Ernestine Shepherd Workout, Diet & Lifestyle [Amazing!]

At 86 years old, Ernestine Shepherd is still an active female bodybuilder, not to mention a personal trainer. In 2010 she graced the Guinness Book of World Records as being the world’s oldest competitive female bodybuilder.

Ernestine has racked up a couple of titles and participated in and completed nine marathons. She is still in amazing shape despite her age, inspiring many worldwide. Ernestine Shepherd’s incredible story will assure anyone that you are never too old to start hitting the gym.


Early Beginnings

While young, Ernestine is said never to have had any interest in exercise or athletics of any kind. By the time she turned 56, she was a school secretary who had never worked out. So one might wonder when and what brought about the incredible exercise journey she is on.

Ernestine, still at the age of 56, went bathing suit shopping with her sister, and as they were trying some on, they realized they were out of shape. The decision to get in excellent shape originated from this moment. They both joined a gym and began their workout journey.

However, her sister, Velvet passed on due to a brain aneurysm. Ernestine was devastated. She quit the gym for a while and spent a couple of months mourning. Later on, her friend advised her to keep going and continue with what they had started. She rejoined the joined the gym with so much energy and determination.

Slowly but surely, Ernestine Shepherd transformed her body and her life. She claims to be way happier in this new chapter of her life.

Her Transformation

Ernestine ran in 5K and 10K races and enjoyed the experience. Her 4 am 10-mile run got her ready for the upcoming marathons that she chose to participate in. Ernestine also does strength training up to four days a week. At 71, she approached Yohnnie Shambourger, the former Mr. Universe, to help her train for a bodybuilding competition. After seven months, she participated in her first-ever bodybuilding competition, where she emerged the winner by out-posing women younger than her.

Despite the intense workouts, she has no pains or aches. She takes no medications. Ernestine gives exercise classes five days a week to mostly senior women. She “lives to inspire senior women to reach their physical potential.” She regularly goes for marathons, does strength training almost the entire week, and even has a couple of bodybuilding titles.

Here we have a video that shows Ernestine Shepherd inspiring others to get fit.

The 81-year-old Bodybuilder Who Inspires Others To Get Fit

Ernestine Shepherd Daily workout plan

She wakes up at 2:30 am to meditate, followed by daily devotions, then her breakfast. Since she is fitness dedicated, she goes on a 10-mile run every day. Her schedule is fairly simple; Mondays are dedicated to chests and biceps, shoulders and triceps on Wednesdays, and finally, back and leg day on Friday.

She goes about her morning duties and responsibilities and then goes to the gym at 7:30 am. Ernestine can lift around 15-20 pounds and bench press 150lbs. Her workouts go for around 45 minutes. No matter who you are, that is very impressive.

Because she leads her exercise classes and is a personal trainer, she does more exercises during the day. Ernestine is a girl at heart. She puts on her makeup and does her hair before going for her runs.

Her Diet

A good diet plan is necessary for all bodybuilders, and so is the case for Ernestine. Having to eat about five times a day, her diet consists of egg whites, chicken breasts, vegetables, and nuts, among others. She thrives on a diet of proteins taking in about 120 g of proteins daily.

Earnestine’s training is very professional. She counts her calories and follows her diet religiously even when she is not competing. Water is also part of her diet. Given she does a lot of cardio workouts, she makes sure she is always hydrated. 

She tries to stick to her diet daily and avoids consuming junk food and any food with preservatives in it, though sometimes she lets loose and has some sugar-free snacks.

Ernestine’s General Lifestyle

Ernestine Shepherd enjoys excellent health and well-being, given her dedication to her workout routine and daily dedication. She has come a long way throughout her fitness journey and has worked to make her life better.

Besides at the gym, she enjoys attending church and giving back to society. She does this with her fitness class, where she helps senior citizens take new workout routines and participate in exercise plans. Ernestine believes that it is never too late to adopt an exercise routine, even if most people tend to think so. Her bodybuilding dream coming true is enough proof.

She does not mind the things people say about her. She is self-confident and feels better than ever in her daily life with her dream body.

Also Read: Roger Federer Workout, Diet & Lifestyle

The Secret Behind Ernestine Shepherd 

Ernestine is enjoying this new period of her life. But what is her secret? What makes her look so healthy and amazing despite her age? Let’s look at some of Ernestine Shepherd’s secrets:

  • She started slowly on the right track with the expert guidance of Yohnnie Shambourger, Mr. Universe. Being guided and mentored by such amazing talent is sure to yield results.
  • Ernestine adopted good nutritional advice and a heart-healthy diet. With her experienced trainer, good diet advice was the perfect top-off to getting her amazing results. Incorporating healthy choices in her daily life helped her seamlessly take control and direct her life in the way she wanted.
  • Getting enough rest is important for anyone who works out. Resting helps your body recharge and grow, which is essential.
  • She receives full love and support from Collin, her husband, for 52 years. He prepares the meals she has, keeps the fridge stocked, and makes the journey convenient for her.
  • Belief in inspiration, encouragement, and support from family members. When her sister passed on, she finished what they started. This made her driven and focused. These two pushed her and got her to where she is.
  • Clear and direct goal. Having a vision of where she was headed gave her the determination to go from a woman to a bodybuilding diva through her innovative workouts
  • Consistency. Many individuals set out on a life journey to achieve something, but most never make it because they lack consistency. Ernestine Shepherd did not. She got up every day with the same energy and strength and eventually went to where she wanted to be. She maintained her routine, kept her fitness goals at the back of her mind, and sweated towards them. If you have body goals you are working towards, follow her path and be consistent.
  • She made the process fun. Most people think of workouts as punishment but not Ernestine. She makes it enjoyable. She has a positive attitude towards everything and is happy and more energetic in this chapter of her life.

Also read: David Goggins Workout, Diet & Lifestyle

Ernestine Shepherd is indeed an inspiration to many. While many people consider getting old a bad thing and a sign of deterioration, she doesn’t. At 86 years old, she is in the best shape of her life and is considered a role model by many. Her lesson on never saying it is too late and working towards a goal you believe is spread all over. We have to be bold and ready to work towards it.

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.