NPC Bikini Compeitior & Fitness Model Melissa Larsen Talks With

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I started getting into the sport in Jan of this year… I started because I always have wanted to do it but was so scared to bring myself to that level. I finally stopped being scared and decided it’s my time to do this and be the best that I can be. I had to pull from the inside and truly want it. I then did a complete 180 with my life and my body and made a huge transformation! When I started I was 142 pounds and 27% body fat and I only had 11 weeks till the show I wanted to do and ended up losing over 25 pounds and 14% Body Fat, placing 2nd in Bikini and then went on to USA’s. I was so happy and couldn’t believe I finally had found this outlet in my life that I had been so scared off.

Ever since my first show it’s been a whirlwind since. I went on to compete at USA’S, got to go to the Playboy Mansion, Gotten published in Magazines, and more… The rest is yet to come!

Where does your motivation come from?

Honestly I would have to say I am motivated everyday to be a better person and a role model in the industry. I love getting emails that say how much I inspire people being I was overweight and I’m not afraid to say how scared I was. I stay motivated by just living a healthy way of life every day and remembering how good I feel from the inside out.

I feel this year I have become a different person and have overcame so many obstacles that I never dreamed were possible.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

Sample Routine:

Monday – Shoulders/Triceps

  • Shoulder press (10-12lbs db’s) – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Side laterals (5-8 lbs. db’s) – 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Pair with Front raises (perform right after side laterals) 5 lb. db’s- 3 sets of 15
  • Tricep press down (rope-40-45 lb depends on machine) 3 sets of 15 reps

Tuesdays – Back/Biceps

  • Lat pulldown (wide grip- 50-80 lbs depends on machine) 3 sets of 15
  • Seated row (40-60 lbs) 3 sets of 12
  • One arm Bent over row (db’s- 20 lbs) 3 sets of 15 per arm
  • Pair with Bicep burl (10 lbs db) 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Underarm lat pulldown (hands close grip under hand-pull toward chest- 40-50 lbs) 3 sets of 12 reps

Wednesday – Glutes/Hams

  • Lying leg curl (50-70lbs) 3 sets of 15
  • Seated leg curl (40-60 lbs) 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Glute kickback machine 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Deadlifts (Use bar or db’s- 45-50 lb bar or 20 lb db’s) 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Walking lunges (Holding 10 lbs db’s) 3 sets of 15 per leg

Thursday – Cardio

  • 40mins steady state

Friday – Glutes/Shoulders

  • Glute kickback machine 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Reverse lunges  3 sets of 15 per leg
  • Shoulder press (10-12lbs db’s) – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Side laterals (5-8 lbs. db’s) – 3 sets of 20 reps

Saturday – Quads/Glutes

  • Leg extensions (45-70 lbs) 5 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg press (45 degree- 45 lb plate each side) 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Smith machine squat (feet close together- 25 lb plate each side) 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Walking lunges 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Glute kickback machine 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Reverse lunges 3 sets of 15 per leg

During my off season I do about 40 min of cardio 5 days a week and I am beginning to break down each body part right now because I’m moving into figure competition instead of bikini very soon.

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  • Lunges: I love the burn and working on my lower half of my body, gotta keep the booty looking good!
  • Shoulder Press: Love having strong wide shoulders & I think it’s sexy and displays a lot of definition
  • Back: A sexy back on a woman is the best!!

What is your diet like?

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: Oats and Eggs
  • Meal 2: Protein shake and piece of fruit
  • Meal 3: Chicken, green veggies, and some sort of complex carb (brown rice, yams, oatmeal)
  • Meal 4: Protein Shake and Almonds
  • Meal 5: Protein of some sort again (chicken, fish) and green veggies
  • Meal 6 : 4x Egg whites

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

Normal cardio, low impact so I don’t lose my muscle!! For my cardio when cutting down, it’s usually always the stairmill or walking on an incline off 15. It all depends on how long my sessions are being how close my show or shoot is.

What is your supplementation like?

I don’t supplement much, although I do take Multivitamins, Fish oil and digestive enzymes. If I’m competing for a show, then I might add a fat burner. I believe you need to work Hard in the gym and not just pop a bunch of pills and hope that works :)

Favorite Athletes?

Felicia Romero for sure. She has been my biggest inspiration since I started in this sport. I love Erin Stern as well, I think she is so cute. Jaime Eason of course, OH and the list goes on and on. All the people in the industry have influenced me in one way or another too start competing and to change my life.

Favorite Quote?

“Don’t worry about the people in your past, there is a reason they didn’t make it to your future”