She may be a grandmother, but don’t call her old.
Ernestine Shepherd has impeccably toned ‘six-pack’ abs that are the marvel of her Baltimore fitness centre.
Her husband of 54 years, Collin Shepherd, says he ‘has trouble keeping guys away from her’.
The Shepherds live in Baltimore with their son, 53, and grandson, 14.
Ms Shepherd does some modelling and teaches fitness classes, and told the Washington Post, ‘If you are going to try to motivate people, you have to live that part’.
She also trains rigorously with Yohnnie Shambourger, 57, a former Mr Universe who won the gold medal in bodybuilding at the Pan American Games in 1995.
Seventy-four-year-old Ms Shepherd is the world’s oldest competitive bodybuilder and according to her, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” You got that right, sister.
She doesn’t live in the fountain of youth, she lives in Baltimore. She didn’t get this body by taking an extreme knitting class either. She teaches a body sculpting class. And, no, she isn’t eating or drinking any concoction from late night infomercials that promise to shed weight and do your taxes at the same time. She maintains a strict diet of bland chicken, green beans, plain brown rice and egg whites.
Crazy thing is, Shepherd didn’t even start competing until she turned 57, inspired by a less than flattering experience involving a swimsuit and a dressing room. At that point, she and her older sister, Mildred, made a “pinkie swear” to take better care of their bodies. While her sister has since passed, Shepherd has gone on to complete nine marathons, win two bodybuilding contests and see herself listed in the 2010 and 2011 Guinness World Records as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world.
Ernestine Shepherd turned 75 on June 16, 2011 and she is still going strong.