Posing Like a Pro by Lee Labrada

Not long ago, bodybuilders with an eye toward competing had to hire a personal posing coach to get schooled on the finer aspects of looking good onstage. Sometimes that meant traveling hundreds of miles, and more often than not putting out a few hundred dollars.

All that changed with the Internet.

Today, you can hire an online coach, but why fork over the cash when you've now got access to another source-free instructional videos-that are worth their weight in gold? Get a head start on your posing skills by learning the basics from one of bodybuilding's all-time best posers, Lee Labrada. His nine-part video coaching clinic is called "Posing Like A Pro."

A pro bodybuilding Hall of Famer who finished in the top four of the Mr. Olympia seven years running, Labrada is considered one of the sport's elite posers and is best known for his classical posing style.

In this "Posing Like a Pro" video series, Labrada will be your posing coach, providing an opportunity to learn from his extensive knowledge and years of experience. He shares his wealth of knowledge through all rounds of a bodybuilding competition, including how to stand "relaxed," quarter turns, mandatory poses, choosing your best freestyle poses, and how to arrange your routine to music.

You'll learn how to hold each mandatory pose from head to toe, and how to avoid common mistakes even advanced competitors make. Labrada also includes plenty of tips on how to best show off your physique to your advantage.

With bodybuilder Ryan Workman serving as the model, Labrada explains the basic posing principles, as well as common mistakes many posers make, and how to present your finished work of art.

1Overview of Lee Labrada's Approach to Posing

In this introductory video, Labrada explains the various posing rounds in a bodybuilding competition, and provides an overview of quarter turns and mandatory poses from front, sides, and back, as well as free-style posing. He also explains the difference between static and dynamic posing, and why each is important for the competitive bodybuilder.

2How to Do the Quarter Turn

Labrada shows you how to stand relaxed from all sides in the first round of a contest, as well as why you should be mindful of how you look the second you walk onstage.

3How to Do Mandatory Poses From the Front

Labrada offers detailed instruction on how to complete the three front poses:

  • » Front double biceps
  • » Front lat spread
  • » Hands over head abdominals with leg extended

4How to Do Mandatory Side Poses

Turning to one side or the other offers different challenges for the poser, which Labrada addresses with lessons on side chest and side triceps poses.

5How to Do Mandatory Rear Poses

Completing poses in which you can't see what you're doing is one of the more difficult aspects of posing. In this lesson, Labrada covers two poses done from the rear: the back double triceps pose and the back lat-spread pose.

6How to Do Freestyle Posing

Freestyle posing gives you the opportunity to showcase your muscular development and symmetry, especially your strong points. In this tutorial, Labrada explains the intricacies of the mandatory round and how to select your poses.

7Creating Your Own 60-Second Routine

Labrada shows you how to construct a routine based on a 3/3 method. He teaches the importance of transitions to keep the routine fluid so you look coordinated and graceful, and stresses the importance of facial expressions to enhance the pose.

8Creating Your Own 90-Second Routine (With Music)

With the 90-second routine, you can add your own creativity to accompany 15 poses. Labrada advises inserting your most impactful poses into the high points of the music, and filling out your routine from there, still working in a counter-clockwise direction.

*Please note that at state level NPC competitions, like the NPC Lee Labrada Classic, competitors are allowed a maximum of 60 seconds to perform their posing routine. Please keep this in mind when watching these videos.

9Putting It All Together (90-second routine)

In this final session, Labrada recaps the process of creating your routine with music, and offers tips on how to fine-tune it to ensure it matches up with the highs of the audio. He also provides a finished example of how it should look when completed.

*Please note that at state level NPC competitions, like the NPC Lee Labrada Classic, competitors are allowed a maximum of 60 seconds to perform their posing routine. Please keep this in mind when watching these videos.


2 April 1991
Minnesota (birthplace)
Texas (currently)

I started working out when I was in the 7th grade, I was 12 or 13 years old.. I didn’t want to be a small kid. I was very inconsistent with hitting weights at that age until I was about 16 when my dad bought equipment for a home gym.

I didn’t get into the fitness industry until I finished serving 5 years active duty in the US Army. I was 23 years old at the time and my goals honestly were never with competing. At the time, I wanted to try & follow in Greg Plitt’s footsteps. My plan was to build as big of a following as I could to reach and inspire as many people to change their lives by chasing their dreams. I wanted to be a motivational speaker and land as many fitness magazines as I possibly could. This was until I was invited to shoot with some photographers at the 2014 Mr Olympia, I watched the men’s physique category and felt I had what it takes to compete with the very best guys in the world in that division. I did my very first competition the next month , and 4 weeks after I went on to earn my IFBB Pro card by winning the overall at the NPC National Championship.

I competed in mens physique from October 2014 through March of 2019, managing to earn my way to the Mr Olympia in 2016-17-18, placing 7th, 9th, 11th. Mens physique pro shows that I won are Dallas Europa & the Tampa pro. I also competed in the Arnold Classic in 2018 & 2019 placing 4th both times, and decided my journey in mens physique was over after my 2019 Arnold Classic showing.

I felt my potential lied elsewhere, in a division that I knew would challenge me greater than anything I had done so far. I was intrigued by the new division, and wanted yo take a chance at greatness.

My Classic debut was the 2019 Tampa Pro just a few months after my final mens physique showing. I weighed 204lbs and managed to break into the top 3 for a 3rd place finish. The following year in 2020, my wife Marissa & I had our son on May 1 where I became a Dad. This took my focus and vision to a completely new level. My next competition was the 2020 NY Pro, at 214lbs I won with a perfect score on the judges scorecards, qualifying me for the 2020 Mr Olympia in classic physique where I placed 9th. After my showing I immediately got back to work, trying to figure out every way I could improve, so I got to work on my 2021 season.

I competed in the Texas Pro where I was beaten by a 1 point decision - yet managed to take home the best poser award out of the entire show. Weeks later I was invited to the Arnold Classic where I battled with the top guys of the division and placed 3rd and once again being awarded the Best Poser, beating out Terrence Ruffin. After the Arnold Classic, I turned my focus to the Shawn Ray Hawaiian Classic - where I earned my 2nd Classic physique Pro victory qualifying for the 2022 Mr Olympia.


Hunter Labrada is a top contender for the 2022 Mr. Olympia title.

At 5’9” and 285lbs, Hunter’s physique is not only massive, but balanced and symmetrical. His huge back and legs, combined with a small waist, provide a great advantage for Hunter in competition.

Being one of the youngest pros in men’s open bodybuilding makes Hunter a rising star with pro bodybuilding legend potential.

Hunter placed 4th in last year’s 2021
Mr. Olympia, a big jump in placing over his 8th place 2020 Mr. Olympia debut.
And Hunter plans to keep climbing to the top! 

Hunter has won every bodybuilding show he has entered with the exception of the ultimate prize, the coveted Mr. Olympia title.

He is a past winner of both the 2021 IFBB Chicago Pro, and the 2020 IFBB Tampa Pro which was his rookie debut. Hunter won the NPC Nationals bodybuilding championship in 2018.

Be sure to watch Hunter Labrada and his dynamic guest posing at the 2022 NPC Lee Labrada Classic!

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