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Now You Can Work Out Like the Notorious RBG

"When's Sara's not writing you can find her hanging out with teenagers at her day job as a counselor and with her own son and daughter. With a B.S. in Exercise Science and a M. Ed. in counseling, she enjoys writing about health, wellness...

The workout that keeps Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the (judges') bench

Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be the oldest liberal justice on the Supreme Court, but that certainly doesn't stop her from being one of the toughest and possibly most fit. And after seeing how this truly awesome woman gets her grueling workouts in, I’m ready to step it up and see if I can handle some of her moves.

Often, when the media spotlights a well-known person's workout, I tend to give it a glance and quite possibly a yawn and move onto something else. But this workout — with one-legged squats and full push-ups — deserves a second look.

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Ginsburg’s workout with Bryant Johnson — a 52-year-old who works in district courthouses and serves as a sergeant first class in the Army Reserves — starts out simply with five minutes on an elliptical. But that’s where the simple stops. After getting her heart pumping and her muscles warm, Ginsburg moves into her intense strength-training work.

Ginsburg’s grueling workout

Three sets of 10 to 13 reps of the following exercises (with stretching between sets):

  • Bench/chest press machine, where she normally loads 70 pounds on the machine (which is more than a lot of women half her age)
  • Leg curls
  • Leg presses
  • Chest flys
  • Lat pull-downs
  • Seated rows
  • Standing rows

This is an overall intense and balanced workout.

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By now, I’m sure my muscles would be screaming and my face dripping with sweat, but it seems that Ginsburg is just getting warmed up. This 83-year-old, super-fit justice gets down on the floor for another round of exercises:

  • Standard planks — 30 seconds of standard planks
  • Side planks — 30 seconds each side
  • Full push-ups — she does 10 at a time

Back up on her feet again for legs:

  • One-legged squats
  • Squats and arm curls with a exercise ball (ball against the wall and squat followed by arm curls)
  • Step-ups on an 18-inch platform for balance

And just when you think there can’t possibly be more, Johnson gets Ginsburg ready for the finale. He has her sit on a bench with a medicine ball, stand up and throw the ball to him. If she can’t do this exercise, Johnson tells her, she’ll need a 24/7 nurse — because that’s the movement you need to use a toilet. But something tells me she won’t be needing that 24/7 nurse any time soon!

More: The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Coloring Book You Didn't Know You Needed

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