New bodybuilding competition a success for Rochester residents

The first ever Natural Med City Bodybuilding Classic boasted a crowd normally reserved for competitions three times its size.

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Erin Bussian during the bikini division at the first Natural Med City Bodybuilding Classic at Mayo Civic Center Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.
Contributed / Scott Diestler, LiquidSpectrum Photography
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ROCHESTER — Chris Worth knew Rochester would be a great location for a bodybuilding competition.

He was right.

The Natural Med City Bodybuilding Classic debuted at Mayo Civic Center Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, after two years of postponements. Twelve contestants participated in five divisions: men’s bodybuilding, men’s physique, women’s bodybuilding, figure and bikini. It’s a smaller lineup than other competitions, but the crowd present was indicative of a bigger competition, Worth, the competition promoter, said.

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“This is the same number we would have gotten for a show of maybe 40 athletes for 12,” he said. “And to have an audience of over 60, I think is what the final total was, I'm just shocked.”

It was the perfect venue for first-time bikini competitor Erin Bussian, a Rochester resident. She first decided to try a bodybuilding competition after her days in pageants.


“The preparation for the swimsuit portion was always what I enjoyed the most,” she said.

Bussian, who works at Mayo Civic Center, knew it would be special to have her first bodybuilding competition in a building and city where she’s comfortable.

The 29-year-old, like many of the competitors, has a passion for health and wellness, and has worked out for years. Bussian began specifically training for the Bodybuilding Classic at the beginning of the summer.

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Josh Graves during the men's physique division at the first Natural Med City Bodybuilding Classic at Mayo Civic Center Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.
Contributed / Scott Diestler, LiquidSpectrum Photography

“(The competition) was just exciting,” she said, “and being here in this venue was kind of cool because you could see individual faces and see your supporters out in the audience. So that was fun.”

The last two and a half years for 22-year-old Josh Graves have been spent seriously training for a bodybuilding competition, though he began weightlifting about 10 years ago. The Rochester resident became interested in bodybuilding because he spent so much time lifting weights.

“I was very nervous,” Graves said. “I went out there with zero knowledge really of anything and just kind of gave it my all.”

That paid off when he won the beginner category of men’s physique. Bussian also took home a neck full of medals, winning the beginner and novice categories and placing second in the open division of bikini.

Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. While at ASU, she created short- and long-form stories for audio and digital. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or
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