A bodybuilder interviewed at an annual multi-sport event captured the hearts of viewers in a viral video when he revealed some insight into his personal life.
The video, which was posted to @excusemewhatshow’s account where it amassed nearly 200,000 views, is part of a longer montage of interviews with people at the annual Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Viewers were stunned by bodybuilder Justin Peck’s personal story, and they quickly flooded the comments section with positive feedback.
According to Bleacher Report, the Arnold Classic is considered a prestigious International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness event. It got its start in 1989, but it has grown over the years to include a number of different events, including fitness and strength contests, as well as sporting competitions.
It attracts international contestants, and the top nine competitors came from the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Monetary prizes ranged from $2,000 to $200,000.
Nell Jones, a production manager with Offbeat, wrote to Newsweek that the show “Excuse Me, What?” looks to find interesting people to interview in “unique communities.”
“The Arnold Sports Festival was such a fun event to cover because people tend to have a certain idea of bodybuilders and so when we got to talk to Justin Peck and these other attendees, we learned that there’s so much more to the story,” she said.
Peck revealed in the viral video that he is a “big nerd.”
Not only did he say that he enjoyed lifting heavy, but Peck also noted that he loves video games, works as a computer engineer and is a single father to three children.
“They’re like, ‘Wait a minute, hold up. I thought you’d be this certain way,'” Peck said, explaining the general reaction he hears from people who learn of his background.
He went on to explain that his fitness journey began when he fell into a deep depression and “let himself go.”
Peck told Newsweek he began working out about five years ago, but about one year into his fitness journey, he began bodybuilding.
A friend of his told him that bodybuilding was difficult, but Peck was eager to take on the challenge and has since competed in nine shows.
He just competed in his third Arnold Classic.
Fitness has quickly become a major part of Peck’s life, but he manages to balance it with his job, family and other hobbies.
“The fitness side of things, it’s my peace and my release for the day,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s for me.”
In addition to fitness and bodybuilding, Peck said he’s always been “fascinated” by math and science, which catapulted him toward a career in programming.
“People have a preconceived notion of bigger people in the gym,” Peck said. “But, I love coding, IT stuff, I love video games, anime, anything like that is in my wheelhouse. I have a lot of hobbies outside of bodybuilding.”
His appearance in @excusemewhatshow’s TikTok also earned him a great deal of positive feedback from viewers.
“This guy is awesome,” a TikTok user claimed.
“Dude literally going through the main quests of life,” another wrote.
Commented a viewer, “This is an amazing contrast for someone.”
“Definition of a King,” declared a TikToker.
Peck said he was not prepared for the responses he received from the video.
“The internet is a very scary place, and it gives people a place to say whatever they want with no consequences,” he said.
After going through the comments, he said he was surprised.
“I was waiting for a bad comment to come in, but they were positive,” Peck said. “I had an amazing time on the trip and it’s been awesome to see positive feedback.”
Other viral videos have delighted viewers, including one that showed a donkey getting excited to see its owner and another that revealed a McDonald’s employee’s stellar customer service.
Newsweek also previously reported on viewers’ reactions to a “sassy” girl’s response to being told she’s going to “change the world someday.”
Updated 03/31/2022, 6:02 pm ET: This story has been updated with a verified video of the incident.