Ernestine Shepherd, an 80-year-old bodybuilder and fitness coach, credits weightlifting workouts, a high-protein diet and bodybuilding for her excellent health and fit bikini body.
Shepherd thanked fans on Facebook for their messages of love and support, and said she has no intention of slowing down.
“I’m still determined, I’m still dedicated and I’m still disciplined to be fit!” Ernestine wrote on Facebook. “I look forward to all that God has in store because I’m just getting started. :)
Amazingly, Shepherd didn’t start working out until she was 56 years old, when she and her sister became frustrated with their bodies after shopping for swimsuits.
Ernestine started going to the gym and was encouraged when she saw how dramatically exercise changed her body. Shepherd became a bodybuilder in 1992 and now has an amazing bikini body.
Shepherd won the first bodybuilding competition she entered, and in 2010, was declared the world’s oldest performing female bodybuilder by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Ernestine follows the same diet and workout routine every day (see video). Shepherd wakes up at 3:00 a.m. every morning, reads her bible and runs several miles before lifting weights at the gym. Later in the day, Ernestine teaches a fitness class.
Weightlifting can help women get a lean, toned bikini body without looking bulky or masculine, said Michael Matthews, author of Thinner Leaner Stronger.
Fitness expert and bodybuilder Mary Kay Sellek agrees. At age 52, Sellek went from 165 pounds to 141 pounds, and whittled down her body fat from 29% to 14% body fat, thanks to weightlifting.
Lifting weights can slow down — and even reverse — the aging process by preserving lean muscle mass, enhancing brain function, and boosting antioxidant enzyme activity, said Sellek, author of The Body Whisperer.
Ernestine follows a high-protein diet and usually eats 10 scrambled egg whites for breakfast. Shepherd eats five to six small meals a day, spaced two to three hours apart, and usually consumes about 120 grams of protein every day.
Shepherd teaches fitness classes at her local gym because she loves to exercise and she loves people. “I love my body and I work hard at it,” said Ernestine. “When others see me, they smile and they say, ‘If you can do it, I can do it, too.'”
Ernestine’s remarkable story is profiled in the book It’s Never Too Late And You’re Never Too Old.
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