Member Since: 2005
BodySpace has become THE social network for fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts. The site hosts more than 1 million members worldwide, including gym nuts and beginners alike. Students, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, pro athletes - all call BodySpace their "fitness" home, sweat home.
Without a doubt, one of the more popular members of BodySpace is a pro athlete herself. Ava Cowan has risen to the top of the IFBB Figure circuit and she has frequently used her BodySpace in the past 6 years. She's come a long way but says she's just getting started.
Her plans are ambitious, but it would not be smart to doubt her. This Gaspari Athlete has already been on numerous magazine covers and has thousands of people in her BodySpace corner.
Once you get to know her, you will become another of her many supporters. You'll certainly know why she earned the right to be the next BodySpace Member of the Month!
Well, to develop her 6-er she uses 7 go-to exercises. Each time she trains abs, she chooses 3-or-4 for that session. Both the exercises and the reps and resistance (or degree of difficulty) will vary by workout, so her core doesn't adapt and thus cease to improve. Reps-wise, she will go as many as 20-plus and as few as 6.
So what's her favorite abdominal move of all? She has a sweet spot for rope pull-downs. "I like how it focuses on the upper portion of the abs," says Cowan. "This exercise may be partly responsible for the density I have been able to achieve in my abs."
Q&A With Ava Cowan
Q: Tell us a little about yourself: name, age, where you are from and about your career.
How long have you been visiting Bodybuilding.com and using BodySpace?
I have been using the site since the winter of 2005. With more than 4,000 comments to others, I actually use the site heavily.
What was it that led you to decide to pursue a career in the fitness world?
I compete not for the ego boost, but rather because dieting and pursuing extreme fitness goals build my self-esteem. I always knew I had good genetics, but I never had the education, discipline or direction to go to the next level.
What is the most important thing you've learned since you started?
Not to take any placing personally.
What are your favorite and least favorite body parts to train and why?
Legs. I love it and hate it! Training legs hurts, but it feels good at the same time. It's sort of like pulling out a loose tooth.
What is the best fitness advice you could give to someone who is just starting?
Don't think that because you placed 2nd in your first NPC show that you deserve a sponsorship. That is just crazy! I killed myself, marketed myself full time, and was on the grind for 4 years before I was signed with Gaspari Nutrition. No one owes you anything, so do this as a hobby not as a career. If something comes of it, then that is just a bonus financially.
Build yourself as a brand and have something to offer other than just a nice body. It takes a dazzling personality, savvy business sense, negotiating skills, resilience, character, integrity, incessant social networking and anything else that can set you apart as an athlete from the rest.
How often do you treat yourself to a cheat food and what is your favorite?
More than I should in the off season. I eat whatever I want, and I usually top out at about 12-15 pounds over contest weight. When I diet for a show, I never have a cheat meal.
I am all-out 100 percent, one way or the other. I have an extreme personality, so I am IN or I am OUT.
Why do you think BodySpace is beneficial to others?
There is no other website that helps you track as many aspects of your physical transformation. It is the only way I can remember what I am doing month-to-month, especially weight wise.
How do you get yourself going on those days when the motivation may not come so easy?
I try not to over-think what I have to do. I also picture the fat on my legs and that usually gets me moving.
What are your future goals, both in your career and in your personal life?
I want to win the Figure Olympia, have my own reality TV show, meet the man of my dreams, and help others transform their lives as a life coach. Yeah, I said it, win the Olympia!
Is there anything you would like to say to all the BodySpace people out there?
Just keep pushing in all aspects of your life. Never let anyone tear you down in any way, set huge goals and never give up!