Hunter Labrada doesn’t cry at weddings, nor can a tear be coaxed from the IFBB Pro League bodybuilder from even the sappiest of rom-coms.

Nevertheless, if the discuss entails the sweat, pain, and sometimes tears it takes to make heavy iron transfer as easily as a knife via heat butter, you’ll shortly study why Labrada’s emotional ardour for bodily perfection rises as quickly as his ascent up the bodybuilding rankings.

“No, I’m probably not a delicate particular person,” the son of bodybuilding legend Lee Labrada admits. “However I’ve reached the purpose the place I’ve taken a lot delight in the place I’ve gotten in bodybuilding. So at any time when I do units like I do, the feelings aren’t a foul factor, however only a place I should be at.”

Now in full prep mode for his Olympia Weekend stage debut in December, Hunter has been giving social media followers a glimpse into what he calls his “empty bar kind with gun-to-your-head” depth, most lately banging out 10 picture-perfect reps with 20 plates stacked to the hack squat machine. And belief him, the ache is actual.

“I do know it’s gonna harm trigger it’s the identical factor I’ve accomplished each single week for the final two or three years,” Hunter, the 2020 Tampa Professional winner, says. “I do know that if I don’t progress it in a roundabout way, whether or not that be reps with the identical quantity of weight or extra weight on the bar, I’m gonna be brutally disenchanted with myself. I actually have horrible style in my mouth till the following week.”

Hunter’s leg day leg day repertoire is a one-set all-out tactic, much like the HIT-style routine made well-known by six-time Olympia winner Dorian Yates.

As Hunter explains, maxing out on one set per train, on this case, his hack squat, additionally takes precision planning and progressive overload.


Since he ditched his soccer desires and started concentrating solely on bodybuilding almost 4 years in the past, Hunter has stored every set, rep, and weight of each one in all his exercises documented the old school means—with a pocket book and pen.

Hunter says the theme you’d discover for those who studied the numbers is that his exercises have been constant since Day 1. Not often, he admits, has he veered removed from the bread-and-butter strikes confirmed to pack on dimension and power, specifically squats, deadlifts, and different compound actions.

“It’s fairly boring,” he says. “In relation to coaching, I’ve mainly accomplished the identical exercises for the final two years. I’d say 90% of the time, identical workout routines, identical rep ranges, identical quantity of working set, identical the whole lot. The one factor completely different is I’m attempting to push both extra weight on the bar or the quantity of reps.”

Throughout his Olympia reign, Yates stated he most well-liked one-set coaching as a result of, fairly frankly, that was all he wanted to achieve “optimum muscular response.” Hunter agrees in its effectiveness, and as he’s proven lately on social, the outcomes certainly again up his evaluation.

“I’d be so gassed and fried, my physique wouldn’t get better if I labored a number of units,” Hunter says. “That’s one of many issues that will get misplaced on folks, depth inside the prescribed units. This technique, to me, is changing into extra prevalent — numerous the youthful established guys are beginning to practice utilizing this technique.”


Don’t be mistaken — Hunter doesn’t simply stroll into the gymnasium, let loose a couple of primal yells, pump out 10 reps, then head for the door. As a substitute, his one-and-a-half-hour routine consists of quite a lot of leadup units earlier than his hack squat session.

“You understand, for those who’ve been watching me coaching, you already know, how near good I attempt to make every rep.”

Like the remainder of his routine, every set has its personal usefulness to the exercise. For his first set, one plate, Labrada says he’ll exaggerate the transfer by going deeper, ass-to-grass, to permit his SSI joint to roll out.

“I’m doing issues throughout these units I might by no means, ever, ever do on a prime set,” Hunter says. “I’m utilizing these units to turn out to be extra conscious of my physique.”

Because the plates start to extend, two plates, adopted by three, then 4, his vary of movement turns into much less exaggerated: “With these I don’t let my ass roll out anymore,” he says.

At 5 plates, issues get severe, and the reps are decreased as to not induce fatigue. “My legs are heat. There’s blood in my legs, the whole lot is rocked and able to go.”

Lastly, the max set, 10 plates on both sides. After tightening his belt, and a fast ammonia sniff, it’s time to unrack. And at the same time as he’s carried out this transfer time and again, it by no means appears to get lighter.

“The very first thing via my head is, ‘Holy shit! That was heavy,” he says. ”It’s simply a type of issues, like I stated, I’ve bought to the purpose the place it’s like, I do know if I don’t do it, I’m going to be a lot extra upset than the ache that comes from truly doing it. So my enamel naked down and do what I must do. That’s one of the simplest ways to place it within the enterprise.”

Now, as Olympia approaches, you’ll be able to perceive why leg day tugs at Hunter’s heartstrings.

For extra details about the December 17-Twentieth occasion, together with tickets, go to as Trifecta Presents Joe Weider’s Olympia Health & Efficiency Weekend dropped at you by Northern Chill and by Wings of Strength.