April 17

Bodybuilder Hunter Labrada Powers Through a 495-Pound Banded Squat for 17 Reps

By fitness

April 17, 2022

On April 14, 2022, International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League bodybuilder Hunter Labrada confirmed off his energy and stamina within the squat rack. After attaching resistance bands to his rack and barbell, and elevating his heels on small platforms, Labrada squatted 495 kilos for 17 unbroken reps. 

Check out the carry beneath — the place Labrada donned a lifting belt, lifting straps, and knee sleeves — by way of his Instagram profile.

[Related: Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford Shows Off Endurance By Squatting 315 Pounds For 100 Total Reps]

Hunting for More

Like many IFBB Pro League bodybuilders, Labrada is in the course of his low season. Whatever he does to coach and get well has appeared to work out fairly effectively for him all through his profession. Here are Labrada’s full competitors outcomes thus far, per NPC News Online:

  • 2016 National Physique Committee (NPC) Branch Warren Classic (Heavyweight) — 1st place
  • 2016 NPC San Antonio Extravaganza (Super Heavyweight) — 1st place 
  • 2017 NPC Europa Dallas (Super Heavyweight) — 1st place
  • 2018 NPC Junior USA Championships (Super Heavyweight) — 1st place
  • 2018 NPC National Championships (Super Heavyweight) — 1st place | Earned Pro Card
  • 2020 IFBB Tampa Pro (Men’s Open division) — 1st place 
  • 2020 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Men’s Open division) — eighth place 
  • 2021 IFBB Chicago Pro (Men’s Open division) — 1st place 
  • 2021 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Men’s Open division) — 4th place 

It’s not onerous to discover a potential motive why Labrada turned an expert bodybuilder. His father is the legendary Lee Labrada — the 1985 Mr. Universe and a member of the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. His mom, Robin, additionally as soon as competed as a bodybuilder.

It seems Labrada determined to comply with in his mother or father’s footsteps by changing into certainly one of fashionable bodybuilding’s extra notable energetic athletes.

Benefits of Banded, Heel-Elevated Squats

A conventional squat is already a high quality option to activate and develop lower-body muscle tissue. If an athlete provides bands into the combination — which, when pulling towards the athlete’s energy, can add extra resistance to reps — they’re normally aiming for a stiffer problem. The advantages are much more foundational when using bands throughout a high-repetition set like Labrada’s.

Research reveals that utilizing bands in high-repetition weight lifting results in important enhancements in isokinetic energy — the place the velocity of a motion is constant whereas the resistance stays fixed. Athletes who actively work on their isokinetic energy may rehabilitate a preexisting harm by exerting management over the resistance of their carry. (1)

Today I used to be nonetheless just a little gunshy, not going to lie, however there wasn’t any ache like final session, just a bit consciousness within the beforehand injured space.

In Labrada’s case, he wrote in his Instagram caption that he strained his quad frivolously the final time he tried squatting. Utilizing banded squats may have been a way for him to ease again in. 

The similar harm prevention rationale can apply to heel-elevated squats, too. One examine confirmed that athletes who sometimes squatted elevated heels noticed higher hip mobility and ankle flexibility over a constant coaching interval. (2)

By utilizing bands and elevating his heels, Labrada’s squat might need been about taking good care of his quads and making an attempt to enhance features of his decrease physique stability. 

Road to 2022 Mr. Olympia

After a fourth-place end within the 2021 Mr. Olympia, Labrada will once more possible be certainly one of this 12 months’s high contenders for the title. The Open division, specifically, ought to characteristic a stacked subject with names like defending champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay and runner-up Brandon Curry. Provided Labrada stays diligent together with his coaching, he could discover himself supplanting his opponents this time round. 

The 2022 Mr. Olympia will happen on December 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. 


  1. Jee, YS. (2015). Usefulness of measuring isokinetic torque and steadiness capacity for train rehabilitation. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 2015 Apr; 11(2): 65–66.
  2. Sriwarno, A.B., Shimomura, Y., Iwanaga, Okay., Katsuura, T. (2008). The Effects of Heel Elevation on Postural Adjustment and Activity of Lower-Extremity Muscles throughout Deep Squatting-to-Standing Movement in Normal Subjects. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2008 Feb; 20(1): 31-38.

Featured picture: @hunterlabrada on Instagram

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