For most people, the process of growing older is associated with the concept of getting weaker. Exercising unfortunately is not a part of their daily regimen. But this is far from the case of this 83-year-old woman who still works out and keeps her body in shape.
Meet Ernestine Shepherd, one of the world’s oldest female bodybuilders. Born in 1936, she is still exercising and working out, keeping up her strength, and looking absolutely fit!
But the most amazing part of her story is the fact that she never stepped foot in a gym until she was 56!
Her journey to fitness all began when she went shopping for swimsuits with her sister, Velvet. That day, she realized that she was a little out of shape and needs to start exercising.
“I was always too prissy to work out – and you couldn’t get me away from chocolate cake. But the year I turned 56, my sister Velvet and I went shopping for swimsuits. Neither of us had worn one for years. We looked in the changing room mirror, and made a pact to get in better shape,” she told BBC.
The sisters started with simple training and eventually shifted to bodybuilding and weight lifting. Velvet then decided that they should try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest bodybuilding sisters on the planet.
Though the idea seemed ambitious, it was something that was worth working towards. Unfortunately, Velvet never got to realize this dream as she soon passed away from a brain aneurysm. Ernestine was completely heartbroken, but she vowed to live out her sister’s dream with all her might.
Ernestine trained harder and even got in touch with former Mr. Universe, Yohnnie Shambourger, who helped with her training.
At the age of 71, she participated in her first ever bodybuilding competition and ended up winning the top prize! Velvet’s dream for them finally came true – Guinness got in touch with Ernestine and officially gave her the coveted world’s oldest female bodybuilder.
A year later, she lost the title but remained to be one of the world’s oldest female bodybuilders. She continued improving herself and because of her inspirational story, she often gets invited to guest in TV shows.
She is now retired from competing but she is still into bodybuilding. Her extraordinary diet includes a lot of egg whites, chicken, tuna, and turkey.
Ernestine has inspired so many people with her journey, and many young gym-goers come up to her and ask for advice. She also started working as a personal trainer and has published her own book, “Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined To Be Fit”.
Ernestine is living proof that it is never too late for anyone to achieve their goals!
Watch the video below to see amazing Ernestine in action.