T Nation

Calves


#1

ok i'm sure this has been asked many times but how can i get bigger calves? I've searched on google alot but their is so many different ideas, and most of them involve equiptment i don't have. I workout at home and have dumbells and thats about it :(.

Curently my only leg exercises are: Calf raises and squats so i'm guessing i can add more to my leg workout wich i do twice per week. (don't have kbell for deadlift) And yes i do get 8 hours sleep and eat alot but my calfs are barely visible :(.
Thx.


#2

Find the "Luke Sauder" calf routine in one of the very first issues of T-mag (in the archives) under Charles Poliquin's "Question of Strength" column.


#3

Check out the calf routine from my first Branding Iron column (fall '03), it works especially well.


#4

Try this:

Get the heaviest dumbells you've got and bring them in front of the TV.

Now, whenever you watch TV and there's a commercial break, pick up those dumbells and do calf raises.

If the weight feels too light, do them one leg at a time; alternating legs every 30 seconds (or every time the commercials change, which comes out to about 30 secs). You might have to hold only one dumbell and use the free hand for balance.

If you've got a wife/girlfriend/buddy present, you can also do donkey calf raises. If only grandma is present, give these a pass.

Other variations to try: Get a 3 foot wide 2x6 and put your toes on it to get a better stretch; do them barefoot on the flat floor, you might feel them differently than when wearing shoes.

I believe Prof X has once suggested wearing high heels around the house, but I've got no experience with that technique, so...

The point is to inform your calves that, unless they grow soon, they'll die. :slight_smile:


#5

Thanx but a couple of questions:
1: Can i increse blood flow without any equiptment?

2: You have put 7rm for both exercises, i'm not very experienced so does that mean that on the first set i should be albe to do 7 reps? or on all the sets and i should be lowering the weight between each set?

Plus i'm now worried does this mean that when i do my 5 reps 5 sets of chinups and can't complete the last set (only get about 3 reps done) am i training to failure and is that a bad thing?


#6

No equipment? Sprint.


#7

Has anyone had any luck with skipping rope as a means of stimulating calf growth, either as the sole means of training calves or in conjunction with more traditional resistance training?

Is hopping up and down on one leg or both legs without rope a viable alternative to skipping rope? I recall it being the last stage of a 6 or 7 exercise Ian King calf giant set program. I tried a few sets of 1 minute single leg hops yesterday and my calves are sore as hell today.


#8

I'd like to give Chad's Branding Iron routine a shot - looks like it could be just what my stick-like calves need to spur some growth!

One question and one problem though.

  • Does the routine stimulate the gastrocnemius muscles? I read that seated raises primarily stress the soleus but perhaps they hit the gastrocs hard too?

  • My gym does not have a seated calf machine so I'm wondering about alternatives. If the bent knee position is critical what options do I have? I tried using the smith machine bar across my knees with a towel for comfort and it worked to some extent but was awkward and a bit sore. Also tried one leg seated calf raises with a couple of 45s on my knee with same sort of results. Maybe standing raised are a viable alternative to seated in this routine?

Appreciate any input,

Niall


#9

so is it general consesnsus that if i sprint after this calf routine i will increase blood flow? can someone please be more specific like how much to sprint, and could someone please explain training to failure and wether to do it or not!? Thx i desperately need help.


#10

I've done a ton of both jumping rope and with a routine of jumping up and crossing the legs back and forth and up and down, mixing it all in. I'll tell you it's verry good for coordination and being light on your feet if you're into martial arts or boxing. It's also fantastic aerobically, about 3x as effective as jogging. And it's a great overall warm-up. It's also a great way to get rid of gas before you find yourself locked up in a car on a date. :slightly_smiling:

Both those exercises carry over very well into running on difficult surfaces, like deep sand, which really kills the calves even of people who run like crazy, but just aren't used to sand.

It will make your calves somewhat bigger, but it's mostly endurance work. Therefore, though these exercises are absolutely superb, they're not superb for what it looks like you want.

That said, I've done quite a bit of jumping rope on one leg, and that is definitely a great calf-burner. Still, I think you'll rapidly get to the point where you're strong enough that you can do so many jumps that the majority of the training tilts toward endurance, not strength or mass. If not, I would have had huge body builder calves long, long ago. And I don't.

For strength or mass, you're going to need to move more weight, and probably a lot fewer times.


#11

Chad,

Just started the first week of your Art of Waterbury after a month on TBT.Couple of questions for you about the T.A.O.W

1.)On the superset days do you do A1 then immediatly A2 then rest 70 secs?

2.)Should/can u have a rest after compliting all the sets for an exercise or a superset ? if so how long I usually do 3 mins

3.)For one reason or another I cant do seated calf raises and or donkey raises at my gym.Is there any exercise I can substitute for?