Some lifters say, "They were either born with big calves or not." But that's ridiculous. You have muscles in the body. It's pretty well proven that if you use these muscles to move weights, then eat something and repeat it long enough, these muscles get bigger.
Obviously, all muscles except calves do this. Is that really useful?
Calves are no different from other muscles
Here is your first tip: Go to your calf workout by beating it daily at the start of each workout. When you do this, you basically give them no opportunity to do anything other than grow. That is how they will react.
They can be born with naturally great biceps, pecs, lats and even calves. Or not. And if not, you can build it. Many lifters find that they have a muscle group that just does not seem to react as others do. Hell, that's usually about half of the muscle groups we ever train. But like any backward or stubborn muscle group, it does not happen overnight.
Depending on how obsessed a lifter feels about this part of the body, he can actually get him to a point where it is his most developed muscle group. I was the president of Team No-Traps for my entire life. And even though I had cracked over 700 pounds, there were almost no traps.
One day, as on page 3 of a Disney story about a farmer's boy who dreamed of becoming a prince, I decided to forcefully attack the training and figured out all sorts of ways I could make her grow , Now I am known for my development of traps. See? It is not impossible to breed your smallest muscle group.
Why suck your calves
If your calves are still small, this is most likely due to:
- They believe in the myth that they can not be developed to really try. You accept your thermometer-shaped calves.
- You find the training of calves boring. If you do not understand that a big, fleshy pair of calves fundamentally differentiates your body from all others.
- They do not really know how to train them properly. Without sounding like a donkey, most people are. And that was me for a long time.
So let's start.
Work the Stretch
The key to calf work is to hold the stretch part (toes in the direction of the shins) for 5 seconds of each repetition. Why? The Achilles tendon is the thickest tendon in the body. It's built to handle the weight of your entire body through movement. The Achilles tendon needs to be able to cope with torque and tension, whether during athletic walking or during dynamic and explosive movements such as sprinting or jumping.
Avoid the springy repetition that most gymnasts use when training their calves. You know what I'm talking about. Do not climb on a calf machine and do that where you move your feet up and down.
Sure, the calves may burn a little if you do this long enough, but that does not mean a whole lot. And the feedback from your crappy calf development should tell you that.
The Achilles tendon basically says, jumping, "Do not worry, Gastrocnemius, I have that." Therefore, it is important to keep the stretch part of each repetition as the stretch reflex is removed and the gastroc does most of the work during the exercise. We force the Achilles to go, "Hey bruh, it's all you do." Of course, it increases the amount of time a work set is energized.
Now that you maximize the extended portion of each repetition, let's talk about how to maximize the concentric or lifting portion.
Roll to the Big Toe and Hold
Once you move into the concentric part of the repetition, you need to maximize the peak contraction. We want the calf to be as short as possible. Roll your feet in with your foot in toward the big toe.
Think ballerina calves. They do not spend much time elongating their calves as compared to the time they spend on their big toes with their weight (literally). Thus, their calves remain in a maximum shortened position and work most of the time in a state of peak contraction. So it's hugely valuable to maximize this position in your calf movements.
When rolled on the big toe, hold this contraction for 3 seconds before lowering it.
Here we basically eliminate the total "Training calves is boring" lawsuit. At Arnold's time, he believed that calves should be trained. Like super heavy, with high repetitions. And I agree … to some extent.
What most people need to do is use different repeaters and store to make sure all their bases are covered. Damn, you could really say that about developing a muscle group. But one reason why people get bored or do not put much effort into calf training is that they end up reading that "calves require high repetitions," and that they can quickly become bored with endurance and blasting, that is, they have a mix of slow and fast twitch fibers to accomplish these tasks.
You also have to master the tension of the dynamic movements of the body through space, so it makes sense for you. I would also have to train you with exercises in which the resistance varies in length.
The Exercises and Techniques
Here are the exercises I want to go crazy to start each and every workout that you do for the day. Do at least one of them if you go to the gym before doing anything else.
1 – The Single-Leg Calf Raise
Select a total number of reps to use only body weight (75 or 100) Start with as many reps as possible on one leg and then switch to the other immediately Leg. Continue this way without pause until your overall repeat goal is achieved.
Let's say you do 25 reps to start with your left leg. They then switch to the right leg and do 25 reps. Go back to your left leg immediately and continue. Repeat this process until you reach your TOTAL Rep target.
If you have stairs, you can do it in other ways. Perform a fixed number of repetitions for each step with each step. For example, you have 12 steps on the stairs. That's 12 sentences in front of you. Make a certain number of repetitions for each leg for each step. Of course, this varies depending on how much you like pain.
For stairs with many steps I would suggest 5 repetitions. For 10 steps or less, go with 8-10 reps. Just have fun with it.
2 – The Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise
If your gym does not have a calf machine, you probably will not work alone. Let's fix that. Find a block or stack a few '45s on the floor and sit on a bench. Grab a dumbbell and rest it on your leg.
Now do a "muscle round" for the sets and reps. So does a muscle round to stimulate muscle growth. You do 4 repetitions and then rest for 10 seconds. Do 4 more repetitions and then rest for 10 seconds. Do this a total of 5 times. Then make as many as possible on the 6th time. Every time you do iterations, think of it as a round.
This is easy for the sitting dumbbell calves. You do the left leg for 4 reps, then switch to the right leg and do 4 reps. Back and forth, no break between the mini sets. On the 6th mini-set, make as many repetitions as possible. These are money.
3 – The Standing Calf Raise
You can use the traditional standing calf-elevation machine or a Smith machine. The goal here is to follow a progressive overload, so make sure you track your sets, iterations, and loading every week.
Also, use an intensity method called rest / pause. If you have never rested, get ready for pain and gain.
After the warm-up sets, you should make a complete set with a weight that will fail at about 12-15 reps. Hold for 20 seconds and return for maximum repetition. Pause 20 seconds and repeat this process again. This is your calf work for this special day. Short and sweet, but very effective.
4 – The Calf Press
Find a leg press machine and get ready for an intensity technique that sets stubborn calves on fire and makes them grow.
Start with a calf in the extended position (toes toward the shins), then push the weight up with both feet and hold the contraction for 3 seconds. Then use the other leg to lower the weight by itself and hold the stretch position. Use both legs again to push the weight back up.
So, if you lower and hold the weight, use only one leg and switch between left and right. If you fail, you can expand the set by using both calves while lowering and lifting.
"But it's all about the function!"
Do you think calves are just beautiful? From a functional point of view, they also help to stabilize the knee. That sounds important.
Another benefit of proper calf training is the increase in foot and ankle strength and flexibility. Being able to do a proper squat starts with how well your feet and ankles can move to stabilize for the rest of the kinetic chain.
I can not tell you how many squats were resolved by people from the point of view of execution. by focusing on flexibility and strength of the ankle. How did I do this? Working calf. Charles Poliquin used the same approach (basic calf work) for the treatment of foot and ankle problems.
Growth Needs Consistency
I can assure you that if you apply these exercises and techniques for a year, you will be amazed how easily you will ruin the whole thing, "you were either born with great calves or not ", myth. And you never have to put on a tutu to prove it.
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