MuscleWeek Editor in Chief Jason Stern recently caught up with Steve Kuclo — the Odds-On Favorite to win his IFBB Pro Card at the 2011 USA this Saturday in Las Vegas — and was able to get him to slow down the treadmill just long enough to give us a few answers to some questions:
MuscleWeek: Hi Steve, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with MuscleWeek. Let’s talk about the upcoming USA show. Other than yourself, who do you see as your biggest competition for the USA?
Kuclo: There are a lot of great guys that are stepping on stage in Vegas. As the show approaches I typically am on the computer less and less and spend more time in the gym, so I’m not always up and up on who is competing in the show or looks good. You hear rumors but it’s all about who shows up the day of the show.
MuscleWeek: Gotcha. We often hear NPC guys going on and on about grabbing that elusive ‘Pro Card’. How would winning a Pro Card improve or affect your life?
Kuclo: Regardless if I am a pro or not I am still Steve Kuclo. That does not change where I’m from and what I stand for. The obvious that comes with pro status is being able to compete for prize money which is exciting and shooting for the ultimate goal of one day being Mr. Olympia.
MuscleWeek: Other than that, in what way(s) would being an IFBB Pro allow you to have a positive impact on your community/society?
Kuclo: I have recently started to work with kids and am putting together community work and programs with inner city kids. I’m calling my program, “Kuclo’s Kids.” I’ve always said I want to be a pioneer of the sport and have a positive impact on the sport from the public persona. Working as a firefighter/paramedic has shown many people that having a demanding full time job and prepping for a show is possible.
MuscleWeek: That’s definitely something admirable that differentiates you from other guys who don’t do anything except bodybuilding. Let’s talk about your heavy training style. When lifting extremely heavy (200 DBL presses), is there ever any concern over injury?
Kuclo: So much of lifting heavy weight is mental and having the confidence to push yourself to new levels is critical.
MuscleWeek: Do you think you’d regret lifting so heavy if a major injury did occur?
Kuclo: As soon as you second guess the lift or lose that mind-muscle connection you can lose it and risk injury.
MuscleWeek: Well then, don’t lose that connection bro! Best of luck at the USA.
Kuclo: Thank you for your time Jason and the interview!