Xavier D’Souza, a Grand Cayman personal trainer based at Powerhouse Gym, is on a roll. He has collected a slew of bodybuilding trophies with his name on them in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. D’Souza, an Indian, is a soft-spoken gentleman, according to fellow bodybuilders. Up on the stage, however, he transforms into a pure barbarian with a powerful physique that makes judges sit up in their chairs.
D’Souza paused between sets to answer ten questions for the Caymanian Compass.
How long have you been training?
I have been in fitness for the last 18 years
What attracted you to bodybuilding and what keeps you in such a difficult sport?
One of my next door neighbours, Bento was involved in karate back home in Goa, India and advised me to train with him at the gym. He introduce me to some basic weight training. I was just 17 years old then. I trained with my neighbour for a few months and my body was showing some improvement. But he left, then I was approached by another senior bodybuilder. He was the most knowledgeable guy in bodybuilding I have ever met. His name is Datta Palekar. He is the one who thought me how to be disciplined in eating, concentrate and focus on weight training and the importance of good rest in bodybuilding and posing routine for the show.
When I started training with my trainer back than I was really growing fast after two years of weight training with my trainer. He advised me to compete at the state level where I won 3rd place at my very first contest. I was very happy. The following year I competed again and won first place at state level my trainer and my parents were very happy. That same year I was selected to represent Goa at nationals where I won first place in my weight category and was selected to represent India in a contest in Japan. That’s how I came to take bodybuilding seriously and continue this difficult sport competing. Bodybuiding has helped to keep me healthy and in good shape,
How old are you?
I’m 37 years young.
Name a few highlights of your career so far.
1.Mr. Goa State champion 1991,1993 and 1994
2.Goa University Bodybuilding Champion 1991-92 &93
3.Mr. India 1992
4.Mr. Cayman Extreme open class champion 2005
5.NIBF World Bodybuilding Championship in Japan 7th place 1991
6.Mr. U.A.E Bodybuilding Championship middle weight class winner 1995 &1998.
7.Mr.Middle East Bodybuilding Champioship middle weight class winner 1998
8.INBF World Championship middle weight class winner 2005
9.INBF World Championship 2nd in middle weight class winner 2006
What are your best bodyparts? Your most difficult?
My best body parts are back and legs. My most difficult are calves and triceps.
Do you enjoy the training or the competition on stage most of all?
I really enjoy weight training very much which helps me as a great stress reliever and, at the same time, keeps me fit and healthy. On the other hand, competing on the stage has also helped me to grow my physique naturally in bodybuilding and the reason for this is there are lots of bodybuilders back home in India, Dubai and even in Cayman who have challenged me.
How has bodybuilding benefited your life overall?
Bodybuilding has taken me to places. After winning a few shows back home I had applied for my very first job as gym instructor in one of the hotels back home in Goa. After representing India in Spain and Germany, I got an offer to work in Dubai as a gym instructor/personal trainer. Bodybuilding has also helped me to meet new people and helped me how to be patience over the years while training people if I was not a bodybuilder today I would have not be in Cayman. Bodybuilding has helped me in finding relief to my stress. It also keeps me fit and healthy.
Do you enjoy teaching others about fitness?
I have been teaching in the gym for the last 18 years and I do enjoy very much teaching others about fitness.
Is bodybuilding for everyone or just serious athletes?
Bodybuilding is only for serious athletes because discipline is involved here. You have to feed your body every three hours with nutritious food. You also have to do 5 to 6 days a week of weight training where you have to be focused and concentrate on your workouts and get a good night’s sleep. But, above all, when it comes to bodybuilding competition one has to be on a serious diet depending on how much bodyfat one is holding and that is why bodybuilding is only for serious athletes. But weight training is for most of the people.
How long do you plant to compete?
I’m planning to compete until I reach my goals.
What does it feel like to stand up on stage and show off months and years of hard work?
To be honest with you I don’t compete if I don’t look good naked and I have backed off few times to compete in the past because I don’t like people laughing at me. But when I go on the stage I have no complaints for myself because I give my best I never like to tell people, ‘oh I would have trained harder or I should have lost some more bodyweight.’. All I can say here is I always give my best no matter which placing I get.
D’Souza is sponsored by Century 21 and the following:
Kings Sports Centre & Powerhouse Gym
University College of the Cayman Islands
Kitchen & Bath Solution
Bodden Shipping Company