- Name: Samantha Ann Leete
- Occupation: Bodybuilding.com and FitMiss athlete; Editor-in-chief, "Train for Her" magazine
Bodybuilding.com athlete Samantha Leete has something to admit: "My training right now is kind of kooky," she says. "I just switched over to a two-a-day program in which I train for strength in the morning and follow that up with a growth-focused hypertrophy session in the afternoon."
For this fitness model, who has always considered herself an "8-reps-or-higher kind of girl," the morning sessions have taken some getting used to. "This is the first time I've done true strength training, where you work in a super-low rep range and lift heavy enough to only push out 3-5 reps max," she says. "I was curious how this kind of training would shape my body differently, so I thought, why not test the waters and give it a try?"
Samantha's morning strength workouts are based on compound movements—things like snatches, power cleans, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, and push presses. "I alternate between upper and lower body depending on the day, and I pick 3-4 moves and build up to a very heavy weight," she says. "I can't get more than 3-4 reps most times, and sometimes I push until I reach my 2-rep max. I take longer breaks between my sets to fully recover, then go at it again."
While she uses her mornings to try something new, Samantha still lifts to sculpt her muscles in the afternoon. "I stick to a 10-15 rep range and focus on areas I want to bring up—mainly my legs, back, shoulders, and arms," she says.
Leete still lifts heavy, and adjusts as needed. "If I find myself surpassing that 15-rep mark, I take things up a notch and use a heavier weight," she adds. This, paired with short, sweet rest periods of no more than 30 seconds, makes her workouts cardiovascular and saves her from endless treadmill plodding.
"These workouts also give me a great pump," Leete says. "I especially love this arm workout, which is crazy effective for sculpting your bis and tris."
Samantha's Weekly Training Split
- Monday: Upper Body
- Tuesday: Lower Body
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Upper Body
- Friday: Lower Body
- Saturday: Off
- Monday: Shoulders
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Back
- Friday: Arms
- Saturday: Off
Build Amazing Arms
Whether you're looking to train for strength or hypertrophy, this is the perfect arm workout. It's great to do when the gym is super busy and all the machines and cables are occupied. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a small cambered barbell, and a flat bench. With those tools, you're good to go.
"I recommend warming up for about five minutes with your choice of cardio," Samantha says. "It's good to get your blood moving, shake off the day, and settle into the idea of training. I usually opt for a jog on the treadmill. Once you're warm, set up your little corner and begin."
E-Leete Tip: Standing Dumbbell Curl
The first move in Leete's workout is a pretty standard one: a standing dumbbell curl. The twist? "I tweak the reps a little to help produce a crazy pump," Samantha says. "One single set consists of 12 reps done simultaneously with both arms, then 6 alternating reps per arm immediately afterwards. I rest 30 seconds, and then hit it again for a total of 4 sets. I keep my pace even and controlled and really focus on the squeeze at the top of the movement. This helps me to recruit more muscle fibers, forces them to work as hard as they can, and gets as much blood into the muscle as possible."
E-Leete Tip: Seated Concentration Curl
With my next move, you'll single things out with a seated concentration curl. "I again focus on getting a pump, but in a different way: I do a one-second curl to the top followed by a four-second negative to lower to the starting position," Samantha says. "With negatives, you can use a slightly heavier weight than normal. Keep that in mind when crushing 4 sets of these."
E-Leete Tip: Skullcrusher
Next, give your biceps a chance to recover by hitting your triceps. You'll use the same negative technique with skullcrushers and a cambered barbell. "I start at the top with my arms extended, then lower the barbell slowly toward my forehead for four counts," Samantha says. "Then I extend up quickly for one count, continuing that pattern for 10-15 reps. It's important here not to choose too heavy of a weight. Unless you have a spotter, you don't want to fail with a barbell hovering over your forehead! Pick a weight you know you can get at least 10 reps with and adjust from there."
E-Leete Tip: Bent-over Double-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Bent-over double-arm dumbbell triceps extensions are next. "As with my very first move, I do a set of 12 reps with both hands together, then 6 single reps on each arm to force a pump and exhaust my triceps completely," Samantha explains. "With extensions, remember that your elbows need to stay high the whole time; don't let your arms slide down as the reps get tougher!"
E-Leete Tip Super Dropset: Seated Dumbbell Curls and Seated Triceps Overhead Extensions
"I like to finish my arm workout with a dropset superset of one biceps and one triceps move as a burnout," Leete says. "The more I can exhaust these muscles, the more they will need to rebuild themselves, and the better chance I have of shaping them the way I want."
So how does a dropset superset work? "I do one dropset of a seated biceps dumbbell curl, then one dropset of a seated triceps overhead extension," Samantha says. "Then I rest for 60 seconds, and repeat for a total of 3 sets. For each dropset, I shoot for 10-12 reps per drop, decreasing my weight by 2-5 pounds each time."
That kind of volume gives you great bang for your buck and will leave you feeling the workout. "At the end of this dropset, I'm lucky if I can pick up a pencil to write in my workout log!"
"Do this workout once a week for 4 -6 weeks and shoot me a picture of your great guns on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!" says Leete. "I can't wait to see your results!"