T Nation

Forearm & Calf training

I’m have a hard time getting ANY size on my Calfs or forearms. I’m working them once a week, 6 sets each,
and suggestions to get them to grow? thanks


The first suggestion is stop thinking about them! If your calf muscle gets to big it will effect your ability to run, play sports etc. I have found that forearm development will always increase based upon the amount of weight it has to move.

Stop doing reverse gurls…oops curls and start doing Cleans and Deadlifts. Your forearms will grow, or die!

(You wanted to hear about all the preacher bench reverse curls huh? I will leave that for others if they dare to post it).

hi b-rok,
once a week, 6 sets each does not tell us much. what exercises are you using, how many reps? as far as forearm training goes i got good results from following CT’s keep your chin up program. this involved performing grip and forearm training at least twice weekly and performing brutal chin up sessions twice a week.
my forearms grew within a month of starting this program. you can find the article in T-mag issue 260.
hope this helps.


I have never trained forearms in isolation ever, i rely on deads, weighted dips, pull ups and other movements to help them grow. This works really well for me, maybe try doing some hammer curls

some time ago i cut down on calf work as well and i do 3 sets every other week and concentration doing squats, ass to grass style and again this has wored really really well.

Got my CoC grippers about a month ago, using them mon-wed-fri. Low volume and high intensity + negatives. My forearms have grown quite a bit from this.

I agree with ZEB. I’ve seen great growth in both my calfs and forearms through incorporating more cleans, snatches and power pulls all from hang. I don’t go heavy on them at all just work on speed and explosiveness.

Best Forearm work is squeezing the crap out of the bar during every other type of exercise you do. This is true from Bench, to Deads, to Zeb’s favorites Chins and Pullups.

Waterbury’s article “Old School Grip Training” comes to mind. Some good exercises are Rack Pulls, Farmer’s Walks, and Cleans (which also work your calves!). Also, using a thick bar for all your exercises really hits the forearms. If you can’t use a thick bar (if your gym doesn’t have one, or on exercises like chin-ups), just put on a pair of thick winter gloves. This will fry your forearms.

Calves: John Romaniello’s article “Diamonds in the Rough” was a good one. You also might want to incorporate dorsiflexion exercises. There was a thread called “Reverse Calf Raises” or something a few days ago.

For calves and forearms, you might want to read Waterbury’s article “100 Reps for Bigger Muscles”.

what exactly are you doing to increase the size of your calves and forearms? and what are you starting with? do your forearms/calves get sore from 6 sets?

i have fairly decent sized calves, but i’ve gained them over the years from playing lots of rugby. the work i get out of them now has more to do with deadlifts and leg presses, and direct calve work (standing, seated, etc). as for forearms, stick with the lifts others have mentioned (deads. pulldowns) and don’t use any straps. as an alternative, try indoor rock climbing. that will give your forearms growth and fatigue that you might think was not possible.

Volume. Plain and simple. You are not training them often enough. If you really want them to grow then start training them every workout up to 4x week. Make them a priority, thereby doing them first in your workout. If you have to train chest and back today, you would start with calves then move on to chest and back. When training the soleus(seated calf raises), use long TUT techniques such as very high reps(20-50r) because of the extreme slowtwitch fibre makeup of these muscles. This is why many runners have huge calves. Start wearing shorts everywhere you go. Studies have shown that exposing skin to air will stimulate growth in the muscle below the skin of that area. Actually, I just made up that last point. But you should start wearing shorts more often because you will want to train them more(in this case calves)because you and everyone else can see them more often, therefore you can’t hide underneath a layer of clothes.