Hunter Labrada on Cardio During Prep: How You Expend Calories Does Not Matter

The Mr. Olympia contender believes cardio is simply an "energy expediture equation."

The 2022 Mr. Olympia contender Hunter Labrada returned to his YouTube channel on Aug. 16, 2022, for another episode in his “Tuesday Tip” series. Labrada shares his expertise in various training, diet, and other bodybuilding topics, and this episode focused on cardio during prep for a show.

Labrada puts the kibosh on the notion that fasted cardio is a must for getting in shape during prep — “at the end of the day, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.” Find out what Labrada does consider the truth in the video below:

[Related: Breon Ansley May Compete at the 2022 Dubai Pro Bodybuilding Show Before the Olympia]

Regarding fasted cardio, Labrada suggests the timing is irrelevant. Fasted cardio first thing in the morning after waking up does not offer any additional benefits than performing cardio at any other fasted point.

Labrada uses this “Tuesday Tip” to define what cardio during a prep actually is: energy expenditure

You are doing cardio to expend calories. How you are expending those calories does not matter.

The 2021 Mr. Olympia fourth-place finisher rattled off various ways athletes perform cardio, dispelling commonly perceived opinions that coincide with them. He said training on a stair climber wouldn’t “dig out your glutes more,” though it could cost leg size. Likewise, walking on the treadmill versus training on a bike doesn’t have any particular upside but has the potential downside of shin splints.

There are pros and cons to the apparatus chosen to perform cardio. The apparatuses themselves may not even be necessary. Labrada suggests that a standard of measure to adjust cardio during prep is essential, and many coaches and bodybuilders will simply increase their steps per day to accomplish their cardio.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hunter Labrada IFBB Pro (@hunterlabrada)

[Related: Mike O’Hearn and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Son, Joseph Baena, Build Terminator-Worthy Arms]

It is a simple energy expenditure equation.

While the target for cardio is to get the heart rate to a certain level, everything beyond that should limit the impact on the body. Limiting the strain on the joints and the cardio’s overall impact on the body will likely improve recovery.

Featured image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram