We’ve seen lots of success stories. But watching the unlikely 79-year-old bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd (age 77 when she filmed this video for Prevention magazine) crush her goals is nothing short of amazing. Could you imagine starting every day at 2:30 a.m., eating the same breakfast — egg whites, water and a handful of walnuts — and then heading out for a headlamp-lit run? Neither can we, but that’s just the typical morning routine of this Guinness record-breaking champion. Shepherd’s been competing as a bodybuilder ever since she was 56 years old — when her sister suggested the idea to help her feel more comfortable in a bathing suit. (Basically, the ultimate proof that it’s never too late to start something.)
But it’s not just that she’s bench-pressing 150 pounds or running 80 miles per week as a septuagenarian that makes this story so motivating. What’s really so special about Shepard is how she’s affected those around her. Instead of training a select few gym rats with goals similar to her own, she started teaching a beginner-friendly fitness class designed for her entire community. With only 10 participants initially, the class soon grew so big she had a line out the door.
Don’t take our word for it, though: Check out a day in the life of Ernestine Shepherd. This eight-minute piece from Prevention magazine is more than just a touching profile — it could be the small nudge you need to get up and kick some butt.
And if weight lifting and long runs aren’t your thing, don’t worry. “It’s about finding what you love to do,” she says. We second that. On this Monday, and on every day of the week.
Ernestine Shepherd: The 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder