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Video: Justice Ginsburg’s Army vet trainer honors her with three push-ups in front of her casket

The casket of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is carried by military honor guard as it arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington on September 25, 2020. Justice Ginsburg became the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. ( Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 30, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer honored the late justice by performing three pushups in front of her casket as she lay in state in the U.S. Capitol on Friday.

In a video shared to CSPAN’s official Twitter account, 30-year Army veteran Bryant Johnson is seen in a crisp blue suit and shiny brown shoes approaching Ginsberg’s casket draped in an American flag before kneeling and executing three complete pushups. Bryant then jumps up, stands at attention, and bows.

Johnson spent 12 of his 30 years in the Army as a member of a Special Forces Airborne Unit. He later became a personal trainer and acquired a number of certifications, including Master Fitness Trainer for the military and a Master Trainer in boxing, kickboxing, strength training, sports and conditioning.

Standing at just over 5 feet tall and weighing around 100 pounds, Ginsburg often attributed her well-being to her twice-weekly meetings with Johnson. The hour-long workouts generally started with a warm-up on the elliptical machine before moving on to weight training and balancing exercises. Pushups rounded out each session as the pièce de résistance of Ginsburg’s workout.

“When I started, I looked like a survivor of Auschwitz. Now I’m up to 20 push-ups,” Ginsburg said in an interview from 2013, the Washington Post reported.

Ginsburg was still accomplishing the impressive feat of 20 push-ups a day well into her late 80’s. Three years before Ginsburg’s passing on September 18 at 87 years old, her trainer released a book inspired by the determined justice, titled, “The RBG Workout.”

“I am often consumed by the heavy listing Supreme Court judging entails, reluctant to cease work until I am sure I’ve got it right. This book, I hope, will help others experience, as I have, renewed energy to carry on with their work and days,” said Ginsburg.

According to Johnson’s website, the 55-year-old trainer has spent over 19 years as a personal trainer to various military and civilian personnel, including high-level Federal Court officials; Justices, Judges, Attorneys, and Clerks.”

His website said Johnson’s exercise philosophy is simple: it all begins with attitude. “It’s always about the client, helping them to help themselves. The process is not complicated. It may not be easy, but it is not complicated,” the website stated.

Although a 22-minute workout may not seem to be a challenge, one writer at SELF Magazine said, “RBG does not mess around.”