Cowman competes in the Windy City

by Wes Cummings

“It all began when I started going to the gym.”                                                                         

    Anyone who knows senior Megan Cowman knows that her lifestyle is drastically different than most people’s. Whether you see her eating some healthy concoction at lunch or lifting heavy weights in the gym, you can define Cowman in one word: determined.

   On September 22, Cowman traveled to Chicago for the North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation Windy City bodybuilding competition, and Cowman’s determination was put to the test.

“The prep for the competition was pretty hard.  I was cutting weight for about two months, and that was rough. Then there is this thing called a peak week which means I had to drink a gallon of water every day, leading up to the comp  and I had 50g of carbohydrates each day with my calories being about 1500 so then Friday night before the competition we had to stop drinking water completely and carb load,” Cowman explained.

“On Saturday the competition came, and we had to get our hair, makeup and tan done. Before we went on stage we had to get a pre-pump, where we just lifted weights to make our muscles look bigger and more vascular. We went on stage and posed with a certain routine walk, and there was a judge that compared me to the other girls on how well groomed we looked, how our posing was, and how overall how fit we were.”

She took third place at the competition, but there’s a detail that makes this much more impressive: she was the youngest competitor by seven years. Cowman explained that her experience was amazing, but for now, she is going to go back to her normal fitness routines. Her routines are rigorous and require an immense amount of focus, but for Cowman, it’s just her everyday life.

“My fitness routine changes a lot. I will bulk, and that session is just when I can have a lot more food. It’s not as strict, and I have to make sure my carbs are pretty high so I can gain weight. Protein is really important to gain muscle, and I lift about five times a week. That goes on for about a year, but then there is the cutting period which goes on for about three months,” Cowan explained. This is a big phase when it comes to bodybuilding competitions. “It is very strict. I have to watch everything I eat. I can’t have certain foods, the carbs are super low and lifting is a lot more important during this time. I lift about six to seven times per week just to get as much mass as possible. It is different from bulking though. Bulking is more strength than body image; bulking focuses on the compound moves instead of the accessory work.”

   This routine may seem completely insane for some people. The amount of time and effort Cowman puts into her training is immense.

“The best part about all this is watching my body change and transform. Through everything,  just the mental process and knowing I completed my goals just makes it all worth it.