Subscribe to Bender Fitness on Youtube

About Melissa Bender



My Youtube Channel: Please Subscribe!
My Pinterest
Twitter
Melissa Bender on Facebook

This blog follows my fitness journey. These are the workouts that I do to stay healthy, strong, and in shape. I have my Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy, and I am a Certified Yoga Instructor. I also coach a high school Cross Country Team. 

Health and Fitness means much more to me than looking good in a bikini. Your body is the vehicle that carries you through life. By caring for your body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle you help shape the quality of your future. In my field I often see that strength and flexibility can mean the difference between a person returning home to live alone, or requiring long term care. It's time to stop remediating problems, and start preventing them. 

Studying Occupational Therapy has given me a much more significant appreciation for all the things my body is capable of, and I want to maintain that for as long as I can. 

I believe that healthy living is about balance, and creating sustainable healthy choices. It's about variety of experience, and life long learning. It's about finding the beauty in the things you are capable of, expanding so you can do more, and sometimes accepting the things that you can't do. 

Thank you for taking the time to follow my journey. I hope that in some way it is able to positively influence you to start your own journey. I love hearing about people's successes, so please feel free to share and comment. 

Thank you,
Melissa

Links to Articles or Interviews with Melissa Bender:

Fitness Magazine Face of Fitness Reader's Choice Winner
How I Became a Fitness Blogger: Melissa Bender Fitness
An Inspiring Interview with Melissa Bender (Therapist, Yoga Instructor and Fitness Lover)
Melissa Bender Interview



Disclosure Statement

This blog is a personal blog written, owned and edited by me, Melissa Bender. For questions about this blog, please contact FitnessBender@gmail.com
I take pride in giving my honest opinion and assessment of all the products that are submitted to me and experiences I may be given. I reserve the right to opt out of publishing a review if I do not feel that I can be fair about my opinion.
I will never post or promote a product that I do not believe in and/or use. 
As the owner of this blog, I may accept forms of cash advertising, or sponsorship. There might also be paid topic insertions. I will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog..
I believe in honesty and integrity, therefore, I will always give my personal opinion-whether or not it shows a product or company in a favorable light.  Compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely and entirely my own. I do not claim to be nor make an effort to be an expert on a certain topic, product or service.  I will only endorse companies, products and services that I believe, based on my own experiences, are worthy of endorsement.  All product or service claims should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
BenderFitness is a personal blog. Everything I’ve written on my blog is from my own personal experience and should not be used as medical advice. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet or exercise routine. I firmly believe that fitness should be free and accessible, and I am sharing my journey of home fitness in the hopes that it helps others. Again, please consult your doctor with any medical issues, questions, or before beginning a training program.

51 comments:

  1. I think your Occupational background gives you such an advantage. You know the body, and you understand the ins and outs of how it is wired. Healing can begin with fitness, and you can help people heal and well as get fit no matter their fitness level. You can guide them in the right direction. That is amazing. You are a healer of the fitness world.Thanks for all that you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It definitely helps. My overall goals are about staying healthy throughout life. :)

      Delete
  2. Hi Melissa!
    I am glad to find your site.
    I'd like to invite you to be a Pre-Candidate in Fitness Girl's Project / Contest.
    This is a wonderful project created to motivate people to leave sedentary lifestyle. Yes, you read right.
    We have more than 42,000 fans only in Facebook.
    If you enjoy it, we will create your album and insert your country's flag in our cover page.

    Take a look at: fitnessgirl.com.br
    or at: facebook.com/FitnessGirlbr

    You are welcome!

    Thank you!
    Have a nice week!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Melissa, I am honestly pushing myself as hard as I can, but I think fear gets in my way. I am over weight and take each goal as it comes, but I am tired of waiting. I do not know how to do a push up correctly. I wish I did. I am embarrassed to ask someone to help me and I don't have money to pay someone to help me. I stay home with my 2 kids. Yet I long for the ability to not only feel better and look better, but improve my life overall. You inspire me to try harder than I am, I have lost 72 lbs on my own, watching what I eat and lifting weights, walking 3 times a week. Thank you for putting it on the net what you do and sharing options for me to look to, because tho I wish I knew more like you I don't so your information is more than helpful. Thank you!! Amy Akers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, You are very welcome! I apologize for taking so long to respond. You have already done amazing things, losing 72 pounds isn't easy, and that is a sign that you can do anything you put your mind to! I have actually done a video on push up form and modifications. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

      Delete
  4. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION. Thank you for your endless stream of workouts! Just sheer volume of content you've uploaded is a testament to your dedication to fitness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Savraj! I really do love it, and I feel blessed to be able to share my workouts. :) Thank you for the support!

      Delete
  5. Melissa,

    I just came across your blog thanks to Pinterest! I am not scared of working out or eating healthy, I just don't know how. I am a 19 year old with a 3 year old daughter. I was very active until I got pregnant and have since been slowly gaining weight. I have resulting knee, hip, and back problems. I am hoping to use your workouts to see a change in my Lifestyle. Any suggestions for someone That's just starting out and seriously committed to changing? Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelby, I have several beginner workouts, and just started a Transformation Workout series with my brother in law. He is just starting his fitness journey and has been joining me for videos once per week. There will be a new one tomorrow. You can definitely do this! It's so important to stay healthy for your own well being, and for the sake of your daughter. :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Melissa,
      I've recently finished an outside 8 week program and have seen great body changing results. I'm considering working out with your videos for the next 12 weeks to see further body changes..
      I'm still having trouble doing pushups from my toes, however. My goal is to improve the 25 I can do with good form from my knees to 20 full/walking. Any suggestions how to approach this?
      Thanks....Janine

      Delete
  6. This is such an awesome site and you are amazing for sharing so much. I would like to put together a regular workout program based on what you have here and I find it hard to choose. Do you have personal sessions available to ask questions and formulate a program?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Oragold, I don't right now, but it is definitely something I would like to add soon. I will keep you posted. If you have questions feel free to ask!

      Delete
  7. I just found your site and I don't even know how I came across it but it's GREAT. I've kind of stagnated on my fitness and was tired of doing the same old thing. Your workouts bring variety and keep me interested. Thanks for what you do for all of us regular people trying to stay fit and healthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judy,

      You're welcome! I get bored with the same old thing. Switching workouts keeps the challenge fresh, and helps me stay motivated. Plus you learn how capable your body is as it rises to each new challenge!

      Melissa

      Delete
  8. Melissa,
    As I was browsing Pinterest this evening, I came across a few of your workouts. The first though that came to my mind was "wow, this woman looks INTENSE!" But when I began watching your videos and browsing through your page, it struck me how down to earth you seem! I had already decided that I'll be using your workouts and recipes before looking at your "about Melissa Bender" tab. I was SHOCKED to see you are an occupational therapist. I am currently in my 3rd year of a 5 year master's program for OT and I've gained 15-20 lbs since freshman year. I am a "stress eater" and after a knee injury requiring surgery last year, I really noticed my body changing. You have inspired and motivated me in more ways than you know. I hope to one day look as great as you do! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kate,

      :) Thank you so much! I love being an OT, and I think you have chosen a fabulous career path. You can definitely achieve your goals. Just use the same client centered approach you use with your patients for yourself. I use a very OT approach to setting all of my own goals (short term and long term).

      Thanks again for the kind words!
      Melissa

      Delete
  9. Hi Melissa,

    You have done a great job in reaching your goals and helping others do the same through this blog.

    I do not have a lot of weight to lose but need to gain some muscle and shape up. I have been doing a combo of cardio and heavy weight lifting in the past to achieve my goals so far. I have recently broken my wrist and have been limited to cardio since i cant lift anything heavy or light for that matter. Any recommendations on what kind of a workout i can use to continue my getting fit journey while not utilizing any free weights?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. This has a lot of good information. Also has many different work outs available for different areas. I will be referring back to this!

    And as a fellow OT, I'll have to say, great body mechanics! =)

    Kasey COTA/L

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Melissa,

    I just started yoga a month and a half ago and I would like to do more as I really enjoy it. I was a distance swimmer for many years a d a distance runner also. Boredom ended my swimming career and three knee surgeries ended my running career. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about a year and a half ago and my rheumatologist suggested yoga. My frustration is that I never progress and, in fact, regress. I am told that that is part of the fibromyalgia while others tell me that if I just exercise every day, I can get off my meds and be able to run a marathon someday. Since you have some of the training from the medical side of things, what would you say? Thanks, Mary Beth

    ReplyDelete
  12. Melissa -

    Thank you for the stream of workouts! I feel lucky that I have the fitness "bug". But, I travel a lot for work and maintaining a work out schedule is difficult when you're bouncing from hotel to hotel. Your workouts leave me dripping with sweat in my own hotel room morning after morning! It's fantastic!!

    Thank you for your dedication. (and check out pole fitness too...can be more fun than just burpees!)

    Thank you again!

    "M" from Redondo Beach, CA

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yeah for OTs and fitness-- that describes me too!!!

    Lara, OT in Santa Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Melisa
    I am a long time fitness enthusiast and I have spent most of my fitness running and spending time at the gym. Just recently, this year I decided to try TABATA and HIT training and I love it but my workouts were kind of getting a little boring....until I fell upon your website. This place is a like a treasure trove of absolute greatness. I have been training a friend for almost 2 years now and he has lost 40 lbs and has put is Diabetes II into remission. Thanks to you, I can continue to challenge him and myself and watch him give me an evil glare when I say it is time for ninja jumps.
    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Melissa!
    I stumbled upon your blog while on Pinterest. I haven't searched around yet, but saw you were an OT! I just finished school and am studying for NBCOT (& freaking out!). I was doing CrossFit prior to starting school, but became tired/wan't motivated while in school, so that tapered off and I gained ~20lbs. I am starting to get back on track, eating better and running more (new runner = some aches/pains/frustrations). I'm really interested in trying yoga too. Really looking forward to following your blog now!
    Your soon-to-be fellow OT,
    Lauren (Bay Area, Ca)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Melissa, you are inspirational! I can't tell you how grateful I am that you post workouts that get results with hour or less per day, I can do it in my house, I can do it any time of day and my kids can join in! I love doing the video along with you. The fact that you sometimes lose your balance for a moment and I can hear you get winded is motivational. Heck, with your body if you aren't perfect then I don't have to be either! Thank you X100!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Melissa,

    You are such an inspiration and are amazingly motivational. I love your endless supply of videos and look forward to many more. Thank you for your dedication. I hope one day I can reach my goal and look half as good as you! :)

    Kristie

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Melissa,

    I found your workouts thru Facebook and was instantly hooked on your varying home workouts. Such inspiration. I have a quick question however, Im on the thin side of the spectrum and lifting weights is my forte since I'm definitly not trying to slim down. Question is, what would get the best results with thinner legs? I'd like to increase size and strength.

    Right now I do legs 2 to 3 times a week (squats variations, press, bike etc.) Yet they're still rather skinny.

    Ok. thanks.


    -Skinny minny

    ReplyDelete
  19. Melissa,

    Quick question...is there anyway to download your workouts? I live in the country and we don't have internet so I have been using my phone and consequently have been going over my data plan every month (oops!). I thought if there was a way to download them that I could continue to do them at home...but if not I completely understand!

    Congrats on the competition!! You are such an inspiration :).

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Melissa! I'm a hobby web programmer outside my normal work, and wondered if you'd be interested in having your own exercise logger? The idea being where your followers can log your workouts, graph their progress and compare with your others.

    http://www.earthexercise.com/ee/home.php?cathome=&forcebrand=MBF

    Take a look and please let me know if it's the kinda thing you'd be interested in - no catches, I'd just to love to put my efforts to use.:)
    ben@earthexercise.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you Melissa! I love your workouts and positive attitude! I used to be in better shape and work out more often then I sustained an injury that put me out of the game for a while. I found your blog and have found motivation to start on my fitness journey again! I have a quick question tho, at night I find it hard to curb my late night eating...have any suggestion on how to nip this in the bud? Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just found your website and it's awesome!! I'm going to be tuning in and following your workouts & I'm really looking forward to it. Thank you for doing this!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Melissa!
    I absolutely love your workouts! But I was just wondering how you don't get repetitve strain injuries, or rather overuse injuries? Do you do ore exercises like yoga?

    Thanks,
    Charlotte :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could recommend some exercises on your site for strengthening a torn achilles. It has been a year and I was extremely fit before the injury and now I am a softy and I hate it. But I can't do my normal exercises/ yours which I used to be able to do. Thanks for you help. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Melissa! I am a 44-year-old who, about 2.5 years ago, was able to lose all my "baby" fat by working out w/a trainer 6 days a week. I lost about 40 pounds and felt wonderful and was truly in shape.

    Sadly, life and routine changed and although I didn't gain back my usual weight, I did become rather flabby b/c fat began to take the place of the muscle I had built. After Christmas I started t r y i n g to get back to it but I can't afford the gym and I'm a people person and find it difficult to work out at home. Then I found you!!!!!

    Thank you for being here!! I'm in Bulgaria, by the way. I've been working out with you for about 3 weeks now and my boyfriend said last night that he's beginning to see my definition return in my abs. Wooooo! That was exciting to hear. It is also nice to feel good again - more energetic. I appreciate your down-to-earth nature, the no music in the background, and I feel like I've got my own trainer again. Now maybe I can go to the Black Sea (nearby) this summer and feel good in my bikini =) Thank you!!!!!!!

    Laura in Bulgaria =)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi,

    Great Blog!

    My name is Isabelle and I am currently working with http:// www.crunchpt.com.au
    I just came across your blog and enjoyed the read.
    We were hoping we could publish a similar blog on your site?

    I have some ideas that I am currently working on:
    - Motivating yourself to exercise
    - Choosing the most effective program to motivate you and get the results you desire
    - Or another topic of your own.

    Looking forward hearing from you.

    Thanks for your time,

    Isabelle


    ReplyDelete
  27. Came across you blog from a pin on pinterest . . . I teach boot camp style fitness classes and always interested in ideas for my classes. Loved your workouts and got lots of ideas! So thank you for that.

    Then I got obsessed looking through your blog and was wondering if you drink protein drinks? I didn't see anything about them on your eating posts. What are your thoughts on those for more protein in your diet???

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Melissa~ Thank you for sharing your videos : ) I am just starting out (working out) after years of neglect and excuses. I am thin and have been all my life and never cared to exercise, especially after marriage. Now at 37 and 3 babes after, I am seeing that my mommy belly is not going away. Something snapped less than a month ago and I want to look better! Of course I'm tired all the time, have little stamina and embarrassed by my body overall. I enjoy your workouts thoroughly and would love to learn more about working off the mommy belly and deflated chest (due to breastfeeding- yup, just weened my boy a few months ago after nursing him for 2 yrs and 3 months). a nice butt wouldn't hurt either ; ) Also, where do you get your cute sports/ bra tops and leggings? Love them! Thanks so much : )

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is my 2nd week of exercising. It's been a medley of simple, very short exercises. In my free time, I've been trying to browse Pinterest to keep myself motivated by the pictures and word, etc.

    Towards the end of my 2nd week I found a picture on Pinterest which turned out to be your 30 minutes exercise. I watched the entire video and found it motivated me. So, last night I did 30 minutes with you - well, you were the tinier version on my little mini iPad =)

    Now, I'm going to continue with your different exercises! Thank you very much for sweating it out with me.

    From,
    Somewhere on the other side of the world!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am 65 and will soon be 66 in December. I started working out last January 2013 with a coach. I am 5'6" male and was at 205. Now I am at 185 and trying to get to my old army weight of 166.

    I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and have been following your pin for several months. I have incorporated some of your exercising into my workouts.

    I have some issues with pain in the balls of my feet so cardio has been difficult using the treadmill or eliciple. I also can't spell in my old age. Do you have any suggestions as to workouts for old guys and how to increase my cardio?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Melissa,
    I've recently finished an outside 8 week program and have seen great body changing results. I'm considering working out with your videos for the next 12 weeks to see further body changes..
    I'm still having trouble doing pushups from my toes, however. My goal is to improve the 25 I can do with good form from my knees to 20 full/walking. Any suggestions how to approach this?
    Thanks....Janine

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Melissa,

    I am just starting out and am desperately trying to find some advise or guidance on whether a meal replacement shake or two a day is a good thing as I cannot get to those 2 snack meals a day with being on the road.

    Are meal replacment shakes okay, and if so, what should I be looking for in terms of the balance between carbs, proteins and fats for just a well balanced shake?

    Your input would be greatly appriated.

    Many thanks

    Gina

    ReplyDelete
  33. Would you mind sharing how tall you are?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Melissa, I have been following you for some time now. I am a believer in the "home workouts" because I believe that a person can get healthy and fit in their home. My brother on the other hand is a gym rat. He thinks that home workouts are good for "losing fat" but not for "getting jacked." These are his words. He doesn't think I can gain muscle by doing workouts in my home. He thinks you can only do so by using weights. This I partly believe, you can gain muscle by using weights. But when he says this he only means the gym equipment. I keep telling him that I'm not looking to get "jacked" or whatever, and considering I'm a mom, I have other things to do and pay for than go to a gym which is why I love home workouts. Not to say that there aren't moms out there who do go to the gym and do look great. I'm just not one of them. So here comes my question I guess, do you look the way you do by only using your home workouts, or do you also go to the gym? I really want to prove my brother wrong. And I'm going to.

    ReplyDelete
  35. May I ask what brand of sports bras you suggest for women with large breasts?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Mel,
    I just started my exercise again and I found you in youtube. I subscribe to your channel already.
    I love your quick but hard workouts, that works for me that I am a mom and I am on the run with a full time job and 2 kids....
    I would like to shed my back bra fat, I need you to recommend any of your intervals that might work for this specific area and core too.
    Thank you!
    ps. I love you really get tired of your own workouts! :)
    Veronica

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Melissa,
    My two girlfriends and I over here in Southwest Michigan are doing your BikiniComp and are currently on Month 1 Day 19. We are all coming from Insanity/p90x and are worried that without a killer cardio we are losing all the shape we have worked for in the past. We are wondering if your Bikini Comp workouts, if we stick with them the whole 12 weeks, will have results without incorporating another 40 min cardio each day on top of your workouts? We are skeptical because we arent used to not annihilating ourselves during our workouts ;) but see you as evidence that your workouts must work!
    Thanks for the motivation! We will let you know how we are doing after week 12!
    Kristen, Stacey, and Amber

    ReplyDelete
  38. The complete blogs are really inconceivable and definitely everyone will share this information.
    Garcinia Cambogia Extract

    ReplyDelete
  39. Melissa, I have been following you since January and working out along side in the AM. I have a question, you stated you do not go to the guy...do you lift weights at home or the workouts you post online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gym not guy, lol...lovely auto correct

      Delete
  40. I'm desperate to lose weight. I'm more determined than ever now. Please, please help me.

    I'm not particularly fit but I don't mind pushing myself. I'm 91kgs at the moment. Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  41. Melissa! What a website! I just found you and love this! I just recently got my Personal Trainer Certification (at seven months pregnant even!) and I was wondering how you come up with some of your workouts? I am finding that to be difficult at times to try to think of new and inventive things! (I also work in a pool so that makes it harder to make some workouts work in the water vs.on land!) What are some of the things that help you make these workouts?
    Thanks in advance!

    Missy

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love your site!! I just started a healthy living blog. I'm also an Occupational Therapist. Its so wonderful to see such a great project put together by a another OT (and awesome to see how many people actually identify OT!).

    ReplyDelete