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Interview with Iain Valliere

Interview with Iain Valliere

In recent years we have seen a vast pool of bodybuilding talent start to emerge from Canada. While familiar names like Pakulski and Abiad continue to make waves in the IFBB ranks, behind them is a group of young / hungry athletes awaiting the opportunity to take their place (and beyond.) At the forefront of this next generation of Canadian talent, is Rookie IFBB Professional Iain Valliere.

Q.) How did you first get introduced to bodybuilding, and when did things start getting ‘serious’ as far as wanting to compete etc?

  • I was first introduced into bodybuilding when I was 19. I had got a job at a local supplement store and a few of the guys there suggested I do the local competition that was coming up in a few months. I placed first in Junior’s (under 21) and third in the Open Heavyweight. After that I wanted to see how far I could push it and really started to get serious with training and nutrition.

Q.) In 2011 you won the overall in the junior class at the CBBF Championships. What did this win mean to you at the time, and is this when the real-possibility of a pro career start to creep into your mind?

  • At the time I thought my life was going to change. I was expecting the phone to start ringing off the hook with sponsorships and magazine opportunities. After this pipe dream started to fade, I began to focus on growing to be competitive in the open class. I don’t think it was until I started competing in the open class in 2013 that I really started to think it was a potential possibility.

Iain Valliere_2011-2015

Q.) 2012 you hit a speed-bump of sorts, when you broke your arm with a spiral-fracture (the length of the arm.) How did you receive this break, and what were your immediate thoughts?

  • I broke it arm wrestling Devon Larratt (pictured below,) a 4 time world champion arm wrestler (stupid, yes I know). My immediate thoughts were those of self-pity that my days of bodybuilding were over, and that my arm would never look or feel the same.

Devon Larratt

Q. Many bodybuilders can take a lesson from this, as Victor Martinez broke his arm the same.

Fortunately the muscle wasn’t damaged, allowing a full recovery aesthetically. What was this process like, how long did it take for you to feel your arm had fully recovered, and caught back up with the other?

  • It was more frustrating than anything. The surgeon told me it would be about 10-12 weeks down time, but I had done x-rays at about 6 weeks post-surgery and the bone was well fused so I started going back to the gym and just doing some light exercises, mainly machines. Within about 3 months after the surgery my arm size was about back to normal.

Q.) 2013 you came back with a vengeance, winning the Heavyweight and Overall at the Ottawa Championships, where you took the stage looking tremendously improved. What were some of the changes that allowed you to elevate yourself to that next level?

  • I think breaking my arm was a blessing disguised as a curse. For the first while after the break I had to stick to fairly light weights. This taught me to be more mindful of creating tension and strong contractions, and not just moving ridiculous weight from a-to-b. This improved my training vastly. I also felt like I had a lot to prove to myself and others after being out of competition for over 2 years, which was highly motivating.

Q.) 2014 was a major year for you to say the least. You returned to the OPA Championships and claimed the overall title, this time as a Super-Heavyweight, before heading down to Acapulco later in the year to beat a tremendous group of competitors at the Amateur Olympia, and to claim your IFBB Pro card. Tell us a bit about what you remember feeling the moment you heard the judges announce your name and you realized that you’d just become an IFBB Pro.

  • I honestly don’t think it really sunk in until a year later standing backstage at the Orlando Europa. At the time I just remember being stunned. The invite to this show was very last minute and I had come there with no expectations and definitely no real thought of winning and turning pro.

Iain Valliere_2014_Olympia_Mexico

Q.) Unlike most athletes today, you didn’t wait long to put your pro card to good use. You made your pro debut earlier in the year at the Europa Orlando where you took 7th in a surprisingly deep lineup. However, given your condition and improved package from your time as an amateur, many believed that you deserved to be bumped up the placings a few slots.

What were your expectations going into the show?

  • I didn’t have any major expectations heading into the show, all I wanted to do is show up in awesome shape and create some buzz. Which I feel I accomplished.

Q.) Were you happy with the physique you presented at your debut?

  • Yes, I was very pleased with the package I brought to Orlando. In hindsight, I could have been slightly fuller but I feel my conditioning was spot on, and I was 20lbs heavier on stage than when I won my pro card in Mexico the year prior.

Q.) How did you feel about your finish at the time?

  • Honestly at the time I was pretty bummed out about it. After a few days when more press came out about the show and I heard a lot of good reviews about both my physique and potential, I let go of the placing. But it also did light a fire under my ass for the Toronto pro which was coming up in 5 weeks.

Q.) At the Toronto Supershow, you managed to bring home a top-five finish in front of what was essentially a hometown crowd. What was it like to compete as a pro for the first time in front of your family, friends, and supporters?

  • It’s always great to have your friends and family there to support you, and to be able to celebrate with all of them afterward was great also. You can definitely feel the difference in the energy while you’re on stage which was very motivating.

Iain Valliere_IFBB_Toronto Pro_2015

Q.) You’re member of a Canadian bodybuilding scene that has really exploded in recent years, producing some top level talent in both the amateur and professional ranks. Give us a bit of insight as to why you think we’re seeing so much high level talent emerge from the Canadian scene recently?

  • It’s really hard to say. I think Bodybuilding as a whole is growing in Canada, the number of competitors per show is increasing year-to-year.

Q.) For the more casual-fan outside of Canada. who isn’t following international competition at the national level; name 3 guys ‘to watch’ for?

  • Dana Baker (a mutant athlete) is a big one to watch out for, this guy is young and hungry, and makes leaps and bounds in his physique every year, and has the most ridiculous set of quads in Canada hands down.

Chris Bumstead is another one who is going to make waves in the future. This guy is 20 years old, he won Nationals as a Junior this year and placed 3rd in the open heavyweights (which is obviously very rare at that age). He has one of the most aesthetically pleasing physiques out there, and trains like an animal.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Tony Searle. He has had a tough year in competition, but he was national Light Heavyweight champion in 2013 and has placed in the top spots at many other national and international events. His time will come and when it does I think he could be a force to reckon with in the 212 division.

Dana Baker_Chris Bumstead_Tony Searle

Q.) What is ‘TNT’ and what services do you provide, is there an optimal way to contact you or find-out more?

  • TNT is a contest prep and personal training company. We have a studio here in Ottawa, which is currently under serious renovations and we are looking to re-open September 1st with our new and vastly improved facility. We also do online contest prep, which you can see all details and packages on the website TeamTNTPro.com, you can also contact me through the site.

Team TNT_Bodybuilding_Canada

Q.) You’ve obviously had tremendous success at a relatively young age as a bodybuilder. In your opinion, what has been the most difficult aspect to master up to this point in your career?

  • I think the most difficult thing to master in bodybuilding is maintaining motivation. All year, every day, training whether you want to or not, or eating those meals whether you’re hungry or not. But this consistency is what I attribute most of my success at such a young age to.

Q.) What have been the biggest differences between Amateurs and Professionals so far, both on the stage and off?

  • Well the most obvious is the caliber of athletes on stage. Everyone there at one point in their life earned their place as a pro. I feel like in the amateur ranks there is a lot more comradery. This may just be because I am new in the pro circuit, but I just felt it was a little more tense ( I guess that happens though when money is up for grabs)

Q.) As we head into 2016, what are your offseason expectations this year, and do you have any shows in-mind?

  • The goal for this offseason is probably the same as most, pack on as much muscle as I can with focus on my back width and chest thickness. In terms of next show I have in mind, most likely Toronto Pro 2016.

Q.) Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you reach this point in your career?

  • My Mom has always been my biggest supporter when it comes to everything I do in life, and has always done everything in her power to help me achieve my goals. Also my girlfriend Melissa (who actually turned pro this year) for always keeping me honest and accountable, and also being a huge inspiration to me.

Q.) You recently signed with IForce Nutrition? What’s your experience with the company been like so far; as well, what’s your Top-2 supplements from them and why?

Iforce_Nutrition

  • So far I have really enjoyed working with them, I believe they really care about their athletes and their success. My favorite products are HemaVo2 Max, this is their pre workout pump product, it’s packed full of citruline and arginine and give ridiculous pumps. Another favorite of mine is Compete, their Essential Amino’s product, definitely has improved my recovery and tastes awesome.

Q.) If people would like to find out more about you,and follow your ascendance of the IFBB ranks, where can they find you on social media?

Iain Valliere_Toronto Pro_2015

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