Men’s Open bodybuilder Hunter Labrada won the 2023 Tampa Pro on Aug. 3-5, earning qualification for the 2023 Mr. Olympia. However, he has continued his training to return to the stage for the 2023 Texas Pro on Aug. 18 and 19, 2023.
Following the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, where Labrada finished in seventh overall, he knew he would need to compete during the 2023 season to re-qualify for the 2023 Olympia, and the Tampa and Texas Pro shows were the two he committed to.
On August 14, 2023, Labrada published a video on his YouTube channel that featured his final leg day before the 2023 Texas Pro. Check it out below:
Hunter Labrada’s Pre-Competition Leg Day
Labrada’s final leg day occurred nine days out from the 2023 Texas Pro and his first since competing at the Tampa Pro. He doesn’t typically need to train his legs as often as other muscle groups because his cardio preserves the muscle tissue in his legs. Here are the exercises that comprised Labrada’s leg day:
- Seated Hamstring Curls
- Leg Extensions
- Unilateral Rogers Machine
- Glute Bridges
- Adductor Machine
- Calf Raises
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Bench Crunches
Seated Hamstring Curls and Leg Extensions
Labrada opens his session with hamstring curls and leg extensions with slow eccentrics and explosive concentrics. This tempo is more pronounced during hamstring curls. Labrada performs two-to-three-second eccentrics. It appeared that Labrada performed four to five sets of each movement in the 10-15 rep range.
By sustaining more tension on the target muscles during eccentrics (read: when the muscles lengthen), Labrada promotes more muscle growth. A review in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that “eccentric muscle actions resulted in a greater effect size compared with concentric actions…10 percent vs. 6.8 percent, effectively.” (1)
Unilateral Rogers Machine and Glute Bridges
Labrada calls it the “Rogers Machine,” but it might be more commonly known as a pendulum seated squat machine produced by Rogers Athletic. On it, Labrada performs single-leg squats to offset imbalances. He sits upright and squats to a 45-degree angle for maximal leverage and torque for heavy unilateral lifting.
As for glute bridges, Labrada moves in a slow and controlled fashion throughout the set, isolates the glutes, and can help reduce lower back pain.
Adductors, Standing Calf Raises, and Abdominals
Labrada mentioned that while he routinely includes adductor work in his sessions, he never shows it. However, he displayed his standing calf raises, mixing slow and speedy repetitions. He prioritizes high volume for calves, upwards of 15-25 reps per set.
Labrada feels confident about the 2023 Texas Pro because it’s “in his own backyard.” Regardless of how Labrada ranks overall in Texas, his spot in the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest is secure.
Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D. I., Vigotsky, A. D., Franchi, M. V., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Hypertrophic Effects of Concentric vs. Eccentric Muscle Actions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 31(9), 2599–2608. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001983
Featured image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram