77 Year Old Female Bodybuilder, “I’m Proof That Age Is Nothing But A Number”.
Ernestine Shepherd is the ultimate vision of inspiration. At 77 years old she does more than most people in their 20’s. She started working out at age 56 thanks to her sister, Velvet, that told her, “Let’s start working out!”
Shepherd gets up every morning at 2:30 AM to make her morning egg whites and proudly proclaims, “I don’t even need an alarm clock.”
Then, about an hour later, she puts on her headlamp and heads out for her 10 mile run with her husband Collin, 83. By 8 AM she is in the gym, and works out for about two hours.
This is a morning routine that woul put most 20-year-olds to the test. But this is just a regular day for Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female bodybuilder.
She follows a rigorous daily routine, which involves drinking several bottles of egg whites per day as part of her 1,700 cal a day diet of eggs, chicken and vegetables. Her mantra – “Dedication, determination, discipline to get fit”.
She inspires seniors as she works as a personal trainer at a local gym, her oldest client is 89. Shepherd said she is committed to help people “get healthy and exercise”.
When Ernestine sister, Velvet, first approached her at age 56 to get healthy, Shepherd said, about herself, that she was a “Sedentary, well padded school secretary and slug.” It then became their goal to get into the Guinness World Book of Records as the oldest bodybuilding sisters.
But before their dream came true, Velvet passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm in 1992. Shepherd was hit hard by her sister’s death, and found herself struggling to keep going.
“After my sister died, I ended up with high blood pressure, panic attacks, high cholesterol, you name it, I had it,” Shepherd told TIME Magazine. She describes how the support of her family and God helped her get motivated to start running again, and that training took away all the aches and pain and lifted the veil of depression.
“I take no high blood pressure medication, no panic attack medication, have no acid reflux. By going out running, the depression and anxiety just left me,” Shepherd said.
In March 2010, Shepherd was awarded the title of World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder by Guinness World Records. And although she no longer holds the title, she says she may gain it back one day, she has no plans of stopping.