- Q&A Columns
- Contest Photos
- Contest News
- Athlete Profiles
- Product Reviews
How Allmax’s Steve “KingSnake” Kuclo & Amanda “Booty Queen” Latona Make Life and Love Work
From time immemorial, power couples like Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jay Z and Beyoncé have made their impact on their respective fields. As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” These couples are proof that having a successful marriage doesn’t have to come at the cost of your career, and vice versa; a high-powered career doesn’t have to affect your relationship—you both just have to work a little harder. Trying to maintain a marriage that involves romance, friendship, and intimacy is hard enough, but when you add on successful and lucrative careers, it becomes slightly more difficult, just from a practical sense; typically, more successful people tend to be busier with work and just have less time for their marriages.
Not only that, but some couples refer to their businesses or companies as their “baby,” giving the impression their connection to their career is primary. According to one psychologist, it’s at that point where the “commitment to and trust in the relationship becomes questionable. Having a spouse addicted to work can feel like as much of a betrayal as an extramarital affair to the other spouse,” says Dr. Mike McNulty, a Master Certified Gottman Therapist. These couples sound a little more at risk, right? Well, if both partners are committed to the relationship first and foremost, and have a solid foundation of love and trust, then their love will last.
With all that said, this isn’t an advice column, and how you run your marriage and/or company is your business. We’re here to cover one of our industry’s most popular, most successful, and most attractive power couples: Steve Kuclo and Amanda Latona. Each one is famous in his or her own right, and together, they’re practically unstoppable.
Pawn to King(snake)
In 2010, Steve placed third at NPC Nationals. Everyone knew he had potential; he has thick, dense muscle bellies onstage, and superhuman strength in the gym. In 2011, he had a series of wins at NPC Nats, which eventually led him to receiving his pro card at the USAs in Las Vegas. Kuclo went from the top three at NPC Nationals to the Olympia stage in three years (he placed 14th in 2013). With his insane work ethic and an improvement in conditioning, he was back up there in 2014 as the youngest member of the Olympia top 10, and was back on the Olympia stage yet again in 2016. From the time he started competing in 2007, everyone knew it would only be a matter of time before he turned pro. In terms of his personal life, Steve is as much brain as he is brawn. Kuclo studied mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. Because auto plants weren’t hiring when he was ready to enter the workforce, he began emergency medical technician and firefighting training in 2005, a field in which he worked tirelessly until late 2015. He retired from the force late last year in order to focus his efforts on bodybuilding and the business side of the sport. We should also mention he started up Kingsnake clothing back in 2011, a collection of exclusive apparel geared towards men. Now, you’re probably wondering how he does it all, and so successfully, too. Well, it should be noted that he has an extra set of hands around the house to help keep things organized … did we mention that in 2015 he got married to IFBB bikini pro Amanda Latona?
(Booty) Queen of Hearts
Until you’ve never seen Amanda onstage, you’ve not truly experienced what a “crowd favourite” is. In Pumping Iron, Mike Katz is quoted as saying, “In every contest I ever won, or ever lost, I always got the most applause, and the people were most for me. When I go to South Africa this year, I’m sure the same thing is gonna happen. The crowd is gonna be for me.” Now, like Mike, Amanda is a legend in her own right, having amassed over 25 first-place finishes including 10 IFBB pro bikini wins. She also has over 10 international fitness magazine covers. But more than that, she’s loved and adored by crowds everywhere she goes because she’s a true role model. Lineups for her autograph and orders for her BootyQueen leggings are unparalleled. Her personality screams “girl next door,” while her body screams “IFBB pro”; with that said, it’s no wonder she’s a winning fitness competitor, internationally renowned model, TV host, online personal trainer, sponsored athlete, and entrepreneur (check out BootyQueen Apparel).
Q & A WITH AMANDA “BOOTY QUEEN” LATONA
MUSCLE INSIDER: You’ve combined the KingSnake/BootyQueen Apparel lines; were you ever concerned that there would be too much overlap both working and living together?
AMANDA LATONA: No, not at all, actually. We live our lives being as worry-free as possible. A lot of people overthink things, and the “what ifs” come at them. All we knew, and still know, is that we wanted to be together as much as possible. We love doing life together, and so we’re business partners, life partners, and best friends. We put everything in God’s hands, and He takes care of the rest.
MI: How do you balance everything you both have going for you?
AL: Well, balance is the key word and we definitely have a lot that going on. One of the things I learned a long time ago is to not spread yourself too thin, and to make your own schedule. I learned that firsthand when I couldn’t say no to any job or opportunity for fear that I would be missing out. You have to prioritize and learn when to say no. You have to streamline your time with what is most important to you, your business, and your goals. We sit down as a husband and wife and go through everything we are doing. If something is going to compromise something else up higher on the priority list, then we simply say no. Planning, scheduling, and communication are key. That being said, we are also very hard workers. We love to work, thank God for open doors and opportunities, and pray about everything. At times it gets overwhelming; I can just look at our schedule and get overwhelmed. I also preach, “Take one day at a time,” so we do that. If one of us gets overwhelmed about anything, the other is there as a strength and a support. We are each other’s calm, and God is the Rock of it all.
MI: How do you determine what to prioritize in terms of how you both spend your time?
AL: We also make sure that by not taking on too much at once, we have breaks away from anything business related. Because we are doing so much, we make it a point to put phones down and have date nights. We love just relaxing at our house, going to movies, and heading to live sports games. If we are out of town for the weekend, (and some months it’s literally every weekend with early days and long days), we then will make sure we get a nice dinner together where we just relax and enjoy. This is what creates that balance that we know is so very important. Once again, it goes back to scheduling. For example, with our apparel site, we get orders and emails every day. So we now set these certain days for this and other days for that. Another example is with the NPC show that we promote, the Kuclo Classic; we have things that need to be done every day, but when you plan out this day for one thing and another day for something else, it creates more organization. Like I said, that, along with planning, scheduling and prioritizing what’s best for your business and brand is what works in the long run. We always say to each other, “big picture.” Make time for the things that will help with your brand, business and future, not just something that’s a quick thing in the temporary. We have large calendars that we use, boards that we write on and colour code, and plan days to just sit down, talk, plan, brainstorm etc., all with our priorities in mind.
MI: To what do you attribute your success in life and love?
AL: One answer only. God is our source and gets all of the glory. He brought us together, He’s opened doors of favour and He’s given us the grace and ability to do it all.
MI: IFBB pro, wife, entrepreneur, cover model … where do you go from here? How do you go bigger and better in 2017?
AL: I think we all have desires in us to set goals and accomplish them. I never become complacent. My mind and heart are always set on bigger goals and dreams, and I wake up every day with hope and expectancy. So each year has been, and will continue to be, bigger and better. We have so many exciting opportunities—the best is yet to come. I encourage everyone to not put limits on to what they can do. We all have one life, so make the best of it. You never know if a door will open unless you knock on it. So knock. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.
AMANDA GIVES US AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE KUCLO FAMILY’S “HIS & HERS” SUPPLEMENT SHELVES
“Shelves” is the key word because we each have a few; our pantry looks more like a small supplement store. But hey, that’s the perks of being an Allmax athlete, and Steve and I truly love the brand.
To be honest, there’s not a lot of difference in our shelves. We share everything, and have different stacks depending on our goals. If he’s prepping for a competition or I’m getting ready for a shoot, we take different supplements than we would for everyday training. That being said, we have A:Cuts in every flavour, with Pineapple Mango and Pink Lemonade being my top two picks. We have a ton of Aminocore in every flavour, with Pineapple Mango being my go-to. We also have H:Vol, which is the pre-workout that I talk most about in my Instagram posts. H:Vol is a stimulant-free pre-workout, and that’s why I stack it with A:Cuts. We also have Glutamine, L-carnitine, and Carbion in Fruit Punch and Pineapple Mango (I add this sugar-free carb source on leg days when I’m increasing my carbs, whereas Stephen takes it every day). Our shelves are rounded out with a few tubs of Isoflex in every flavour possible. We also have Allwhey Gold, Hexapro, and lots of vitamins: C, D, CLA95, fish oils, probiotics, and cyto greens.