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Calf Size Indication of Potential Hypertrophy?


I heard a guy saying this the other day:

"If you've never done any real sport or physical activity and you want to know what your muscle growth potential is, take a look at your calf muscles. If you have small calf muscles you likely will be slow to gain muscle. If you have large calf muscles compared to the rest of your muscles, you probably have very good potential for muscle growth."

He said the reason was that EVERYONE plays the 'sport' of walking and those who get bigger calfs from walking will have much better muscle mass building potential than someone who has small calfs. He did say it's a bit of a generalisation. What do you guys think?

P.S. - Yes I have big calfs(but chicken quads)


No way. Genetics, how you walk, IF you walk, how far you walk, are you a vegetarian or a carnivore etc... to many factors to use this as a guide.

Big calves and small legs would seem to indicate you push off when you walk rather than lifting from the hip and letting your weight "fall forward".

Easy test. Go jog on gravely pavement barefoot. If the balls of your feet are raw after a few minutes you push off. If your ankles and knees feel bruised you catch yourself. If neither happens you are either blessed with naturally good bio-mechanics or had a really good track coach in school.


Shit. Now I have to stop lifting because I have small calves. If I'm not going to look like Arny in a year or two, then screw it.

You really need to learn how to ignore stupid shit like this.


I hate your avatar, TheTick42. The reflection in the spoon should be upside down. Yes, I am enough of a nerd for that to bother me.

That is all.

EDIT: Okay, I lied about that being all.


Depends on which side of the spoon is facing ... which is indistinguishable.


Not sure I agree with your indea about why I have big calfs. I would say it's more to do with the fact that over my life I have done quite a lot of walking but hardly any running. Running uses the quads a lot more than walking.

Regarding my feet. I already know I'm blessed. Both feet the exact same size. Regular arch height and I land with equal body weight on heels and balls(when running in trainers.) I've actually just taken up barefoot running(on grass) as cardio. Barefoot running makes you run in a different and more natural way than with shoes on. When you run barefoot you tend to land more on the balls of your feet. Regardless of what you've heard, this is the best way to run for your feet. Watch barefoot runners from Kenya and you'll see what I mean. They look like they're trying to land as softly as possible too. They only lift their feet just high enough to clear the ground. This reduces the shock upon landing.


Didn't Arnold have small calves?


Arnold DID have small calves. In fact in many of his earlier poses and photos he would find creative ways to hide his calves, for example by taking photos standing in a pond.


took a while, but here's the best picture I could find to illustrate my earlier comment.


Yes he did. But he also took huge amounts of anabolic steroids from his teens onwards. Who knows what he'd have looked like if he hadn't taken roids and pumped iron...probably more like this:


Holy jesus. If you can't see why Arnold is a great example of someone who started with small calves but had amazing potential for muscle growth... I don't even know what to say.


Stupid theory. You used your quads walking up stairs, so why didn't those respond and grow also? If you think that you have good potential, fine, that's a good attitude to have. But its unfair for people with small calves to think they are screwed. There are too many examples to the contrary. Its a pretty typical sight, someone with a respectable upper body but relatively small legs/calves.


I've always been lazy and taken the elevator. Seriously though, I'm sure you're right. I'd much rather have small calfs and bigger quads. Everyone has their strong and weak points and people tend to dwell on their weaknesses much more than their strengths.


But if it was a view of the convex side, the subject would be much smaller and more of the surrounding area would be visible in the reflection...

Unless it was an extremely flat spoon. Would that even BE a spoon? What would be the purpose of a spoon that flat?


I can tell you have been lifting for a very short time, just from this comment. Quad size is much easier to gain than calf size...

shakes head ...Noob.


Absolutely. I've only started lifting this year as I stated. Thanks for your support.


OP you have big calves because you used to be/are fat. Fat people always have big calves cause they're lugging around all that extra fat


Although I was fat, I was 'skinnyfat'. I was actually underweight for someone my height/age/sex because I had such a small amount of muscle. Whilst my hips and gut were plenty fat, the rest of my body was skinny. I'm 6 foot 4.5 inches and at my heaviest I was only 90kg.


you were skinny fat and got a bunch of stretch marks on your thighs and stomach? riiiiiiiight


You can't see his arm. the spoon could be upside down