Womens Health

Bodybuilding Grandma: Meet 74-Year-old Ernestine Shepherd

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

If you are a young or middle-age person sitting on the couch eating junk food while watching TV and surfing the web, this next story may depress you -- or maybe inspire you. It is about a Baltimore woman named Ernestine Shepherd, who at 74 years of age now holds the Guinness Book of World Records crown as the oldest-ever competitive bodybuilder.

"Age is nothing but a number," Ernestine told The Washington Post.

The first 56 years of her life were spent like most of the rest of us -- eating junk and growing soft with age. A self-admitted "couch potato" along with her sister, the siblings didn't like how they looked so they started eating better and took up bodybuilding.

When her sister died suddenly from an aneurysm, Ernestine kept the promise she made to continue working out. Ernestine has won two bodybuilding championships and run nine marathons over the past 18 years.

Her calling-card is rock-hard abs.

"The six-pack is her signature. When she walks in a room and you see her six-pack, you say, 'Ohh! Okay!'" said her trainer Yohnnie Shambourger, a former Mr. Universe.

Ernestine is certainly dedicated. She wakes up at 3 a.m. every day to meditate, then runs 10 miles -- all before lunch, reports the Daily Mail. Her thrice-daily meals are the same -- brown rice, bland chicken breast and vegetables and a glass of raw egg whites.

Her story has been featured on network TV and national magazines. She does some modeling and teaches fitness classes, telling The Post, "If you are going to try to motivate people, you have to live that part."

She has been married for 54 years. "I have trouble keeping guys away from her," said Collin Shepherd.

Ernestine is aware that she won't live forever despite her incredible physique. "We are all going to die. But it’s the quality of life while I’m living."