Where and when were you born? Omaha, NE August 19 1981
What is your profession? HerBicepscam.com “Performer Liaison”
Pride Nutrition “sales”
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training?
From my earliest memories I was drawn to individual sports. I have always been a little more muscular then others my age and ironically I was always asked to flex whenever we had a dance or school event. In high school I was a 3-sport athlete…track, x-country, and wrestling. Yes, I was the only girl on the wrestling team and I remember my coach saying that I had a better V-taper then most the boys I wrestled!
In college I focused on track…my events were the 400, 400 M. Hurdles, Long Jump and Triple Jump. We had a great facility built my Junior year and a new strength coach. Though I didn’t focus heavily on lifting I learned the importance of a good program and this was the foundation of my bodybuilding career.
Was it a goal for you to compete in bodybuilding competitions right from the beginning or was it something that grew in your mind as time went on and you saw the progress in your body?
In college I frequently heard I should compete in bodybuilding but I never took it seriously. Once I graduated I knew I needed a goal so I decided to run a marathon-though I finished I hated was the distance did to my body…ugh I was skinny-fat…and I missed heavy weight training. I learned of Figure and decided to take the challenge and competed a short 6 months later.
My first year competing I was tiny after losing all my muscle marathon training and I took off a year to gain size. My second year competing I stuck with Figure but was told I was a little too big-I knew I did not want to give up my muscle plus my genetics are more geared towards bodybuilding so this year I crossed over and have found a home! I love the freedom and expression that bodybuilding allows. Now when I step on stage I can bring the physique that I think looks the best (harder and leaner) without fear of being penalized.
Can you give me your competition history?
2007 NPC Illinois State: Middleweight and Overall Winner
2007 NGA Heart of America: Heavyweight Winner and Novice Overall
2007 INBF Wisconsin: Heavyweight Winner
2006 NPC Illinois State Figure Short Winner
2006 NGA Heart of America: Figure Medium Winner
2006 NPC Team Universe: 11th Figure Class C
2006 NPC USA’s: 9th Figure Class C
2005 NPC Illinois State Figure Short 3rd
2005 NPC Mid-Illinois Figure Short 2nd
2005 NPC Mid-Continental Short 1st and Overall
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you?
Placing in the top 10 last year at the USA’s was a great feeling but I think I am most proud of my class and novice win at the NGA bodybuilding show this year. The girls I was competing against looked fantastic and I felt a sense of true belonging on the stage as a bodybuilder. The support system at that show is unlike anything I have experienced and to walk off stage with a win was the icing on the cake…next year I hope to take the Open Overall with me!
Please tell me something about your training routine (i.e.: how many days per week / training split /cardio, etc.)
On and off season I have a 5-day split training routine and I try to add plyometrics one day of the week. Hopefully this will move to 2 days as the weather cooperates, I try to get outside for sprints, hills and bleachers. Actually prepping for this show I am doing no cardio just focusing on lifting and eating right.
As far as my split…
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Wednesday: Shoulders and Abs
Thursday: Back and Calves
Saturday: Biceps and Abs
though no 2 weeks are the same. Normally I do 3-4 sets of 8-12 but again I switch my routine daily depending on how I look and feel.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
Hard question as I do love a few exercises…I love Pull-Ups and Incline Dumbbell Press but my favorite has to be squats.
Which body part is your best in your opinion?
I would say my quads…others say my back
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Height - 5’3.5
Weight - 135-140 off-season
120-125 on season
Biceps - 13.5
Calves - 14
Squats- 320 max
Leg Press- 1000 for reps
DB Incline- 70 for reps
Barbell Curls- 65 for reps
Bench- 155 for reps
What do you enjoy about training for competition....what do you enjoy about the 'off season'?
I love the structure and dedication it takes to prepare for the competition….I love waking up everyday and looking in the mirror and seeing changes. I also love the other competitors because only they really know what you are going through and can understand the difficulty-it really creates a tight bond.
Off-Season, well there are 3 things I love about off-season…being STRONG, eating GREAT food and desserts, and going out with the girls.
Please describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Lynn Cowan.
It use to start with cardio so now I get to sleep in a little bit Normally I get up at 8ish, have my protein pancakes and get ready for work. Some day I go into work for Pride Nutrition and others I just boot up my computer from the comfort of my couch and log into herbicepscam.com and my email to start work.
Of course the whole day I think about food and if I am at home I watch the food network religiously. I dream about having Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) come cook for me, when I wake up I go cook myself egg whites or chicken…yum yum.
Anytime between 4 and 7 I will head to the gym, normally with my training partner Casey and we hit it hard. Come home, eat, work a little more and crash until the next day. Currently I started Season 5 of 24 (love that it is on DVD) so that is what I look forward to most when I am finished training…getting down and dirty with Jack Bauer.
Please tell me about what you do when you don’t work out (hobbies, what do you do to relax?, etc.)
Well I just mentioned my 24 addiction…other then that most things athletic. In the winter I am addicted to snow-boarding and really want to move out to Colorado in the next few years. In the summer I enjoy wake-boarding, hiking, roller-blading, At home I love reading…Ayn Rand is my favorite author…napping and baking.
What do you enjoy most about the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle?
It gives me a purpose. Without a physical goal I feel lost. Bodybuilding is extremely difficult and even if you win a show you always have something you can improve. It helps me stay motivated in all aspects of my life.
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something people may be surprised to hear.
I am a mother of two………….shih-Tzu’s J hehe, Xena and Zoe
Really I am pretty open about myself so no big secrets, I already mentioned that I wrestled in high school which shocks some people. I wrestled all 4 year in high school and yes I even beat a few guys (plus all the women I competed against). It was physically the hardest thing I have ever done.
What are your competition goals or personal future goals?
Team Universe this July is my first goal. I started using a trainer for my diet so I am very excited to see how my physique changes, a top 5 finish would be a great end to the season.
May 2008- Win my Pro-Card at the NGA Heart of America show in Peoria…
Personally I hope to encourage more figure competitors to give bodybuilding a try, especially in Natural Federations.
Jennifer does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!