“The real source behind my drive is me being better than I was yesterday.”
For Kenny Lindsay, self-motivation is essential. A fitness competitor, fitness/fashion model, personal trainer and gym supervisor, twenty-two-year-old Kenny has a lot riding on his brawny shoulders.
Since entering the competitive fitness arena only a year ago, he has already accumulated an enviable handful of titles. To date, his accolades include:
- Men’s Physique D Class (Tallest Class) 3rd place – Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation Championships, Nassau, Bahamas, October 2015
- Men’s Physique B Class winner – Trinidad and Tobago’s Body Builders & Fitness Federation (TTBBF) National Senior Body Building/Fitness & Bikini Championship, August 2015
- Men’s Physique Overall All Class winner – Trinidad and Tobago’s Body Builders & Fitness Federation (TTBBF) National Senior Body Building/Fitness & Bikini Championship, August 2015
- Men’s Physique B Class winner – Sportworld Bodybuilding and Fitness Classic, July 2015
- Men’s Physique B Class winner – Trinidad and Tobago’s Body Builders & Fitness Federation (TTBBF) National Junior Body Building/Fitness & Bikini Championship, June 2015
- Men’s Physique Overall All Class – 2nd place – Trinidad and Tobago’s Body Builders & Fitness Federation (TTBBF) National Junior Body Building/Fitness & Bikini Championship, June 2015
- Men’s Physique B Class winner – Bodybuilding & Fitness Show, CJ’s Muscle & Fitness Gym, November 2014
Kenny also placed third in Trinidad and Tobago’s Top Model Competition in 2010, and he is currently signed to a modelling agency in Barbados, through which he has done advertisements for campaigns including BMobile, Detour and Busta.
He also holds a Certified Personal Trainer qualification from the International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA), and he is a supervisor at the Raw Fitness Gym in Gasparillo, South Trinidad.
A man of many talents and passions, his core belief is investing oneself thoroughly in the matter at hand.
“If someone looks at me, they must see someone who is passionate about what he is doing,” he says. “If I am pelting a stone, I am passionate about it.”
A Passion for Physicality
As a child and teenager, Kenny and his twin brother were very physically active and involved in various sports including cricket, football, table tennis and track and field; and Kenny has also been doing kickboxing for the past three years.
As part of a twin, he admits there may have been a naturally competitive side to his personality. However, his true inspiration to push harder at everything he did was his wider environment of his community of Enterprise, Chaguanas in central Trinidad — an area well known by the general public for negative elements in society such as crime, violence and drugs.
“Growing up, I saw my mother, a single parent, working hard and making sacrifices to provide for us, and I knew I had to carry myself a certain way,” he says.
“I wanted to make a difference, to be a role model and show people that good things can come out of Enterprise.”
He joined the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force when he was in Form 3, which helped to hone his personal development as a youth in terms of self-discipline, and also urged him to gravitate towards fitness.
“I began to adopt a military mindset of focus. I woke up on time, trained on time, and I did a lot of training at home by myself — sit-ups, push-ups, dips,” he reminisces. “I soon began to see my body transform, with muscles developing naturally based on my training regimen.”
His young military experience nurtured his desire to join the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, where he is currently undergoing the five-month training programme as a Coast Guard recruit.
Competitive Fitness & Modelling
While the idea of ‘bodybuilding’ had never really sparked Kenny’s interest, in 2014 he was encouraged by an executive member of the Trinidad & Tobago Body Building Federation (TTBBF) to consider the Men’s Physique Category for an upcoming event in CJ’s Gym in Penal, South Trinidad.
“He taught me about posing, and I competed and came first in my class,” Kenny says.
“From that point, I really began to look at the possibilities of that category. I didn’t want to get the ‘bodybuilder’ build that emphasised on size; but Men’s Physique offered that balance that spoke to my genetic buildup and body structure, and my own personal tastes and preferences.”
As a professional model, he notes that balancing fitness and modelling can pose some challenges.
“I was modelling since 17, and only started doing weights at 19. I’ve found that, depending on how I am training at a particular point in time, if I have a modelling gig I would not be able to fit into standard clothes sizes,” he explains.
“However, having to maintain a small size could, very literally, be very tiring for me — it is a different kind of training altogether. While I like modelling, I really want to push in the direction of fitness modelling rather than commercial, as this would be less limiting for me.”
Over the past year, his focus has been more on competitive fitness than modelling, and the fitness industry is a direction that he sees immense potential to excel at, particularly as it will complement his military career.
Role Model & Motivational Speaker
At the national level, Kenny is currently the country’s youngest competitor. It is a lot to live up to, but he is not one to shy away from the challenge.
Already, his outlook is international: he just represented Trinidad & Tobago and placed third in his first overseas international championship at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation Championships in Nassau, Bahamas; and he is already aiming to go for gold next year in the Dominican Republic where the next CAC Championships will be held. His aim is to gain status as a professional in the fitness industry.
He notes that the professional fitness industry is often associated with supplementation and drugs that can endanger one’s health, but he has no intention of following that path of no return, and only uses exercise and food to sculpt his body.
He gives thanks to his employer and sponsor Raw Fitness Gym in Gasparillo, for the provision of meals through the gym owner’s restaurant, and ongoing financial support for his competitive endeavours.
“As a young person, I’ve always looked up to those older than me, and spend a lot of time talking to adults,” he adds.
“I don’t smoke or drink, I hardly go out and ‘lime’, and I try to take advice from older persons and stay humble. I am always willing and open to take advice. I have a lot to learn, and a long way to go.”
For him, fitness and sport have served as the backbone to his development as a young man. He sees the necessity for this aspect in the lives of other persons growing up, especially young boys, to dissuade them from straying towards negative influences in their communities.
Kenny has done motivational speaking for groups and companies, and has developed a love for the opportunity to share his experiences to benefit others. He hopes to one day open his own gym, through which he will be able to positively influence others and give back to his community.
“I didn’t know I could accomplish all I did, and didn’t see myself reaching to this level,” he reflects. “Having a dream is one thing but many of us will only be stepping and reaching, when they really need to be jumping and taking that risk to fall.”
He has had his own personal challenges to overcome along the path of his success, and notes that the journey was not only physical but emotional as well.
“I once believed there was a cap on my life, where I couldn’t cross a certain level, but now I understand that everything has its timing and I have to be humble in order to get blessed,” says Kenny.
“Now, I don’t stress about training; the magic will happen as the competition draws nearer. Win, lose or draw, I just want to be there and enjoy myself.”