T Nation

Calf Size and Ankle Size


#1

So usually i workout @ gym wearing shorts. And my calves ar super tiny...and fkn hairy too. I feel shity about them. Im working them out extra hard for 6 months and i have added 1/2 inch. Now 15.5 inches. Goal 16+ . should i change workout routine or keep it? I do standing calve rises because i dont have seated calf raise machine. I do usually 6-8 sets of them with 220-297 lbs. Each set 50-100 reps.

p.s ankle size 9.5 inches.


#2

much heavier for much lower reps


#3

Yeah, lift heavier weights for less reps. Use activities like jumping jacks or jump rope for your “high rep” work.

My calves suck too, but they definitely grow when I jump rope, or when I was more active in sports.

You can sit on a bench and balance the weight across your knee for seated calf raises. That’s how we used to do them at home way back when.

Don’t feel bad. At least you don’t have cankles.


#4

[quote]xseoman wrote:
So usually i workout @ gym wearing shorts. And my calves ar super tiny…and fkn hairy too. I feel shity about them. Im working them out extra hard for 6 months and i have added 1/2 inch. Now 15.5 inches. Goal 16+ . should i change workout routine or keep it? I do standing calve rises because i dont have seated calf raise machine. I do usually 6-8 sets of them with 220-297 lbs. Each set 50-100 reps.

p.s ankle size 9.5 inches.[/quote]

Keep it. Make sure you are eating to grow. With 220 lbs for 100 reps you should be at 16+" in no time at all. Up your calories 500 a day for a month and keep this approach and I bet you 1 internet dollar you will be at 16"s in a month.

Keep going with it, for sure


#5

[quote]Yogi wrote:
much heavier for much lower reps[/quote]

Yes, go for 400lbs ASAP, and make sure your range of motion is only about a quarter inch and time under tension is like a half second…just bounce your reps, and don’t worry about an Achilles tendon strain.

Without seeing your form, this is terrible advice. Seeing as your doing sets of 50-100 it’s unlikely you’re establishing any sort of mind muscle connection on the movement, and adding weight would only dull that further.

On a serious note, try doing calf raises with 100 lbs, yes 100, but hold a full 3 sec stretch at the bottom and 3 sec squeeze at the very top on every rep.


#6

Half an inch on your calves in 6 months is good, not sure why anyone would recommend changing anything at this point.


#7

i guess i could work on my form. after 60 reps form is not so good.
Ill try throw some squeezes in also. I just usually kill my calves so hard that i cant walk ~5 days. Yes, training them only once a week.
Thanks guys!


#8

Farmer’s walks have made a great improvement to my calfs, 100m x10 with about 80kg.


#9

I endorse the farmer’s walks though I don’t do them presently.


#10

I always liked doing lower rep ranges with straight leg calf work (targeting the gastroc), either with the standing calf machine, or using the leg press. None of that bullshit bouncing crap, but full stretch, and hard concious contractions helped me a lot.

For seated calf work, definitely go for higher rep ranges, as the soleus and gastroc typically have different fiber type breakdowns. No bouncing on this one either -lol. If you don’t have access to such a machine, you can use a wooden block or other means to elevate your toes, balance a heavy DB on your knees, and do a ghetto-seated calf raise instead.

S


#11

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I always liked doing lower rep ranges with straight leg calf work (targeting the gastroc), either with the standing calf machine, or using the leg press. None of that bullshit bouncing crap, but full stretch, and hard concious contractions helped me a lot.

For seated calf work, definitely go for higher rep ranges, as the soleus and gastroc typically have different fiber type breakdowns. No bouncing on this one either -lol. If you don’t have access to such a machine, you can use a wooden block or other means to elevate your toes, balance a heavy DB on your knees, and do a ghetto-seated calf raise instead.

S[/quote]

For Stu (or anyone), any thoughts on the oft-thrown around idea that calf size is much more influenced by genetics than other muscle groups?


#12

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
For Stu (or anyone), any thoughts on the oft-thrown around idea that calf size is much more influenced by genetics than other muscle groups?[/quote]

I think you can state that about pretty much any muscle group, being genetically predetermined as far as potential. Certainly calves are not fun to train, don’t give up results easily, nor give you this great pump that lets your strut around the gym feeling like a badass. Calf work is uncomfortable, takes a great deal of effort, shows progress seemingly slower than any other muscle group, and most of the year the calves get hidden by full length pants.

Like any skill, some people may start further along the genetic spectrum of development naturally, while others appear to start at a disadvantage. That doesn’t always correlate with what is ultimately possible though. My calves were not great for a long time, but when I finally stumbled upon what worked, coupled with my smaller joints, suddenly I was the guy with the calves at my gym.

S


#13

Three things I would do (from someone who struggles with calf size too, but has made some progress):

  1. Work them multiple times per week (even every lifting day) first, before doing anything else.

  2. Try this (calf jumps): http://www.T-Nation.com/training/3-reasons-your-calves-arent-growing

  3. Add banded tibia raises a la John Meadows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMbhfK-xUzo