Octogenarian bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd proves that a healthy diet and exercise are indeed the fountain of youth. At age 82, Shepherd has a jaw-dropping bikini body that many women half her age would envy.
Shepherd Started Exercising at Age 56
What’s even more surprising is that Ernestine did not start lifting weights or working out until age 56 — proving the old adage that it’s never too late to become your best self.
Shepherd says the secret to her youthful physique, optimism, and excellent health are “discipline, determination and dedication.”
“I am out running/walking at 3:30 a.m. in the morning with a group of people, seven days a week,” Ernestine told the Miami Times. “I eat very healthy and eat five meals a day every day. My gym schedule consists of going five days a week and doing a variation of 100 sit-ups per day.”
After picking up her first set of weights at 56, Ernestine started competing professionally. In 2010, she made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s oldest-performing female bodybuilder.
Ernestine Shepherd: I Want to Inspire Other Senior Citizens
Shepherd no longer competes regularly, but teaches fitness classes at a local gym and works out every day. She says her goal is to inspire other senior citizens to get active and live life to the fullest.
“I want other seniors to know they can achieve a healthy lifestyle at any age,” said Shepherd.
Ernestine follows a high-protein diet consisting of about 120 grams of protein every day. She usually eats 10 scrambled egg whites for breakfast every morning.
She teaches exercise classes at her local gym because she loves to work out and wants to inspire others to embrace an active lifestyle.
“When others see me, they smile and they say, ‘If you can do it, I can do it, too,’” Shepherd says.