IFPA Pro International, Kansas City: FBB Corynne Pero's pro debut is a triumph

By Lisa White

September 19, 2011

The Mr. Olympia is a huge festivity, but it was not the only bodybuilding event taking place over the weekend. The International Fitness & Physique Association (IFPA) Pro International stage was set for natural competitor Corynne Cooper Pero. Pero began her contest prep far in advance, 182 days in fact, to prepare for her pro show début. The weeks were long, but the progress immeasurable with a glorious outcome.


Female bodybuilder Pero is the first place winner
of the IFPA Pro International. She also wins
the best female poser award. Photo: Jason Pero

The mind-set of a winner

Last season, natural female bodybuilder Pero won her IFPA Pro card at the NANBF Great Lakes pro qualifier. She was in great shape, but knew she had to bring a tighter physique to compete against great natural female bodybuilders such as Patricia Beckman.

Obstacles Pero faced

During this time, Pero has faced obstacles, including breaking a digit 12 days out from her IFPA pro debut when she dropped a 45 lb. plate on her toe. A broken toe could have sabotaged her training, but Pero did not let this stand in the way of competing with clean lines. More importantly, she reached another milestone in her bodybuilding career.

Pero realized she was over-training. Like many competitors, over-training is a huge facet of what goes into bodybuilding. The idea of stepping on stage and not belonging is daunting, so over-training, over-dieting and over-cardiovascular training is always on an athlete’s mind on some level.

Making changes for the difference

Pero broke free from the denial and admits “I was most certainly overtraining – no doubt about that.” It’s not uncommon to fall into this category, but it’s difficult to make changes. In the course of her contest prep, this was also a focus. It does not mean she stopped working hard; instead, Pero changed her mind-set.

Pero takes the win


The twenty-six long weeks of training paid off. Pero’s pro début concluded with a first place win at the IFPA Pro International, Kansas City, KS. She displayed a tighter, harder, grainier appearance than she had in the past; accomplishing what she set out to do.

This win also opened another opportunity for Pero. She qualified to compete in the 2011 Yorton Cup.

For more information on Pero, check out Corynne Cooper Pero's blog.

Results of the IFPA Pro International

Pro Figure

1 Terri McBee (MO)(Y) $1,000
2 Leann VandeBerg (WI) $500
3 Andrea Jordan (MO)(Y) $250
4 Lisa Mathew (NE)
5 Michelle Shepherd (CA)(Y)
6 Justine Fortugno (FL)(Y)
7 Susan Bishop (NE)(Y)
8 Amanda Bendorf (NE)(BP)(Y) $200
9 Anissa Rogers (FL)
10 Sarah Hobson
11 Katie Dernoshek (PA)
12 Dana Maney (WI)
13 Monique Gross (TX)

Women’s Pro Bodybuilding


1 Corynne Pero (IL)(BP)(Y) $1,200
2 Dawn McCormick (IA)(Y) $500
3 Celia Cadena (TX) $250
4 Susan Johnson (ID)

Men’s Pro Lightweight


1 Valentine Ezugha (IL)(Y) $1,000
2 Jeff Alberts (CA)(Y) $500
3 Erik Alstrom (ON)(Y) $250
4 Alberto Nunez (CA)
5 Darrell Brown (GA)(Y)
6 Abu Shabazz (KS)(Y)
7 Alhaji Sesay (MD)(Y)
8 Nick Early (AR)
9 Joshua Thomas (MO)
10 Kevin Kutz (MN)
11 Bradley Loomis (CA)
12 Ryan Irwin (IA)

Men’s Pro Heavyweight


1 Ben Tennessen*(WI)(BP)(Y) $2,700
2 Robert E. Johnson, Jr. (KS)(Y) $500
3 Michael Martino (IN)(Y) $250
4 Donovan Strong (MD)(Y)
5 Brady Smith (NE)(Y)
6 Zach Werner (KS)(Y)
7 Chris Fahs (OK)
8 Okechuwu Egungwu (IN)
9 Darren Nash (KS)
10 Gerald Jones (MD)
11 Quinn Cravens (KS)

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