T Nation

9/10/15 Article Question?


In the Fix your puny calves, traps, abs and pecs article from 9/10/15 you wrote "You won’t need many sets like this since you just did about ten times the actual work as during a regular set of calf raises! Three sets is all you need.

For full development, perform a standing calf exercise and a seated exercise since they hit different parts of the calf – standing is more gastrocnemius, seated is more soleus."

My question is with only 3 sets. Should I do 2 sets of standing calf raises and 1 set of seated? How should I program this?


I wrote that article pretty much because /I was tired of getting asked calves questions. Training calves is of zero interest to me,

One of the main reason might be that my training is based on performance training; it includes a lot of Olympic lifts (which include a powerful action of the calves). Sled dragging, Farmer’s walk, prowler pushing and other loaded carries, which also hit the calves hard. So I never felt the need to waste training time on something that I already got covered with other exercises.

Another reason is that calves are the most genetic muscle and the one with the least amount of trainability (capacity to improve through training).

I’ve never done any myself and have very good calves. None of the athletes I work with ever do calves exercises. Well there is one person I worked with who did calves (an IFBB pro bodybuilder) but he did it on his own, after our sessions.

I know the mechanics of the calves and how to stimulate them properly during an exercise but I do not wish to answer any more question on that topic.

Honestly I don’t get why some people fixate on calves. Honestly you either have them or you don’t. You can improve them slightly, but if you are born with bad insertions (long tendon, short muscle belly) there really isn’t much you can do.

If you use a lot of big compound lifts, include loaded carries and gain a lot of mass your calves should improve. You do not need to directly train every single muscle group in your body. I do not have any exercises for the sternocleidomastoid, piriformis or deep pronators in my programs either.

I’m sure some coaches love to talk about training calves, so you’ll probably find the answer you are looking for. But I will NOT discuss calves training.


Also I haven’t seen a fat/obsese guy with bad calves. The don’t do anything but weight a shitload and their calves are gigantic.


Yes exactly… they basically do loaded carries all day (carrying their extra bodyweight around).


I got a huge PR on zercher carries the other day. Calves were super sore next day…