Throughout Erin Stern’s prolific bodybuilding career, she has had her fair share of injuries and learned to adjust her routine to continue pressing forward. In a recent YouTube video, Stern reveals her tips for working around injuries in a safe and effective manner.
“Typically whenever I would get injured it would be days or weeks before a competition. So… we’re talking crunch time when you absolutely have to have use of every muscle and it just doesn’t happen, so that’s worse case scenario.”
Stern launched into her bodybuilding tenure in 2008 and was immediately a showstopper. Making her debut Olympia appearance in 2009, Stern would impressively place sixth. Though having set her sights on the crown, Erin Stern corrected what held her back from taking gold and earned the Figure Olympia title the following year.
Erin Stern would go on to have a productive run throughout her time on stage. After a loss in 2011, Stern would go on to earn back the title in 2012 making her a two-time Figure Olympia winner. With so much success in Figure, Erin Stern decided to try out her luck in Bikini and was triumphant at the 2022 Republic of Texas Pro.
Erin Stern Shares How She Pushes Through Injuries When Approaching Competitions
While Erin Stern is still competing currently, she takes the time to share workout tips and other pieces of advice on social media. Recently, Stern discussed how she had to learn to work around injuries and revealed her system for staying on track, coining the phrase ‘5A protocol.’
Find Stern’s 5A Protocol Below:
“We’ll go through that but I guess a loose protocol I came up with I termed the ‘5A Protocol,'” Stern shares.
What you want to do when you first have the injury is assess. That’s our first A, assess. You want to figure out okay what is this injury what can I do what can’t I do? You have to figure out those limitations. What’s safe to do. And from that point you will adapt and adjust those are our next two A’s” Erin Stern shares.
2. Adapt & 3. Adjust
“Now with the next two A’s I want you to think about modifying exercises if needed. Modifying your goals. For example if it’ a lower body injury and you’re completely sidelined and you’re not able to adjust by using machines or cables instead. You’re not able to modify exercises at all. Then I want you to think about modifying your goals.”
“So we’re always looking for ways to advance, to get better in spite of whatever injuries we might be working around or working through. The last A: awareness. See you get to the point where you have recovered from that injury or you have become technically sound again.”
So you’re able to function, you’re able to continue to train. And workouts go on as normal. For a lot of injuries you’re still going to have a trigger movement, you’re still going to have something that’s going to inflame that old injury and having the awareness to work around is really key.”
Erin Stern faced her own trials when she suffered an injury stepping on a sting ray right before stepping on the Olympia stage at her last figure show.
“There is something called the sting ray shuffle and if you’re from an area, a coastal area, you know the sting ray shuffle. I grew up on the East Coast not something i was necessarily aware of so I was just walking out of the water. I think it was my last sprint of that workout. I think it was my last HIIT workout before stepping on stage in Vegas and I stepped on a stingray and that thing went through my foot. Worse pain of my entire life.”
Initially, she didn’t want to seek medical attention because she knew if she was put on antibiotics she’d put on water weight but ultimately had no choice.
“I went on Cipro. I put on about four pounds of water weight. Packing, getting ready for the show, my foot wont fit in the shoe, it’s terrible. Of course the workouts are kinda done at that point, you are just getting ready for the stage. I get to Vegas and decided that the day before I would come off the antibiotics and get ready for prejudging so I wouldn’t look watery.
Prejudging went pretty well. It looked like I was in the top two.I was very excited. That night the foot swelled up again. Could not fit it in the shoe and decided I should take the antibiotic like I’m was supposed to and not be an idiot. So I went back on antibiotics that Friday night, Saturday morning I woke up and looked like a completely different person. That show I ended up getting second place.”
This is only one of many injuries Erin Stern suffered and these have prompted her ‘5A protocol.’ Stern’s tenacity has been proven throughout her tenure where she has racked up an impressive portfolio within the sport of bodybuilding.
Erin Stern has a plethora of knowledge to share as she does actively on her social media. From tips about getting “boulder shoulders” to her three methods to getting bigger quads, Stern brings an educational approach to her nearly 300,000 subscribers and encourages anyone to try her tried and true methods.