this is a long post but please bear with me. this is the most knowledgeble group of individuals i have come across concerning strengh/diet/training(even the average joe here has things to say that are worth printing and saving!) and i wanted to lay all of this out as best i could.
thanks for your time,
i was born club footed (i dont know the medical term). basically my feet were twisted in so badly it looked like they were upside down and backwards. apparently i had a world renowned doctor perform surgery on me and the results, i am told, were/are spectacular. most people with this severity of deformity cannot walk in a normal fashion and have to wear corrective gear much of the time if they can.
i was lucky and have always excelled in athletic endeavors. i didnt really notice a problem(?) until i started skateboarding and practicing martial arts. you see, i have limited dorsiflexion in both ankles. my left is far worse than my right( my knee cannot cross in front of the vertical plane of the end of my foot without my heel coming off the ground). this made switch-stance tricks on my skateboard and form symmetry in kata very difficult. i basically had to learn balance for each side of my body as my ankle hardly bends on my left foot.
around the age of 16 i started to notice my skinny calves were not developing as much as my peers. i also noticed my right calf was much larger/more defined than my left. i played football all through highschool and my feet did not hinder me at all (although they did prevent me from joining the military. kind of sucks to be able to run a 4.7 40yd and have some doc tell you you cant join because your feet dont work. any way…)
my senior year in high school i started training in martial arts and lifting seriosly. i immediately notice i had difficulty squatting without a board under my heels and my left heel needed to be elevated more than my right in order for my legs/thighs to move in the same plane).
i soon saw my right leg and calf developing far faster than my left. also my hips/back would twist while squatting; my trunk compensating for lack of flexion in my left foot.
i started lifting seriously again at age 24 (i am 27 now). ive always been lean (6pack) and weighed 165 at 6’1" almost 3 years ago. i now weigh 200 and the same body fat. im happy with my muscle gains (and really happy i found this site!) but still would like to see some improvement in my left calf and leg.
im not a body builder per se. and am really getting into powerlifting and olympic lifts. i solved my squating problem by by widening my stance a bunch and my limited mobility in my left ankle isnt a problem with deads as my best lifting is done with my shins remaining vertical. i do have to have my left foot pointed inward and my right foot slightly ahead of my left, to get my legs working the same. its hard to explain without a pic, but basically for my knees to face forward my right foot points straight ahead(like normal), whereas my left foot must point inward at about 20degrees.
originally i just thought of having tiny calves would be something i could deal with(after all i was strong;deadlifting 500 within my first 8mos of training with them and i will have 600 by november), but i am getting concerned with the imbalances of strength/size in my left leg.
the imbalance is more in size than strength as my calf only has to deal with a limited range of motion. still, i wouldnt mind, at least, getting my left calf caught up to the size of my right. my left calf measures 13.5" my right 16". my family is pretty much genetically gifted with calf and forearm development. i have almost 16" forearms and never train them exclusively. my mom and little sisters on the other hand halv around 16" calves and my brother,uncles and dad halve 18"+ calves(alot of them with no training).
in order to get full contraction in my calf muscles i must roll onto the outside/front of my foot, not onto the ball. i have been having some success with static contraction training; bringing up the strength in my left calf and leg but am still not seeing any development in size.
i will appreciate any feedback at all, be it advice, critique or whatever.
thanks guys for reading through all of that and thanks to t-mag for the great site!