Black Chicks That Rule: Ernestine Shepherd

Image courtesy of

If you think you are too old and too tired to get in shape and maintain a rigorous exercise regimen, then allow me to introduce you to the Guinness Book of World Records Oldest Female Body Builder title holder, Ernestine Shepherd. At 77 years old Shepherd is in better shape than most 25 year olds. She didn’t get into exercise until she was 56 when she wasn’t happy with how she looked in a swim suit. If you are in need of inspiration, look no further.

In an interview she gave to Time magazine in 2012 she says that Sylvestor Stallone and Michelle Obama are her inspirations. She also provided a look at her daily schedule that keeps her so fit, including a 10-mile run before 5 a.m. Her day actually begins at 2:30 a.m. and includes several trips to the gym. I’m exhausted just reading it. You could argue that as a retired grandmother she probably has more time on her hands. But keep in mind that’s not where she started.

The journey to making the Guinness Book of World Records began with her and her sister. They were determined to make it as sisters. Right before passing away, her sister said to her “If I don’t make it, you to continue what we started.” At the age of 71 she began working out with Mr. Universe Yohnnie Shambourger. According to her website,, she wasn’t into athletics at all growing up. In fact she was a self-described prissy girl. And if you think she looks no worse for wear, well that’s because she isn’t. I’m the first to say that sometimes you just don’t bounce back like you used to, but the septuagenarian says she doesn’t experience any aches or pains; nor has she ever had any injuries. At 5’5″, 130-pound and 9-10% body fat she feels better than she did in her forties. Her mantra is “Determined – Dedicated – Disciplined To Be Fit”. With the support of her family, including husband of 52 years who prepares her meals, she shows no sign of slowing down. Besides the workout, nutrition is key to ensuring her body is in peak physical condition. It’s not just about calories out, but about quality of calories in.

Ernestine Shepherd is a Black Chick that Rules, hear more from her in her own words. Let me know your comments below and share with her story with your friends.


[hit refresh if video doesn’t appear]





Leave a Reply