Natural bodybuilder Damenian Maxwell is a relative newcomer to the sport yet he is already a professional champ.
Maxwell continued his rise up the natural bodybuilding circuit last month by placing in the top three in his category and winning his first monetary prize in Minnesota on May 26.
He placed third overall in the stacked men’s physique pro category at the Mr & Mrs Natural Minnesota Pro North American Championships in Bloomington.
That high placing earned Maxwell the right to compete at the International Pro Elite World Championships in Missouri in October.
“Being on stage with some of top natural athletes in world was truly an honour, but to actually place and qualify for the world championships was surreal and humbling,” the Caymanian from George Town said.
Natural bodybuilding has strict competition rules which requires immense discipline. To compete in the Pro North American Championships, all athletes must be 100 percent drug free and are subject to a polygraph prior to competing and all winners are subject to a urinalysis after placing.
All athletes are also subject to random testing throughout the calendar year. The organising body for the professional part of the show, the International Pro Elite, along with their affiliates are one of the largest natural professional bodybuilding organisations worldwide.
It’s because of these stringent codes why Maxwell believes that natural bodybuilding may be one of the most difficult sports out there. “Not only do athletes have to consistently undergo intense training and possess some sort of talent and/or good genetics, the extreme dieting component is also a key area,” he said.
The 34-year-old police sergeant prides himself on being primarily self-trained in the disciplines of working out, diet, and posing. He is one of the founders of the local health and fitness group Caysthetics and works out at and is sponsored by Powerhouse Gym at Kings Sports Centre.
“I had to train six days a week and consistently diet for a six-week period,” said Maxwell. “Some competitors do an eight to ten-week diet period but during my off season I continued my training and managed to maintain a relatively low body fat percentage. It can be difficult to work full-time and train but it has become a lifestyle so it’s like second nature now.”
Amazingly, Maxwell admits he was one those people who would bought a year’s gym membership and only attended a few times. A couple years ago he managed to train long enough to notice some changes in his body. “This motivated me to continue training to the point where I completely changed my physique. A friend and local bodybuilder, Kingslyn Mitchell, saw something in me that I didn’t see at the time and encouraged me to compete.”
Maxwell competed for the first time in the 2015 Organization of Competitive Bodybuilding Orlando Championships as an amateur and was good enough to win both categories he entered.
He earned a pro card in the International Federation of Physique Athletes who have since rebranded to the International Pro Elite and have become one of the largest natural bodybuilding federations worldwide.
“Post pro card, I trained consistently for a year, as I knew I would be competing against athletes who have been competing for several years, and even some who compete for a living.”
Last year, Maxwell made his pro debut in the IPE Pro Bowl in Virginia. “Even though I trained for a year, it was so competitive that didn’t place. The athletes who placed were all bigger and had more experience than I did. I was disappointed but losing motivated me to train harder and become better.”
He is looking forward to the world championships in Kansas City, Missouri this fall. “Even just qualifying is a big achievement. I’m quite confident that if I continue to train hard and stay healthy I will be a contender. Even a placement on that sort of stage would be a win for me.”
His overall aspirations in the sport is to continue representing the Cayman Islands at a professional and international level. “I’m hoping to positively influence and inspire the younger generation along the way,” he said. “I know there’s a stigma with bodybuilding as it relates to drug use, however, there is natural bodybuilding.
“Bodybuilding is basically living a fit and healthy lifestyle; the introductions of drugs defeats what you are trying to achieve. We all have our unique genetic makeup and being consistent in training and dieting will allow us to achieve maximum potential.”