Bodybuilder Hunter Labrada hit a rough patch in his career when he slipped to the seventh spot at the 2022 Olympia. This was a massive four-spot skid for the 31-year-old poised to beat the champ after breaking into the top five in 2021. However, he is back with vengeance to reclaim his rightful place in the Men’s division and annihilated an intense leg training session nine days out of the 2023 Tampa Pro.
Hunter Labrada is a renowned IFBB Pro bodybuilder and a top Open division competitor. As the son of legendary bodybuilder Lee Labrada, Hunter has inherited the passion for bodybuilding. He shot to fame after dominating the stage at the 2020 Tampa Pro, earning a direct qualification to the 2020 Olympia. After concluding the season with an eighth place finish in 2020 Olympia, Labrada earned his second straight qualification to Olympia by winning the 2021 Chicago Pro. He surged into the top five at the 2021 Olympia, defeating the likes of Nick Walker and William Bonac in the process.
Labrada made quite a few changes to his training and addressed sleep apnea to prepare for the 2022 Olympia. However, the efforts did not yield the expected results and he vowed to come back stronger. Earlier this year, Lee Labrada confirmed that Hunter is intent on winning the 2023 Tampa Pro and the 2023 Texas Pro to ‘get on top of his peak’.
He is primed to make a comeback at the 2023 Tampa Pro that takes place from August 3-5 and went through the last leg day of prep. So let’s check out how the Labrada Scion is getting ready to make a splash.
Final leg day before 2023 Tampa Pro
Hunter Labrada trained with mostly isolation exercises in the training session as his prep is coming to an end. While explaining the goal of this training session, he said:
“Today is definitely more of, like, an isolation day, you know. Extensions, curls, glute bridges, calves, abductors kind of day. There’s really finishing touches putting some blood through the legs. So really excited about today though…”
Labrada was joined by veteran bodybuilder Branch Warren for this training session. One of the most prominent bodybuilders from the 2000s era, Warren came close to winning the Mr. Olympia title in 2009 when he was placed second behind Jay Cutler. However, he elevated to the next level when he won the Arnold Classic title in 2011 and 2012.
The 48-year-old retired from competition after finishing sixth at the 2023 Olympia. While he still maintains an excellent physique, the Texan has no interest in returning to the stage again. Warren flew down to see Labrada’s progress and guide him in the right direction.
“Branch has seen me compete pretty much every single time I’ve competed. So I trust his eye. He’s obviously known for his conditioning and that’s something that I need to bring this time. So hopefully he’ll have something good to say,” Labrada concluded.
With that, Labrada jumped into the workout to put in the last bit of work before the 2023 Tampa Pro as Branch Warren went through a back workout of his own.
Seated Leg Curls
Labrada’s training session kicked off with this isolation movement. Leg curls not only stimulate the hamstrings but also warm up the knees without putting a lot of stress on them. So they make for an excellent starting exercise for a leg training session to avoid knee injuries or discomfort.
After pushing through some solid sets of seated leg curls, the 2020 Tampa Pro winner took a good look at his legs in the mirror and headed over to perform a quad movement next.
Labrada next took to the leg extensions to isolate the quadriceps. Although it is an effective quad isolation movement, leg extensions can be harsh on the knees if done with excessively heavy weights. Labrada went through a few sets of the movement and took to a compound exercise next.
This served as the first compound exercise of the day. Hip press targets all the major muscle groups in the lower body like hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Labrada used the Rogers Athletic machine to do this exercise. It has a pendulum design that increases the range of motion and ensures maximum engagement of the target muscles. Hunter Labrada did all the sets of hip presses unilaterally and took to the next exercise.
Hip joint extensions, abduction, and rotation are the primary functions of the glutes. They are crucial in activities like standing up from a seated position, climbing the stairs, walking, running, and generating explosive power for lower body movements. Hip thrusts target gluteus maximus, the largest gluteal muscle.
Hunter Labrada performed the exercise on the hip thrusts machine. He pressed through some intense sets of the exercise before advancing to the final exercise of the day and by default, the final leg exercise before the 2023 Tampa Pro.
Standing Incline Calf Raises
Labrada wrapped up the training session with the inclined version of standing calf raises. The angled position in this variation reduces the pressure on the lower back as the weight is stacked on shoulders. Standing calf raises focus more on the gastrocnemius muscles in the calves. Labrada cranked out a few sets of the exercise and called it a day in the gym.
Overall, the workout included:
Branch Warren gauges Hunter Labrada’s progress
Branch Warren did a back workout of his own and headed over to a separate area of the gym for a discussion. Warren, MJ, and Lee Labrada watched carefully as Hunter transitioned through bodybuilding poses. His massively improved conditioning was on full display. The narrow midsection, striated back and glutes caught the attention when the 2021 Chicago Pro winner hit the rear double bicep pose.
Lee Labrada, MJ, and Branch Warren give their inputs to Hunter. The 31-year-old’s conditioning impressed Warren and he gave him the props for the narrow waist, back striations, triceps, and shoulders.
Nine days out of the 2023 Tampa Pro, Hunter weighed 250 lbs or 4 lbs lighter than he was around the same time before the 2022 Olympia. His father opined that he could have produced better results if the conditioning was at the same level on the 2022 Olympia stage.
Hunter Labrada will head over to show his talent at the 2023 Texas Pro after competing in Tampa. The event takes place on August 18-19 in Arlington, TX. Rising contender Chinedu Andrew Obiekea AKA Andrew Jacked was close behind Labrada at the 2022 Olympia, placing eighth in the Men’s Open division.
He will attempt to win his second Texas Pro trophy. However, an upcoming bodybuilder is confident that he will upset them both. Hunter Labrada has looked phenomenal in recent physique updates. If Labrada can get past Andrew Jacked and emerge victorious at the 2023 Texas Pro, it will be a major shift of momentum in his favor for the 2023 Olympia prep.
You can watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Hunter Labrada’s personal YouTube channel: