74-Year-Old Bodybuilder: Inspiration Or Genetic Freak?

Illustration for article titled 74-Year-Old Bodybuilder: Inspiration Or Genetic Freak?

Ernestine Shepherd is basically a walking, talking, muscular representation of the idea "it's never too late."


Shepherd is the Guinness World Records' oldest female bodybuilder, but she used to hate working out.

"I was too prissy to exercise," she tells ABC. "I just didn't want to have my hair messed up. Didn't want my fingernails broken." She was pudgy, but started slowly — lifting weights — and now she is freaking ripped and runs marathons. "Age is nothing but a number," she says.

Of course, some ABC commenter calling himself flashover166 has decided to splash some cold water of reality on the situation, writing:

This woman is an inspiration. However don't expect to get the same results. After years of being in different gyms knowing many people who work out the three things that are the most important for building muscle is GENETICS, GENETICS, GENETICS.

Thanks for the reminder, dude. it's true that lifting builds muscle, but it's also true that with the exact same workout, some people are going to look completely transformed while others will look merely toned. And while Shepherd's physique is absolutely amazing, it's not like she's indestructible: "I have old things in my body," she says.

Ernestine Shepherd: Learn How This Grandmother Went From Flab to Fab [ABC News]



You go Ms. Shepherd! Freak? No. Genetically blessed? Hell yes.

That being said...Uhh, Yeah, I'll be the first to admit that I work out for looks. I could easily get away with working out wayyyy less than I do and still get lots of health benefits from it. And I do fall under the less genetically blessed category. I work out a TON. I mean like, a LOT. I look like a squishy 22 year old who does a pilates class once every two weeks and counts walking around campus as part of a workout. I wish more people would say "You know, a lot of people just don't have the genetics for what society considers an acceptable body" I'm planning on doing a triathlon next year. I'll be you anything I'll still have love handles, thighs that wiggle like jello molds when I walk and a cellulite ridden ass though. And I'll be pissed about that. Still.