Iain Valliere On The Risk Vs Reward Of Competing In The Arnold Classic & Olympia Back To Back

Iain Valliere explains why he is doing the Arnold Classic right before the Mr. Olympia – even though he has already qualified.

Iain Valliere has become a big part of the bodybuilding conversation in 2021. He’s had near back to back wins at the Tampa Pro and the Texas Pro. This earned him qualification to the Mr. Olympia. It’s also notable as he knocked out powerhouse Steve Kuclo at the Texas Pro. Despite having already qualified for the Mr. Olympia, Valliere is still set to compete at the Arnold Classic before facing off for the Sandow trophy. Why? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Iain Valliere explains why he wants to compete in both the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia.

Typically, when a pro bodybuilder earns Olympia qualification for the year – they stop competing and focus solely on the Olympia competition. This is normally done to preserve all energy on being as perfect as possible for the biggest competition of the year. Iain Valliere is bucking this trend. He’s already competed at the Texas Pro after qualifying for Olympia previously at the Tampa Pro this year. Not only that – but he’s still set to compete at the Arnold Classic.

Competing in many shows within one year – especially close to the Mr. Olympia can be a huge risk. This is for a variety of reasons. Athletes can burn out. They can get thrown off mentally by placing low in a show just before the Olympia. They can also have their physique and conditioning timing thrown off by focusing on one show – only to be a few days off with their conditioning by the time they hit the Olympia weekend.

During our conversation with Iain Valliere, we asked him to explain why he decided to do the Arnold Classic. Did he consider skipping the show to focus solely on the Mr. Olympia? Iain Valliere is not oblivious to the importance of this decision – and he certainly considered skipping the Arnold Classic to focus on Olympia. Ultimately, he decided to stick the course.

“It was a discussion especially after winning Texas it’s like, you know, I knew my stock was high,” Iain Valliere stated in our interview. He continued:

“And I knew that I had a lot of moment going into the Olympia. Basically the last two shows of the season I had won… But at the end of the day I know that I get better as shows go on. I think Tampa right to Texas one week apart is indicative of that.”


There’s a risk vs reward aspect to competing at competitions so close to each other. It seems Iain Valliere is confident that this will actually help him stay focused and improve rather than throw him off. If it works out – we might see the best version of Valliere step onto the stage.

In fact, he believes the Arnold Classic being closer to the Olympia is better than it’s typical dates. For those looking to compete at the Olympia, the Arnold Classic falls right in off season. This, Valliere argues, is more damaging to prep than if the competitions were close together as they are this year.

You can watch Iain Valliere go into even more detail about his recent string of victories and his plans for the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.