T Nation

Calves Too Strong


Can someone come up with some punishing calf workouts for me? I usually hit them 2-3x a week, just to keep em guessing. I once went 2 months hitting em 5x a week, that's when I think they were the biggest. I've lost a little size since then.

This question was prompted from when I went to Gold's Gym, my new gym recently signed up, and saw a strange machine with pedals. I put my feet on the pedals and push down, that's it, a calves machine. So I was interested in it and got on it, 50 lbs to feel out my form, didn't feel anything. 100 lbs, still too light. 200 lbs feels decent but not good intensity, stack at 400 is still pretty weak. I wish the stack was 800 or so, that would be a good place for me, something to shoot for.

I was spoiled at university gym with the leg press where i'd load up for 830 lbs and do toe presses. They also had a standing calf raises machine, did that 200 lbs stack, hurts my back a little bit but calves were doing fine. Most recently doing seated calf raises with 6 plates, that's a good struggle!

For the reps and sets I mix it up a lot. Last calves workout I did, was at SnapFitness [the 400lbs on the Gold's machine I was just playing around, it wasn't a drop of sweat hard]

seated raises
x15 2 plates, drop set to x20 1 plate
transition to standing on my toes
no rest,
x15 2 plates, drop set to x20 1 plate
transition to standing on my toes
no rest,
x15 2 plates, drop set to x20 1 plate
transition to standing on my toes
no rest,
x15 2 plates, drop set to x20 1 plate
transition to standing on my toes
no rest,
x15 2 plates, drop set to x4 1 plate, injured myself here, caught my finger in the machine, it's ok, just a little bleeding nothing serious

x40 1 plate

There isn't any leg press, standing raises or seated raises at Gold's Gym, they're just moving into a new space so there's a lack of machines and free weights but it's OK right now. No AC but it's still a lot better than my previous gym, SnapFitness. Only the pedal calf machine at Gold's Gym, can I get any suggestions? I was thinking of something challenging like smith machine calf raises. If I can find a little box or platform I'd use that with the smith machine too. I would do dumbbell raises with a box but first it'd be difficult to balance those in my hands and Gold's doesn't have any dumbbells bigger than 110 lbs at the moment and I would want to hold 200 lbs to make the exercise hard but I doubt I could hold on to 200's!

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks T-Nation.


As you already indicated, don't get too proud about your calf-machine numbers, they're horseshit and mean nothing!!

Just do squats and specifically for calves jump squats with a barbell, no smith machine. There's also a good article here called "diamond calves" or sth which explains some other good FREE-WEIGHT movements for calves.


Who says you have to hold on both dumbbells and do both calves at the same time?


Ok thanks I'll search for that article.

I wasn't trying to show off numbers, just give an idea of what I can work with and what's available to me. The last thing I want to do is show off, there's so much of that on this website already.


Buy a 100 pound weight vest. Jump rope on one leg as long as possible and alternate while wearing weight vest.
Run up hills with said weight vest. Enjoy the suffering!


That's not my impression: seriously, I thought your post was not only the most show-off post I've read today, but the only show-off post I've seen here in a while.

But on to useful points: as already indicated, if a machine is maxed out using both calves, then use it one leg at a time. Dilemma solved.


is that you in your avatar?




read, learn.

what do you think this is, a soup kitchen?


Calves are never too strong. The big weights are caused by freaky machine leverages. I use 600 pounds on the donkey calf raise machine for 15+ reps.


Honestly, a lot of people do see this as a soup kitchen.


Ginger troll...


has no soul


Do you skip? It's really hard on the calves. Hurts in a different way to weight training, too.


run some stairs or uphill


Makes you wonder why he's so worried about his calves, doesn't it?


Lol I'll see you both in hell. :slight_smile:


This place is weird.

I ask for advice and get a called a troll.

Thank you for the articles though.

And yes that's me in my avatar.


Where does the line start?


I don't disagree with that.

But people expect you to do your own research and have somewhat specific questions, rather than hold your hand.

Does that make sense?

You question is kinda like going to a guitar forum and saying "Yo guys, I shred like a motherfucker. I can play Clapton's entire catalog fucking spotless, and now I need a new artist to emulate. Can you email the name of said player and all his tab/sheetmusic? Thanks guys."

Rather than saying:

"Hey guys, I'm trying to learn Stairway and I'm a bit lost during the chorus, can you help me out with the chord progression after the first G#?"


Well, when you announce that your "calves are too strong," then list all kinds of figures of your lifts in detail (which was totally unnecessary) and announce you didn't break a sweat in doing it, you look like a troll.

Now if you didn't write that title of "Calves are too strong" then that is unfair.

But if you did, then your own efforts led to people concluding as they did.

It doesn't even make sense. If your calves were too strong, why you would be asking advice on them. Besides, you said they were bigger before. So you already know what you did before that had them better, so why not just do that instead of ask advice?

The purpose seemed to be to trumpet your figures and announce how it was so easy for you, you were just playing. It really does look that way. An attempt for attention. That's why you were called a troll.

Besides, the solutions are so obvious: one of them, already stated, being to USE ONE LEG AT A TIME if the machine doesn't go heavy enough. Problem solved.