The end of an era has arrived. On Sept. 7, 2023, Canadian Men’s Open bodybuilder Iain Valliere announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding at age 32 in a video published on his YouTube channel.
Valliere’s decision to retire was one of deep contemplation for over a year. The primary crux was that Valliere’s continued success on the contest stage — such as his 2023 Toronto Pro Supershow victory that secured his entry to the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest on Nov. 2-5 — wasn’t capturing his intrigue anymore.
Competing at this year’s Olympia didn’t make me excited anymore.
Check out Valliere’s full retirement announcement below:
Iain Valliere Retires
Valliere has been a pro bodybuilder for a decade, noting that he’d begun competing at age 18. Compounding his “lack of desire for competing” was the thought of mortality. As Valliere put it, the sport is “all-consuming,” suggesting the dedication and discipline required to be successful is relentless.
With thoughts of longevity and the potential of starting a family, the lens Valliere viewed competitive bodybuilding changed and steadily became more distant.
The body will follow what the mind feels.
With the “level of excitement about life” having diminished in the six months prior to the recording of the video, Valliere more acutely assessed what he actually wanted from the sport. Ultimately, he started competing less to be a champion bodybuilder and more so because he loved training. Even in retirement, he doesn’t expect his gym to see him any less frequently.
It felt like the hardest decision to make until I made it. Then it felt like the easiest decision of my life.
Once he decided to retire, Valliere’s outlook on the future was lifted. He looks forward to dropping weight to become more athletic, actually be able to comfortably run, and even play with his dogs without discomfort.
The decision to leave the competitive side of the sport was one of Valliere’s own doing. He is not injured, nor are there any external pressures compelling him to hang up the spray tan and trunks.
I never want to get pushed out of bodybuilding because of a health complication.
Valliere’s future prospects in the sport include continuing his Real Bodybuilding Podcast, potentially getting into contest judging, and expanding his YouTube channel beyond just his diet and training. Outside the sport, he looks forward to experiencing life without competitive bodybuilding looming over his decisions, including what he buys at the grocery store and how he experiences a vacation.
Valliere might be leaving the competitive stage, but his retirement does not mean he’s leaving bodybuilding.
Iain Valliere’s Pro Bodybuilding Career
According to NPC News Online, Valliere’s competitive bodybuilding career began in 2014 at the IFBB Amateur Olympia Latin America, which he won in the Men’s Open division. His first pro show was the 2015 Toronto Pro Supershow, where he ranked fifth overall.
In 2016, he appeared in two contests in the same season for the first time: seventh place at the Vancouver Pro and ninth overall at the Toronto Pro Supershow. His Olympia debut in 2018 resulted in a 14th-place finish after securing the invite through a pair of fourth-place ranks at the 2018 Indy Pro and 2018 Vancouver Pro.
Valliere debuted on a pro show podium for the first time in 2019, ranking second and third overall at the Toronto Pro Supershow and Tampa Pro, respectively. That same year, he ranked fourth at the Vancouver Pro but did not compete in the Olympia.
In 2020, Valliere competed in a trio of pro shows and secured his first career win at the 2020 New York Pro. He also pulled in a runner-up finish at the Tampa Pro before returning to the Mr. Olympia stage, which saw him improve to seventh overall.
Valliere maintained his seventh-place rank at the 2021 Olympia but notched additional pro wins on his resume during that season. Victories at the 2021 Texas Pro and 2021 Tampa Pro were cherry-topped with a runner-up finish at the 2021 Arnold Classic.
Valliere’s dominance in Canada continued in 2022, scoring the gold at the Vancouver Pro but dropping four ranks to 11th overall at the 2022 Olympia. Valliere is qualified to compete at the 2023 Olympia in Orlando but explicitly stated that he is excited to be at the EXPO to watch the competition, suggesting that he will not be in the 2023 Olympia lineup.
Featured image: @iainvalliere on Instagram | photo by Will Wittmann @w_wittmannphoto on Instagram.