Name: Devan Dippenaar
Age: 34
Height: 1,77 m
Competition weight: 80 kgs
Current weight: 88 kgs
Current city: Durban, South Africa 
Occupation: Personal Trainer / Head Rugby Coach

How did you get started in bodybuilding and fitness and what do you love about it?

I recently only got into it last year March, where I participated in a novice competition. I came absolutely nowhere as I never fitted the criteria, but I loved every minute of being on stage and getting the crowd going, I became hooked instantly.



How important is the mental aspect of it? How do you keep a positive motivated mindset and attitude through setbacks?

Oh wow, the mental aspect is the most important part I feel. And I can honestly say those few weeks before peak week are the hardest weeks of not only your life but for the people around you. i.e. you are cranky, tired and hangry lol.

So it is obviously very demotivating when you put so much into it and do not get the placing you were hoping for or deserving of, hence why I believe progress pics are so vital for your morale, as long as YOU are improving YOU.

Then it doesn’t matter what a judge says or what colour medal you receive. PROGRESSION OVER PERFECTION.

What are your future plans?

Well I was planning and prepping for IFBB provincials in august, but it seems I will be going to the UK for a few months to work, then returning around October for a very exciting project where I will be filming for an upcoming reality show called “MOMMY MAKEOVER”.

This will be produced by TLC and broad casted to over 142 countries. I will be that very mean personal trainer that helps transform the mothers, chosen for the show, all whilst pursuing my way up the rugby coaching ladder, I am presently Head coach of Harlequins Rugby club in the 1st division.



What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be a professional sportsman, the only problem is I could not make my mind up in what sport. It was between cricket and rugby.

I excelled in cricket, playing many years in the provincial teams, but post school the rugby bug hit me more, and I was lucky enough to get a contract to play rugby overseas and that was that. After 3 reconstructive knee surgeries later, and a very short lived career I should have chosen cricket. Lol.

What are your top tips to a guy trying to lean down but is struggling to lose that last bit of body fat on his lower abs?

Persevere! Those stubborn areas on our bodies eventually do disappear, but its only in those few weeks when the average Joe gives up that you really make inroads. I personally have a problem with my lower back fat, always the last to go.

My trick is usually a little shock off my carb cycle, and I do a 3-4 day zero carbs and fat plan. This combined with fasted LISS( Low intensity steady state) cardio in the morning. These two together always gets me there, but be warned, it’s not easy.



What are some things/advice people new to competing should know about the process and prep?

Do your homework on a coach, don’t just choose someone because they have a huge following on Instagram, or look good in photoshoots. Make sure they have got experience prepping all sorts of body types and ages. If possible see how they train themselves, and get feedback from some of their clients.

Before I hired my first prep coach Daniel Wessels, I online stalked the hell out of him, making sure he practices what he preached and understood the values needed to be a champion.

Once you have chosen……..TRUST THE PROCESS!

What process do you follow when its time to start getting ready for a competition/photoshoot or to just lean down? 

To be honest, my sweet tooth is getting worse with age, so the first thing I do is start cleaning up the diet and start weighing my food again.

My training is always intense, every day is a mixture of either supersets, tri-sets, giants sets, FST-7 or drop sets. It is my way of keeping in shape without the boring cardio.



Take us through an average day of yours: 

So, I am a pretty boring person between Monday and Friday.

  • I wake up everyday at 4 am, prepare my Oats with my 1UP nutrition whey and take my tablets.
  • I then leave on my 20 minute drive to my first job as a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active, where I run a boot camp of about 20-25 ladies at 5 am and then continue to see the rest of my clients back to back in the morning.
  • I do try and fit some HIIT training with one of them as well.
  • I then leave back home around midday and start my 2nd job working on my online clients for about 3 hours, which usually involves a 20 minute power nap lol.
  • Then around 3 pm I leave to do my third job coaching rugby to youngsters at a primary school, which is followed by my second session training in the gym. And last but not least,when I finish up at the gym I leave at about 6 pm to my fourth job as a head coach of a 1st division rugby club, Harlequins.
  • I then get home about 8 pm, eat and bed by 9:30 pm.
  • Hustling every day but boring lol.

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:

First things first preparation is key, so without my lady in my life I would be useless. She does the majority of my food prep and it’s a tireless job, but I keep things pretty simple and most importantly cost effective.

I do not believe in fad diets nor do I promote eating like a rabbit. I promote a healthy lifestyle, yet a balanced lifestyle around your social life too.

So for example, I would rather start my prep 3 weeks earlier so I don’t have to eat so many days of hake and broccoli or so I can keep the calories and carbs higher than most. My body responds well to carb cycling and low fats.

So here is a quick breakdown:

  • Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 30 g 1UP Nutrition whey and 100g rolled oats or oat bran.
  • Meal 2: 8 egg whites,1 yolk, 200g white basmati rice, 80 g broccoli.
  • Meal 3: 200g chicken, 200g sweet potato, 80 g baby marrows.
  • Meal 4: 8 egg whites, 1 yolk , 200 g white basmati rice, 80 g green beans.
  • Pre workout: 1UP Nutrition pre workout, consisting of 500mg caffeine, 800 mg cillutrane.
  • Post workout: 1UP Nutrition whey protein, 100g rice krispies.
  • Meal 5: Whatever we feel like as long as it gives me 40g protein, 50-75g carbs and 10g fat.
  • Meal 6: Casein protein or egg whites.



Do you use many supplements? What are the essentials in your opinion?

Yes without a doubt, supplementation can help the process of achieving the body you want a lot quicker. I am very fortunate to be sponsored by an international brand 1UP Nutrition who caters to my every need.

Essentials for me, and this will vary depending on where I am in the comp season, are:

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Thermogenics
  • L- Carnitine
  • BCAA’S
  • Omega 3,6 and 9

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training schedule, how many times a week do you workout for and how long are your training sessions?

Again, this changes depending where I am on my prep, but the standard way is 6 days a week, where I often work on weak points twice that week. And I never train longer than an hour.

The last few years I have really started to focus on TUT training(time under tension), and that muscle to mind connection. In my younger years I focused a little to much on my ego and used to always go as heavy as possible, but since then I have started seeing the best results when I leave my ego at the door. I love incorporating shock principles, i.e. FST-7 TYPE TRAINING.

My plan:

  • Tuesday: CHEST AND ABS
  • Thursday: ARMS



What are some of the nutritional mistakes you see guys making when trying to gain size?

To often I see guys not worried about the quality of calories they shove into their mouth as long as they get their required calories for the day. Yes they are gaining size but the amount of actual quality lean muscle is not that high. In fact all they are going to have to do is diet even harder for longer to get back in the shredded state, living on a calorie deficit which ultimately can cause the body to go into a catabolic state if nutrition is not spot on.

So it’s a vicious cycle, but one that I prefer to do with a clean mini bulk, and using a weekly refeed system for my cravings.

What are your three favourite exercises?

  1. Push press (my strongest).
  2. Lateral raise’s (the pump).
  3. Pull ups (the benefits).

What are your secrets to such ripped and solid abs and obliques?

I have been very honest in the past, that I am very fortunate through genetics, my ‘core’ has always been strong and aesthetic and I feel rugby training (very explosively) helped too. But saying that, the older I get the more my diet comes into play.

When I do train them I still treat my abs like I treat my biceps, quality repetitions with a good resistance and decent recovery. Those three factors with a clean diet, you can’t go wrong.



What is your favourite muscle to train and some of your top tips to training it?

Back or shoulders have to be my favourite for two different reasons.

Shoulders for the aesthetic pump and look that you are left with. The key to a great set of shoulders was passed on by a team mate of mine, Sergi Constance, who probably has the most capped shoulders I have ever seen.

Focus on the rear delt as much as possible and the rest of the shoulders will follow with all the amount of presses we do. So that’s what I really push hard on now.

And back, due to the muscle to mind connection I can make, and the various angles and exercises you can use. Your back is a huge muscle so when its comes to it make sure that you use different angles, grip variations and shocking principles like drop sets. It needs a lot of work to stimulate it.

Do you like and incorporate other kinds of training activities or sports in your training?

Yes without a doubt, I feel as a personal trainer that is what separates me from the rest. I studied to be a level 1 Cross fit coach, level 2 sports conditioning coach and have added numerous other qualifications such as kettlebell instructor, group exercise instructor and boxing to name just a few.

The aim in the end is to always push my clients in every aspect of fitness, not just bodybuilding. To make sure they work on weaknesses and to keep it as fresh as possible.

Do you do much cardio?

I do when I am prepping. I mix it up with LISS and HIIT training. Can’t look good and not have cardiovascular health.



What is the most common question you get asked?

How long did it take you to look like this?
What gear you taking lol.

Favorite Influential bodybuilders:

  • Locally, Jaco De bruyn is a huge inspiration to me. Not only for his physique but his work ethic and he is a dad too like me.
  • Daniel Wessels for what he accomplished as a WBFF pro.
  • Internationally, Tom Coleman, Ryan Terry, Sergi Constance and Steve Cook all for their physiques.

Favorite Quote:

It used to be “STRENGTH IS THE MOTHER OF ALL QUALITIES” but I think I have outgrown that now.

MY favourite quote now has to be

“I WANT TO INSPIRE PEOPLE. I want somebody to say, because of YOU I didn’t give up”.



Favourite female fitness icons:

Locally so many to choose from but I would say Jenadine Havenga and Ashleigh Frost have done an amazing job putting South Africa on the map.

Internationally, although she now lives locally is my good friend Andrea (Smith) Wessels. She was up there with one of the best athletes in the world and although she doesn’t compete any more she has transformed herself into a successful entrepreneur and inspires other ladies to be confident in there own bodies and its ok to live life for a while and enjoy it. Its not all about diet and abs. So big respect there.

Best piece of advice you ever received?

Gosh, so much over time. But it has to be from Andrea and Dan.

They told me after I never placed in my first show, that although I looked my absolute best, on the day the judges are going to like apples or pears. One day I would be that apple that they prefer or I will be the pear that they don’t. And I must not get demotivated just because of the opinions of others judging me. If I know this was the best package I could have brought then that’s good enough.

So yeah I live by that now. Progress over perfection. As long as I am improving then that’s good enough for me or my clients. Oh and don’t take your pre workout after 6pm Lol.

Where can people get hold of you? 

  • Instagram: devanptfitness
  • Facebook: Devan Dippenaar
  • Email: If you ever want to enquire about online coaching you can contact me on devandippenaar[at]

A post shared by Devan (@devanptfitness) on

Personal Fire Q and A: 

Favourite bodybuilder in SA?

Juan smith and Corne Jooste.

Most ripped guys physique?

Jaco de Bruyn.

SA lady with the most amazing abs?

My lady…. Shana Thompson and BASICALLY everyone of Grant Ramsay’s bomb squad.

The Nicest guy and girl fitness personality you know of in SA?

I know WAY too many to choose one!

Jaco Davidson, Neil Van Rooyen, Nick Robert, Natasha Koekemoer, Ashleigh Frost and Brad Bodsworth and Cindy De Jager.

I could go on for days!!!

Most aesthetic fitness guy in SA?

Ravin lee Kolbe and Wiehaan Van Wyk.

Most aesthetic fitness girl in SA?

Angie Roux and Shana Thompson.

Hardest working person in the fitness industry?

Grant Ramsay and Brad Bodsworth.


Photography credits:


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