Hunter Labrada is drawing motivation and moral support from his father and veteran bodybuilder Lee Labrada. The 31-year-old recently dealt with a push day workout with Lee Labrada to sculpt his physique for the 2023 Olympia that takes place from Nov. 3-5 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Hunter Labrada is a renowned IFBB Pro bodybuilder competing in the Men’s Open division. He is a multiple-time Olympia participant that established himself as a top contender of the division with a fourth-place finish at the 2021 Olympia.
Experts within the bodybuilding community expected the Labrada Scion to build upon the momentum. Labrada made quite a few changes to his training, diet and even addressed some nagging health concerns.
However, his efforts did not yield the expected results as Hunter Labrada was pushed out of the top five at the 2022 Olympia, placing seventh overall. But Labrada displayed the depth of his character and a true champion’s mindset when he owned up to his shortcomings without blaming external factors for the skid.
He made some crucial changes to the diet and focused on reshaping his physique rather than chasing size in the 2023 off-season. As promised before, the 31-year-old bodybuilder competed in two pro shows this year.
He registered a thumping win at the 2023 Tampa Pro and scored a runner-up finish at the 2023 Texas Pro. Labrada is now working relentlessly to insert himself in the top tier of the Olympia competitors.
Hunter Labrada goes through a push-day workout with father Lee Labrada
The 2023 Tampa Pro winner needs all the motivation in the world to push himself beyond the perceived boundaries. Three weeks out of the 2023 Olympia, he turned towards his legendary bodybuilder father for moral support and trained with him in the gym.
“I’m at the point now where I have to call in some back-up for the solo training sessions. So called in the old man for some moral support today,” Hunter Labrada said.
At this point of prep, Hunter Labrada has paced up his workouts with shorter rest periods between the sets. He is doing six to eight sets per body part per week to burn the calories without losing muscle mass. He applied the same method to the push-day workout as well. So let’s check out how the father-son duo tackled the workout.
Pec Deck Flyes
Lee and Hunter Labrada started the training session with this chest isolation exercise. Hunter normally starts his push day with a pressing movement. However, being close to the competition date means that growth is limited and he is training to burn calories.
“I’m ‘A’ – chasing a pump and ‘B’ – trying to train as smart as possible. So starting with an exercise that pre-exhausts my chest a little and keeps my triceps fresh for pressing later in the workout. I’ll train triceps today too,” Hunter Labrada said.
Lee Labrada added that Hunter has been training constantly over the last several months and he is essentially running on fumes at this point in time. He summarized Hunter Labrada’s training goal three weeks out of the 2023 Olympia and said:
“Stimulation, not annihilation!”
The duo took their turns at executing solid sets of pec deck flyes and proceeded over to the first heavy compound movement of the day.
Machine Incline Bench Press
This Incline pressing movement followed next to target the upper pecs. The training partners used a plate-loaded machine to get a few heavy sets of this exercise under their belts. Interestingly, Lee and Hunter Labrada started out with the heaviest weight they could lift and reduced the weight in subsequent sets.
“What’s very similar about this particular piece of our training today is that it reminds me of what I used to do in the old days, which is after a warm-up, I would go to the maximum of training weight, get as many reps as I could on that and then strip weight off. It’s a high intensity technique, you know. So you want to fatigue the muscles as fast as possible with the heaviest weight possible,” Lee Labrada said.
The father-son duo further added that Incorporating junk volume – doing light sets for a much higher volume – will actually have a negative impact on the body and joints in the long run.
“Minimizing the junk volume is actually going to keep you in the gym longer too,” Hunter Labrada said.
Lee Labrada added:
“You’ve got to be really smart too. Because the wear and tear on your body and the joints… One of the things that I find is that a lot of the young bodybuilders will push through pain in their joints. I think that’s a mistake. You’re going to have muscular pain, fatigue and aching in the muscle as you’re training, if you’re doing it right and as you’re approaching failure. Sure, you push through that. But you never force your body through pain in the joints. You better find a different exercise.”
After stimulating the pectoral muscles with this exercise, the father and son jumped into a flat pressing movement.
Machine Flat Chest Press
This served as the final chest-focused compound exercise of the push-day session. The duo utilized a Nautilus plate-loaded machine to push through heavy sets of the exercise and shifted their focus on training the shoulders next.
Hunter Labrada famously logged each one of his workouts in the log book and carefully tracked the progress. However, he admitted that he reached a level where entering data in the log book and trying to beat the numbers became stressful over time. The 30-year-old has now resorted to a more instinctive training method where he aims to perform six to eight sets per body part to failure each week.
“Training this way has been very beneficial for where I am at in bodybuilding right now. That is pre-contest, lean and running on fumes,” Hunter Labrada said.
Incline Shoulder Press
Hunter and Lee commenced shoulder training with this Incline Overhead pressing exercise and cranked out a few heavy sets. In addition to stimulating the anterior deltoid muscles, high Incline pressing movements also engage the upper pecs / clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscles.
Machine Seated Lateral Raises
While anterior and posterior deltoid muscles are stimulated during most pushing and pulling movements, medial delts need to be targeted with specific isolation exercises for activation. Hunter Labrada executed a few good sets of the movement with his dad on a selectorized machine before switching over to triceps exercises.
Banded Cable Triceps Extensions
One of Hunter Labrada’s go-to triceps exercises is the banded cable triceps extension. Full elbow flexion and stability in the shoulder joint are the two most important criteria for triceps activation. Banded cable triceps extension enables both and helps build triceps effectively. The Labradas performed a few sets of this movement unilaterally and took to the final exercise.
Hunter Labrada finished the push day with a few sets of triceps dips. Instead of taking breaks between sets for both triceps exercises, he performed abs movements. Lee Labeada explained that it was to keep the cardiovascular system active.
Overall, the workout included:
- Pec Deck Flyes – Warm-up sets and 2 working sets of 10 to 12 reps
- Machine Incline Bench Press – 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps
- Flat Chest Press Machine- 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
- Machine Incline Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 10 to 12 press
- Machine Seated Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
- Banded Cable Triceps Extensions – 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps
- Triceps Dips – 3 sets of 12 to 15 rep
(NOTE: Number of sets and rep range mentioned is based upon the visual observation of the workout video. Actual number of sets and reps may be different.)
After finishing the workout, Hunter Labrada showed off his supremely improved physique to give a physique update. The well-proportioned physique caught the attention for the X-frame and narrow midsection, which goes on to show that the 31-year-old has worked a lot on conditioning, proportions and aesthetics than adding size alone.
Labrada has to edge past rising contenders like Andrew Jacked, Samson Dauda and others to be able to insert himself in the title contention. But if he continues to add new facets to his physique, the 31-year-old can achieve the goal at 2023 Olympia and start his march toward the title.