“My Heart Beating Out of My Chest”: 25X World Record Powerlifter Opens up on ‘Awful Empty Feeling’ Rarely Talked About

Published 03/16/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

Dr. Stefi Cohen is a fitness instructor with multiple talents. Besides having a Ph.D. in physiotherapy, she is a 25 times world record-holding powerlifter. In fact, she is the one who can lift 4.4x her body weight. Lately, she has been dabbling with boxing and performed in many boxing competitions to date. But being in the limelight can be exhaustive for some, and the same goes for Dr. Cohen.

She has always been open to her followers about her problems. In fact, now while sharing her confrontation with depression, the DPT raises a voice to help others through her journey. Stefi shared how feeling ‘not okay’ is normal, and there are ways out of it. Let’s see what this powerlifter-turned-boxer had to share about the darkest phases of life.

Stefi Cohen talked her heart out


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Recently, the physical educator took to her Instagram to talk about a grave issue. Dr. Cohen added a loop video to her post and wrote a long caption to it. “There were days I’d wake up in the middle of my sleep with my heart beating out of my chest, and this awful empty feeling in my stomach; that was the cue that a panic attack was right around the corner…“, she began her caption.

In the video, the DPT is seen taking a cold bath in a tub and stepping out of it. The looped video read, “If you are dealing with anxiety and panic, you should do this regularly.” According to her, the “cold plunge” help release adrenaline and other stress hormones. Regular repetition of this bath will help make one feel better.


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Describing the benefits of the cold bath, Dr. Cohen also wrote, “Besides this, there’s a marked increase in the level of endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin – all feel good chemicals in the brain, for a long time after taking the plunge.” This is indeed her process to deal with ingrown hardships. In fact, she advised others to follow the process in order to get rid of anxiety attacks. She also talked about other problems that she faces on a regular basis

Cohen felt uncomfortable once


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The DPT previously shared how she felt distressed while showing her skin. She once posted a picture and wrote, “I feel pressured to show more skin than I’m comfortable with”. With her discomfort, Dr. Cohen evidently brought out the sad reality of the fitness fraternity.

Furthermore, she debunked people expecting her to be stage-ready and to amaze the viewers by showing off her physique. While she has the potential to turn some heads toward her, Stefi felt overwhelmed by the continuous pressure.


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Anxiety attacks are indeed one of the issues that are less talked about. While opening up about her own problems, Dr. Cohen tried to accumulate herself with others. Hope her advice will also help others to feel good.



Soumili Chatterjee

257 articles

Soumili Chatterjee is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She secured her bachelor’s and master's degree in English literature from the University of Calcutta. After being a technical and blog writer for nearly three years, it was her ardent love for sports that steered her career toward the sports industry.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa