At that time, the legendary Steve Reeves was known, among other things, for his perfect care. Hair, teeth, skin, nails – Reeves was Mr. Perfection. I always thought the same thing about Lee Labrad. I remember having dinner with him at a restaurant once, and when he finished, Lee immediately went and brushed his teeth.
But even more impressive is that he was one of the few bodybuilders I worked with who kept improving until he retired. If Lee had come a few years earlier when Mr. Olympia held in two classes – over and under 200 pounds – would win the lightweight class as Franco Columbu before him.
Lee had a great figure, but a small frame – 5’6 ‘at about 185 pounds. Small enough to be too big to stand next to someone like Lee Haney. But that didn’t stop him from placing in the top 4 in 7 consecutive Mr. Olympia. And that didn’t stop him from showing up in great shape every time and continuing to improve his physique.
I used to think that his head seemed disproportionately large given his traps and shoulders. Not by much, but noticeable. But year after year, Lee kept evolving his traps and deltas, and when he decided to step away from the competition and focus on his accessories business, he put almost everything in perfect proportion.
Lee subsequently introduced the same kind of intelligence and discipline into business as into competitive bodybuilding. Labrada Nutrition was a great success and Lee remained a major force in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. At the same time, he was and remains a devoted family man. Proof of this is the bodybuilding success of his son Hunter, who almost immediately launched a rocket to win a place on the stage. Olympia. Hunter has a much larger figure than his father, which is a good thing in this age of muscle monsters. But he also seems to have inherited discipline and work ethic from his dad, because regardless of your genetics, you won’t achieve this kind of quick success without a lot of hard and consistent effort.
The “Labrado effect” is therefore passed down from generation to generation. And both these bodybuilders, father and son, should be role models for younger bodybuilders who hope to achieve the same kind of success: discipline, hard and consistent work, a “clean” lifestyle and attention to detail.
When you crave greatness, EVERYTHING COUNTS!
Lee Bodybuilding Competition History:
- 1995 Arnold Classic: 4th second place
- 1993 Mr. Olympia: 3rd place
- 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic: 1st Runner-Up
- 1993 Ironman Invitation: 1. Runner-Up
- 1992 Pro World Cup: 1
- 1992 Mr. Olympia: 2nd place
- 1991 Mr. Olympia: 3rd place
- 1990 Mr. Olympia: 1st place
- Finnish Grand Prix 1989: 1
- Dutch Grand Prix 1989: 1
- British Grand Prix 1989: 1
- 1989 Mr. Olympia: 1st place
- Grand Prix of Spain 1988: 1
- British Grand Prix 1988: 1
- Greek Grand Prix 1988: 1
- 1988 Mr. Olympia: 3rd place
- 1988 Mr. Olympia: 3rd place
- 1987 Mr. Olympia: 2nd place
- 1987 IFBB Professional World Championships: 1st runner-up
- 1986 IFBB Night of Champions: 1
- 1985 IFBB Mr. Universe: 1
- 1985 NPC Nationals: 1
- US NPC Bodybuilding Championships 1984: 1st place
- 1983 NPC Texas Bodybuilding Championships: 1
- 1982 NPC Jr. Championship Gulf Coast: 1
- 1982 NPC Collegiate Texas Championships: 1