Ernestine Shepherd (Born in 1936) held the Guinness world record for oldest female competitive bodybuilder. Named “6-pack granny” by Ripley’s Believe it or not, she claimed the title at age 71 in 2010, when she entered her first bodybuilding contest and won first place. Another woman, Edith Wilma Connor, broke Ernestine’s record in 2012, but Ernestine continues to be active in bodybuilding today in her mid 80s although no longer competitively.
Ernestine did not step foot into a gym until the age of 56. That year her sister Velvet Blackwell and she went shopping for swimsuits and made a pact to get into better shape. Velvet told her, “We should try and get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest bodybuilding sisters in the world!” Sadly, Velvet passed away from a brain aneurysm. Ernestine wanted to honor her pledge and dedicated her training and her competitions to her sister.
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