Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

As a rule, you shouldn't do pushups at a funeral. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg's trainer is allowed

Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2018 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images); Bryant Johnson at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Friday
Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2018 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images); Bryant Johnson at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Friday

We can all agree that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a badass. The Supreme Court Justice spent her life pioneering a path for women in the American judicial system and fighting for equality for all. But in addition to her professional achievements and tenacity, the Notorious RBG was known for one thing: being the most jacked 87 year old around.

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Ginburg’s workouts were well-recorded in the 2018 documentary RBG, which followed the Justice to the gym where she trained with Bryant Johnson, who ultimately worked with her for more than 20 years. Most recently, Ginsburg’s workouts were lampooned on Saturday Night Live, where Kate McKinnon impersonated her doing at-home exercises during the pandemic. Ginsburg first started working with Johnson in 1999 after going through treatment for colon cancer. During a speech in 2016, the Justice detailed her push-up routine, which she did with him twice weekly: “I do 10, and then I breathe, and then I do 10 more.”

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Ginsburg sadly died on Sept. 18 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, and her casket is currently in repose at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, where she became the first woman and first Jewish person in American history to lie in state. Mourners have been visiting the site to pay their respects this week (including Trump, who got booed yesterday and left amid chants of “vote him out”). Today, Johnson entered the Capitol and honored his longtime client by dropping to the floor and giving her three pushups.

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If the Justice were able to give feedback, it’s almost certain she would have said something like, “I was doing 20, all you got is three?” Or at least we’d like to think that’d be her spitfire response.

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A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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