How Samson Dauda Trains During Peak Week for the 2024 Arnold Classic

Four days before his first title defense at the 2024 Arnold Classic (AC) in Columbus, OH, 2023 AC champion Samson Dauda pulled back on the curtain on preparation. On Feb. 26, 2024, Dauda uploaded his intense back training on his YouTube channel — his first training session of peak week, comprised of the following:

Samson Dauda’s Peak Week Back Workout 

Superset: Close-Grip Lat Pulldown & Seated Cable Rows

Superset: Seated Machine Horizontal Row & Machine Pullover

Rear Pulldown

Rack Pull

Watch the 2023 Mr. Olympia bronze medalist’s 2024 AC prep below:

Dauda’s morning session featured fasted cardio; a 45-minute walk on the treadmill. He ate a light breakfast of three whole eggs and vegetables. His second meal included 200 grams of sweet potatoes and 200 grams of steak.

Despite a severe calorie deficit, Dauda maintains high intensity while training with his coach, Milos Sarcev, supporting reps to failure each set.

Superset — Close-Grip Lat Pulldown & Seated Cable Row

Dauda executes lat pulldowns using a neutral and pronated hybrid grip on a W-shaped bar attachment. He supersets them with seated cable rows using a V-bar. Dauda begins with lighter weights, progressively increasing the load with each set.

Initially, Dauda maintains strict form, relying primarily on his lats. However, as the weights grew more challenging, he adjusted his posture for additional leverage; leaning back during pulldowns and forward during rows. 

Dauda completes his cable rows with a paused rep held for 10 seconds. With six seconds remaining, Sarcev assisted the pull to Dauda’s midsection.

Superset — Seated Machine Horizontal Row & Machine Pullover 

Dauda executes the horizontal rows using a neutral grip. To engage his pecs and lats, Dauda pauses briefly at peak contraction before controlling the eccentric for a complete rep.

Dauda transforms the superset into a circuit, moving between machines without rest. Sarcev assists Dauda during the rows. Dauda catches his breath when moving on to rear pulldowns.

[Related: Urs Kalecinski and Wesley Vissers Tag Team Back Training During 2024 Arnold Classic Prep]

Rear Pulldown & Rack Pull

Dauda performs rear pulldowns via a wide bar attachment that he locks out at his nape to mimic the posture of a rear double biceps pose. He biases his posterior chain — the lower back, spinal erectors, and hamstrings — via rack pulls with three 45-pound weight plates loaded to each side of the barbell.

Dauda concludes the practicing his posing routines. Dauda expressed his exhaustion from being depleted of carbs and calories.

I’m tired…I think I’m in the last bit of my gas.

Despite his fatigue, Dauda feels “good and confident” seeing his progress come together ahead of the 2024 Arnold Classic. Dauda has three more workouts scheduled before he takes the stage in Columbus, OH, and will increase his carbohydrate intake during that time to enhance muscle fullness. (1)


Barakat, C., Escalante, G., Stevenson, S. W., Bradshaw, J. T., Barsuhn, A., Tinsley, G. M., & Walters, J. (2022). Can Bodybuilding Peak Week Manipulations Favorably Affect Muscle Size, Subcutaneous Thickness, and Related Body Composition Variables? A Case Study. Sports (Basel, Switzerland)10(7), 106.

Featured image: @samson__dauda on Instagram

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