Lee Labrada is a popular personality in the world of bodybuilding and is better known by his nickname ‘Mass with Class’. He was a former professional IFBB bodybuilder who went on to be a published author and a successful entrepreneur.
Early years and life of Lee Labrada
Lee Labrada Mr. Olympia 1989
Lee was born in Havana in Cuba in the year 1956, on the 8th of March. It was the year of Fidel Castro’s entrenchment and so at the age of two, he moved to the United States with his grandmother and his parents joined them later. His childhood was spent growing up in places, like Chicago, Illinois and in Jacksonville in Florida. He started training at the age of 16 to become stronger and bigger in order to play football but realized that he was a better bodybuilder than a footballer. It was in Jacksonville that he experienced his first victory as he participated in the Teen Jacksonville in the year 1978 and dwarfed the others at a height of 5’6” and weighing 130 pounds.
Post that, Lee studied at the Northwestern University and later he moved to Houston in Texas in the year 1979 to pursue his studies by earning a bachelor’s degree of engineering from the University of Houston. Simultaneously, he worked on his physique and built one of the best bodies to be seen on the international bodybuilding stage.
Lee in 1985
He repeatedly tried to earn the Procard for professional bodybuilders. After several unsuccessful attempts finally, he achieved it by competing in the World Amateur Championship in 1985 in Sweden and winning in the middleweight category.
Regarding his personal life, he married Robin Dickerson in the year 1986 and has three sons named Hunter Labrada, Blade Labrada and Pierce Labrada.
Professional life and bodybuilding history of Lee Labrada
Lee Labrada was probably one of the shortest bodybuilders with a height of 1.68m to compete on the international arena, but he was one of the finest and always placed within the top three in most of the events and championships that he participated in. In fact, his total count of bodybuilding titles earned professionally equal to 22 with even the coveted Mr. Universe title in his kitty.
Lee training footage
Lee started competing in competitive championships from the year 1982 where he won the Texas Collegiate Championships by the NPC (i.e National Physique Committee) and continued to win laurel in other championships. The jewel in the crown was winning the coveted Mr. Universe title from IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) in the year 1985, followed by the first place secured in the IFBB Night of Champions in the year 1986. The first time he participated in the Mr. Olympia championship was in the year 1987 where he secured the third place. He participated in Mr. Olympia championships in all the subsequent years (7 years in a row) and always managed to score a rank (thus sharing the feat with Arnold Schwarzenegger) within the first five places, but never did he win the coveted title.
He retired from professional bodybuilding in the year 1995 where his farewell performance was in the IFBB Arnold Classic event where his ranking of 5th place was one of his first dismal performances.
Lee Labrada, the entrepreneur, and author
Labrada Nutrition – The Labrada Story – The Most Trusted Name in Sports Nutrition
Lee retired from professional bodybuilding, but he continued to believe in his ideologies regarding strength, fitness and improved health. His desire to reach out to others and help them achieve their fitness goals led him to turn into an entrepreneur where he founded a company, Labrada Nutrition, which creates nutrition and sports supplements products and has won numerous awards for the same. The company became just as popular as him in a short span of time and earned the status of a Fortune 500 company in just 6 years from its inception. The company also qualified as a finalist for the Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the year award twice, in the year 2004 and 2008. In fact, in the bodybuilding world, Labrada Nutrition is a name to reconnect for its supplements as well as fitness tips, videos, and blogs.
Hobbies and other achievements
Apart from being a great bodybuilder and an inspirational fitness entrepreneur, Lee Labrada also has a keen interest in music especially the guitar and he released an album titled Eternity that showcased his talent as a musician.
He even wrote a book on exercise and nutrition titled ‘The Lean Body Promise’ in 2005 where he shared his personal fitness and nutrition tips. The book went on to be a bestseller and was followed by many others.
His achievements earned him an induction into the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame in the year 2004.
Thus, the Mass with the Class continues to be an inspiration and role model to bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike.
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