Name: Sylvia Cowan
Birth date: September 30th
I am a Graduate of Pace University, NYC. Degree in speech communication.
I am a training manager for a health care company’s marketing department
Hobbies / Interests: I obviously enjoy training with heavy weights as well as more cardiovascular activities such as running and jazz and modern dancing. I practice jujitsu and rank at a brown belt. I enjoy physical and mental challenges. I thrive on conquering my own weaknesses and helping others overcome theirs.
Favorite Movies: The killing Fields
Favorite Music: I am very eclectic. I love all kinds… depends on my mood.
Favorite TV Shows: When I have the time I really like to catch an episode or two of comedy such as Fraser or Sienfeld.
Were you always strong/athletic/muscular? As a young child I was terribly thin. In my late teens I became more athletic and strong and then eventually more muscular.
I have been a bodybuilder for about 15 years. I was inspired by a former boyfriend who once I began my muscle “transformation” got a little frightened and urged me to ease up on the muscle building. I then had to make a decision; mold myself in someone else’s vision or sculpt my own destiny. You figure out which I chose:)
Has lifting had a positive impact on your life and how? Bodybuilding has aided in discipline, influencing and regimenting other aspects of life positively. Whenever I am feeling emotionally drained or exhausted from the “daily grind” I rely on my training to restore my vitality. I truly live for it.
What empowers/motivates you as an athlete?: In a world that can be unreliable I always rely on moving steel and sculpting flesh.
What's your strongest muscle group, what do you consider your weakest?
My legs are my strongest body part. I can move heavy weight, more than most guys. My most beautiful body part is my back. I feel it is the best-developed part of my body… deep lines, thickness and details. My weakest are my abs, but I’m working on that.
How do people, men in particular, react to you lifting weights and/or being muscular? Most initial reactions are positive. Men and women constantly approach me for dates. Problem is when a relationship is started most are really rather intimidated by my conditioning. They then are freaked out by how much attention I get from everyone. This has led to untimely conclusions to many of my relationships. It takes a very secure person to be with me. I am who I am and I will not change who I am for anyone.
Have you ever been challenged in sports or in the weight room or in other circumstances to prove yourself against a guy? Can you share any stories and results of such experiences with us? I have been challenged and I have declined. I am a woman, not a man. I know what I can do. I can kick ass. I have nothing to prove to anyone in that regard. Oh, I was once challenged by a would be mugger… he ended up on his back. Remember… I am a brown belt in jujitsu.
What are your future goals in athletics and weight lifting? To continue my body sculpting. To continue trying my best to improve my physique year after year. To continue competing until I am done.
I plan to compete in 2005 Nationals
Height:5’1 ˝” (when you’re this short every half inch makes a difference ; )
Weight: Off-season: 155 to 160 lbs. Contest: 145 to 150 lbs.
My favorite exercise in the gym is: squats: 315 lbs for 12 reps
NPC –Eastern USA Bodybuilding Championships 1996-3rd Place (heavy weight)
NPC- Bev Francis Atlantic States 1997-4th Place (heavy weight)
NPC- Eastern USA Bodybuilding Championships 1998-1st Place (heavy weight)
NPC-Nationals Body building Championships 1998-12th Place (heavy weight)
NPC-Nationals Body building Championships 1999-10th Place (heavy weight)
NPC-Nationals Body building Championships 2000-3rd Place (heavy weight)
NPC-Nationals Body building Championships 2001-11th Place (heavy weight)
NPC-USA Bodybuilding Championships 2002-6th Place (heavy weight)
NPC-Eastern USA Bodybuilding Championships (re-qualify) 2003-1st Place (heavy weight)
NPC-USA Bodybuilding Championships 2004-7th Place (heavy weight)
Distance Runner- Previous member of America’s Road Runners Club
Studied Jazz, Ballet dancing and acting for 6 years at Herbert Berghof Studios (HB Studio), NYC
Brown Belt in Jujitsu
Aerobic Instructor for 3 years
Personal Fitness& Exercise Instructor – My Company: Sylvia’s Body Fitness & Exercise Co.
Employment Information: Marketing Training Manager Insurance Company:
As a Marketing Trainer I am responsible for hiring and training Marketing Sales staff. As well as, managing and developing educational materials used to educate internal and external staff.
I was born In Brooklyn, New York and raised between Winston Salem North Carolina and Brooklyn New York.
At age ten I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my mother was told that I would be crippled by the time I reached my twenties. Of course the doctors were wrong. However, I waited for it and in preparation I wanted to experience as many physical activities as possible.
Years latter, my motive for being physically active changed and I focused on both my health and external appearance. I became an aerobes instructor thinking that it was the key to external appearance I was seeking. Three year latter, I had not achieved the look. Shortly after, I was introduced to weightlifting and in 1995 two trainers who told me that I had the framework of a competitive bodybuilder approached me. I spent the next year and six month training for my first show.
The show I will remember the most is the 2001 NPC- Nationals. I had been in and at the World Trade Center (WTC) during the 9/11disaster. After a week of crying, going to therapy, and feeling hopeless I came to my senses while on the treadmill at the gym. I realized that I had survived and was blessed. I thought about all those who did not make it and decided that I would do the show I was preparing for before the disaster, I felt that I owed it to all those people at the WTC I knew and who knew I was preparing to do the show. I only placed 11th but I felt that I had won.
Sylvia does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!