Heavyweight at just 21 years of age, Trey shocked the bodybuilding world, winning the overall title at the prestigious Excalibur contest, held in Culver City.

While the legend of Trey Brewer was born in 2006, Kuclo remained relatively dormant, until 2007, where he’d compete in the IFBB North Americans, finishing a respectable 8th place but not making much additional splash.

But it was 2007 when both Brewer’s hype and weight astronomically rose after Trey notoriously signed a contract along with Brendan Curry for a sponsorship from BSN. The gains to his physique were noted at the Olympia during an infamous interview with Dave Palumbo, in which Trey claimed to be ~320lbs. His weight allegedly would continue to rise, however, as later in the year at Nationals during an interview with Shawn Ray, Trey reported to be 325lbs.

In 2008, Trey would finally diet down to reveal the muscle he’d been working to add since his Excalibur win. His first show of the season, Trey came in 5th of the Super-HeavyWeights at the Junior Nationals. Under normal circumstance, most would consider this a fantastic showing for someone his age, especially in retrospect taking into account that everyone who placed above him at the contest is now an IFBB professional, but the feat went largely overlooked due to the hype surrounding Brewer and expectations being so high out the gate. Though Brewer brought an impressive package to Juniors, with lots of quality/dense muscle, he was notably soft from the back, especially his glutes, an issue which would be a theme throughout his bodybuilding career.

Trey Brewer Steve Kuclo 2009

Brewer and Kuclo would face off for their 2nd time later in the year, at the NPC Nationals, where Kuclo would get 3rd place and Brewer 4th in the Super-Heavyweights. These placings would elevate Kuclo’s name back into the mix of contenders, only setting him up for disappointment in 2009, while Trey’s stock stayed relatively the same following a lackluster showing earlier in the year at Juniors.

But it was their 3rd battle, in 2009, when shit hit the fan for both competitors and the point that would drive their bodybuilding careers in two entirely different directions. It was at that year’s NPC Nationals; Trey would finish a disappointing 8th place, and Kuclo as low as 13th. Though we didn’t know it at the time, everyone who placed in front of Brewer was an eventual national champion, and all soon to be IFBB professional’s with one exception (Kirk DeFrancesco.) If the placings weren’t disappointing enough, this period also served as the heyday for online forums, which were highly critical of the pair, many writing them off as quickly as they’d praised them to be the next Mr. Olympia.

In early 2010, just a few months after the National debacle Trey was dropped from BSN, and shortly after that announced his departure from competitive bodybuilding. While Trey had been seemingly defeated, Kuclo who placed even lower, took it with a grain of salt, and the next year was placing yet again at the national level, and within two years won professional status.

No, it wasn’t uncontrolled bulking as proclaimed by Generation Iron that killed Trey Brewer’s bodybuilding career, it was uncontrolled hype, which he was not entirely responsible for.

NPC News_Bodybuilding

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