Winning the 2023 Tampa Pro in early August earned Hunter Labrada a qualification to compete in the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest, taking place in Orlando, FL on Nov. 2-5, 2023. It will be Labrada’s fourth appearance at bodybuilding’s pinnacle contest, where he looks to improve on his seventh place result from the 2022 Olympia and potentially pass his best-yet showing of fourth place in 2021. He placed a respectable eighth at his Olympia debut in 2020.
As he builds to a peak performance, Labrada shared a YouTube video of a push workout he performed just days after his runner-up finish to Chinedu “Andrew Jacked” Obiekea at the 2023 Texas Pro in mid-August.
While using a foam roller to prepare for training, Labrada shared that this was his first workout at his home gym following the Texas Pro. He has had a chance to eat more meals and expressed he was feeling good going into this session.
Seated Cable Chest Press
Labrada started the session with a high-tension chest exercise. He explained that the setup for this chest press called for a dual-cable system and an upright bench. While the setup takes time and requires a skilled partner to help get the cable handles into position, Labrada explained why the reward is worth the effort.
“We get something that has great tension throughout, there’s no drop-off in tension. I really love this exercise from the standpoint that, it really accentuates the fact that we’re trying to get that elbow as far away as possible [from the chest] and then getting it across out body as much as possible. Really thinking about finishing biceps to pec.”
Labrada and his training partner both performed multiple sets, but the exact reps or weight weren’t shared.
Incline Chest Press Machine
The second exercise of the day was a chest press machine that focused on the upper pecs. The machine had two handles on each side. Labrada explained he normally used the neutral-grip handle, which emphasizes more triceps but decreases strain on the shoulder joint. However, he chose to use the horizontal handles during this workout to train his chest from different angles. Labrada had a slow and calculated speed with his reps to maximize tension. His spotter help him complete forced reps after he reached failure.
After a heavier set with a total of 10 45-pound plates loaded onto the machine, they reduced the weight by two plates for a second set. After two working sets each, Labrada and his partner moved on.
The third and final chest-focused movement was a chest flye in the form of the pec-deck to isolate the pecs. Labrada didn’t do much talking at this point in the video, but he could be seen getting a deep stretch at the bottom while focusing on contracting his pecs as hard as he could at the top. He ended his second working set by reducing the weight for a drop set, and he went to failure one last time before moving on.
Seated Overhead Machine Press
The first shoulder exercise of this workout was a seated machine press. Once he couldn’t perform more reps on his own, his spotter assisted by helping to raise the weight. Labrada then performed the negative (lowering) portion of the reps on his own.
This same format was used on his second set. His reps were performed a little faster the second time around, but he was clearly doing his best to eliminate momentum throughout the set.
Lateral Raise Machine
The second delt movement was a seated lateral raise machine. Labrada opted to keep his arms straight and not hold the attached handles, so his side delts had to take on the entire load. After his first set, he made a weight adjustment for his second set.
He kept his chest firmly against the support pad so he couldn’t swing to create momentum throughout the set. He followed his standard set with partial reps to maximize the pump. Once he could no longer perform partials, he ended the set.
Single-Arm Triceps Pushdown
Labrada started his triceps work with a pushdown, holding a cable with a loop attachment in each hand and performing extensions across his body in an “X” manner. After one set, he changed to a single-arm movement, saying his elbows were “a little angry” at this point in the workout.
From set to set, he slightly changed the position of his hand and arm to feel the triceps working differently. As he approached failure, he spotted himself with his non-working arm. He also performed a variety of ab exercises between sets.
Labrada’s session concluded with dips. This was the only non-machine exercise he performed in this routine, outside of the brief ab training during the previous exercise. The workout was concluded after three working sets. Labrada used only his body weight, but explained that he previously incorporated much heavier weights.
“I used to dip every single push workout, and I could do sets of 10 with 135 pounds [61.2 kilograms] hanging off me. I had three plates hanging off me. When I was training-training triceps, I would do a lot of dips regularly and a lot of close-grip bench press regularly. I would close-grip 315 [pounds/142.9 kilograms] for 20 [reps] three years ago.”
After the training, the second-generation bodybuilder — son of bodybuilding superstar Lee Labrada who, himself, was twice the runner-up to eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney — performed a series of poses to showcase his post-contest physique.
Labrada didn’t share all the details of his workout, but you can try a sample version for yourself by following the guide below.
Push Day: Chest/Shoulder/Triceps Workout
- Seated Cable Chest Press — 3 x 10-12
- Incline Chest Press Machine — 2 x 10-12
- Pec-Deck — 2 x 12 (add one drop set to final set)
- Seated Overhead Machine Press — 2 x 10-12 (add negative-only reps to final set)
- Lateral Raise Machine — 2 x 12-15 (end each set with partial reps)
- Single-Arm Triceps Pushdown — 3 x 12-15 per arm
- Dips — 3 sets to failure (using body weight only)
Labrada will look to challenge the reigning Mr. Olympia, Hadi Choopan, and other contenders in the upcoming contest. Ideally, he will look to place no worse than fifth in the 2023 contest because that will automatically qualify him for the 2024 Mr. Olympia, should he not win the contest outright.
Featured Image: Hunter Labrada on YouTube