Samson Dauda’s Off-Season Arm and Shoulder Workout | BarBend

The Nigerian lion pumps iron while on vacation in Crete, Greece.

Men’s Open bodybuilder Samson Dauda broke into the highest levels of the IFBB Mens Open division by winning the 2023 Arnold Classic and finishing third behind Derek Lunsford and Hadi Choopan at Olympia 2023. He continued his podium streak with a runner-up finish behind Choopan at the 2024 Arnold Classic and the 2024 Arnold Classic UK.

On April 22, 2024, Dauda posted a video on his YouTube channel revealing his hypertrophy-focused off-season arm and shoulder training during his off-season.

Samson Daudas Arm and Shoulder Training

Here is a summary of the high volume training session:

Check out Dauda’s training below:

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One Arm Dumbbell Curls

Unilateral training is excellent for identifying and correcting any strength or muscle imbalances. Although not as efficient as standard training, unilateral training helps ensure muscle symmetry as the dominant arm cannot dominate the non-dominant arm.

Dauda opened with 18 kilogram (40 lb) dumbbells, progressed to 20 kilograms (45 lb) for the second set and concluded with 24 kilograms (53 lb).

Concentration curls

Dauda performed concentration curls in a hip hinge, with the torso parallel to the floor. His non-working arm was positioned on the dumbbell rack. Fully extend your elbows at the bottom to get a deeper bicep stretch.

After a set of transverse concentration curls, Dauda adjusted the exercise, placing the forearm at 90 degrees to better isolate the bicep. He used momentum in his final reps, moving his torso to train after a mechanical failure.

Smith Machine close grip bench press

Dauda held the Smith Machine bar shoulder-width apart to bias the triceps. Lower the bar until it is a few inches from your chest while keeping your elbows close to your sides and stop at full elbow extension at the top of your range of motion (ROM) to maintain constant tension on the triceps

The 32-year-old used slow eccentrics and paused in the fully shortened position to increase time under tension (TUT) and maximize muscle hypertrophy. (1) Dauda started with a 10-kilo plate on each side, gradually adding a weight plate per side until he reached three plates in his final set.

Superset: Rope tricep extensions and cable bicep curls

Cable rope extensions bias the medial and lateral triceps heads. Staying in line with the directions of the previous exercise, Dauda used slow eccentrics and paused in the fully flexed position.

Dauda secured two D-handle attachments to a single pulley for cable bicep curls. He gripped the handles in a tight, supine grip.

Superset: Smith machine shoulder press behind the neck and lateral cable raises

Dauda performed presses behind the neck while sitting on a weight bench. He lowered the bar until it was at the base of his skull, then fully extended his elbows at the top.

The bodybuilder performed lateral cable raises on a functional trainer, standing slightly behind the pulleys. He held the right Annex D with his left hand and vice versa with the other. While maintaining a slight elbow bend, Dauda raised the arms out to the sides until they were parallel to bias the lateral deltoids.

Back Cable Delt Flyes

Dauda brought the pulleys to eye level. He grabbed the cables and stepped back to attach the weights. He retracted his scapulae, pulled the cables out to the sides with a slight elbow bend, and paused at the top to fully shorten the delts.

Daudas’ bronze medal performance at the 2023 Olympia earned her qualification for the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for October 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. He remains one of the leading candidates to challenge Lunsford for the Olympia throne.


  1. Azevedo PHSM, Oliveira MGD, Schoenfeld BJ. Effect of different eccentric tempos on lower limb hypertrophy and strength. Sports Biol. 2022;39(2):443-449. doi:10.5114/biolsport.2022.105335

Featured Image: @samson__dauda on Instagram

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