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Bodybuilder to Runner: Justin Andreas Pushes His Limits

Justin has an incredible journey from bodybuilder to runner
Justin Andreas
Year started: 2017
Favorite gear:
  • Salomon Vest

When I first spoke with Justin Andreas, I could tell this was someone who lives life on the edge. As a former bodybuilder turned ultrarunner with a military background, Justin is always testing his physical and mental limits. “I just want to be one of those guys that goes into my work and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this guy runs 100 miles,’” Justin says. “I want to be that less than 1% type of individual.”  This is Justin’s journey from bodybuilder to runner. 

Dedicated Bodybuilder 

Justin’s fitness journey began in the weight room. After high school, he became a dedicated bodybuilder for over a decade, eventually reaching monster strength levels that would make most gym rats jealous. “I weighed 230 pounds. At my heaviest, I was squatting over 550, bench pressing 350, deadlifting over 600,” Justin recalls. He got his powerlifting numbers up to an elite level through disciplined training. But after years of the “same old routine every day,” Justin grew bored. “It was kind of boring. I kind of got tired of it and so I was looking for something else,” he explains.


A New Challenge 

When the ultramarathon and CrossFit movements emerged, Justin was thirsty for a new challenge. He got a rude awakening with his first stab at cardio after 14 years away. “I couldn’t run. I couldn’t move that fast because I hadn’t done cardio in 14 years. Other than the PT test that I was required to take for the military, that was about it,” Justin remembers. Still, he managed to run his first half marathon with 4 weeks of training. “From there I was addicted,” Justin says. Though he “absolutely hated” his first full marathon, hearing podcasts about daring ultrarunning adventures inspired him.

Ultra Running Podcasts 

In addition to pushing his body to the limits, Justin has started his own podcast called Golden Hour Adventures. He co-hosts with friend and athlete Robbie Pike. Their goal is to showcase everyday athletes living extraordinary lives. “We hear all these ultra running podcasts, or these running podcasts. We don’t like to say that our podcast is an ultra running podcast,” Justin explains. “We like to say it’s an adventure podcast because we have people on from all walks of life.” They focus on spreading inspiration.

Impromptu 50K 

In 2020, running an impromptu 50K on no training in the middle of the night with some ultrarunning friends solidified his passion. “It was inspiring because all these guys had run 100 milers before, they’re currently in [a] 100 miler,” Justin remembers. Justin realized he was capable of more. 

What was Possible 

Seeing their speed and endurance showed him what was possible. “I think it was just that drive to see what I could do and jump into it,” says Justin. Now he eagerly takes on ever more intense ultra challenges, thriving on pushing his body to its edge and testing his mental grit in the pain cave. Justin continues to push his limits, wanting to see what is possible on his journey from bodybuilder to runner. He continues to inspire others around him with his podcast and his endeavors by living life to the fullest.