Lee Labrada
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Who is Lee Labrada?

Through a distinguished career, Lee Labrada has advanced from collegiate bodybuilder to IFBB Hall of Famer.

Short Career of Lee Labrada

With 25 contests under his belt and 7 straight years finishing in the top 3 of Mr. Olympia, Lee Labrada had accomplished something that only Arnold Schwarzenegger and others like him had done before.

Lee started his own supplement business when he stopped fighting. To ensure his legacy in the fitness industry, his company grew to become one of the biggest in the sector by 2016.

“I would have to say that the 1989 Olympia in Rimini and the 1992 Olympia were probably my best competitions in terms of conditioning”

Body Measurements of Lee Labrada

Full Name: Lee Labrada
ERA: 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010
PROFESSION: Professional Bodybuilder,
ALIAS: leelabrada
HEIGHT: 5’6″(167.5cm)
WEIGHT: 185 to 195 pounds (83.9 to 88.5 kg)

“I entered my first competition in 1978 as a teenager. It was the AAU Teenage Mr. Jacksonville. I think I weighed all of 130 pounds in that show”

Lee Labrada


  • 1978 AAU Teenage Mr. Jacksonville: NP
  • 1982 NPC Collegiate Texas Championships: 1st
  • 1982 NPC Jr. Gulf Coast Championships: 1st
  • 1983 NPC Texas Bodybuilding Championships: 1st
  • 1984 NPC USA Bodybuilding Championships: 1st Runner-up
  • 1985 NPC World Amateur Championships: 1st (Pro Card)
  • 1985 IFBB Mr. Universe: 1st
  • 1986 IFBB Night of Champions: 1st
  • 1987 IFBB Professional World Championships: 1st Runner-up
  • 1987 Mr. Olympia: 2nd Runner-Up
  • 1988 Mr. Olympia: 3rd Runner-Up
  • 1988 Greek Grand Prix: 1st
  • Also, 1988 British Grand Prix: 1st
  • 1988 Spanish Grand Prix: 1st
  • 1989 Mr. Olympia: 1st Runner-Up
  • 1989 British Grand Prix: 1st
  • Also, 1989 Netherlands Grand Prix: 1st
  • 1989 Finnish Grand Prix: 1st
  • 1990 Mr. Olympia: 1st Runner-Up
  • 1991 Mr. Olympia: 3rd Runner-Up
  • 1992 Mr. Olympia: 2nd Runner-Up
  • 1992 Pro World Cup:1st
  • 1993 Ironman Invitational: 1st Runner-Up
  • Also, 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic: 1st Runner-Up
  • 1993 Mr. Olympia: 3rd Runner-Up

“I was one of those bodybuilders that never had trouble developing body parts evenly”


Childhood and the First Competition

Lee, a Havana, Cuba, native, has always been passionate about exercise. At the age of 16, in 1976, he started working out in the gym to accentuate his naturally thin body.

He quickly made improvements and started building a fantastic physique. At the 1978 AAU Teenage Mr. Jacksonville competition, Lee entered his first contest two years later, when he was 18 years old.

Even though he didn’t place it, Lee had entered the world of professional bodybuilding. This inspired him to continue his career-related adventure.


At the age of 22, Lee had success following four years of rigorous training and nutrition. He left the 1982 NPC Collegiate Texas Championships with the championship medal.

He established a name for himself as a young athlete by winning the NPC Junior Gulf Coast Championships in the same year.

But he had only barely begun.

Acquiring his Pro Card

Lee decided to only participate in two tournaments between 1982 and 1983 to concentrate on building his body. Although he finished first and second during this time, his greatest accomplishment to date occurred a year later.

As a middleweight, Lee competed in his first international competition at the NPC World Amateur Championships in 1985. He was able to come in first and receive his Pro Card despite the fierce competition.

At the age of 25, Lee attained his goal of being a professional bodybuilder after years of arduous labor.

A Professional Bodybuilder’s Life

In the same year, Lee competed in the 1985 Mr. Universe, his first professional competition. He carried over his amateur success into his professional career and won the trophy.

Lee was known as one of the most promising young bodybuilders of this period. He was aware that to deliver, he had to improve his game.

He came back stronger the following year, at the age of 26, to win the 1986 IFBB Night of Champions.

Lee was on the road to becoming a legend in the sport after impressively defeating seasoned competitors like Berry DeMey and Robby Robinson to win the title.

Getting Popular

In the following six years of his career, Lee finished in the top 17 of 17 tournaments, taking home six victories.

With each competition he participated in, he earned greater popularity and was quickly regarded as one of the top athletes in the business.

By 1993, Lee had established himself as a bodybuilding legend and was serving as an inspiration to the next wave of fitness enthusiasts. He performed on stage for the final time this year.

After finishing in the top 3 of the most prestigious competition, Mr. Olympia retired from competition at the age of 33. But he wasn’t about to abandon his love of physical exercise.

Starting his Businesses

Two years after his retirement, Lee managed to keep his name in the business. He founded his own dietary supplement business and launched his product line in 1995.

Lee quickly added entrepreneurship to his resume thanks to the transfer of his work ethic from the gym to the business sector.

His company quickly grew to be one of the biggest of its sort in America within only a few years.

After putting up his boots, Lee succeeded in achieving his goal.

A Place of Honor

Lee’s incredibly successful 15-year bodybuilding career was instantly noticed in the media.

He was admitted to the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2004. He had made history by making the coveted shortlist alongside people like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I think cardio is a good aid. I didn’t rely heavily on cardio. I’ve always had a pretty fast metabolism and my cardio consisted of 20-30 minutes, five days a week”

Lee Labrada


Six days a week, Lee worked hard at the gym. Lee Labrada used a three-day split, training every muscle twice.

Lee Labrada was a fervent supporter of HIIT, just like other bodybuilders of the time. Instead of the typical 1-3 sets, he tried to perform 6-8 reps.

He just ran for about 30 minutes over five days to maintain his cardio fitness.

Exercise routine:

  • Monday – Chest, and Shoulders
  • Tuesday – Back and Arms
  • Wednesday – Legs and Abs
  • Thursday – Chest, and Shoulders,
  • Friday – Back and Arms
  • Saturday – Legs and Abs
  • Sunday – Rest

“I would eat six meals per day with an average of about 40 grams of protein with each meal. I would just manipulate the carbohydrate and fat intake according to my energy needs”


Throughout his career, Lee ate six meals a day to support the growth and accelerated metabolism of his physique. Lean proteins, complex carbs, and good fats were the main components of his meal plans.

Food menu

Lee’s diet would resemble the following:

  • Meal 1 – 10 Egg Whites, 1 cup Oatmeal, 1 cup Greek Zero Fat Yoghurt, 1 Tablespoon Fish Oil
  • Meal 2 – Whey Protein
  • Also, Meal 3 – 8oz Chicken Breast, 10oz Sweet Potato, 1 cup Vegetables, Nuts, Almonds, Cashews, and Seeds
  • Meal 4 – 8oz Chicken Breast, 1.5 cups Rice and Black Beans, 1 cup Vegetables, Granola Muffin
  • Also, Meal 5 – 8oz Salmon, Orange Roughy or Halibut, 10oz Sweet Potato, 1 cup Vegetables, Sorbet
  • Meal 6 – Whey Protein and 1 tablespoon of Fish Oil

Supplements Stack:

  • Whey Protein
  • BCAA
  • Glutamine
  • Pre-Workout

Influences and Idols

Lee was competing against other sports legends, and he took inspiration from them. He cites Lee Haney and Flex Wheeler as the two people that inspired him most and motivated him to work harder and accomplish more.

He also names Dorian Yates as the opponent who has tested him the most mentally.

How can Lee Labrada teach us?

It’s never too early to begin pursuing your aspirations, Lee Labrada has taught us. At the age of 16, he started working out in the gym and getting ready for his first contest.

One lesson we may learn from Lee’s tale is that everything is achievable with effort and willpower. He continued to be successful after retiring, having become the most successful person in the industry of gym supplements.