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80-Year-Old Champion Bodybuilder Sets World Record

Ernestine "Ernie" Shepherd proves age truly is just a number. At age 80 she is a personal trainer, model, competitive bodybuilder and happier and more fulfilled than ever before. In March of 2010, on stage in Rome, Italy she was given the title of World's Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder by Guinness World Records. Have you ever broken a world record? Me either! Go Ernie!


You may be surprised to hear that she wasn't always this dedicated to her health. At age 56 she was a sedentary, well-padded school secretary and "slug" who had never worked out a day in her life. It wasn't until Ernie and her sister, Velvet went bathing suit shopping that her view changed. They both laughed at their figures and realized they needed to get in shape. Ernie and her sister, inspired by an exercise function at their church, joined a gym and started working out together.

Ernie's exercise changed when Velvet died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. She remembered her sister saying how they should inspire other seniors to live healthy lives and that they should aim to get into the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not! With a desire to make Velvet's dreams come true, Ernie returned to the gym with a reignited determination.

Starting slowly and building her body step by little step, Ernie (over time) completely transformed not only her body, but her life as well. She now mentors mostly senior women with her own fitness regime and still trains as a competitive athlete.

Age, size, nor expectations could keep this go getter from reaching her dreams!

This video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by Emmett Williams.

Want to see more HooplaHa Originals? Check out the HooplaHa YouTube page…and don't forget to smile!

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