Antoine Vaillant Full Interview | Drug Addiction, Men’s Physique Jokes, & More

Bodybuilder and IFBB Pro Antoine Vaillant exclusive interview with Generation Iron.

Antione Vaillant’s troubled past is no secret in the bodybuilding industry. Shortly after turning pro, Vaillant succumbed to drug addiction that almost completely derailed his future as a competitive bodybuilder. Fast forward to 2020 and he qualified for the Mr. Olympia. While he still has improvements to make, he competed in the Olympia and made renewed steps towards a powerful career as a pro.

That’s why we sat down for a long form interview to discuss in-depth all things bodybuilding. This interview was conducted before the Mr. Olympia 2020. So it’s interesting to look at his mindset just before going into the show after a string of successful competitions.

Over the past few months we’ve released multiple GI Exclusive segments from our interview with Antoine Vaillant. Now we’re releasing the full length interview including topics such as his past drug addiction and recovery, his controversial statements (and actions) on Men’s Physique, and his future plans for his pro bodybuilding career.

Listen To Our Antoine Vaillant Interview On The Generation Iron Podcast

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Listen to the full Antoine Vaillant interview here:

Antoine Vaillant Opens Up About His Drug Addiction & Recovery

While bodybuilding is often seen as a structure and focused endeavor, Vaillant showcases the potential other side. When he went pro and became sponsored, he no longer needed a “regular job.” This allowed him to make his own schedule.

While this should and did include a structured training regimen, he also wanted to treat himself for his successes. This took the form of partying and drugs. But since he could party literally any day of the week without a strict job, he fell into the kinds of groups that enabled his addiction further.

Suddenly, his choices no longer felt like choices in his control. He was truly addicted and unable to escape the spiral that it was causing. In our discussion he describes becoming homeless and often getting into fights. He details how addiction can become so strong that you are willing to sacrifice and even destroy other things you love. This includes his family, friends, and the sport of bodybuilding.

Antoine Vaillant when through rehab four times. And while the first three ended in relapse, he was eventually able to get out of the hole that he was stuck in. He rediscovered how bodybuilding could be an activity to keep him focused away from his addictions. He’s used this to not only help recover but to transform himself into a truly talented pro bodybuilder. One that is now qualified for the Olympia 2020.

Watch our full GI Exclusive interview with Antoine Vaillant above!

Antoine Vaillant Looks Back: Was His Men’s Physique Board Shorts Joke Worth It?

a year ago, Antoine Vaillant’s name went viral for a different reason. His joke posing in board shorts immediately caught attention. While overall the joke was received with laughter, some Men’s Physique athletes saw it as an attack on the division.

The Men’s Physique division has had a long history of clashing with the Men’s Open division. There have been various claims throughout the years that athletes in larger divisions insult Men’s Physique athletes in private. Some believe that the Men’s Open division as a whole have no respect for Men’s Physique athlete whatsoever.

There have been many Men’s Open competitors who have denied this. Antoine Vaillant’s joke seemed to pour fuel on the fire. That’s why during our video interview, we followed up with Vaillant over a year later. In. retrospect, does he regret making the joke? Did he go too far?

Antoine Vaillant still sees his board shorts posing routine as nothing but a harmless joke. He goes as far as to admit that he believes the Men’s Physique division is a great addition to the sport as a whole. It provides variety and allows all different types of people to become inspired, change their body, and improve their health.

When asked if the Men’s Open division disrespect Men’s Physique behind closed doors, Antoine Vaillant admitted that occasional jokes were made. But much like his board shorts posing routine, most of the jokes are all in good fun. Vaillant seems to see it as a playful rivalry rather than an all out war.

Wrap Up

Our interview with Antoine Vaillant was over an hour long and discussed many topics beyond what we can cover in this article. Unfortunately, since this interview, Vaillant has suffered a bicep tear leaving his short term future as a pro bodybuilder uncertain. It’s a shame – as our conversation with Vaillant showcased a passionate bodybuilder who was just on the verge of moving up to the next level.

Hopefully his injury doesn’t lead to more permanent long term damage. That much remains to be seen at the moment. If one things is clear after this interview, is that he most certainly has the willpower and resolve to recover from any hurdle the knocks him down.

You can watch our full GI Exclusive interview with Antoine Vaillant above.

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.