HomeArticlesChristian Duque

Hunter Labrada Dominates the 2023 Tampa Pro!

by Christian Duque

This is the way you want to win a pro show. You want to make a lot of noise pre-contest posting update after update, doing interviews, and letting the fans know what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. The more transparent you are, the better. The more you let the people see the more they will reward you when you present the full package on a contest stage. And that’s exactly what Hunter Labrada did for the Titan Medical 2023 Tampa Pro. This is a Tim Gardner production and all the stops were pulled. There’s also the old school way to go about getting ready for a show, but not all things yesteryear are the way to go, today.

We live in an age dominated by social media and bodybuilding enthusiasts don’t respond too well to the way things were done in the Yates era or even the Big Ramy/Hadi Choopan eras.

How many people are furious that the reigning Mr. Olympia is more like a ghost than an ambassador? He doesn’t work expos, he doesn’t do guest posing – he wasn’t even at the President’s show in Pittsburgh. When’s the last time since Choopan and Ramy that a reigning Mr. Olympia would skip Jim’s show? That’s almost unheard of. The reality of the matter is that hunkering down and disappearing before prep does nothing to promote that athlete, his sponsors, or grow his fanbase and that of the sport. The reality of the matter is that the more transparent you are, the better. Hunter took this formula to the fullest. He was always on IG, YouTube, and probably every other platform. In fact, check out his Instagram. There’s some killer reels and stories and the engagement is through the roof.

What’s really cool about what Hunter did is that he was able to look amazing on people’s phones, but he was able to live up to the hype in person. There’s so many times when a physique-based athlete uses special effects, goon lighting, shadows, and photoshop to present a look that’s near perfect on social media platforms, but when they appear behind a booth or to guest pose, they look like someone totally different. This leaves a really bitter taste with the fans. After all, it’s tantamount to fraud.

So many people will buy tickets to a contest, invest money in supplements, and tune into various interviews all based on how a competitor looks. After all, it’s no different with musicians and movie stars. People identify with the look an athlete has been able to build and that look is why they’re fans of. Some fans take their support so far that they want to look just like the people they look up to. Then when they finally meet them or they see them take the stage and look totally different, it’s like egg on their face.

Hunter Labrada not only lived up to the hype – he exceeded it! The second he took the stage in Tampa it became very obvious that we were witnessing a Top 6 Olympian at work. The confidence was 100% there and rightfully so. When a guy is on, he just totally knocks it out of the park. That level of bravado can only be the product of everything coming together at a given time. And what’s even crazier is that many believe that the Tampa Pro served as a warm-up of sorts for Labrada’s showdown with Andrew Jacked in Texas. The reality of the matter is that Hunter has consistently improved and reached higher levels of professionalism and competitiveness throughout his very short pro career. He’s most definitely on track for another key win, although Texas will prove to raise the stakes as he’ll be up against more Olympia and Arnold level athletes. He’s not concerned with who will be there. After all, after what he accomplished in Tampa, Texas is his show to lose. And I say that without any disrespect to Jacked or the other top notch competitors that will be there.

Interestingly, if Labrada wins again in Texas, he will keep another man from qualifying for the Olympia. This is not to say he should pull out, it’s just to make the point that the sport is on a completely different page than it was just a year ago. No more can guys accumulate points to compete in the contest known as the Superbowl of Bodybuilding. The only men that will compete at Joe Weider’s Olympia this November in Orlando, FL, will be guys who have qualified by placing Top 6 at last year’s Olympia, who have won a pro show, or who are past Mr. Olympia winners.

Hunter may have been out of last year’s Top 6 by one measly placing, but he’s very much solidified himself as a Top guy 6 by what he did in Tampa and by what he’ll likely do in Texas. Plus the guy who kept from him the Top 6 last year was none other than Andrew Jacked, so the showdown in Texas is extra special for that purpose. Who knows who will prevail?

Hunter is a guy who hit the ground running. It’s hard for me to believe how much he’s done in such a relatively short amount of time. You must keep in mind that I interviewed Hunter at the Nationals when he turned Pro and now he’s being discussed as a potential, future Mr. Olympia. And by future, I mean just about three months away. I totally believe he could win THIS YEAR. I’m not talking about several years down the road; I’m not even talking about next year. I’m talking about this year’s Olympia that will be held in less than three months. I truly believe Hunter can win it all. That’s where the sport is today. While everyone is looking at Hadi and Derek and maybe Nick Walker, I truly believe Hunter deserves to be included in the conversation.

The fact Labrada is a prodigy speaks even more to my point. If anyone thinks his last name opened doors for him, forget that, Jack! Prodigies have it way harder because it’s not just about being the best version of themselves possible, but they live in the shadow of their superstar fathers. In Hunter’s case, Lee Labrada pushed The Totally Awesome Lee Haney, and he did it without ever breaking 200lbs! Talk about a genetic freak and posing god! Lee Labrada was absolutely flawless and if Hunter was to make a name for himself he had to create his own niche. He had to be that good. And that’s how good he is!

I think the sky’s the limit for Hunter Labrada. I also think he could win the 2023 Mr. Olympia. What do you think? As always, thanks for reading my article, here, at Iron Magazine. I look forward to reading your feedback in the comments. Be sure to share a link to this article on your social media feeds. It’s sure to generate some pretty lively conversations – I guarantee it!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

ironmagazine.com Newsletter

Unsubscribe at anytime,  no spam & we do not sell your info!

This will close in 0 seconds

IronMag Labs Andro Creams

This will close in 0 seconds

Muscle Gelz Heal

This will close in 0 seconds