Samson Dauda carries a ton of momentum with him into the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest through his qualification via his 2023 Arnold Classic victory — the second-most prestigious bodybuilding competition behind the Olympia. He outscored a stacked roster that included former two-time Mr. Olympia champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, 2022 Mr. Olympia bronze medalist Nick Walker, William Bonac, and Andrew Jacked.
On Sept. 26, 2023, Hosstile (Dauda’s sponsor) published a video on its YouTube channel wherein Dauda trained chest and calves with the social media bodybuilding sensation Sam Sulek and former IFBB Pro bodybuilder Fouad Abiad at the Iron Factory Gym, Pittsburgh, PA. Check it out below:
Samson Dauda 2023 Olympia Chest Workout
Here is a snapshot of Dauda’s chest and calves workout:
- Superset — Machine Standing Calf Raise & Seated Calf Raise
- Smith Machine Incline Bench Press
- Machine Incline Chest Press
- Pec Deck Flye
- Dumbbell Squeeze Press
Superset — Machine Standing Calf Raise & Seated Calf Raise
Dauda opened with a standing and seated calf raise superset. Standing calf raises biases the gastrocnemius — the chief muscle of the calf — whereas the seated variation biases the soleus. Visually, from the front, the former is on the inside of the shin, while the latter is outside the shin.
Dauda moved through his full range of motion, contracting his calves to their fully shortened position. This appeared as an additional squeeze at the top of each rep, though it was all one movement.
Smith Machine Incline Bench Press
Dauda set the incline bench to 45 degrees and grabbed the barbell with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip to bias his upper pecs. He kept his chest proud and scapula depressed while controlling the bar as it touched his sternum and through the concentric just shy of lockout.
Each exercise featured a feeder set of 15 reps, which helped drill the exercise mechanics, warming up the target and supporting muscles. He lowered the reps with each progressively heavier set.
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Machine Incline Chest Press & Pec Deck Flye
Dauda employed slow eccentrics on the incline chest press for increased time under tension. A randomized control trial in the Neuro Endocrinology Letters found that “slow eccentrics may decrease the amount of total work (i.e., fewer repetitions with the same load), but the increased time under tension seems to drive hormonal responses and neurological response, which may play a large role in stimulating muscle growth, coordination, and movement stability.” (1)
To avoid his chest from caving during the pec deck flye, which would mean his anterior deltoids are taking a bunch of the load, Dauda pulled his shoulder blades back and down and kept his chin raised throughout the exercise. Sticking to technique cues from the previous exercise, Dauda used slow eccentrics to load his chest. After reaching mechanical failure, Dauda performed partial reps to muscle failure to bias hypertrophy. (2)
Dumbbell Squeeze Press
This dumbbell bench press variation involves holding dumbbells with a neutral grip and squeezing them together over the chest throughout the range of motion. Dauda kept his elbows tight to his sides during eccentrics, driving his biceps together throughout the concentrics with a pause at the top.
Road to 2023 Olympia
With the 2023 Arnold Classic win, Dauda is one of the premier threats to reigning Mr. Olympia champion Hadi Choopan at the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL. The 2022 Olympia silver medalist Derek Lunsford, former Olympia champ Brandon Curry, Walker, and Jacked are other notable contenders. We’ll see if the additional muscle tissue Dauda has added to his frame since March will help him achieve the Sandow trophy.
- Wilk M, Stastny P, Golas A, Nawrocka M, Jelen K, Zajac A, Tufano JJ. Physiological responses to different neuromuscular movement task during eccentric bench press. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2018 Mar;39(1):26-32. PMID: 29803204.
- Goto M, Maeda C, Hirayama T, Terada S, Nirengi S, Kurosawa Y, Nagano A, Hamaoka T. Partial Range of Motion Exercise Is Effective for Facilitating Muscle Hypertrophy and Function Through Sustained Intramuscular Hypoxia in Young Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 May;33(5):1286-1294. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002051. PMID: 31034463.
Featured image: @samson__dauda on Instagram