Competition Day: NPC Natural Eastern USA Championships

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Hi Everyone,

This post is coming a bit late. My competition was just over a week ago. It’s been very hectic in the Bender household so this is the first chance I have had to update you all! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you probably already know the results. 🙂 

I took home two trophies! I won 2nd Place in Bikini Open Class B, and 3rd Place in Bikini Novice Class A. I did it with 100% home workouts, which I have shared on my blog and youtube channel with all of you. If you want a list of the workouts check out: Month 1 Workouts and Month 2 Workouts. I will be posting a link to the compiled list of Month 3 workouts as well.  Throughout the entire bikini contest prep I ate between 1800 and 2000 calories per day. I ate clean, whole foods, and 90% of what I consumed I cooked at home. For some meal ideas check out: Eat Like a Bender and Abs Are Made in the Kitchen: Meal Prep

So on to the details. The day of the show I woke up bright and early. I had a big cup of coffee (many competitors cut out coffee, and most fluids the day of the show, but I just couldn’t do it!) I had plain oatmeal, 1 egg and spinach for breakfast. I checked to make sure I hadn’t drooled in my sleep and ruined my spray tan (I didn’t!) I put on some loose, comfy clothing, and my favorite sweatshirt and I started getting ready. 
I checked to make sure I had everything I needed: Swimsuit, back up swimsuit (just in case), show jewelry, curling iron, bobby pins, makeup, shoes, baby oil and olive oil spray, hair spray, bikini bite (to glue my suit in place. I actually forgot this, but a nice girl at the show helped me out. Thanks Erica!) I also made sure I had the show information, and my NPC information. You must be a member of the NPC to compete in their shows. At most shows you can register for your NPC membership at the show venue. 

Once I got to the show I decided that I didn’t like how my hair looked straight and I decided to add some curls. I was glad I had brought my curling iron. I had plenty of time before pre-judging started to curl my hair, visit with Jesse, and chat with some of the other competitors. It was really great to talk to so many people who love fitness. My competition prep was much different than the traditional regimen, so it was very interesting to hear personal stories about how each girl got their results. The girl who took 1st place in Bikini Open Class B has agreed to do an interview with me so you guys will get to hear more about her bikini competition prep techniques. It’s a whole different view point, so be sure to check back for that. 

The show is broken down into two parts. Pre-judging, and Finals. The Pre-Judging is where most of the actual judging takes place. This is where you do your complete posing routine, and you are called out in groups for comparisons. I competed in two different categories, bikini open and bikini novice. In bikini novice I was switched into Class A, so you can see in the picture below I was super tall compared to the other girls. The classes are divided by height. 
Top 3 Bikini Novice Class A

Bikini Novice had so many girls that it was split into two classes. Open Bikini was split into three categories. I am 5’5 1/2″ so I competed in Class B for bikini Open. For posing bikini requires a front and back pose. Posing looks deceivingly easy. It’s a trick. It is much more difficult to hit poses that show off your muscles correctly than it looks. The girls who took first place in both Bikini Novice and Bikini Open were excellent posers and had great stage presence. 
Bikini Novice Class A
In between pre-juding and finals we had several hours of free time. Jesse and I went out to lunch and shopped around. A lot of people stared at me because of my spray tan. It looked great under stage lighting, but in person I looked like an Oompa Loompa. I ate salmon and veggies for lunch, and had more water and coffee. I also had a protein bar before the finals. 
During Finals there is a larger audience, and this is where they reveal all of the placing and people get their trophies. Several of my friends were able to make it to the show, and their cheering kept me smiling the entire time I was on stage. 

Top 3 Bikini Novice Class A
Top 5 Bikini Open Class B

All of the competitors worked hard, and had a lot of courage to get on stage and compete. There were people of all different ages and backgrounds. It was also interesting to see competitors from other categories. The people competing were able to achieve a lot with their physiques. I had a lot of fun at the show. I have a few friends competing in the Pittsburgh show in May (4 weeks away!) so I think I will join them, and then it will be on to the next challenge. I have some 5K personal records to break, and I think I’m up for the challenge of some longer distance races. 

In the mean time, I will keep you posted over the next four weeks about how I switch up my competition prep this time around. My workouts will be very similar, but I am going to incorporate some supplements into my normal diet. I didn’t use any type of supplementation for this competition, so it will be interesting to see if my results change at all. I am writing a blog post about the supplements I am incorporating, and my diet choices. 

Thank you guys for joining me in my competition journey, and for all of the support! If you are competing let me know how you did! 

13 thoughts on “Competition Day: NPC Natural Eastern USA Championships

  1. Congratulations Melissa! You’re amazing and an inspiration. I just discovered your channel and have been checking out the workouts, just have yet to do one 🙂 I also work out at home and don’t have a gym membership. Can’t wait to start trying your workouts!

  2. Anonymous

    Congrats Melissa! You look awesome. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and your fabulous workouts! I only workout at home as well so you are a huge inspiration!

  3. Great job, I am interested in supplements, but am clueless. Looking forward to seeing how it pans out for you. I’ve just started some of your workouts. Good luck with those 5K goals! I am doing my first 10k in a few weeks!

  4. Anonymous

    Congrats! !! You look awesome and better accomplished this with 100% home workouts. I feel motivated. .. my problem is I just can’t eat so clean :'(

  5. my dearest Melissa. I am so so so happy to hear of your wins! I was a follower before you decided to compete and watched you from my home as you set out to participate in a competition. I follow other competitors that yes, motivate me, but at the same time, leave me frustrated as I am struggling to cut body fat percentage to see some dang abs on my torso!! my point is is that you look amazing and apparantly the judges agreed because you made a few wins that night!! also, you weren’t starving yourself like some of these girls say you basically need to do in order to look good, and win. I love it! AND!! home workouts?? YEAH!! That’s all I have to work with and I love your creativity and ability to look great all without pumping iron at a local gym. Thank you for making my day, and making me feel better about my self image!

  6. Anonymous

    Hi Melissa,
    I just discovered your blog through Pinterest and I was thinking of competing in my first NPC Bikini competition as well. I love how you just did everything on your own as well and still came out a winner! Did you do anything to prepare for the posing? Do they tell you/ show you what you have to do on stage?

  7. Hi Melissa,

    I also discovered your blog through pintrest, I have three children one of whom is a newborn so I don’t have a sitter to watch them when i need a break let alone to go to the gym, your blog is helping me get back on track. Thank you so much and congratulations on your winning you are a truly a great role model 🙂

  8. HI Melissa, where are you from? How did you learn to pose? Do all shows have a novice category? I am looking to compete in May of 2014, but I think the first show I picked is over my head. I don’t want to bite off too much too fast.

  9. Ella A

    Hi Melissa 🙂
    I think you are so amazing! I’ve been following you on youtube for quite a while now and I absolutely love the workouts. I wanted to compete this past October but I developed an unhealthy obsession with weight & eating habits that I never ended up competing. I think I bought-in to all of the supplements and fake girls that represent these companies that sell over prices supplements. Then when I saw you were prepping to compete without supplements and at-home workouts, I realized how far from grounded I was! You made me realize that I need to live and eat to be healthy, rather than for “cosmetic” reasons. I’m from ON, Canada and I that’s probably a way from you but it would be awesome if you came up here to do a meet and greet!
    Keep inspiring people because you definitely inspire me! Thank You 🙂

    • benderfitness

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. I think health should always be the foundation we are building from. If I ever do a meet and greet up your way I will let you know!

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