T Nation

Deflated Diamonds

Guys, I have relatively small calves and was wondering how often eveyone else trains their calves. I know they are like every other muscle, but I feel that they need more work simple for a shock factor since they are used pretty much all day, everyday (except sleep). I read ‘diamonds in the rough’ and have implemented some of the techniques, but I just want some other user feedback.

Do you have “high calves”. Some times people with them have trouble with calf size. I have high calves (at least for a white guy) and they take better to explosive movements. Cleans and jumping movements have done wonders, and I think they respond best to sprinting, any where from 50-200 meters works great for me.

How do you expect to get big calves when the rest of you is small? Get bigger overall, then start worrying about your calves.

Tell us what you’re doing now for calves: exercises, sets, reps etc.

I gave up on them.

What is your calf measurement in proportion to your upper arm measurement?

I had pretty good damn calves for a long time. I worked them hard, and it paid off. But then I started powerlifting and not really doing any direct calf work. (Perhaps the GHRs hit them a little isometrically.) I have gotten a lot larger and a lot stronger in this time, and my calves have gotten bigger without even working them out.

Perhaps you could work harder on your calves. But you might wish to consider the option of getting bigger and stronger for now and only really worrying about a body part if it’s really lagging.

My training for calves goes every other day and depending on what I did the last time I will either do standing calf raises for 15reps x 4 sets, seated raises 15reps x 4 sets (all with heavy weight), sprints w/ weighted vest on, or heal-to-toe walk with dumbells.

And Tommy, I expect to get bigger all over and that’s why I am trying to have a good calf training so I don’t have to worry about it later cause that would be stupid to neglect them.

Arms and calves measure equal right now @ 14.5’’; I am about to go back on a bulking phase withing the next 2 weeks and am just getting all my ducks in a row with regards to my new program.

First at 15 reps Baes you’re not going to induce hypertrophy in the calve muscle. The rep range is way to high for muscle growth. You’ll get structural hypertrophy but signifiant gains will not happen at reps that high.

Second you’re working them every other day? Where’s the time for them to heal and grow? How could you break the calve muscle down every other day and still expect them to grow? That’s not going to happen.

Calves are a difficult group to bring up if they are lagging. That said, if they are your priority they should appear at the start of your progam and at the start of your training week. This is when you’ll have the most energy to devote to them.

Second, you seem to be of the opinion that calves require additional work and as such you train them every other day. Unfortunately, while this may or may not be true, it isn’t working for you. You’ll need to abandon this approach if you want to see new growth. Try once per week and see what happens.

Check out some of Ian King’s workouts to get some ideas for new calf exercises. He has a crazy superset with standing raises, seated raises, hopping on one foot, and then balancing on the same foot. It seems silly, but the new stimulus might evoke growth.

Finally, ART can help to separate the calf muscles and possibly be valuable.

working your calves every other day? unless you’ve got super-recovery skills, your calves are always going to be playing catch-up to the work you give them every subsequent workout. you’re continuously putting them in recovery deficit - not good for growth or strength.

i agree with what others have said about calve work - the movements you do for them must be incorporated into a wider range that complements what the rest of your body is doing. it’s like some of the lightbulbs that you see at the gym - able to bench 250 but squat at best 135. more importantly for me, and what i found best for my calves, is doing other leg movements (mostly compound movements) that automatically use calves as stabilizers (its pretty much an isometric contraction throughout). these include deadlifts, leg presses, squats, cleans, etc. i just find that doing these movements works my calves as well, even though they are not primary movers. my only other suggestion would be to look at something like a romanian deadlift that works your calves, hams, back, traps, delts. a lot of bang for your buck.

forgot to mention - stretch them really well after direct calve work. i always feel like they recover better doing this (haven’t a clue why though)

forget working your calves…

ladies dont see them when your at a bar anyways…

lol just kidding

i have ‘huge’ calves/thighs… but that was from bicycling since i was a lil’


A few other things to think about. To hit both calf muscles, you need to do both straight leg and bent leg exercises. That means seated and standing calf raises, among others. If you’ve been neglecting one of them, an emphasis on that movement may bring you calves up to par. I used to do only standing movements, and when I learned this I focused on seated raises and it really helped. So you may need to focus on either the gastroc or the soleus if you’re really imbalanced. Poliquin has written about this alot at t-mag. Waterbury too I think.

Then again, at age 20 maybe you just need to deadlift. :slight_smile:

jaystyles? what’s your problem? can you even pick up chicks? first thing i do when i meet some grade A hot meat is turn around and flex my soleus! first the left, then the right, and then i make them dance around a little. maybe if you worked your calves you’d be showing off your soleus to everyone you meet!

I have 17" calves but never train them directly, go figure?! All I do is OL’s and 400m sprints.

What’s the correlation between upper arm size and calf size. You inspired me so I measured mine and realized I have put on 1/2" on my arms over the last 6 to 8 weeks :). Thanks bro, you made my weekend!

I do seated and standing movements every 3-4 days (let it heal) and always on legs day and always last. Also, toe in, toe out raises. Those little bastards take alot of energy and hurt like hell when I’m done. (had to sell my stick shift and buy an automatic for that, LOL)Mine are only 16 1/4" but hey look good (if I do say so myself). Hard and cut to the max.

i put on an inch on my calves in the last 2 days. i cant walk and they hurt like a mutha fuka but they look cool…

interval training on a bicycle was my ticket…

as for big d… i’m willing to go on a ‘whore-run’ just to show you