T Nation

Calf Problem

Hi CT, actually I’ve got nice quads and hammies, but my calves really suck… I read that genetic may be a part of the problem, but I would like to know if you have an idea how I could make them bigger and if you have a special way to train them.
I’m doing high pull and push press, lifts that are hitting calves, but it didn’t seem to make them grow, so I started to work them after every workout, about like 5 minutes.

If you guys have some tips or idea, please write it down… I’m desesperate.

[quote]bigmax wrote:
Hi CT, actually I’ve got nice quads and hammies, but my calves really suck… I read that genetic may be a part of the problem, but I would like to know if you have an idea how I could make them bigger and if you have a special way to train them.
I’m doing high pull and push press, lifts that are hitting calves, but it didn’t seem to make them grow, so I started to work them after every workout, about like 5 minutes.

If you guys have some tips or idea, please write it down… I’m desesperate.[/quote]

I have a special way of training calves… I don’t train them.

The only person I do calf work with is IFBB pro Patrick Bernard, but even then it’s minimal work.

In all my life I PERSONALLY probably did 1 or 2 sets of a calves exercise and rarely included any of it with my clients, never with “average Joes” (I only used them with competitive bodybuilders).

When I do include calves work in a client’s program it’s normally something like:

  1. Standing calves 10-15 reps
    Holding the peak contraction 2 seconds on each rep
    Holding the stretch 2 seconds on each rep

  2. Hold a calves stretch 60 seconds

  3. Rest 30 sec.

  4. Do 3-5 sets

Vince Gironda used to recommend a blitz where you would train calves 3 days in a row, then rest 3 days. Something like:

DAY 1
Standing calves 8 x 8-12 reps

DAY 2
Seated calves 5 x 15-20

DAY 3
Bodyweight only calves 3 x 100

The 3 rest days were as important as the work days.

Arnold used a staggered approach to bring his calves up: he would simply do one set of a calves exercise between every set of other lifting exercises 2-3 days a week.

I can’t say how effective these methods are because I never used them myself. Frankly calves training doesn’t interest me, I see it as an afterthought, not as something important. But you might give some of this a try.

Thank you CT, it is very appreciated!

CT,

Would an appropriate follow-up to your response be that, in your experience, high-pulls, plyometrics, prowler-pushing and loaded carries (athletic movements) provide enough calf stimulation for non-bodybuilders?

[quote]GraniteJack wrote:
CT,

Would an appropriate follow-up to your response be that, in your experience, high-pulls, plyometrics, prowler-pushing and loaded carries (athletic movements) provide enough calf stimulation for non-bodybuilders?[/quote]

Yes that’s my belief

I used to do calf raises as a full time job pretty much. Not so much as an inch to show for it… 5 weeks of high pulls (basically when I started the layer system) and they were a full inch bigger

Neleon Montana’s "cooked calves in under 4 minutes WORKS. im not the only one to say as such. check out google and read people’s experiences with it.

here you go

Cooked Calves–in Under 4 Minutes; by Nelson MontanaCOOKED CALVES–IN UNDER 4 MINUTES by Nelson Montana

How are your calves? Mine suck. Actually, by normal people’s standards, they’re 
pretty good. But by bodybuilding standards…well, let’s just say that Dorian Yates 
wouldn’t be intimidated by a toe-to-toe comparison.
So if my calves are only “so so”, what makes me qualified to write an article on 
calve training? Doesn’t it make more sense to hear from someone with 
extraordinary calves? Ironically, anyone with outstanding calve development is 
the last person to be giving advice on improving the lower leg. They’re the ones 
who have it easy – the lucky few born with lots of fast twitch fibers in the lower 
legs. That’s because, more than any other muscle group, the size and shape of 
one’s calves is determined by heredity. People with a genetic disposition for 
shapely muscular calves need only to walk and their calves will look good. 
Bastards.
For the rest of us mere mortals, it’s different. Like most bodybuilders, my calves 
have always resisted growth–so much so that not too long ago they bore a 
striking resemblance to a pair of pool cues. It was pitiful! I’ve had to battle for 
every centimeter of growth but despite all the effort, nothing 
seemed to help. I tried everything. Then it hit me. It was so simple. (As most 
“discoveries” are.) 
After years of trial and error, I finally found the secret to adding precious muscle 
tissue onto those stubborn soleus.
HEEL UP–HEEL DOWN–WHAT ELSE? 
Let’s face it, the calves are pretty limited in the way they can be trained. 
Everything is a toe raise of some sort. Add into the mix that they don’t provide a 
satisfying pump, as is the case when working the chest or arms. They just burn. 
The key to killer calves isn’t in the exercises, but in the method in which they’re 
employed.
There are two theories to calve training. Because the muscle group consists of 
mostly slow twitch (red) muscle fibers, the potential for growth is limited. Slow 
twitch muscles are designed for endurance, leaving the presumption that the 
calves should be trained with high reps. The opposite school of thought is: 
because the calves are used to performing thousands of reps each day (walking 
and running) they need to be “shocked” with low reps and heavy weight. “Light” 
work won’t work since the thick ankle bone and Achilles tendon are capable of 
withstanding tremendous pressure, therefore it stands to reason that working the 
calves with a heavy load would be necessary. Both theories are valid. Both 
theories are flawed.
GET IT OVER WITH! 
It’s been my experience that calves respond best when worked quickly. That 
doesn’t necessarily mean that the reps should be fast. Instead, the total reps 
should be condensed into as little time as possible. 
That’s the key.

It may be hard to believe that any workout session that lasts for only a few 
minutes can be very effective. Yet, in the case of calve training, it’s not only 
possible–it’s preferable.
Here’s how it’s done.
Pick only one calve exercise. (I prefer the seated calve raise.) Your goal will be to 
reach 75 reps.
Use a weight that you would normally choose for a twenty rep set.
Complete the 20 reps and continue until you can’t do another rep.
Rest just long enough for the burning to subside (no longer than 10 seconds) and 
continue with as many reps as possible, even if it’s only 5 reps at a time.
Proceed in this fashion until you reach the target goal of 75.
That’s it! Total time? Under 4 minutes. Granted, it’s a very painful four minutes, 
but four minutes nonetheless.
WARNING! 
You may feel a tinge of guilt that the routine took so little time but you’ll have a 
different point of view the next day when your calves are aching like they’ve 
never ached before! Do not be tempted to do more work! Wait and see. If you’re 
still able to walk, you either didn’t go heavy enough or you allowed too much time 
between “sets.” 
Once you’re able to tolerate this routine, increase the number of reps to 100. 
Once that becomes too easy, (which I wouldn’t count on happening in the near 
future) add more weight.
I found this routine to be, by far, the most effective method for packing some well 
earned muscle onto the calves. Even the hardest gainer can add size and shape 
to their lower leg as long as they can tolerate the torture required to “keep going” 
and complete the work out in as short a duration as possible. But make no 
mistake about it–when following this program it’s going to feel as if someone is 
pouring acid on your calves! (And who says calve training can’t be fun?)
Now you don’t have any excuses. Four minutes is nothing! But a great pair of 
calves is a most envious “finished touch” to the complete physique. If this routine 
worked for me, (stick leg Nellie) it can work for anyone. Give this four minute 
workout a try for a month and see for yourself if it doesn’t make a dramatic 
difference in the size and shape of your calves.
Even if your calves aren’t your best bodypart, there’s no reason they can’t look 
good. All it takes is 4 minutes a week. And a high tolerance for pain.

Interesting…very interesting! Thank you very much!

Tried this one 4 days ago…DOM are still here !

Thanks :wink: