12/06/2012 08:47 BST | Updated 20/06/2012 06:44 BST

Ernestine Shepherd: World's Oldest Bodybuilder Says: ‘Age Is Nothing But A Number' (VIDEO)

If there was ever an effective advert for fitness motivation, this would be it.

Meet Ernestine Shepherd - the 75-year-old bodybuilder who runs 10 miles every morning and cites exercise as her own personal anti-ageing pill.

‘Miss Ernie’, the world’s oldest female bodybuilder, insists that age is ‘nothing but a number’ which she proves by getting up at 2:30am every morning to run and train in the gym.

The fit-as-a-fiddle pensioner from Maryland, US, set the record as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in 2010 to 2012, but claims she doesn't come from a family of fitness fanatics and only started training when she hit her 50s.


"When I was younger, I was never, ever considered athletic. I was too prissy," Shepherd told the BBC.

But at age 56, my sister and I were invited to a picnic and we had to wear bathing suits and we didn't like the way we looked, so we decided to exercise.

“My sister died of a brain aneurysm in 1992, I was so sad. She came to me in a dream and she said I wasn’t doing what I said we would do. So I did it.”

Shepherd teaches a fitness class in her local church, helping women decades younger than her to keep fit and healthy. She claims her fitness mantra is simple...

“I always practice what I preach. I don't teach bodybuilding. I teach health, happiness and prosperity - that's the formula!”

Take a look at the full profile on the amazing Ernestine Shepherd here.

If this hasn't made you jump on the treadmill, check out these motivational tips on getting fit this summer...

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