Erin Stern’s Training & Fitness Program

Hi, this is Erin Stern,
2x Ms. Figure Olympia, Team Dymatize athlete,
and realtor. My love for fitness
stemmed from when I was younger. I think my dad wanted boys so
my sister and I were tomboys. We used to race him and, you
know, just run around and just climb trees and stuff. I got into track
junior year of high school. My dad said, “You know, look,
you’re out here running next to the horse, you might as well
go run at the track and do something productive.” I had my horse, Dreamy, and
we used to do shows together, competitive show jumping, and in
practice I would take a halter and lead rope and I would run
next to him and I would jump the jumps. So that’s what got me
into high jump actually. I went to University of Florida
and I was a Junior All-American there. After college, actually, I was
still doing the high jump and I jumped 5’9″ in college but I
ended up jumping 5’11” in 2008 and I missed the Olympic
qualifying standard by 3 cm. And it was kind of a setback
when I missed that qualifying standard and I realized as a
high jumper being 5’8″ and, you know, close to 140 pounds, that
genetically it wasn’t really in the cards for me to jump 6’8″,
like a lot of the other girls were going to. I’ve always been athletic and
always lifted and in college I learned Olympic lifts and, you
know, learned a lot about the body but not so much
about aesthetic lifting. So after college, I started
doing the aesthetic lifts and, you know, I was looking at the
magazines and one of my friends said, “Hey, you should
do a figure competition. You’re in, you know, good shape,
you’ve got some muscle, you might as well step on stage.” Actually, the Arnold Classic was
my pro debut in ’09 and that was my fourth show ever. It happened very, very fast. I am motivated to be better than
my previous best and I’m also motivated by the people
that I meet along the way. It’s just a big fitness family
and to be able to inspire and motivate others,
that keeps me going. Ultimately, I want to be the
Oprah of the fitness world. Teaching people how to work
out, to know that when you have success in the gym, when you’re
strong, that that translates to confidence outside of the gym
and success outside of the gym. It’s a challenge, you know,
it’s you versus the weight. It’s something tangible and
by doing that, you’re–for me, anyway, if I can conquer that
then I feel like I can conquer anything. I like to stick to my track
roots so I do a, you know, traditional warm-up and then
I’ll do, like, sprint drills, which people stare at me in
the gym for doing [laughing] and then we do have platforms
where I work out so I’ll do hang cleans or hang snatch, you know,
some type of Olympic lift, maybe five sets of five. And then I’ll go into my
compound movements and then finish with isolation. I do circuit training and then
I’ll do super sets, especially if I’m trying to, you know,
drop some muscle going towards a show. I mix it up, you know? It’s important to not stay in a
set routine because your body will get used to it
and you’ll plateau. I started Tabata training
and I really like that. And that’s, of course, a total
of 4 minutes and it’s a type of interval training so you go all
out for 20 seconds, rest for 10, all out for 20 seconds, rest for
10, for a total of 4 minutes. I never do steady state cardio. I’m always doing sprints or some
type of interval training and I count Tabata’s as cardio. I don’t think traditional cardio
is very effective because–or the low intensity cardio
anyway–because you only burn calories while you’re on that
treadmill and then once you step off the–it’s done. Eight days a week [laughing]. I’m there 5 to 6 days a week. You have to rest. Rest is when you recover. It’s when the muscles grow and
if you don’t give your body time to do that, then you’re
not going to advance in your program. You know, maybe I’ll go to the
beach and relax or throw the I usually work out by myself. It’s just me and my iPod. Right now it’s either dubstep
or Johnny Cash [laughing]. I think that the main thing
about lifting is to learn the fundamental lifts. You know, there’s
six basic lifts. Learn how to squat. Learn how to deadlift. Learn the bench. And then, from that point, you
can vary your grips, vary your stance and you can actually
develop, you know, a few hundred exercises from
those six basic lifts. I typically do a 40-40-20 diet
so I’m doing proteins, carbs, fats in that order. It’s just what works for me and
I do a lot of sprints so I need to keep my carbs up
a little bit higher. I think we find
what works for us. I know a lot of people do the
lower carb and higher fat but, to me, I just–I
can’t think straight. Yeah, I think it’s important
to try out diets for yourself. Try the low carb for a week,
see how you feel, see how you perform in the gym and, you
know, maybe try the 40-40-20 diet and see if that works. And then also
think about cravings. If you’re craving something
salty and sweet and crunchy and sugary, then maybe a higher carb
diet is better whereas if you’re craving a fatty food, then you
might want to look at maybe a lower carb diet. It’s mostly paleo but not paleo
in the sense of The Paleo Diet. More of if it wasn’t around
10,000 years ago, I try not to eat it. It’s important to me because
whatever makes it easier on my body to digest and assimilate
and I feel better, you know? I cut out wheat and I cut
out dairy and I feel good. Proteins. I do a lot of bison, a lot of
chicken, fish, eggs, and carbs would be quinoa, black rice,
red rice and did I say carbs? I love carbs. And then fats would be, like,
avocados, flaxseed oil, and, like, pepitas,
the pumpkin seeds. I like to really kind of
structure my caloric intake around my workouts. If I have a workout that
day, I’ll eat a little bit more before and I’ll make sure I get
good carbs and protein after the workout and I’m a
fan of mixing it up. I do believe in a little bit of
intermittent fasting but, as I get closer to a show, I do like
to do five to six small meals because I find it gets me, you
know, to the leanest that I need to be on stage. I think you need to keep
things creative and I go to the farmers’ market and I’m a fan of
having a lot of different colors on the plate so a lot of
seasonal vegetables, trying new things, and keeping it fresh and
healthy but definitely mix up the way you cook stuff because
nobody wants to look at egg whites and oatmeal
over and over again. I don’t really
believe in cheat meals. I have a lot of friends that go
out for a pizza, blooming onion, ice cream, all in one sitting
and that’s a real fast way to set yourself back and,
you know, pack on pounds. I do believe in treat meals. Something that’s, you know,
maybe not as clean, like sushi or, you know, frozen yogurt,
something that still has some kind of nutritional value. It’s definitely not a diet
because saying diet, to me, it means deprivation. So it’s more of a lifestyle
change and it’s more of making small changes a
little bit at a time. You know, if you’re only eating
1 big meal a day and you’re trying to switch to 5 or 6 small
meals and go to the gym 6 days a week, it’s not going to happen. So, you know, maybe try three
small meals and don’t really count calories. Go for the macro nutrients. Make sure you have a protein, a
carb, and a fat at each meal and set a big long-term goal. Don’t be afraid to set huge
goals but you have to set small ones so you can
achieve that vital goal. ♪♪♪ Well, a supplement is just
something that’s going to help you recover better. It’s going to help you train. I mean, I think it’s
important to try the basics. Again, it’s just like lifting. You don’t want to start with a
comprehensive detailed list of supplements that you
may or may not need. Start with, you
know, your protein. Get a shake and see how
you feel and go from there. I think–I do a lot of whole
foods, obviously, but I think for performance it’s
important to supplement. I strongly believe in protein. I think it’s a building block
of muscle so you need that. It’s really bad but I actually
will take, like, a half a scoop at a time and I just dump it
in my mouth because [laughing] I’ve seen the creative recipes
but I’d rather just eat food and the protein to me is just
helping me recover and it tastes good but I’m not gonna make like
a, you know, one of those mug muffins in the
microwave ’cause it’ll explode. I tried so. When I wake up I do take, you
know, all of my vitamins, my CLA, I take fish oils
and all of that stuff too. And I do the protein after
my workout; obviously, with a little bit of carbs. And then I take my ZMA and my
GABA about an hour before bed. It’s important to know
why you take something. You know, you’re not just
gonna walk into a store and pick things off the shelf. You want to know what function
it has, why you’re taking it and doing research and
reading, knowledge is power so definitely,
definitely read up on it. ♪♪♪ That’s it for me. That’s my training,
my nutrition, and my supplementation. And if you want to find me,
you can find me on BodySpace, at trackfiend. And I’m on Twitter, it’s
ErinFAST, or look for me, Erin Stern, on Facebook. For more videos and content
like this, keep coming back to


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