Muscleweek Senior Editor, Shane Ray is a Jack of All Trades. In a recent guest speaking at the last stop of Interstate 95 at the border of the mysterious government military base known as Area 51 where he exposed to a crowd of believers the truth behind what goes on there and what we think are aliens and UFO’s. Shane Ray traveled 93 miles down I-95 to Mercury Highway where he had a pseudo-date with his old friend, Jennifer “The Beast” Cowan in her new beloved city of Las Vegas. After a quick workout at LVAC and a bite to eat at the famous Heart Attack Grill Shane Ray was able to catch up with one who calls herself.. The Beast.
MW: Jennifer Cowan. Welcome to Muscleweek. It’s been so long. Right off the bat since you are now here in Las Vegas, have you ever been to the Mirage Hotel and have you ever stayed in Room 7 near the ice machine?
JC: Actually, that is one of the hotels I don’t think I have ever been in so no. Why? What’s so significant about the Mirage in Room 7 near an ice machine?
MW: Ha! I’ll tell you off the record. Let’s just say Bob Chick made a lot of fast money there. Jen. You’re now considered an O.G. in the bodybuilding world. When did you start competing in physique competitions and what was your highlight of it all?
JC: I started competing back in 2005 as a Figure competitor. After 3 years in Figure I switched over to bodybuilding. My highlight would have to be in 2008 at the Jr. USA’s in Charleston. It was my second year competing in Bodybuilding and even though I was just a small lightweight I ended up unexpectedly winning the lightweight class and the Overall title It was a big accomplishment to me. Jr. USA’s is not a tested show and as a natural bodybuilder I didn’t think I would have a chance at the overall.
MW: None of them are tested, Jen. None. Not one. So what prompted you to switch to bodybuilding after a few runs in Figure? Less subjective judging criteria or was your desire to build maximum muscle?
JC: I made the change to bodybuilding after making a few runs on the National level in Figure and getting told I was too lean and muscular. Even though I was natural and by no means a big girl, I do tend to carry a bit more muscle and it wasn’t what they were looking for in Figure. My physique didn’t quite fit that mold. One of the reasons I wanted to compete was to bring the best physique possible to the stage and in my opinion that meant I wanted to be lean and as big as possible. For me bodybuilding was a more natural choice. As a bodybuilder it was also nice having time on stage posing and doing a routine. After 16 weeks of dieting and training, “competing” in figure and only being allowed 4 quarter turns was frustrating.
MW: I can imagine. Okay. You’re now in Las Vegas. What prompted the move from the western suburbs of Chicago to to America’s Playground?
JC: My job. I run a website and was working form home. My boss moved to Las Vegas and wanted me to follow. Being in the same place allows us to work more closely on the site plus he has the benefits of using me as a personal assistant. Not having to deal with sub-zero weather and digging my car out of snow in the winter is a nice thing.
MW: Is the Las Vegas bodybuilding scene different than the Chicagoland scene or do you stay away from that whole incestuous little circus now?
JC: Honestly? I am very much out of the loop. I am friendly with a few local competitors but during my time competing I just got burnt out. It seems the bodybuilding world doesn’t change much over time. A few new faces but there is always the same drama. Same circus, different clowns.
MW: Good for you. That’s all it is anyway. A collections of freaks, liars, losers and drama queens. A bunch of broke dick dogs and hustlers. Speaking of. Jen. It is no secret that you are quite the card shark. Were you always or is it something you fell into being in a gamblers paradise such as the (702)?
JC: I have always enjoyed playing poker but never got seriously into it until I moved here. Many of my friends here play professionally so I was lucky to get coaching and advice. Poker fills some of my athletic desires as it is a very mentally challenging hobby and I truly feel as though sitting down at a poker game can be like suiting up for “battle.”
MW: Jen. You’ve always been an athlete. You wrestled in high school. You ran track in college. You competed in Figure, Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and now you play football professionally. What enticed you to try out for the LFL?
JC: I dislocated my shoulder 2 years ago and was forced to take time off competing, during that time I realized bodybuilding just wasn’t fun for me. I am an athlete to my core and bodybuilding didn’t satisfy the athlete in me. When I moved to Vegas I heard about the LFL tryouts and thought that it would be a better fit. I wish I had more football experience and that I were a few years younger but Football very much suits me as an athlete.
MW: As it should. Football is a sport. Powerlifting is a sport. Bodybuilding is a pageant. No different than Toddlers & Tiaras. Some have suggested that the bodybuilding world left a bad taste in your mouth. Is that true? I can tell you don’t feel the same about it. What do you say about that?
JC: When I was competing I didn’t realize how much of my life I was putting on hold. If I was dieting I didn’t have the energy to snowboard, or go climbing. I wasnt’ “allowed” to go out to eat or just leave for the day without having my meals prepped. I took competing very seriously, maybe too seriously but I have yet to see a competitor who truly has a well balanced life. Bodybuilding just take more of you then most other activities and I see too many people get lost in it and ruin their lives.
MW: So do I. Which is why I am so committed to exposing the realities of it. Jen. You are an administrator at Herbicepscam.com . Does your site provide entertainment for adults, does it provide a legitimate service or does it just simply cater to men with a particular taste?
JC: HerBicepsCam is a site dedicated to female with fit bodies and their fans. The site does cater to men who like seeing woman flex but it is a site that treats our performers fairly and provides a safe platform to make money. Our site is not exclusively an “adult” site, we have many performers who spend their time in private chats talking with fans and flexing without any nudity.
MW: No nudity? Shoot. Looks like I will need you to cancel my membership then. Moving on. Facebook is infested with ever weirdo in the galaxy. How often do you get private e-mails from “appreciators” with attempts to seduce you?
JC: I use to get more “fan” mail when I was competing in bodybuilding but I still get a few emails a month from “appreciators.”
MW: You’re a very experienced and well rounded girl. What would you say to the naive “industry chick” who is excited about dating a serious juiced meathed loser bodybuilder that is “like OMG so hot!” ?
JC: As long as she is in it for the right reasons, i.e to get laid or get a “connection” and not the wrong reasons such as having a serious meaningful relationship I say go for it, It’s their life.
MW: You’re a lifetime natural. You once told me you wish you weren’t so passionate about that proclamation early in your competitive years because you felt tempted to “dabble’. Can you elaborate on that for us?
JC: I am glad that I never dabbled. Dabbling here and there seems to lead to normal usage and if that were the case I may still be bodybuilding. It seems the deeper you get into bodybuilding the harder it is to get out. When I was competing I always wished it were a bit easier and doing just a bit probably would have helped but in the end I am proud I stayed natural, it just wouldn’t have been worth it. Like you say all the time it is truly a cult and not a sub-culture.
MW: It is a cult and like most cults nobody wants you to leave the cult and when you do you become exiled from those you thought were your “friends”. I know. Do you ever get tempted to grace the stage once more? With the implementation of Women’s Physique I imagine you’ve thought about it.
JC: Nope. Not at all. I am pretty sure I am done for good. I really have no goals of getting a Pro Card, it isn’t important to me. I can think of better things to spend $200 a year on.
MW: Music to my ears, Jen. So what is life like for you now in Sin City? Describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Cowan.
JC: Wake up at 6 AM, 30 min of cardio on an empty stomach then 45 Grams of Whey Isolate. [Laughter] I’m just kidding.
10:45 AM: Probably about time to get up and take the puppies out.
11:00 AM: I make breakfast which is usually cereal with 2% milk or toast with butter and some eggs.
11:30 AM: Head to the gym to train, I normally lift 4 days a week.
1:00 PM: I like to go to Zabas. Similar to Chipotle but better!
1:30 PM – 7:30 PM: I work.
7:45 PM: Head home and take puppies on a walk.
8:15 PM: Eat dinner, I made Chicken Piccata last night.
9:00 PM: – 2:00 AM: I play poker at Planet Hollywood or Red Rock.
2:30 AM: I’ll go to sleep.
I normally play poker on Monday, Friday and Saturday nights and I have football practice on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7:45-10:15pm.
MW: That’s a good schedule. . Okay, Jen. Moving on. Tell me what girls do when it is their time of the month and they have to play lingerie football. How do you girls fix that? These are things dudes wonder.
JC: They wear a tampon. Haven’t you seen the latest tampon commercials? They are so advanced these days, I swear.
MW: I kind of wish I didn’t ask that. Okay. If you were able to bring 3 things to the desert island you’re about to get dropped off on what would those things be?
JC: How long am I going to be on this island? If its along time I would have to say my mom, brother and boyfriend but if its for like a long weekend I would be cool with my blue rockstart, an inhalor, and my cell phone.
MW: Who is your bodybuilding industry husband? Whose glutes do you want to bounce a quarter off of? Did that sound gay?
JC: Kind of. Yea. To answer your question, though I haven’t looked at a bodybuilding magazine or website for about 1.5years now. I was always a fan of Evan Centopani. He’s a big kid and was super cute.
MW: *Gasp! No! Don’t say that! You’ll get STALKED so bad, Jen. You better change your phone number and lock up real tight tonight. Wheeew! What do you miss most about Chicagoland?
JC: Mostly my friends. Lifting with you at XSport. Portillo’s. I wish Vegas had a Portillo’s.
MW: If you can make only one wish what would that wish be?
JC: To live a long rich life full of love and happiness.
MW: Where does Jennifer Cowan see herself in 5 years?
JC: Well I will be 35 and hopefully married with a kid or pregnant. I think I will still be here in Vegas – I enjoy it here. I will probably still be playing poker and I would like to be involved in getting kids active and into sports. More parents need to keep their kids active and healthy.
MW: Is there anything you would like to plug or promote? How does somebody get in contact with you for any sponsorship, modeling work or any opportunities?
JC: Not really but my contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most you ever squatted: 405.
Ketogenic or Carb Cycling: Keto if you must. Just stick with it.
Favorite cheat meal: Sushi or burgers at this place (Heart Attack Grill)
Favorite Position (I mean in football): Middle Linebacker.
Favorite exercise: Clean and Jerk.
Favorite song: Way too many to list.
Favorite drink: Blue Rockstar.