Tana McGowan - IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Tana: I started weight training about 19 years ago and have been competing for almost 9 years. My journey started when I was overweight 198lbs and with the sole purpose of losing weight. Once I began this journey for weight loss my interest began to grow to learning about bodybuilding and changing my body. When I migrated from Jamaica to Canada back in 2004, I met my long time training partner and first thing he said to me “you know if you train with me you are going to compete” and that when it all started. He took me to my first bodybuilding completion to watch the Canadian Nationals in Montreal and also introduce me to the Ontario Physique Association (OPA) and also to my coach Laura Binetti and the rest is history.

I competed in my very first OPA (Ontario Physique Association) show in June 2005 where I placed 4th in women heavyweight class, that following year I competed in October and placed 2nd. Since 2005 I have competed at the Local, Regional and National levels. On July 6, 2013, I competed in Canadian Nationals Championship in Halifax where I placed first in both Women’s Master and Women Open Bodybuilding and also won the overalls for both classes where I was awarded two pro cards. The rewards of competing have been great meeting new people and places. My life feels so complete with training, working out and competing and most of all meeting bodybuilders from all around the world.



Tana McGowan, IFBB Pro bodybuilder. A Woman of Steel!

My diet is pretty much the same on and off season; only the amount of food changes t with 1 or 2 cheat meals when I am off season. Last off season the amount of food increased, so that I could bring my weight up to 194 pounds at 5 feet 4 inches. This was the first for me been that heavy. During the off-season my workouts are heavy and intense and cardio is kept at a minimum of 20 minutes 3 times a week, if my weight start going up too quickly then cardio is increase. During contest prep training is a bit more intense with less rest periods and lots of drop sets, superset and HIIT cardio 3 times a week or even dead mills too. My training is followed by protein shake with orange juice or a diet meal. Eating the right foods plays a big role in keeping my muscle and staying lean off season.

I find for me the most effective ways for me lose weight is to do fasted cardio first thing before breakfast especially during contest preparation season. This is not something I would recommend to everyone as not everyone can tolerate fasted cardio. I have discovered that coffee gives me the kick in the morning to do cardio, which is also a fat burning factor and acts as diuretics too.

I train different body parts on different days, and I eat six to seven small meals a day- every two to three hours. I plan my workouts in a way where I eat 3 meals before my workouts and I have 1 or 2 more meals left for after my training. Usually you should plan your eating in a way that you have two meals left for after your workout.

For me I find that carb loading does not work so well with me which I have tried and did not like so well. Doing a slow carb load for me I find works much better.

These are the supplements that I incorporate during off and on season: Preworkout powder; L-Carnitine, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, B-complex, Branch Chain Amino Acid (BCAA), L-glutamine, Whey Protein Powder, Karbolyn, Vitamin C, extra fiber and all these that can be purchased form any supplement store and it’s safe to use. These supplements are taken before, during and after my training.

My future plans are to compete in as many pro shows to qualify for the Ms. Olympia one day.

My website is: www.tanamcgowan.com. I am also on Facebook. I can also be reached at tanamcgowan@yahoo.com. I invite everyone to visit my website learn more about my online personal training services.


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