I Was a Teenage Bodybuilder

The founder SPM Fitness shares his rise as a Junior title-holder plus his winning methods for personal improvement, inside and out.

Nixlot Dameus was just nine when his family moved from Haiti to Olney without knowing a lick of English. Thanks to PBS, he was fluent in a year but unfortunately, it was a difficult year facing many frustrations as he struggled to fit in with the other kids in his neighborhood.

He soon discovered bodybuilding could focus his energy and help fortify him against bullies and other negative forces. By his early teens, he was winning contests and at 15 he won the 2013 Mr. Philadelphia Junior Teen title and was featured in a WHYY profile that highlights his strength, determination and community-minded spirit.

After three years as a personal trainer in East Falls, this autumn Nixlot opened his own gym on Sunnyside where he provides clients specialized, holistic plans for spiritual, physical and mental well-being. Nixlot’s goal for SPM Fitness is not solely about physical transformation. With every client, he also strives to build a foundation of peace, acuity and balance.

Nixlot first came to East Falls to work out, and then quickly fell in love with the lively, growing community here. “I saw an opportunity to add value with a unique service that benefits neighbors,” he told us.  Nixlot takes his role in clients’ lives seriously, even planning written meals for them, complete with all the ingredients listed and nutrients calculated. Plans are customized, too: weight gain, weight loss, maintenance and keto.

Speaking of food, that’s one of Nixlot’s fondest memories from his early childhood in Port-au-Prince. “My grandfather would wake me up every morning at 5:00 to review for my daily quiz. I would have 2 boiled eggs and spaghetti for breakfast with 2 cups of coffee (a Haitian tradition).” He also remembers being very active as a kid – the walk to & from school was 5 miles!

Back up – did he just say boiled eggs and spaghetti? “Espageti” is traditional Haitian home-cooking:  spaghetti noodles cooked with garlic, onion, hot dogs and tomato paste, often with a few hard-boiled egg halves thrown in for good measure. Nixlot likes his “topped with lots of ketchup!”

Haitian spaghetti is more of a breakfast/snack dish, though. For dinner Nixlot recommends griot (fried pork bits) with bannann (fried plantain) and pikliz (spicy coleslaw). Hungry yet?!

Before you start yelping Caribbean restaurants in NW Philly, let Nixlot help you work up a healthy appetite, and plan you meals that satisfy body and soul.

Final thoughts:

“Personal training, to me, is not just about leading workouts for money. I make it a priority to build relationships with all my clients. We’re like family.”  — Nixlot Dameus

Nixlot Dameus (Founder/Trainer)
SPM FITNESS, L.L.C
3500 Sunnyside Avenue Ste C1
East Falls, Phila
(267) 636-3191

Follow Nixlot on Instagram @caribbean_muscles and SPM Fitness on Youtube, where he provides workout & nutrition tips as well as inspiration to keep you motivated.

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