They want world titles – naturally

Two bodybuilders are flexing their muscles in the United States this weekend, hoping to bring back some trophies to Cayman.

Michael Salmon and Susanne Clements are at the Natural Bodybuilding World Championships in Washington DC this weekend.

Salmon, 50, is in the masters lightweight open division. Born in Jamaica, he now has Caymanian status and will be representing his adopted homeland.

A natural bodybuilder for eight years, in the past he has been into tae kwon do and track and field. ‘The other sports got boring so I decided to take up bodybuilding,’ Salmon says.

‘I have to thank Tiger Wilson (former world champion) who has been my biggest influence in this. He’s taught me a lot.’

Salmon has won many titles and always been in the top five at world championships, his highest placing being third.

‘I don’t think about the other competitors and don’t care how they look, I know that nobody can touch me this year.’

He will weigh around 162 pounds in competition having tapered down from a bulky 213 over the last two months which is a reduction of a big chunk of his body weight.

A fitness trainer at King’s Sports Centre, Salmon reckons he is in the best shape of his life and even looking better than his boss Rex Ebanks. ‘I’m sorry, I might lose my job when I come back but I had to say it.’

Clements is in the women’s novice and masters (35-plus). She only started training on 2 January this year and this is her second competition.

Her first competition was on the show promoted by Tiger Wilson in June at the Lions Centre.

Volleyball, basketball and track were Clements’ main interests before, but natural bodybuilding was always her intention.

‘This has always been a lifelong thing, I used to go to the gym all the time and then had two kids,’ she says. Her boys are nine and 12 and being a single mom with a demanding job, she has a lot to juggle to maintain the balance. She is the acting clinical supervisor for the Department of Counselling Services at the counselling centre in George Town.

Her boys are very supportive. ‘They count my sit ups and take food away from me that I’m not supposed to eat. They’re very helpful.

‘Tiger has been supportive too. He helped put my routine together when I got third for figure.’

It’s worked. Clements, 39, was 170 pounds in January and is down to 124 now. ‘The last week or two is the hardest because as competition approaches I have less and less carbs and opportunities for any fat. Lots of fish and spinach.

‘I hope to bring home a trophy, at least. I’d like to get first but we’ll see what happens.’

Her trainer Salmon has great faith in Clements. ‘I’m confident that she will do very well and know she will win her class. In the open, for the masters, I guarantee she will be in the top five. I’m looking forward to that.’