The 2023 Arnold Classic crowned a first-time champion in Samson Dauda on March 4, 2023, in Columbus, OH. The decision by the judges was a nailbiter between the “Nigerian Lion” and runner-up Nick Walker.
The commentary team covering the Men’s Open at the Arnold Classic was torn on who brought the better package between the top two athletes but agreed that it could have gone either way. The judges on the day felt Dauda brought a better physique.
On March 9, 2023, Dauda published to his YouTube channel a video that displayed his final arm workout before pre-judging on March 3, 2023. Check out that video below, followed by a breakdown of his arm routine:
Dauda’s Arm Workout One Day Before 2023 Arnold Classic
While the number of sets and reps was not disclosed in the video, the exercises performed by Dauda are below:
- Preacher Curls — Weighted at Each Range
- Triceps Pushdowns
- Preacher Curls — Weighted Evenly
- Single-Arm Dumbbell Hammer Curls
- Triceps Cable Extensions
For the preacher curls, Dauda’s coach Milos Sarcev placed the weight plate on the highest weight-sleeve on the machine. That meant more tension was applied to the biceps at peak contraction, training the biceps heavier in their shortened position.
Sarcev moved the weight plate to lower weight sleeves after 10 or so reps. While this appears akin to a drop set, the weight distribution throughout the set biases the biceps throughout their different ranges — shortened, midrange, and lengthened.
Without rest, Dauda superset the preacher curls with triceps pushdowns. The machine used appeared to have a narrow grip compared to Dauda’s wider frame, which compelled him to let his elbows flare outward. This wasn’t disruptive to his form, however, as the intention in triceps pushdowns is to achieve as much elbow flexion as possible to put the emphasis of the concentric on the triceps as opposed to the chest or front delts.
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On to the 2023 Olympia
Although not everyone agreed with Dauda’s victory at the 2023 Arnold Classic, including 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout, the scorecards stand. Aside from the $300,000 check that accompanied Dauda’s victory, the biggest prize was a qualification for the 2023 Olympia contest on Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL.
As Dauda just ranked higher than the 2022 Mr. Olympia bronze medalist (Walker), we’ll see if he can further improve his physique to oust reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan to claim the most coveted title in bodybuilding.
Featured image: @samson__dauda on Instagram