Hunter Labrada is making some big changes after finishing seventh at the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Labrada said he will use the current off-season to ‘minimize’ his waistline with vacuums and explained that he’s no longer chasing size as a Men’s Open competitor.
Hunter Labrada garnered attention in the IFBB Pro League following his 2021 Chicago Pro performance. This victory earned him passage to the Mr. Olympia contest where he finished fourth. At the event, Labrada managed to surpass Nick Walker on the scorecards, who took fifth place. For the majority of last year, Walker and Labrada teased their rematch, promising to face each other at ‘100%.’
Both men used the entire 2022 season to prepare for Mr. Olympia. In December, the Olympia crowned Hadi Choopan as the new champion. Walker managed to earn third place as well as the Olympia People’s Champ award. However, Labrada found himself in seventh place, a significant drop from his previous showing.
Labrada and his coach Ben Chow have been transparent about what went wrong in Las Vegas. Chow said Hunter came into the event flat and sacrificed fullness. Labrada agreed with his coach’s assessment and mentioned he was the victim of a botched peak. In his latest admission, Labrada opened up on his plan of attack for the current off-season.
Hunter Labrada Surprised by the Quality of Competition at the 2022 Mr. Olympia
Labrada shared he was happy with the physique he presented on the Olympia stage, though looking back, he believes a few mistakes were made in the last days of prep.
“Getting into Vegas, I’m not going to lie, I was very confident in Vegas, definitely thought we were going to have a much better look than what we had on stage. At this point, I don’t know if that was me just being a little delusional or if we really screwed the pooch that bad in the last week – and I don’t think we screwed the pooch that bad, so maybe it was a little delusional. Fact of the matter is… I was really happy with how we looked, especially Wednesday, Thursday morning, then we made some mistakes in the last two days,” Hunter Labrada shared.
“I placed seventh in the world and that’s something to be excited about and celebrated, but obviously, slid three places. I’m not going to say it was failure, but it definitely wasn’t a success in my mind,” added Labrada. “The whole quality of the show was a lot higher. Not happy with how I looked.”
Labrada Won’t Chase Size in 2023, Plans to Minimize Waistline, Eat More Whole Foods, and Build Lower Back Thickness
Labrada said his 2023 off-season goals are to minimize his waistline, optimize digestion, and add size to his lower back.
“This off-season, you can either stay on the ground or get back up and get back to it. We’ve gotten back up and gotten back to it. Priorities this off-season — continue to add the size that I need to my lower back, both the erectors and my lower lats.
Everything needs to be thicker but that is a main area of focus. In addition to that, definitely placing a huge emphasis – this is going to be my first off-season, where everything else is big enough. I don’t need to be chasing size to the point where I’m hanging over the kitchen sink from being full all day. This off-season we are going to place a huge emphasis on eating more whole foods and supplementing in a way that we really optimize my digestion and minimize my waistline” Labrada said.
During the 2023 off-season, Labrada is incorporating vacuum poses to help control his abdomen.
“I’m going to continue training abs like I have been. Something that I started doing after the Olympia – I noticed it made a huge difference already. My foot is so far down my mouth I’m having a hard time removing it. difference, but I’ve been doing them every single morning and they’ve made a big difference already in a month. I’m going to continue beating that drum and checking all the boxes daily.”
The Open bodybuilder will have to earn an invitation to the 2023 Olympia competition this November. In previous interviews, Labrada repeated that his hope was to compete at two pro shows as well as the 2023 Mr. Olympia this year. He specified that even if he wins the first pro show, he intends to compete at the other contest because he needs to learn how to nail his peak properly.
Hunter Labrada will have plenty of time to make improvements throughout the season. In the months to come, his focus will be on fixing the issues that prevented him from finishing higher at 2022 Olympia.