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    Thread: My take on Calves...

    1. #1
      Pushtoday's Avatar
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      Default My take on Calves...



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      My take on Calves...

      My Take on calves.
      Because you don't train them correctly or with enough intensity and frequency, that's why you don't see any growth.

      calves.jpg

      Lets break it down.
      THE CALF MUSCLES:
      The calf muscle, on the back of the lower leg, is actually made up of two muscles:

      The gastrocnemius is the larger calf muscle, forming the bulge visible beneath the skin. The gastrocnemius has two parts or "heads," which together create its diamond shape.
      The soleus is a smaller, flat muscle that lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscle.
      The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles taper and merge at the base of the calf muscle. Tough connective tissue at the bottom of the calf muscle merges with the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone (calcaneus).
      During walking, running, or jumping, the calf muscle pulls the heel up to allow forward movement.

      calfanatomy.jpg

      That's the anatomy part. The gastrocnemius is the part you see the most and the soleus is the less seen (but just as important) support below the gastrocnemius.

      Your calf training is probably not a priority to you. You have a dedicated chest day, back day, leg day, etc. Or maybe your doing a Push, Pull, Legs split. But you don't have a calf day, or make them a priority on leg day.

      How do you get bigger calves, what's the answer?
      Train them more, lots more. Train them with more intensity, focus, and frequency. MAKE THEM A PRIORITY.
      Here's a couple ideas:
      (1.) Train them first on your leg day.
      (2.) Add them in on your rest or cardio day.
      (3.) Another way to add more volume to your calf training is to do 10-20 reps after/between every set on arm day.
      (4.) Stay consistent, you won't see visible changes in a couple weeks. However in 6 months you'll see significant change if you stay dedicated to your calf training.

      Now as far as HOW to train them, well that can be the toughest part.
      Almost every article or "How To" guide will tell you something different. High reps, low reps, don't "bounce", heavy weight, body weight, standing, seated, etc. etc.
      But in all actuality it's really not that complicated. You should do all of the above. Don't limit your calf training. Mix it up!
      Here are a couple simple tips to apply to you calf training:
      (1.) Focus on QUALITY reps to start. (you can "bounce" out the last reps of the last set). Pay attention to the feel of the exercise. Don't just bang out the reps. Think "mind muscle connection".
      (2.) Incorporate single leg calf raises. (I like to use these to start to ensure both calves are activated equally)
      (3.) Use the leg press at the gym or the hack squat to get some heavy training in.
      (4.) Do both seated and standing calf raises. Seated can be done with dumbbells or a barbell on your knees sitting on a bench.
      (5.) Vary the rep schemes. Do some "explosive" sets. Do some slow negative sets. Do some "drop sets". Do some "rest pause" sets. (when short on time I'll do rest pause to 50-75-100 reps just to get high volume in a short time)
      (6.) Vary foot width. Do one set feet close together, the next set feet 4 inches apart, next set 8 inches apart. (this will have the same effect as turning toes in or out)
      (7.) A common 2x4 or a 45lb plate to place the front part of your foot on, this will guarantee full extension. I have a 2x4 that is raised by two furring strip boards for support on either end.

      Bottom Line is your not doing enough! Prioritize your calf training with more intensity, volume, and focus. And you WILL see growth.

      Below is a picture of the calf board I use at home.
      calfboard.jpg

    2. #2
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

      something i learned that made a hell of a difference for me was this and this is how it was explained to me. so when we walk we pretty much work our calves like crazy. so you go from neutral to contraction with every step. so that's the rom that the calf is familiar with. so where they arent worked that much is from a full stretch to neutral. so you can focus entirely on that part of the movement from full stretch to neutral or do your full range and then hammer the bottom half. all kinds of ways to put it into your training but you have to hammer that part of the movement really hard. if you do decide to toss it in and give it a go start off easy or you wont be able to walk.

      i took one of my friends that i train with on occasion that is tall and pretty lanky but bone peeled. his calves are pretty pathetic to be honest. i put 2in on his calves in about 3 months just by putting focus on that rom. made a huge difference
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    3. #3
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

      Your calf board is cool. Yes, no doubt, intensity and frequency. Calves seem more pain producing than other muscles. Like calves must put out a lot of lactic acid or something. I used to train them every single day until they hurt so bad. Single leg calf raises on a stair, holding a dumbbell in one hand. I just tried to see how much pain I could take. To failure and then rest-pause until the pain is unreal. My calves would grow

    4. #4
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

      That is a cool calf board. I'm just getting started again and I'll be honest...not looking forward to leg days, lol. I do enjoy calf exercises, until they seize up in the middle of the night. I make sure to up the water, magnesium and taurine those days..uhg
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    5. #5
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

      Man I have tried high reps lots of sets 4 times a week. I have tried heavy weights I have tried it every way I can. Mine will grow best with high reps and frequent work but never get big.

      Great info.
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    6. #6
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

      Quote Originally Posted by guns01 View Post
      something i learned that made a hell of a difference for me was this and this is how it was explained to me. so when we walk we pretty much work our calves like crazy. so you go from neutral to contraction with every step. so that's the rom that the calf is familiar with. so where they arent worked that much is from a full stretch to neutral. so you can focus entirely on that part of the movement from full stretch to neutral or do your full range and then hammer the bottom half. all kinds of ways to put it into your training but you have to hammer that part of the movement really hard. if you do decide to toss it in and give it a go start off easy or you wont be able to walk.

      i took one of my friends that i train with on occasion that is tall and pretty lanky but bone peeled. his calves are pretty pathetic to be honest. i put 2in on his calves in about 3 months just by putting focus on that rom. made a huge difference
      Definitely gonna try this. Calves are by far my worst body part. I've tried training them so many different ways and I can get them to grow a little, but nothing spectacular. A buddy of mine rarely ever trains his and they look like something on the olympia stage. Drives me crazy.
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    7. #7
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      Default Re: My take on Calves...

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      Quote Originally Posted by Yohimbe View Post
      Definitely gonna try this. Calves are by far my worst body part. I've tried training them so many different ways and I can get them to grow a little, but nothing spectacular. A buddy of mine rarely ever trains his and they look like something on the olympia stage. Drives me crazy.
      like i noted above man, dont go ham on this technique the first time because it will cripple you. your calves arent accustomed to working in that range of motion at all and it kills them. once you have done it and can go ham then add in some long ass loaded stretches after finishing up your reps. like it the 8-20sec range. it is brutal haha. a good one is to hammer out as many full range reps as you can to failure then do the from stretch to neutral to failure and then finish in the stretch as long as you can tolerate. that will blow them up
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