Hunter Labrada envisions a huge shift in his physique goals moving forward.
Written by Robert Zeglinski
After a disappointing seventh-place finish at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Hunter Labrada seems to be in a state of frank reflection. In mid-January 2023, the elite bodybuilder disclosed he was so upset by his latest Olympia results that he was doing a temporary social media blackout to avoid negative commentary on his performance. At the same time, he vowed to rebound as best as possible, revealing some of his plans to help along that path.
On Feb. 8, 2023, Labrada posted a testimonial to his YouTube channel, where he broke down some of his upcoming plans. Within it, he revealed he would no longer be strictly aiming for size in his training. Instead, the athlete maintained he wants to “minimize his waistline” as he focuses on other details of his physique during the 2023 competitive year.
Aside from tightening his waistline, Labrada was explicit about all of his new goals. He wants to hit the ground running with his off-season, and he wants better digestion as well as a bigger back in the process.
A world of possibilities might open up for a bodybuilder when they’re not pursuing sheer overall size.
“Everything needs to be thicker, but that is a main area [his back] of focus,” Labrada said. “In addition to that, I’m definitely placing a huge emphasis on this — this is going to be my first off-season, where everything else is big enough. I don’t need to be chasing size to the point where I’m hanging over the kitchen sink sick from how full I am all day. This off-season we are going to place a huge emphasis on eating more whole foods and supplementing in a way that we really optimize my digestion and minimize my waistline.”
As for specific ways to improve his physique otherwise, Labrada didn’t mention too many details. He did, however, maintain that he’ll focus on polishing up his abs, specifically with vacuum poses — where an athlete contracts their abs to target the deepest muscles. It’s a thought process that apparently began after his latest Olympia result.
“I’m going to continue training abs like I have been,” Labrada started. “It’s something [vacuum poses] that I started doing after the Olympia. I noticed it made a huge difference already … I’ve been doing them every single morning and it’s made a big difference already in a month. So I’m going to continue beating that drum and checking all the boxes daily, and doing what’s in my control as well as I can do it. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do.”
To achieve his desired redemption, particularly if he should qualify for the 2023 Mr. Olympia, Labrada would likely have to think outside the box to make significant changes. Whether he can translate his new aesthetic-focused plans into something remarkable remains to be seen. Bodybuilding fans can likely be reassured that the experienced athlete will apply his fullest effort and attention to reach his current target.
Featured image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram
About Robert Zeglinski
Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).