U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a badass. She’s a colon- and pancreatic-cancer survivor, a popular culture icon and champion for civil rights, an unfettered Donald Trump critic, and she’s a total gym rat, thanks to her trainer Bryan Johnson.
POLITICO reporter Ben Schreckinger decided to try the 83-year-old Ginsburg’s life-extending exercise routine. It wiped him out. “I thought the workout would be pattycake, but it was much harder than I expected,” he confessed.
Ginsburg’s trainer is an Army reservist with a no-nonsense approach in the gym, and he started training Ginsburg in 1999, while she was recovering from colon cancer. They’ve been at it ever since. In fact, she likes her workouts so much she got Johnson a couple of more clients: Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.
Now Johnson and Ginsburg meet for an hour twice a week at the Supreme Court’s ground-floor gym. Ginsburg starts on the elliptical for a quick five-minute warm-up, while watching PBS, and then the hard work begins: Three sets of 10 to 13 reps with barely any rest between rounds. The progress is obvious: “When I started, I looked like a survivor of Auschwitz,” she said in 2013. Now, she can do 20 push-ups — no knees-on-the-floor needed.
Do you think you could keep up with the Notorious R.B.G.? Here’s her workout.