POLITICS

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Trainer Does Pushups By Her Casket In Moving Tribute

Bryant Johnson's strong-armed gesture was fitting, given that he coached the late Supreme Court justice for more than 20 years.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer said goodbye to the late Supreme Court justice through calisthenics. 

Bryant Johnson was among the mourners who appeared at the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning to pay their respects to Ginsburg, who died last week at age 87. When it was Johnson’s turn to approach the flag-covered casket, he dropped to the ground and did three pushups.

It was a particularly fitting tribute. Johnson, an Army veteran and a member of the Special Forces Airborne Unit, coached Ginsburg on her fitness regimen for more than 20 years

Ginsburg began working out with Johnson in 1999 at the urging of her husband, Martin, after she had undergone treatment for colon cancer. The justice’s go-to exercises included planks, bicep curls and one-legged squats, Johnson has said.

In 2017, Bryant Johnson published an illustrated exercise book, "The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong ... and You Can Too!"
In 2017, Bryant Johnson published an illustrated exercise book, "The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong ... and You Can Too!"

“I attribute my well-being to our meetings twice a week,” Ginsburg said of her trainer in a 2013 Washington Post interview. “It’s essential.” 

Though Johnson’s other high-profile clients have included Supreme Court associate justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, his working relationship with Ginsburg helped put him on the national map. In 2017, he published an illustrated exercise book, “The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong ... and You Can Too!” The following year, he appeared alongside Ginsburg on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” where the two enjoyed an on-air workout with the host.

“She’s never, ever told me ‘can’t,’” Johnson told ABC7 last year. “She’s made little facial expressions at me several times, but she’s never, ever said ‘can’t.’”