By Lyonel Doherty

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If winning the nationals wasn’t sacrifice enough, a young female bodybuilder from Invermere has now taken on the monumental goal of qualifying for Ms. Olympia.

Peyton Dutcher, 21, recently won first place at the regional TNT Muscle Showdown in Edmonton, which qualified her to compete in the nationals at the Vancouver Pro/Am show in Abbotsford. There, she not only captured first place in her class, but won the whole division, giving her the IFBB Pro Card, her end goal.  

According to the judges, she had the best muscularity, shape and stage presence.

“The sacrifices I’ve had to make to become an IFBB pro at a young age are ones that not many people, no matter what age, are willing to make,” she told the Pioneer. “I rarely go out with friends, I eat the same foods every single day for 20 weeks straight without being able to indulge in cheat meals. I live a very lonely life for these 20 weeks because that is what it takes for me and it’s something I’m willing to do.”

Dutcher was born and raised in Invermere, where she started going to the gym at the age of 14 during her competitive figure skating career. But her passion for that sport waned and she sought something else to put that spark back in her life. She had worked at The Station Pub as a server and with the District of Invermere as gardener over the summer. But she fell in love with training at Valley Fitness Centre. 

After a couple years of training, due to her competitive nature, Dutcher came across the world of competitive bodybuilding and signed up for her first competition in July of 2022. 

“For a bodybuilding show preparation, it takes an immense amount of sacrifice from your day-to-day life. I track every gram of food I eat, every ounce of water I drink, and all of my sodium. I am up at 6 in the morning for cardio, then back to the gym at 12 to train, then back in the gym in the evening to practice my stage routine over and over again.”

Dutcher said the IFBB pro card brings her into a professional league of bodybuilders which allows her to step onto the biggest stage in the world called Olympia, which is where the best of the best bodybuilders compete. 

“My mission now is to grow. I will slowly start incorporating more food into my diet and I will train hard in the gym to be better everyday,” she said. 

Her next goal is to place in the top three at an IFBB pro show and then eventually qualify for Ms. Olympia – the top of the world.  

“This is definitely a growing sport for women,” Dutcher said. “I think there is a growing love and appreciation for empowering women through being strong.” 

She hopes to see the sport continue to represent dedication and hard work because “it truly is the most rewarding sport out there.”