Ernestine Shepherd talks to The Independent about the particularly ordinary route which led her into fitness, why she was motivated to go for a world record title and just what she eats every day. She has washboard abs, impressive biceps and lives on three to four hours sleep ever night. Spurred into fitness with her sister Velvet at the age of 56, she previously had never done any exercise having been exempt from school physical education lessons as a child because of an injury she sustained in a car accident. The Independent spoke to a snowed-in Ernie on the east coast of the US on the phone which finally connected after the theme tune from Rocky blared down the line for a minute or so.
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Rebecca Woody, from Missouri, grew up with a fitness fanatic father who was a coach at a local community center. The personal trainer was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints in Her doctor said the condition meant that she would never be able to take part in bodybuilding competitions and advised her to stop lifting weights, however, she was determined to prove her doubters wrong. Her passion for the sport motivated her to keep weightlifting to prove her doctors wrong.
Rebecca says that her impressive physique and lifestyle has even improved her sex life with her younger husband who is 14 years her junior. She has won various national weightlifting contests, often winning in the over 35s category as the oldest contestant. But at 33, doctors warned Rebecca that she had RA — along-term condition, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
I'm always asked for bodybuilding advice in the gym. A typical day sees me usually exercising at the gym by 7. I make sure my weightlifting workouts focus on all the key areas.