Lost Potential: How Sumo Bulking Destroyed Trey Brewer

Bodybuilding dream ruined by “sumo bulk.”

Potential is the key to aspiring in anything from academics to athletic endeavors. A person may have the potential to become a surgeon based on their ease of understanding human biology. Sure, it could be simply be chalked up to as that individuals ability to study and focus on their work, but when it’s done with ease you have to believe that in some way or another their minds were specifically geared towards understanding the human body and how it ticks better than the average person. The same can be said for athletes as well. A person who’s six feet nine inches tall will have more of a genetic advantage in basketball than someone of average height.

For a bodybuilder their genetic potential gives them a leg up, but it’s not the only element that makes a great prospect. The drive, the dedication, the patience, all of it allows for an athlete to shape a great physique. Competitors with that kind of potential come and go where bodybuilding is concerned, but there are some athletes that many people expect to become great despite the revolving door atmosphere of pro bodybuilding.

Trey Brewer was a man with great potential, a bodybuilder that was set to become the next big thing in competitive bodybuilding. Brewer was a mammoth beast with the kind of size and shred of a Big Ramy and the sky seemed to be the limit for him in 2008. He looked pretty damn impressive, had a contract with BSN, and looked to be poised for bodybuilding dominance.

But all that changed once the 2009 season began. Brewer had a bad off season bulk that would prove to destroy his physique as well as any chances of him becoming a world beater in bodybuilding. To think that the difference between all time greatness and destroying everything you’ve built could all come down to poor bulking strategies is a bit disconcerting. His poor showing led to Trey being dropped by BSN and retiring from competitive bodybuilding at an early age. Now, only 30 years old, Brewer has picked up the pieces and gone on to pursuing a career in firefighting and personal training.

It wasn’t the end of the world for Brewer, but his bad bulk did end up ruining a promising career in bodybuilding. There’s a reason why professional bodybuilders can do what they do and when you consider how hard it is to gain muscle and lose fat, you realize just how much work goes into creating the perfect form. The loss of potential is always a horrible thing, but Brewer went for it, even ended up acquitting himself pretty well too. It’s better to have pursued your dreams and fail than just count yourself unlucky and never try at all. For that alone, Trey Brewer deserves some respect.

Any other bodybuilders who didn’t live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments and forums. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.