- Age is nothing but a number she says.
Ernestine Shepherd, 75, is world’s oldest female bodybuilder.
She wakes up every day at 02:30 to fit in a 10 mile (16km) run before hitting the gym.
“Miss Ernie”, as she is known in the world of competitive bodybuilding, began training at the tender age of 71.
Less than 20 years ago, she was a pudgy, middle-aged woman who hated what she saw in the dressing room mirror as she tried on swimsuit after swimsuit.
“I was too prissy to exercise,” she said. “I just didn’t want to have my hair messed up. Didn’t want my fingernails broken.”
That all changed when Shepherd decided her health trumped all and hit the gym.
She started out slow. Those rippling muscles didn’t appear overnight. Shepherd said she began her workout regimen alongside her sister, starting with a simple aerobics class.
She increased her workout incrementally. Shepherd said she had never given much thought to bodybuilding until a trainer at her gym suggested she start lifting weights.
She thinks big. Once she began to see the effects of lifting weights, Shepherd dedicated herself to becoming the oldest fitness competitor. Then, she took up running, which led to her completing eight marathons.
She eats smart. Shepherd’s diet may not be for everyone, but her focus on healthy foods is a lesson in restraint.
Shepherd said she eats several small meals a day as part of a diet plan she formulated with her trainers.
She takes in 1,700 calories a day, mostly comprised of boiled egg whites, chicken, vegetables and a liquid egg white drink. And she is adamant that she does not use performance-enhancing drugs or even supplements beyond vitamin