T Nation

Arm / Calve Specialization

Normally I dont train for just physique purposes, and instead just try to get strong and have fun, but I will admit that recently I decided to try to develop a better physique for the summer.

For the past year or so, I have been training hard increasing strength mainly, and lately ive gone onto a bulk phase. I will be cutting up in a few weeks though.

Most of my training revolves around compound movements, and more recently its been:

Deadlift
Front squat
BW rows
Pullups
Pushups
Seated cable rows
etc.

There haven’t been any isolation movements in my plan at all, and as a result, my calves, and arms are significantly small in comparison to my chest, back, and legs. Part of this is probably from fat distribution, but I feel increasing my calves and arms, will make a major difference in the way my body looks.

My current program is very similar to CW’s 10/10 and im working in the 3-16 rep ranges, with different reps each day of the week.

Im not working on pressing strength much, because I want to overcome imbalances, so im doubting my triceps are going to get enough stimulation from just pushups. I do feel however that my biceps will be getting enough stimulation from BW rows, and pullups, and dont need any special attention. And calves and forearms will need some direct attention.


So lately ive been trying one of Poliquin’s calf routines at the end of my workout.

Its basically a tripple drop set on the seated calf machine, 10-5-5 followed by 30-50 reps of standing calf raises. Then I rest and repeat two more times.

Then theres a lower volume higher weight day.

So far im thinking this is gonna work pretty well, but im wondering if I can do something similar for triceps.


Yesterday I tried this:

DB floor tricep extensions (triple drop set) 10-5-5
Followed immediately by as many tricep extensions as possible.

Then rest and repeat twice.

Im a bit sore today, but not so much that it would hurt my workouts if I had to lift today.


So im thinking of doing this method for both triceps and calves, and am not sure what to do for forearms, i’ll have to research more on that.

But my question is this. Im training 5 days a week with the full body compounds. So basically im doing pushup variations 5 times a week, and my calves are getting worked only from what they get from squats and deads.

So how many times a week should I do this specialization work? Would calves 3 times, and triceps 2 times be good?

Sorry for the long post, but just typing this out has helped me realize what I need to do. Thanks.