Bikini Competition Workouts: 12 Weeks

This is the 12 week workout program that I used to get in shape for my first NPC Bikini Competition. Every workout that I did is here, as well as diet and meal prep tips. This is a healthy approach to bikini competition prep. I designed this program to keep your metabolism high, and hormone levels in balance. That means that for best results combine it with a clean diet. You should never be hungry, or drop your calories to low. 

My Trophies!
Workouts:

Month 1 Bikini Competition Prep Workouts

Month 2 Bikini Competition Prep Workouts

Month 3 Bikini Competition Prep Workouts

Meal Ideas:

Bender Bikini Competition Diet

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen: Meal Prep

Eat Like a Bender: Typical Day of Meals

Melissa Bender's Grocery List

Two Protein Pancake Recipes

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt

Avocado Curry Chicken or Egg Salad

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich Recipe


*I competed in the NPC Natural USA Championships. I won 2nd Place in Bikini Open Class B, and 3rd Place in Bikini Novice Class A. When I stepped on stage I was not hungry or dehydrated. I felt that I was in better shape, and stronger than ever before. Whether you are planning to compete or you just want to get in shape, good luck! You can do this! 

Melissa





51 comments:

  1. Hey Melissa! I am going to start this 12 week program tomorrow. Thanks for sharing these workout videos, greatly appreciated!

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  2. Hi Melissa! I saw somewhere here that you eat approximately 1900 calories a day. Did you do that throughout competition prep also? I've seen so many different takes on this. I'm going through competition prep and I started at 129lbs, 22.9% body fat. I'm 5ft, 5 in tall. My body has changed and I've lost 3 lbs in the last 5 weeks and at 21.5% body fat now. I eat 1400 calories a day however and after seeing your 1900 and some other sites saying I would need to eat more to build muscle, I wonder if I'm eating enough. Competing is not my ultimate goal, I want to build a leaner body that I can sustain even after competing. And I'm trying to do it naturally too....my only supplements are whey protein, multivatimins, and fish oil. And I'm also concerned about the depleting thing most people do closer to competition time. All that to say...do you think I am eating enough? Or maybe I should focus on one goal at a time, weight loss for now and building muscle after. I'm okay with extending the time before I compete too. I would rather pace myself and do it right.

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    1. Hi Kemi,

      During competition prep I ate between 1900-2200 calories per day. I kept my eating clean, and focused on consuming mostly whole, home cooked foods. With any weight or fat loss goal you want to determine the highest level that you can keep your calories while losing or maintaining your weight. This is especially true when you are working out and trying to build muscle.

      I didn't do the depletion. I think I was the only girl on stage who wasn't hungry and dehydrated. I did reduce my intake or processed carbs (bread) during the last 4 days, and focused on eating oatmeal in the am and getting most of my carbs through fruits and veggies.

      I would increase the caloric intake. 1400 calories will not fuel you through your workouts. I hope that helps!

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    2. Thank you so much. That does help. I've decided to extend my competition prep and plan better based on what I've learned. I'm taking your advice and increasing my calories and I think I want to follow your workout plan while you were competing. Thank you for posting them.

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  3. Hi Melissa

    My name is Jessica and I'm a single mother with two great children. This year I decided I wanted to compete in the NPC competition. This is something I've always wanted to do and I want it badly. However, this is my first time and I don't have the already fit body (not that I look horrible) as most people like you start off with (which you look great) so I'm starting at the very bottom. I had a personal trainer who has helped me to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the past two years (off and on) but there were things that happen in my life that either prevented or set me back 10 steps to reach that goal including not able to afford a trainer. When I decided to compete in April I spoke to my trainer about it and she offered to workout an inexpensive plan. She to has competed by the way. So as of July she has given me a diet/workout plan that will change every 10wks. Well this week is my 10th week and so far I have lost 15lbs and slimmed down a bit (pat on the back) but of course I still have a lot of work ahead. As i shared earlier, I'm at the point where I can't afford her services again and I made the decision to do this on my own. With that said, I came across your site and I am impressed and you have inspired me to keep moving. Is it possible that for a beginner like me that doesn't have a already fit body to ask for your help? I'm not sure where to start and my plan is to compete next year in April 2014. Im in need of another diet plan and workout regimen. I would like someone to invest and/or guide me in helping me reach this goal. Can you help? (jolavarria777@gmail.com.)

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  4. Hi Melissa,

    Can you tell me what equipment is needed at home for your 3 month workouts? I know that kettlebells and dumbbells are needed. Anything else? I'm stocking up :)

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    1. Hi there

      just wondering if you found out what equipment is needed. Just want to make sure I'm prepared.

      Thanks a million :-)

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  5. Melissa i am so glad i found your workouts but i didnt realize how out of shape aerobically i was, i could barely do 15 minutes. What do you recommend im doing the 30 day challenge.

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  6. I can't believe this took 12 week! Amazing!

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  8. I want your butt lol! You looked amazing for your competition and did it the right way :) Happy New Year Melissa, I look forward to following your workouts and diet tips through 2014!

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  9. Where do we "check in" after we complete the workout?

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  10. hi, I need your help and advice. im 15 years old and I am a dancer and the thing is I am quite muscly especially on my legs but I want my legs to be slimmer but still muscly and I have tried loads of exercises to try and do that but they just seem to become bigger and bigger and I was just wondering if you could give me any advice on how to slim my legs down but so they are still abit muscly thanks :)

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  11. K well, I'm a mother of 3 and work fulltime! This is something I have wanted to do for the longest time! I am in general in pretty good shape but wanted to push myself a bit!! This was something that was my pusher:) Any words of wisdom???

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  12. Hey Ms. Melissa! I will be doing my first competition March 22nd. I haven't prepped yet, because I just decided today that I am doing the comp! =) I will be starting out about 10 weeks before instead of 12. I will be using your page for all my prep, YAY! =) How should I modify the 1st two weeks so I can get on track? Thank you so much for your inspiration and help!

    Cerra

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    1. Cerra, I'm sorry I just saw this now! How did it go?

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  13. I am so grateful to you for all of your great workouts, tips, suggestions and now this 12 week plan!! You are so kind to share this information with all of us and I thank you!! I will be starting this program tomorrow!! Thank you so much

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  14. This is great! Did you take any supplements / protein shakes / vitamins during your training or were you able to get all your nutrients from food? Did you drink any alcohol during training?

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  15. I really love reading and following your post as I find them extremely informative and interesting. This post is equally informative as well as interesting . Thank you for information you been putting on making your site such an interesting. fitness guide

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  16. Hey Melissa
    I'm doing my first bikini comp this year and I have a few questions for you. You look like you were in pretty good shape to begin with. I work out on a daily basis and am begining a clean diet. But for my comp I won't be using a trainer or their diet meals. Did you have a trainer? If not how did you determine how many calories you needed to be consuming and figure out which diet plan worked for you?

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  17. Hello Melissa! I've finally overcome my fear of doing something that seems like an impossible for me. I currently weigh 157lbs and Im 5'5 in height. I would like to train for my 1st bikini competition; however I'm totally clueless on where to start and what I need to do 1st. Can you please advise me on where to start and how to get ready in 12 or 13 weeks. I also need to find a competition. I'm located in Dallas/Ft.Worth texas area. Thanks a million for your help and advice. I love your blog and plan to follow your plan. You are a blessing!!!

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  18. How much cardio should I be doing with this routine?

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  19. You are so inspirational and so down-to-earth! Thank you so much for your detailed workouts and diet advice. I hope this old gal here can keep up with your workout. Thank you thank you again!

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  20. please don't take this blog down, at least not for 10 more weeks!! Im 48 years old and have been doing p90x, insanity and running marathons for the past 4 years. I was looking for a change before I started training for next fall marathon. I started your 12 week bikini fitness routine and I love it. Thanks for the great workouts.

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    1. Why was is it mentioned that it would be taken down? ?

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  21. Hi Melissa

    I would just like to firstly say thank you so much for all the work you have put into this. Your workouts are amazing. I was just wondering though what equipment do you have or would you recommend i have at home.

    Thanks a million in advance.

    Helena
    :-)

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  22. Thanks to your workouts I have decided to challenge myself, and for motivation and accountability, I am also keeping record of my progress in a blog: http://choosinghappiness.blog.com. Thanks for sharing such great information....I'll report back in 12 weeks with results!

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  23. HI melissa. I started the 12 week challenge yesterday as my friend and I are wanting to compete. I just dont see any weights in the first month and am scared im going to lose the muscle in my arms if i dont use weights. Pleas advise :) Thanks so much

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  24. you're so beautiful,sexy,inspiring,simple etc etc lol

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  25. Wow, this is a really great bikini competition workout guide. Do you mind if I add a link to this in my Ultimate Bikini Competition Prep Guide? You can find it here: www.christinasfitness.com/competitionguide

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  26. Thank you for the great workouts. I just started the 12 week bikini contest workout. I know it will challenge me, considering I can't apply too much pressure to my wrist (4 months post-op wrist surgery). Plus I enjoy at home workouts verses the gym.

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  27. Melissa,
    Hi, I'm trying to figure out how to approach this. Should I do the 12 week bikini challenge alone or is it meant to be combined with anything else?
    Thanks

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  28. Hi Melissa, I am starting to train for my first bikini contest and just happened to stumble upon your website and I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for all the free workouts and not to mention all the recipes and grocery list and all of your great tips! I can't wait to take my after picture when these 12 weeks are over (:

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  29. Hi I just saw your Site and I love it. I was doing IIFYM and weight training and have fallen off track food wise as I had a fairly low calorie allowance and felt deprived and miserable. I'm looking for a way to get back on track. I'm interested in your workouts and see it works for you. I keep coming across Sites that frown on cardio and insist on weight training with heavy weights and low reps. What's your take. I must admit I did do well with more cardio and weights with medium reps and weights. Thanks

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  30. Hi Melissa

    I've started yesterday with this 12 week challenge. I'm getting married next year May and hopefully my body will be damn sexy then. I have a normal clean eating plan. Wil this make a difference to my body with the exercises??

    Have a blessed day.

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  31. Hello Melissa,

    Did you only do these exercises for the bikini competition or did you also add in additional weight/strength training at a gym?

    Thanks...
    -Z

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    1. I only did these exercises for the bikini competition. :)

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    2. Holy moly... your answer totally inspired me! I am finding that I am so out of shape. I can only do 2 rounds of the workouts because it's taking me 45 minutes to 1 hour to do just 2 rounds! I am sad but determined to do better. I am very happy I found you.

      Thank you for answering my question. I really appreciate it.

      By the way, my husband is a chiropractor.

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  32. Hello Melissa,

    Our company recently aquired the domain name "www.npc.trainer". We would like to new if your institution would be interested in purchasing the domain.

    Thank You
    Raphael Colon
    CanoCreative.com
    954-709-1502

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  33. Hi melissa!!! you are amazing, so inspirational. I wan to know if the bikini competition workout can help me to lose weight??? thank you so much for the workouts. Antonella from Argentina

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  34. Amazing programme, your body looks great, how did you finish in this competition? gym equipment riyadh

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  35. Hi, thank you for sharing the work outs. I'm 49 and want to transform myself. I have beent Trying for the last few years but 1- could not loose the weight and 2- Hurt myself at the gym in the presence of my trainers. In the last year I finally manage to loose 24 lbs but just as I started to run 3 miles last September I hurt myself again at the gym as I said.
    So this time, after therapy and 1 year gone by, my L5 disc is still sensitive and now also have c5 c6 problem disc. I participate in a line of work where physical activities are encouraged and getting ourselves to look the best is a priority. But doctors say, no running, no impact exercise and that leaves lots of these fit camps exercises out: hi knees, burpees, even jumping jacks. Right now I just keep moving during those exercises and just do physical therapy abdominals, but I can't do leg raises or Vs yet. I want to have a bikini body. Would you think of a low impact body transformation work out I could do? right now I do spinning once a week, zumba 1 a week (low i), and fit camps 1-2 times a week. I have become stronger but no transformation. I belong to a gym so I will add strenght. Please advice

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  36. Hi Melissa,

    I'm an avid follower on your fb and website pages and use a lot of your recipes. I've continued my workouts (weights/cardio) during my pregnancy but have scaled back on the intensity and amount of weight I use. I would consider myself to be an intermediate level athlete.

    What would you recommend is a good workout program to start off with on your site after I give birth? I understand I have to wait 6 weeks after delivery to commence my workouts.

    Thank You

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  37. Hi Melissa,
    Yesterday I started your 12 Week Bikini Body Work Outs. I had to modify a bit and do beginner reps but I did push myself to do it 4X and get in 115 mins on the Elliptical. My body is definitely feeling that workout, despite the fact it felt like I didnt do much? I am 5'2 3/4 and 169lbs, 31 years of age I would like to get down to 130 lbs. I've been working out like crazy for the past 2 months and managed only to have lost 15 lbs ( Started 184 lbs early Sept. 2014) I eat relatively paleo with a lot of green veg and root vegetables. My cheat days are reserved 'junk'; should my new fitness endeavor prove its wor in the next 3 months I will send you pictures!!! Very grateful for the workouts and the videos! --J.R, -Canada

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  38. I don't think many people really understand what supplements can do. A friend of mine once described a good supplement as a close thing to steroids you can buy legally.

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  39. Hi Melissa!

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey to the stage. Your workouts and the comp diet are very much appreciated!! ..I KNEW it was possible to compete and do it in a healthy manner.

    I have always had a strong desire to compete, but was scared of the havoc that it may cause to my body. Not to mention doing more damage to an almost non existent metabolism that I struggle with, due to a thyroid disease.

    I have just one question about water consumption before stage. I know that you didn't deplete or were dehydrated. In doing this, did you maintain drinking the same amount of water as in training.. or did you reduce the amount close to competition time?

    My goal is to compete in the Spring of 2015. By then, I plan to have been able to add enough muscle and lose the BF% I need to by then.. in a slow and paced manner.

    Thank you again! ..Have a wonderful day!! :)
    -Melissa

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  40. Hey Melissa, I am having trouble losing my lower tummy area... I dropped soft drinks about 21 days ago. I have been eating like yogurt for breakfast, grilled chicken and a side salad for lunch, and either a large salad, shrimp, or chicken for dinner... I am getting my recommended calories for the day according to "MyFitnessPal App" I am really looking for tips on what to eat, how often to eat, and workouts... I don't have a fitness coach but I am lifting a lot doing about 15 mins fasted cardio and then a full body workout in the mornings around 5:30 and more lifting at night. I am not losing weight which I figured was because I am gaining muscle.. but I am not slimming out in my stomach and not losing any inches. I don't know what else to do and could really use your guidance! Thanks in advance for any tips you can give me!

    Summer Bess, North Carolina

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  41. My husband is coming home from a nine month deployment in 12 weeks. Im nine months postpartum, and your workouts have really helped me physically and mentally. I Ive kept in pretty good shape before during and after my pregnancy, but my goal is to be in the best shape (not skinniest, hungriest, or most miserable, but healthiest!) of my life when I see him. I love your approach to fitness and really appreciate your free, efficient workouts i can easily do at home. Its been great for me managing a young baby while my husband is away. Im excited to start this and have this to help me count down the time and really look and feel my best when i see him. Thanks! Yay!

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