by Christian Duque
If you’re like me you’re always glued to YouTube and you’re always looking for new and exciting content. I tend to watch channels that match my interests – from politics to bodybuilding to supplements and more. As social media gets more and more intense the quest to find truly engaging content is getting harder and harder. Whereas years ago it seemed that everyone had a webcam and an internet connection, the same can be said today for production value. It seems the new norm is having a cameraman, good lights, and excellent software for editing and production purposes. Nonetheless, talent is as scarce as ever. It’s one thing to have all the trappings of a modern film set, but it’s quite another to get people’s attention and keep it to the point they subscribe and watch more than one video.
The Tren Twins have struck the iron while it’s hot. They’re a couple of young guys who are training partners and started out as newbies. Their first love was powerlifting and it’s a discipline they have kept with. They train together, seem to live together or spend lots of time at the same place, and are viewed as a team wherever they go. They have qualities of The HodgeTwins, The Barbarian Brothers, plus some of the same intensity hitting heavy weights as Branch Warren and Johnny Jackson.
They also have the tren gimmick down pat. Aside from the fact that they look juiced to the gills, they eat clean and train hard. And to say they look obviously enhanced isn’t a put down – quite the contrary – it’s intended to speak to the point that they’re living what they preach.
If you clicked on a video by guys known as The Tren Twins and you saw a couple of string beans fresh off the junior varsity soccer team you’d be pretty let down. And that’s what most people have come to expect from social media – marketing and smoke. When you watch a Tren Twins video, you’re going to be wowed, inspired, and left wondering if you’re training anywhere near your potential.
These guys may or may have done their first bodybuilding show but I for one could care less. They often say it’s their goal to earn an IFBB Pro card and compete with the big boys but I think they’ve already figured out that contest prep and contest placings don’t equate to growing an audience on YouTube or any other social media platform. Perhaps they have yet to learn that.
The fact of the matter is that guys like Kali Muscle, Rich Piana, and even Craig Golias all competed and all did well at the amateur level. None of them turned pro and none of them kept competing for 10, 20, or more years in pursuit of a card that doesn’t automatically give you a paycheck or any tangible benefits. Instead the aforementioned guys worked their social media, appeared and worked at all the major expos, and created their own footprint in one of the toughest and fastest growing industries in the world.
Some five years after his passing, Piana is still celebrated as a larger than life bodybuilder, people still wear his clothes proudly, and his supplement line sells like hotcakes. So what if it’s just powdered carbs? People want to be seen taking 5% Supplements and living the 5% lifestyle. This isn’t because Rich won the Mr. Maple St in 1991 it’s because he lived what he preached. He was all about the motorcycles, the heavy weights, and eating to grow. Bodybuilding wasn’t a part-time job or a 9-5 part of his day. There was no on and off switch. He was on 24/7, 365. And very much like Rich Piana, The Tren Twins are blowing up for all the right reasons!!
What’s crazy is that I don’t know their names. I guess I should since I’m writing an article about them but that speaks to the point of fame. These guys have created such a powerful brand off of a controversial anabolic steroid known to create roid rage that that makes my point entirely. They have tied their image to a drug known by some as “divorce in a bottle” and have a no f*cks given attitude.
They’re young, super strong, and living their best life. They don’t lift for anyone. They don’t do it to get women, get rich, or have fun. In fact, sometimes they’re having anything but fun – as they eat for performance and growth. Nonetheless, when you sacrifice and work hard towards a goal like building an elite-level physique then all the rewards come on their own. The money, the fame, the women and the friends. Everything falls into place, especially when you’re on the rise. One of your only problems in this situation is keeping your real friends close and having a strong bullshit radar.
There will be a lot of opportunists trying to hitch their wagon to these two. When the hits and the accolades start pouring in, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture and not get hustled. To a certain degree it’s good that there’s two of them and that they communicate so well. That may help them not get bamboozled by fast-talking supplement company reps or managers promising them pie in the sky and not delivering very much of anything.
These guys are really onto something. They don’t monetize their videos which is pretty shocking considering the views and engagement they have. Then again, why focus on monetization if it’s going to mean restricting your artistic vision? I totally get that, but I do hope they’re cashing in on some level. They won’t be huge forever and that’s not because they’re not super talented, it’s just the nature of the social media game.
If everything works out, these guys will always be popular but it’s anyone’s guess how much they’ll earn in a year or two or three. If they start competing in bodybuilding they may also stop putting out as much content as that sport is very selfish. It’s one thing to do a contest here or there, but to embark on a road to pro, may see you doing several shows a year, extensive traveling, and working with coaches and trainers whose schedule may not be conducive to a social media content creator. If both of the Twins started competing actively, that would especially throw a monkey wrench into the equation, but they have to do what makes them happy.
To date, these guys have put out some pretty killer videos made for YouTube and they’re also focusing hard on their Instagram presence. I’d imagine they’re probably on all the social media, including TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter, but I mainly watch on the Tube and the Gram. Everything I’ve seen thus far is pretty cutting edge and I really enjoy and appreciate their respect for the past.
These are guys who have made videos trying to train legs like Tom Platz and cited some of the best Mr. Olympias in everyday conversation. You don’t just acquire that knowledge from reading a magazine or two. These guys are diehard bodybuilding and powerlifting fans and that love translates into the commentary they provide in between sets, making meals in the kitchen, or just out and about. What ‘s really cool is that they don’t have that on-and-off switch that separates them from the vast majority of content creators.
If you can be the same person on camera as when the camera is off, then you will forever have a strong connection to your audience. The fans will feel like they really know you and when you make a statement they will take it at face value. This is precisely what it takes to be an influencer and that only comes with time and never losing face. This is why it might mean more to The Twins to use the music they want and speak as they want than to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get monetized. It makes all the sense in the world and that’s some real Big Picture thinking if you ask me.
Job well done fellas! You’ve got a subscriber and supporter in me. If you haven’t watched a Tren Twins video, I strongly encourage you to check them out. Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe. You’ll laugh hard, get inspired, and learn some lifting and nutrition tricks along the way as well.