Ernestine Shepherd

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Ernestine Shepherd was the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world, as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 and 2011; as of 2011 she is 74 years old.[1] In 2012 Edith Connor was declared the new oldest competitive female bodybuilder at age 77.[2]

Sheperd also leads exercise classes for seniors at the Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore, and works as a personal trainer.[1] Shepard had been a model in Baltimore for years, but at age 56 she and her sister Mildred Blackwell went to try on swimsuits and found their bodies were out of shape; they then started taking aerobics classes.[3] Her sister began competing in bodybuilding shows under the name Velvet, and Ernestine followed under the name Ernie.[4] However, her sister died in 1992 of a brain aneurysm.[5][6] She carries on her bodybuilding career in part to remember her sister.[1] Since age 56 she has won two bodybuilding titles, as well as run nine marathons.[1]

Her diet consists of 1,700 calories a day, mostly from boiled egg whites, chicken, vegetables and a liquid egg white drink, and she runs about 80 miles a week; she does not take supplements.[5][7] She is trained by former Mr. Universe Yohannie Shambourger.[7]

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