Denby Cogert - IFBB Bikini Pro

A new IFBB Bikini Pro, 2018 NPC Teen Collegiate & Masters National Championships

Started to compete in 2014 after my third child and one of my trainers had suggested I should since I had the build for it. I laughed thinking Iím 39, no way could I do it, but made it a bucket list thing and was hooked. I was an athlete all my life, played soccer and softball and was always competitive and active. I had back surgery 2003 but bodybuilding was a way for me to compete without hurting myself.

My diet is pretty consistent. I eat clean most of the time because it makes me feel better so I prep all my meals (and cook healthy meals for my family). I do have more cheat meals off season and am not as strict but I typically eat 5 meals and train 6 times a week. During prep I buckle down and follow a strict meal plan set out by my coaches from team edge. I havenít found any ďbadĒ diets and I think itís because of consistency and having a smart coach who knows my body and keeps me well fueled during prep.

Reflection... important part of any journey. Heading into the final 11 days of my competition season Iíve been getting emotional thinking about the memories made with my @teamedge1 family. Iím ready to eat some serious food but at the same time donít want it to end.. lol the struggle ??. This was from the first photo shoot I ever did with Kawika Morse @kmmproductions ??after my first overall win at @musclecontest Iron Games 2017????. Itís been a great ride so far Team Edge and for all of you who have supported me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ?? #npcbikini #teamedge #bodybuilding #shoulders #strongwomen #strongnotskinny #fitness #fitspo #fitness #fitmom #bikinicompetitor #nationals #nationalsbound #fitnessmotivation

A post shared by Denby Cogert IFBB PRO (@swpr9) on

Havenít had a ďbadĒ diet yet to be honest and again itís because of consistency. I try to eat to fuel my body and if I consume extra macros I use them accordingly with more intense work outs. I think I've just found a good balance and I donít really go to extremes so so far my body has adjusted well. Each prep has been different for me because my coach changes it as my body changes and nothing is too drastic.

The toughest part about being a bikini competitor is the stage. I did take Dance when I was a little girl and like I said was an athlete. So I treated posing like an athletic performance. I also practice a lot so it feels natural. I tell myself ďyou have 1-2 minutes to showcase those 12 weeks of prep..Ē so itís like taking a PK... do it right hahaha.

During off season indefinitely so less cardio and lift heavier and try to match my intake so I can build lean mass. When Iím prepping steady state works best for me as HIIT/ running really burns my muscle which I need. I follow training and eating plans designed by Team Edge coach Joe Discuillo.. and yes I do a little more because you know someone is always working harder than you are.

Last show, Nationals was by far the most memorable for me. Not only because I just won my pro card, at my first show, but because I prepared for this show for years. I knew it was the biggest and most competitive show I would do so the training was long and coach has me do two shows prior to prepare. I usually only do one show a year so I was scared but ready for the challenge. I was tired and sore but knew this was normal... when I got to Pittsburgh I was numb it didnít hit me yet. When I went to check ins and saw the amazing competitors I started to freak out. I doubted myself and worried that I wasnít supposed to be there. Honestly I think we all do this to some extent... I usually donít ever go Iím thinking Iím going to win even when I do... but this time was different , this was THE show and everything was so organized and well done ... you knew this was a serious show. Gary Udit did an amazing job for the athletes and for the audience so this show by far was my favorite... and yes I did earn my Pro Card so it will forever be special.

Being an athlete to me is one of the greatest experiences of my life. Since I was 5 I was an athlete, to me itís about building character, learning life lessons, sharing and setting an example for my children. I am competitive by nature but Iíve also learned humility, grace and gratitude from being an athlete. Playing a sport also helps me release stress and serves as a healthy outlet.

Since I just became a pro I hope to compete as long as I can. I hope to be an inspiration to many women that anything is possible, that you can have a family, a career (Iím a physical therapist), and be an athlete. I also hope to use my position as an IFBB pro to educate and influence those who may sometimes feel intimidated to step foot in the gym or to get started.


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