Proof that being a fit badass has no age limit

By Lauren Mazzo
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Fancy yourself a young, fit whippersnapper? That's all about to change.

Ben Schreckinger, a journalist from Politico, made it his mission to try 83-year-old U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's workout-and barely lived to tell the tale. This lady-who's been on the Supreme Court for a whopping 23 years, and has lovingly earned the nickname Notorious R.B.G.-packs a lot of punch for her age, and her fitness regimen is the ultimate proof.

Ginsburg, like many other justices, trains with Bryant Johnson, a 52-year-old Sergeant First Class in the Army Reserves who works out some of our country's most important judiciary bodies on the side. Turns out, the workout that keeps this 83-year-old kicking is a pretty tough one. Forget aqua-aerobics and nursing home dance cardio-Ginsburg's workout would make a solid addition to your regimen too-if you can make it through. (Put yourself to the test with these other six important bodyweight strength moves you need to master.)

First, she warms up with five minutes on the elliptical, then a few minutes of stretching. She follows it up with the machine chest press (set at about 60 to 70 pounds, which is no freaking joke). She moves on over to the leg extension machine to work those quads and adds some leg curls to hit her hammies. Next up is wide-grip lat pull-downs, seated rows, the butterfly press (or chest fly), and a standing cable row.

From there, she even goes on to do one-legged squats onto a bench, which, ICYMI, are hard AF. Regardless, Johnson says when Ginsburg trains, "There is no break."

Then she moves onto multiple sets of push-ups (NOT "girl" push-ups, mind you) and uneven push-ups with one hand on a medicine ball (just in case her upper body wasn't already burning). (Want to get on her level? Start with this 30-day push-up challenge.) Then the focus moves to core with one minute and 30 seconds of planks and side planks, and some good ol' fashioned hip abduction and adduction moves to strengthen the hips and glutes. She does various versions of step-ups and even squats on an upside-down Bosu ball. After that, she grabs some 3-lb dumbbells to hit some bicep curls, dumbbell wall squats with an exercise ball behind her back, and an exercise that Johnson says is incredibly important: a medicine ball squat-throw onto a bench. In Johnson's words, "if you cannot do this exercise, you will need a nurse 24-7." (Related: How Fit Are You Really?)

Ginsburg usually aces this routine twice a week at 7 pm at a gym right inside the Supreme Court. You must be thinking, "she must have a killer playlist to get her through all that." In reality? She fuels her workout with PBS NewsHour...What else?

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January 13, 2019