Hardbody Europa Supershow Interview: Ava Cowan “Bring Value to Your Name”

The 2011 Europa Supershow has one of the largest figure lineups of the year. The competition on stage will be hotter than it is outside in the Texas heat and one of the competitors heating things up will be Ava Cowan. Ava has finished third in her last two shows. She leaped into top contender status at this year’s Figure International finish, placing behind Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern. Pretty solid placing, right? Damn right. She went on to compete in the IFBB St. Louis Pro where she again finished third. Ava’s highest placing came in last year’s Ft. Lauderdale Cup where she was the runner-up. Might we see Ava win her first IFBB pro show this weekend?


I caught up with Ava as she heads into the Dallas Europa Supershow. She shares insight on running a business and how she’s used competing to help her build her brand. Check it out.

Currently live in: Delray Beach, Florida

How’s the supplement store going? Great!  We are doing very well, paying the bills and rent plus have a great new manager, Jimmy Anzardo. Who is great with running the store and with our customers!  So no complaints here.

What’s the biggest challenge of running a business? Finding people who you can trust with the keys to your business.  Mark and I travel a lot so we need to make sure we get great people to work with us.  Thankfully, Jimmy came to us and has been a great fit.  Also, knowing how and what products to put on the shelves is always something you can only learn with experience.  It also helps to find companies that are willing to help us promote their products so we can sell it in our store and create more awareness.

Ava Cowan is a name many women have come to know in the fitness industry. Can you look back and pinpoint a moment that was your “big break”?  There have been several high points that I feel have put my name “out there” so to speak.  But the biggest break would have to be my signing with Gaspari Nutrition in 2009.  They put me on the map on a whole other level with advertising Internationally.

What professional goals do you have that you’ve yet to achieve? A publishing contract.  I am an excellent writer and feel I could bring an already existing fan base to a magazine through regular articles and videos discussing nutrition, training and lifestyle concepts and techniques.

Has competing in the NPC/IFBB helped your business off the stage?  Yes, immensely. By being an IFBB figure athlete, I am able to compete against the top athletes in the world.  If you place at a top show, you are then considered the best “worldwide”. No other organization can give an athlete that much prestige.  By having the ability to be a top-ranking athlete, you are then able to market yourself in a ways that only the top athletes in the world can.  Worldwide recognition translates into more marketability as a competitor.  It had been my experience that the only way to get a great athlete contract is to be with the NPC and IFBB.

You have quite the fan base growing on Facebook and twitter. Do you recommend other women use social media to help their personal brand?  If you do not have an Internet presence you do not exist as a brand.  The power of creating a name is imperative to any thriving company.  That includes branding yourself.  You must bring value and an audience to your name.  The way to do that is through creating and maintaining an audience online.

How’s your training been since we last saw you on stage?  I feel good about my efforts regarding a total transformation with my physique.  With the help of Kim Oddo, we have come up with a look that is so much different than last year.  I have backed off from the massive amounts of weight training, and have just let my natural shape come back.  My body is curvier and I have a much more streamline/ feminine look than I previously did.

Biggest challenge prepping for this show:  I always struggle with being hungry.  I have been able to help my hunger by adding in more vegetables to fill me up.  I eat a ton of cucumbers with vinegar.

10 years from now what will Ava Cowan be doing? Living in a beautiful home on the ocean with a family of my own.

Favorite Gaspari protein flavor?  Milk Chocolate Myofusion.

After the Europa Dallas will you be doing Arizona or nothing until the Olympia? No, I will be doing the Olympia after Dallas.

Anyone you’d like to thank? God for putting this dream in my heart and allowing me to full-fill it.  Gaspari Nutrition for supporting my career as an athlete.   I could only be traveling and living my dream because of Rich and Liz Gaspari and Joe Volgey.  I would like to thank the IFBB for giving me the ability and platform to compete worldwide.  I would like to thank Kim Oddo for revamping my look.  And for having the eyes I need to give me what I need to be successful in this sport.  I would like to thank my fiance Mark Alvisi for working so hard on building our future day in and day out, my Dad, and my friends Jessica and Suzana.  Thank you for loving me.  A special thanks to my fans who continue to support me everyday and throughout my career.  No matter where I place.  And thank you Isaac for this interview.
Follow Ava on twitter.com @avaCowan and become a fan on her facebook page. You can see competition photos of Ava throughout the years on bodybuilding.com and see how she’s transformed her physique into the winning form its in today.


Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.