T Nation

Calves Not Growing


#1

I'm
One of those people that is genetically not gifted with decent sized calves.
I've been doing a lot of research but nothing seems to help. Standing calve raises in a smith machine don't work since it puts too much pressure on my lower disk (injured) and it feels like I cannot fully top out when doing seated raises. Does anyone have similar issues and is there anything you can recommend from experience?? Preferably like to hear from people that had similar issues since for most other people building decent calves doesn't seem very difficult
Thanks


#2

This article detailed the DoggCrapp method and had a pretty interesting bit on calf training

I tried it out for a few months, and if nothing else it was pretty brutal.

I have really high calf insertions and my calves were always pretty small. Honestly, they’ve grown in recent years while I’ve not done any direct training for them by strongman training from what I can tell. Lots of heavy loaded carries/running, pretty much stuff with no eccentric.

But they’re still pretty small, so what do I know.


#3

[quote]Philly wrote:
I’m
One of those people that is genetically not gifted with decent sized calves.
I’ve been doing a lot of research but nothing seems to help. Standing calve raises in a smith machine don’t work since it puts too much pressure on my lower disk (injured) and it feels like I cannot fully top out when doing seated raises. Does anyone have similar issues and is there anything you can recommend from experience?? Preferably like to hear from people that had similar issues since for most other people building decent calves doesn’t seem very difficult
Thanks[/quote]
The growth of calves is greatly determined by genetics. Some guys can train them for years and see only small changes whilst others don’t train them much at all and have good development.

As for your lower disc problem when doing standing calf raises. An alternative is to do them in a leg press machine. The flat pin loaded ones seem to work best. Some gyms actually have calf machines and they would be ideal. Seated calf machines (bent leg) work the soleus whilst to hit the gastrocnemius you need to have a straight leg.

Many lifters find they need to work the calves more frequently to see growth.

The Mighty Stu had some interesting things in his thread a while back on calf training. Maybe worth a look.


#4

Focus on the stretch position. get them very strong and finish the last move with very high volume 5x25 or10x10etc

If you have some coin get ART therapy, Bluff technique or good deep tissue massage once a month


#5

Since heavy load standing calf raises are out of the question due to injuries. This would be worth a try.


#6

With the caveat that I still have small calves, and have never trained them via a more bodybuilding protocol, I saw the most calf growth in the shortest period of time when I was doing high pulls regularly. The explosive triple extension (hip, knee, ankle) seemed to hit the calves quite well.

There are probably better options, but that was an interesting side effect to that lift.


#7

I read an article, can’t remember where from someone who also struggled to get calf size and then practiced high rep calf work and saw great results. He did 25+ rep standing sets and also did seated calf raises in sets of 100 with no resistance while at work, eating, etc. throughout the day


#8

I’ve seen some fairly quick results using loaded stretches at the end of my calf sets. It’s basically a 30sec static hold in the stretch position.

It hasn’t been phenomenal growth, but I’ve put almost an inch on them in two months. If I can get another inch out of it, I’ll definitely call it a victory. They’re just over 15 1/8" now vs 14 1/4" at the beginning of May.


#9

Kind of a different approach, but the only calf work I have done is on the stair master. For 10-15 minutes just walk on your toes, don’t let your heels touch. It will be painful.