Once boldly described by Dave Castro as “the future of CrossFit,” Rogue athlete Justin Medeiros has managed to meet those expectations head on, becoming a 2x “Fittest Man on Earth” and 2x Rogue Invitational Champion by the age of 23.
After an impressive podium finish at his lockdown-delayed CrossFit Games debut in 2020, Medeiros didn’t buckle under the much higher scrutiny that followed him into 2021, nor was he intimidated by the larger field of competitors looking to claim Mat Fraser’s position atop the sport. Instead, the energetic kid from Lodi, California—first recognized for his world class mullet—got his official recognition as a CrossFit Games champion. Overall, Justin tallied 1,234 points across the 15 events in Madison, finishing in the Top 5 in seven of them, and surpassing the best efforts of Canadians Patrick Vellner (1152 points) and Brent Fikowski (1028). Three months later, Medeiros outdueled Vellner again in Austin, Texas, to claim his first Rogue Invitational title, capping an incredible year.
Defending both titles in 2022, now as a marked man, was more a result of experience and discipline than raw talent alone. At the Games, Medeiros weathered an early storm and kept himself near the top of the leaderboard across the five days of competition. While he didn't finish first in any single workout, Justin finished in the Top 5 a remarkable 13 times, racking up the points necessary (1184) to outlast top challengers Roman Khrennikov (1157) and Ricky Garard (1068). It was a similar story at the Invitational, where it took a smart, steady approach in the final event, Heavy Grace, to hold off Vellner, Chandler Smith, and Jeffrey Adler.
Medeiros was a wrestler and a football player in high school, but he’s also part of a new generation that found CrossFit at a very young age, taking on his first WODs before turning 13. At 18, he was already good enough to finish 15th at the California Regional, and he managed a spot better in the expanded 2018 West Regionals a year later; training in-between classes at Boise State University, where he was majoring in kinesiology. In 2020, with those college courses moving online, Justin opted to relocate to Washington (the state) to workout daily with his coach Adam Neiffer at CrossFit Fort Vancouver. As no coincidence, Medeiros made significant leaps in every category, which ultimately helped the rookie beat a seasoned pro in Noah Ohlsen (560 pts to 540 pts) for a podium spot at the 2020 Games.
Justin has seen so much success in such a short time, that his relatively disappointing 2023 Games (13th place) caught many fans off guard. Thanks to his unique combination of strict discipline and youthful energy, however (in other words, “business in the front, party in the back”), Medeiros isn’t likely to be discouraged by one setback. The kid from Lodi will soon be making noise again.