Dust off the Clear Heels | Erin Stern
Posted on April 25, 2018 at 12:00 AM
I can’t believe it’s been four years since I stepped on stage. I walked away from competing when the figure category ideal no longer matched my ideals. I believe I came as close as I could as to maximizing my genetic potential. As a natural athlete, I would never be able to continually carry the amount of muscle necessary to achieve the IFBB figure standard and stay competitive. Even though I stopped competing I kept training, and in the back of my mind, dreamed of the day I’d compete again.
A few months ago, the IFBB Elite Pro federation was formed. I’m excited because it’s WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) compliant, which opens up many new opportunities for natural athletes who wish to compete on a big stage. Along with this new federation are new categories, including “body fitness” which has the look of what IFBB Figure used to be. They have events all over the world, too!
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be competing again in less than a month at the Arnold Classic South Africa in Johannesburg! For the last few weeks I have worked on building muscle in my shoulders, upper back, and quads. For the last four weeks, I’ll focus more on supersets, circuits, and leaning down. My goal is to bring my best physique ever. I’m taking pictures and measurements to keep track of my progress. I have not stepped on a scale in over 6 months. I feel that gaining muscle and losing fat won’t make a huge impact on overall weight loss, even though my body composition has improved.
As far as nutrition goes, I eat 5 smaller meals per day. I’m focusing on getting plenty of carbs and protein before and after training, and I decrease my carbs later in the day as I wind down. Protein intake remains high as I attempt to keep the muscle I have while leaning down. I don’t count calories per se, but aim to fuel my body during the day. I know if I go to sleep a bit hungry I’ll continue to make progress. Intermittent fasting is helpful for leaning down too. I eat only between 8am and 8pm. This allows the body time to digest dinner before bed. This can also help reduce inflammation.
For training, I’m following a six-day split. My training days are split into the following body groups: shoulders, legs (glutes/hamstrings), back, chest, arms, and legs (posterior chain). I sneak in two HIIT training sessions in the mornings. These are done on upper body days. I like splitting up cardio and weights, as I feel I’m able to continue to lift heavy and I feel like I don’t lose as much muscle overall.
PEAK ATP has helped me tremendously in my prep. I can get 1-2 more reps when lifting. This equates to a great overall increase in quality volume of training! I love it! Thanks for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!
Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia