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14 November, 2022

Bodybuilders build to gold

MONTHS of dedication to achieve the perfect physique has paid off for Far North bodybuilders Azariah Gutchen and Troy McGuane as they competed side by side at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Queensland and National titles.

By Ellie Fink

Mareeba born and bred Azariah Gutchen came home with gold from the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness national titles. PHOTOS: Gary Phillips Photos
Mareeba born and bred Azariah Gutchen came home with gold from the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness national titles. PHOTOS: Gary Phillips Photos

From getting up at 5am everyday to run together to tackling an hour on the stepper or bike in the gym, the dynamic duo went into the titles confident and ready to show out.

Mareeba born and bred, Gutchen came home with silver around his neck from the Queensland titles novice category and was determined to go into the national finals sharper than ever.

Starting his journey in bodybuilding at 15, Gutchen knows the ins and outs of bodybuilding and how to present his muscles on stage.

Competing in the national’s novice category, he was determined to show the judges his strength.

“Coming second in the Queensland titles really fed the fire and made me hungry to win the national titles,” he said.

“I had my coach Chris Black checking my body and getting me prepared for the next round. I was on a 25-week diet and went from 96kg to 83.8kg.

“I had to do it slow and steady so that my body could get used to it.”

Gutchen’s hard work paid off tremendously when he took home the gold at the national finals.

He felt a mixture of shock, pride and excitement when his name was called in front of the crowd and the 17 other competitors.

Now he is back home in Cairns and will be taking a three-to-four-year break from bodybuilding to build his back muscles before returning to the scene to go for his pro card.

After receiving his pro card, his goal is to become Mr Olympia, the world’s premier title for bodybuilding and a title previously held by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With a successful career in the Clontarf Foundation working at Woree State High School, Gutchen will also be focusing on his work helping young First Nation’s students.

Well-known Cairns real estate agent Troy McGuane had his first experience of the bodybuilding stage at the Queensland Titles.

Competing in the master’s category, he recalls his experience and he said he will remember it forever.


With a successful past in AFL and marathon running, bodybuilding is the newest sport to be added to his list of achievements.

Spending hours training alongside Gutchen and his girlfriend Tracey Defferrard, who also competed, McGuane’s felt primed and ready for his first competition.

“Initially I engaged my coach Chris Black to assist me in my first competition. I had no expectations, and as an ex-professional AFL player, I trusted the process and program he set for me,” he said.

“It was extremely rewarding seeing one of my best friends (Gutchen) win his category and to share that experience is a lifelong dream and something we will both cherish. My girlfriend Tracey also had great success coming second in her pro division of the (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) competition.

“To walk away with a bronze medal for my-self in the masters’ men’s physique for Australia was extremely satisfying as this sport is extremely difficult and takes total focus and accountability 24/7.”

McGaune is now training up for his next bodybuilding competition, described as “a weapon” by Gutchen for not giving up and pushing for the gold.

Bodybuilding is a sport that both gentlemen have bonded over and enjoyed and Gutchen encourages anyone and everyone to give it a go.

He said the sport encourages health and fitness as well as helps you stay focused on the important things in life such as friendships.

“As an everyday person, jumping on the stage really helps with self-development,” he said.

“The last few weeks I have been really focused on my fitness and the cut that I haven’t thought about partying and alcohol.

“(McGuane) has become like an older brother to me and over the competition we have texted each other every morning to go for a run and checked in on each other’s wellbeing which is super important in a competition like this.”


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