Cayman bodybuilder Damenian Maxwell is flexing his muscles on an international stage.
Maxwell, an officer in the marine division of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, finished in third place in a competition in May, qualifying for the International Pro Elite World Championships in the U.S. in October.
Maxwell, who had never earned a monetary prize before, competed in the stacked men’s physique pro category at the Mr. & Mrs. Natural Minnesota Pro North American Championships. The self-taught 34-year-old said it was hugely satisfying to have success against professionals.
“It was very organized and a huge competition and it was a great experience to be competing against all professionals,” Maxwell said. “To be on the stage with them and to be a top contender was surreal.… It was a very awesome feeling just to see that all my hard work has literally paid off.”
Maxwell works out at least six days a week, at least two hours in each session to maintain his physique. He noted that his rigid diet is the hardest part. He has to watch his caloric intake and weigh everything he eats and make sure he’s eating on time every day.
In the Minnesota championships, all of the bodybuilders were required to be drug-free and had to submit to a polygraph before competing. The winners had to undergo a drug screen after the competition. For Maxwell, being clean is very important.
“It says a lot. I’m against taking steroids,” he said. “Each of us, we have our own genetic makeup, but you can get to that level if you work hard and you’re consistent instead of taking drugs.”
He is still new to his sport, and has learned much of what he knows about posing from watching video of other competitors. Maxwell does not have a coach, and since he’s competing in the Under-35 division, nearly all of his fellow competitors are at least five or perhaps 10 years younger than him.
“I don’t necessarily think it’s a disadvantage,” he said. “Thirty-five is a good age for muscle development. The only issue that may put me at a disadvantage is I’ve only been competing for three years. And I’ve only been working out for about four years. I started a bit late. I was always one of those people who had a gym membership, but I’d go a couple times and waste a year. When I started working out consistently and saw the changes, one of the local bodybuilders told me that I should compete.”
Maxwell said he will need to tweak some of his posing techniques before the International Pro Elite World Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, this fall.