IFBB Pro League Hall of Famer Lee Labrada retired in the 1990s, but that hasn’t dampened his passion for bodybuilding. In a recent The Menace Podcast with Dennis James, Labrada explained why he doesn’t coach his son and revealed Hunter plans on competing at the Tampa Pro and Texas Pro later this year.
Bodybuilder Hunter Labrada has built a successful career in the Men’s Open division. He’s won every show he’s competed at excluding the Mr. Olympia competition. At the 2021 Olympia contest, Labrada broke into the first call-out with a fourth-place finish.
Fans were excited about his return to action after he took the entire 2022 off-season to bring improvements to the stage. At the historic Olympia contest last December, over 400 competitors battled for gold amongst 11 divisions. Labrada found himself in seventh place, three spots below his performance in 2021. In the aftermath, Labrada mentioned that he and his team encountered problems with the ‘overall prep and peak.’
After processing his recent finish at Olympia, Hunter Labrada vowed to make some major changes in 2023. In addition to diet modifications, Labrada revamped his training routines and is now incorporating vacuum poses to help tighten his midsection, which is an area he believes held him back in Las Vegas. Previously, Labrada laid out his plan to compete at two shows, but now his father has confirmed those events will be the Tampa Pro and Texas Pro.
Lee Labrada Confirms Son Hunter Will Compete at 2023 Tampa Pro/Texas Pro Before Next Olympia
Lee shared that Hunter is planning to compete at the 2023 Tampa Pro and Texas Pro later this year.
“About two weeks after the show, we’re sitting there at lunch, he’s eating a steak for lunch. And I said, ‘okay, what do you think what’s next,’ he goes, ‘I’ll tell you what’s next, I’m going to enter two pro shows this year, I’m going to enter the Tampa Pro and I’m going to enter the Texas Pro, and I’m going to win them both. And I’m going to get on top of my peak, and then I’m going for the Olympia,’ so you know, he was very positive. He did not stay down. I’d be lying if I told you he was not disappointed. He was disappointed and it hit him hard.”
When questioned why Lee doesn’t train his son, he explained that Hunter wanted to forge his own path instead of relying on the family name. Lee added that his coaching relationship with other athletes differs from the way he guides Hunter.
“Well, I would never take on that role [coaching Hunter] if it meant any conflict. Those times before shows are very stressful. Listen, you guys obviously know what the dynamic is between you and your own fathers. You know, father-son relationships can be complicated. So, you have that element. So, I don’t have that third person at arm’s length relationship like I would have with another athlete.”
“Up to a certain point, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah dad.’ But after this, he’s like, ‘I got to take the training wheels off and do it myself, do it my way.’ Oh yeah, we pose together, and he pulls me in, and I confer with him whenever he needs information, I’m there. Listen, the way that I couch it, is look, this is what I did, this is what I did back in the day, okay, you know, and you take whatever lessons that you can from that. But this is how I did it,” Labrada explained.
Lee highlighted that he practiced the sport in a different era and doesn’t train heavy like his son. Conversely, Lee used ‘medium weights’ and a ‘rapid cadence’ while training during the prime years of his career.
“No, not nearly [do I train as heavy as Hunter]. That’s the other thing. Hunter trains very heavy. He goes to complete exhaustion on two or three working sets. Almost like that Mentzer system, which Dorian also used, but my system, was one that was faster. It was medium weights and a rapid cadence. I only rested long enough to catch my breath.”
Hunter recently joined his father on an episode of the Lee Labrada Show. They tackled a number of issues including Hunter’s bodybuilding goals and motivations for 2023. Hunter told Lee that he hopes to one day to bring a level of conditioning that was close to his father’s.
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Lee believes Hunter is already on his way to making meaningful changes to his physique. Before all is said and done, Lee hopes Hunter can retire young as a Mr. Olympia winner.
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