T Nation

Any Advice For Calves?


#1

Hello to everyone,

please excuse my english.

I'm the typical tall-with-no-calves guy.

For the last 3 months, I gained 6,5 Lbs of bodyweight and trained my calves EVERY workout. That means 3 to 4 times a week. I have NEVER skip one session.
I train them day 1, day 2, day 1, day 2, etc...

My schem is based on CT's routine :

DAY 1 :
Standing calf raise
2 sets of 6-8 reps with your feet neutral
2 sets of 6-8 reps with your feet turned out
2 sets of 6-8 reps with your feet turned in
I start each rep from a hold in the stretched position

DAY 2 :
Seated calf raise
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 with your feet turned in, 10 with your feet neutral, and 10 with your feet turned out
Note that each set has a total of 30 reps.
I start each rep from a hold in the stretched position and hold the peak contraction for two seconds.

In 3 months, I gained...0,20 inches :-/

Any advice ?
I gained some bodyweight, and though this should help.
I never skip one calf session.
I sometimes use 'double-pop' to continue increasing the weight each workout.
...And my calves are still lagging.

Thanks !
Mathieu


#2

Learn patience. It's only 3 months.

What were your expectation? a full inch?


#3

I gained 0,60 inch in my arms the last 3 months and a full inch in my chest the last month...

Mathieu


#4

Calves seem to be stubborn for many people. They are probably just not going to respond as quickly as the rest of your body.


#5

go to donkey calf raises then superset with jumping squats . sets of 10 . do negative work for your calves too and play volleyball . jumping squat with a light barbell but not too light.. use a towel .


#6

les superset donkey raises et jumping squats sont une idee de Charles Poliquin mathieu . le travail negativ aide les mollets aussi .


#7

Thank you / merci guys.

Do you think I need more volume ?
Or my training volume is OK, and I just need to add some intensity (negatives) and superset of donkey ?

Mathieu
and yes...I'll be patient, and keep going. Even if my calves make me upset, I'll not quit training them


#8

Where did you expect the new muscle to come from? New muscle is added bodyweight. You gained relatively-little bodyweight, so of course your calves aren't going to grow much, especially since they're a small muscle as is.

That said, if high frequency training isn't doing the job you want, consider the opposite. High intensity calf work done less frequently. Some ideas:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/best_of_calves

Or, since you're on the Indigo plan, why not ask CT directly. Ha, you tell him his other routine "didn't work."


#9

I did not say that.
Just wanted some advice. Thanks for the frequency one.

Ho, and I made a tipo...i gained 6,5 Lbs since january.

Mathieu


#10

un muscle complique . . la marche en montagne aide aussi semble t il


#11

how do you do your calf raises? most people bounce out of the bottom and treat the top of the rep as an afterthought. start from a dead stop at the bottom, go up quick and strong, squeeze the muscle hard at the top, then descend slowly and repeat.

also, the calves are made of the gastrocnemius muscle on the outside and the soleus on the inside. Stu made a point that you could train them separately. I find that I'm able to train my gastrocs with standing calf raises where the weight is on my pinky toes, and my soleus with seated raises with the weight on my big toes.


#12

After i gained 15-20lbs , my calves appeared to have gotten larger.

When i weighed 230lbs, (Fatfatfat) my calves were enormous.

It would appear to be a bodyweight dependent thing, kind of like your arms.


#13

This is certainly true. When I was 240 I was so proud of my calves, but disgusted by my midsection.
But what worked well for me most recently was the act of focusing on deceleration. Chad Waterbury (I'm pretty sure) got me into this by stating that one-legged jumping calf raises were (in his opinion) the best calf exercise. While I don't completely agree with him (It's an awkward movement that doesn't allow for a lot of weight) I do like the idea. I've been experimenting with jumping calf raises, focusing on making the impact and decent as slow and light as possible, and they provide a very different form of stimulation.

Lately, I've been going for distance, jumping up and forward as high/far as possible and then landing as soft as possible. I have yet to try straight up and down. Something worth checking out. I'm sure his article is still available, you can check that too for more detailed info.

My 2 cents


#14

This is also some advice I gave to someone experiencing cramping in their calves. It helped me in developinbg thickness in the lower area of the calf:

And give more attention to the lower phase. I had a similar problem after an injury to my right hip. I can't remember who recommended this, but I started doing 8x8x8, which is eight half reps in the bottom position, eight in the top, and then eight more in the bottom (that's one set, I traditionally did about 5 sets three times a week). This way you've doubled the volume of work in the stretched position, providing an "active" stretch.

Focus on flexing your feet or "gripping" whatever your feet are pressing against for complete foot/calf activation. Stretching has been surprisingly effective for me as well. Push against a wall and slam that heel into the ground. Good luck.


#15

Do several sets of very high reps (30+). Just make sure you stretch between sets.


#16

Just gotta say I love your posts. Straight up truth that's always informative for the OP and entertaining for the rest of us.


#17

Try skipping/jump rope on one leg, it'll be some added cardio (if you need it) and it's killer for calves. I'd obviously combine this with weights but from my logical (probably wrong) view, calves are a muscle group that are built for endurance so you'll need higher repetitions to tire them.

I'll also add i've always had fairly big calves, probably due to being a FFB. So you might be better listening to someone who's helped other people or had to over come themselves small calves.


#18

I did some prowler work yesterday, pulling the sled, so running backwards.

That hammered my calves. Yes Sir, it did. There is another, less boring way of doing some training.


#19

True enough, but you did say you weren't happy with the results from something "based on CT's routine." But I was mostly busting your balls, man. Don't sweat it.

No prob. For what it's worth, I personally train calves twice a week (usually), at the end of other leg work. Most recently:
One Day
A1) Standing one-leg dumbbell calf raise 3x10-12
A2) Toe raise 3x12-15

On these, I do A1 left leg/A2 left leg, then A1 right leg/A2 right leg, rest, repeat. (Rather than A1 left/A1 right, A2 left/A2 right, rest, repeat).

Other Day
A) Seated calf raise 4x8-10

On these, I prefer to keep my fingertips on my calves throughout each rep and hold the peak contraction for a one-count to maximize the mind-muscle connection.

That's a bit of a difference.

Also, in these last three months how much did your strength change on the standing and seated calf raises?

Ha, thanks man. I try.


#20

how do you do your calf raises? most people bounce out of the bottom and treat the top of the rep as an afterthought. start from a dead stop at the bottom, go up quick and strong, squeeze the muscle hard at the top, then descend slowly and repeat.

also, the calves are made of the gastrocnemius muscle on the outside and the soleus on the inside. Stu made a point that you could train them separately. I find that I'm able to train my gastrocs with standing calf raises where the weight is on my pinky toes, and my soleus with seated raises with the weight on my big toes.