Fit & Ripped: Ernestine Shepherd

Photo of bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd. Photo credit to ABC News

Too often I hear women over 40 say that strength training will make them look like bodybuilders. Well, after reading about Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female bodybuilder, Prevention Magazine‘s May 2014 issue and then watching the magazine’s 8-minute video showcasing a typical day in her life, I can say only one thing.


Ernestine looks strong, sexy and absolutely gorgeous! My guess is that we’d all love to be that way in our late 70s.

Copy of Prevention Magazine article on Ernestine Shepherd

So why don’t we? The reasons are as many as leaves in a forest ranging from “What will people say?” to “What if I don’t get the results I want?” to “I’ve got no time because I’ve got too many other things I have to do.”

Well, I believe there are just as many reasons to do something good for ourselves.

Strength training is crucial to women’s health by keeping muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones strong. I’ve found lifting weights or using weight machines challenging as well as meditative. I’m so focused on the moment — feeling the exertion and focusing on my form — that my mind actually gets a break from all those rambling, rampaging thoughts that seem to run amok.

Ernestine started her bodybuilding journey 20-some-odd years ago. Why can’t we start our chosen fitness journey today? Who knows how much fun we’ll have along the way and start looking stronger and sexier too.

About Bonnie Parrish-Kell

Diva-in-Chief and Publisher of Slowpoke Divas who always feels better after a good workout or matter how sore she may become. Tweet me @bparrishkell

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