The Return of the King Snake!
Steve Kuclo Brings Mass with Class in Preparation for his Arnold Classic Ohio Debut
Since his first pro win in 2013 (at the IFBB Europa Pro Dallas), perennial fan favorite Steve Kuclo has been touted as a threat to all prestigious IFBB pro stage competitors.
A long time member of Team ALLMAX Nutrition, the former full-time firefighter has nevertheless had a career of highs and lows, but has always maintained a winner’s mindset.
Through it all, he has shown a remarkable ability to return to the stage stronger and more determined than ever to win the major titles, included among them the Columbus Ohio Arnold Classic, where the sport’s best of the best via for the coveted title each year.
Having won the 2014 Arnold Classic Brazil, Steve’s had a taste of high level success. Buoyed by past achievements and the support of his formidable fan base, he’s currently training hard to add another ‘Arnold’ to his collection. In fact, according to the Kingsnake himself, a change in training style and a full year off from competing has given his body the much-needed time, rest and, more recently, shock treatment to have filled out considerably while still displaying his same signature shape and crisp muscularity.
Steve Kuclo has won two pro titles and has frequently achieved top-six honors.
Still young for a pro (at 32), Steve believes his best is yet to come. As well, he’s only been competing at pro level for a total of five years (pro debut: 2012 New York Pro). This means muscle maturity and further size gains will give him the momentum he needs to continue working his way up the rankings.
Like most elite-level athletes Steve’s never fully satisfied with his training results, as significant as they have been in recent years. But his pro potential has been evident since day one. He entered his first contest, the 2004 NPC Capital City Classic, at age 18. Here he won the teen division, placed third in the open class, and immediately developed a passion for the stage.
Following NPC Teen Nationals Heavyweight wins in 2004 and 2005 and a succession of top placements from 2007-2011, Kuclo finally achieved his pro card by winning the superheavyweight and overall titles at the NPC USA Championships in 2011. Since turning pro, the 5’ 11”, 270lb athlete has continued his exponential ascent through the highly competitive pro rankings.
Along the way he’s won two pro titles (the aforementioned 2013 IFBB Europa Pro Dallas and 2014 Arnold Classic Brazil events) and has frequently achieved top-six honors. Now, on the eve of the 30th Anniversary of the contest many believe to be the most prestigious of them all, Steve is gunning for Arnold number two. He’ll be one of the larger men onstage with well over 250lbs of shredded mass on his aesthetically pleasing frame.
In the following exclusive interview Steve explains how he’s recently been able to make some of the most impressive gains of his pro career, why he feels the best is yet to come, what his fans can expect to see when he makes his Arnold Classic debut on March the 2nd, and how he plans to make bodybuilding great again.
How did you approach your training and nutrition for this year’s Arnold? Did you do anything differently from previous years?
After taking a year off from the stage, I was excited to see what my body was able to do being rested and fresh. Competing, training, and dieting really takes a toll on your body over time so the time off was much-needed. During this prep my body really responded well to small changes. And I was able to maintain my size by eating a lot of food while dieting down. This has helped me maintain my fullness and hard earned muscle at the same time dropping body fat. The biggest change I can attribute this prep is going to be my training style. I started working with Gina Davis who writes up my workouts. My workouts are next level of intensity and volume which has helped improve my condition in areas where my body likes to be stubborn. I am excited to see what the finished package will look like in a few weeks.
What supplements have you been using during your prep for this year’s Arnold? How have these benefitted your physique and performance?
When I think about the supplements I take I thank God I am sponsored by ALLMAX because I really do take a lot of different supplements and ALLMAX has such a wide range of products that pretty much cover my every base.
The staple for me dieting or offseason is ISOFLEX protein. I have been hooked on the chocolate peanut butter this prep. It’s my treat post workout. The newest addition to my arsenal is IMPACT IGNITER! During the days where I am really mentally and physically drained, IMPACT does what the name says. It definitely fires me up to create an impact in the gym.
I also stick to a lot of basic supplements. My morning routine is a scoop of CYTOGREENS, AMINOCORE, GLUTAMINE, and CARNITINE that I take first thing in the morning before my cardio. I will also add a scoop of A-CUTS to the mix for an extra boost when needed. I am also a huge fan of the VITA-STACK – compete multivitamin packs which ALLMAX makes to help my body run at peak levels.
How are you feeling and looking at this stage of your prep? What kind of package can your fans expect to see come March 2?
I have a tendency to be overcritical during my preps and having a coach like George Farah helps me not over think things and leaves the stress of what changes to make to him. At this stage I feel right on track and I’m just keeping my head down and training as hard as I can. I really feel like I crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ during this prep and it will show come March 2nd!
What motivates you to keep improving as a bodybuilder?
I think the mentality of a bodybuilder is to always improve since we are never fully satisfied with our physiques. Seeing the progression of the sport and the level of conditioning and size guys bring now pushes me to train and diet harder. Posting training photos/video and getting a positive response from fans also helps keep me motivated. When I can inspire and motivate other like-minded people to be better it helps motivate me to be my best.
Do you feel the best is yet to come from Steve Kuclo? What would you ultimately like to achieve in bodybuilding before you retire?
I do feel the best is yet to come for me in the sport. I am still very young in the bodybuilding arena at age 32. As my body ages and muscle maturity is starting to become a factor, I am seeing more detail through my muscle bellies and my conditioning is coming in more and more. I think as a pro bodybuilder the ultimate goal is to become Mr. Olympia and or an Arnold Classic champion. Before I retire I would like to become one of them, if not both.
What is it about the Arnold Classic that makes it such a popular event?
This will be my first time on the Arnold Classic Ohio stage. Being a previous Arnold winner of the Brazil show helps take a little bit of the nerves off doing the big one. This year it’s the 30th anniversary of the Arnold Classic and its getting a lot of Press. It’s exciting to see the sport in a good light and fitness growing throughout the world. The Arnold Classic brings hundreds of thousands of people together and it’s a great opportunity to meet and gain so many new fans.
What message would you like to send to those who have supported you in the lead up to this year’s Arnold?
I see and get a lot of messages from fans telling me that they’re excited to see me back onstage. This has motivated me during my prep as well and I thank every single one of my fans that support me. My motto this year is “make bodybuilding great again” and a lot of people would agree with me that the physique Arnold introduced to bodybuilding is what everyone wants to see and I hope to bring the aesthetics, symmetry, and complete package to the stage on March 2. I am so blessed to have such an amazing wife, family, Team ALLMAX, and fans that going into my 15th year of competing makes it feel like it’s the first time I’ve stepped on stage.