Naz places third in Arnold Classic

Nazanin 'Naz' Khanjani has placed third in the prestigious Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition in Melbourne on Friday.

The former Bachelor contestant entered her first bodybuilding competition in Auckland over the weekend before jetting off to Australia to compete again.

Naz is thrilled with the result, saying she can't quite believe how well she's doing so soon after she started competing.

"I almost cried on stage - when I got into the top ten, I thought 'amazing'. Then when I got into the top five, I thought, 'holy shit!'," says Naz.

"I knew it would be hard to get first place and girls who totally deserved it. I'm so, so happy with the result. I'm overwhelmed!"

Nazanin 'Naz' Khanjani at the 2017 Arnold Classic

Naz documented her journey to Australia for the competition on Snapchat, sharing details of some health issues she had to overcome and introducing her charming make-up artist.

Nazanin 'Naz' Khanjani Snapchat

Following the strict diet required for a bodybuilding event, Naz was thrilled to gorge on some chocolate, hot chips and Tim Tams.

Nazanin 'Naz' Khanjani Snapchat

Looking ahead, Naz says her dream is to compete in the bikini section of the Mr Olympia competition - formally known as Joe Weider's Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend - which takes place in Las Vegas annually.

Earlier this week, Naz responded to a slew of hateful comments she received over her ripped new look, saying people don't understand bodybuilding.

"My fitness journey is supposed to be empowering, inspiring and motivating for other women, so to get the opposite from these people is just... I just wish them peace, I hope they realise what they're doing is wrong," she said.

"I've got really thick skin, so I just brush it off. But this stuff is not on and some people don't have thick skin. Little girls can go into depression and commit suicide from this stuff."

On The Bachelor NZ, Naz shot to fame as a fiery competitor while trying to win the heart of Jordan Mauger, ruthlessly placing other competitors on her "hit list".

She infamously fired back at an audience member who called her a "bitch" during the 'Women Tell All' episode that screened following Jordan's choosing Fleur Verhoeven over Naz - only for the couple to suffer a bitter break-up shortly after.

The Bachelor NZ returns this Sunday on Three at 7pm, with 19 new ladies vying for the affection of Surf Life Saving coach Zac Franich.