Hunter Labrada Teaches You How one can Hack Squat

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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 speak entails the sweat, pain, and sometimes tears it takes to make heavy iron transfer as easily as a knife by heat butter, you’ll shortly be taught 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 individual,” the son of bodybuilding legend Lee Labrada admits. “However I’ve reached the purpose the place I’ve taken a lot satisfaction in the place I’ve gotten in bodybuilding. So every time I do units like I do, the feelings aren’t a foul factor, however only a place I have to 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 type 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 damage trigger it’s the identical factor I’ve carried out 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 ultimately, 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 truthfully have horrible style in my mouth till the subsequent 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 practically 4 years in the past, Hunter has stored every set, rep, and weight of each one among his exercises documented the old school manner—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 principally carried out the identical exercises for the final two years. I’d say 90% of the time, identical workouts, identical rep ranges, identical quantity of working set, identical every little thing. The one factor totally different is I’m making an attempt to push both extra weight on the bar or the quantity of reps.”

Throughout his Olympia reign, Yates stated he most popular one-set coaching as a result of, fairly frankly, that was all he wanted to realize “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 methodology, to me, is changing into extra prevalent — numerous the youthful established guys are beginning to prepare utilizing this methodology.”


Don’t be mistaken — Hunter doesn’t simply stroll into the health club, let loose just a few 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.

“, 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 into 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, every little thing is rocked and able to go.”

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

“The very first thing by my head is, ‘Holy shit! That was heavy,” he says. ”It’s simply a type of issues, like I stated, I’ve received 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 really doing it. So my tooth naked down and do what I must do. That’s the easiest way to place it within the enterprise.”

Now, as Olympia approaches, you may 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.

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