Despite what many people will tell you, bodybuilding isn’t just for the young and fit: it can be learned at any age.
Take Ernestine Shepherd as an example.
Born in 1936 (making her 80 years old!), Mrs. Sheperd is the oldest competing female bodybuilder.
Rather than wasting away in an elderly care facility and stuffing her body with prescription pills, Ernestine hits the gym nearly every day (1).
But she wasn’t always a fitness junkie, in fact, for most of her life, Mrs. Sheperd was an out-of-shape school secretary. At 56 years old, Ernestine started going to the gym with her sister to support each others weight loss efforts.
After her sister unexpectedly passed away from a brain aneurysm, Sheperd quit going to the gym, developed hypertension and became depressed. She had to do something to improve her life, and fast!
After she was done grieving, Ernestine picked herself back up and got back into the gym. After regular strength training, she decided at the ripe age of 71 to try bodybuilding. Within 7 months, Mrs. Sheperd had entered her first body building competition.
Now the Guinness World Record holder wakes up at 3 am every morning, runs 80 miles a week, and eats a clean grain-free diet with plenty of chicken, eggs, and vegetables. Plus, Ernestine lifts weights and even works as a certified personal trainer at her gym.
Ernestine swears that she has no aches or pains and that she doesn’t take any medication. Her good habits and positive attitude have even rubbed off on her husband of 52 years, who now accompanies her on her morning runs.
What keeps her going is the moto she lives by: Determined — Dedicated — Disciplined To Be Fit!
And Ernestine isn’t just improving her own life: she’s inspired other women in her community to get into the gym and get moving!