T Nation

Layer System, Accessory Calf Work?

@CT

Hi, i’ve been looking through a lot of ‘layer system’ posts etc. I noticed that although the general rule is one lift only, you have said that you can include minor accessory work etc - 3/4 sets of 4-6 or 6-8 reps depending on the movement…

I was just wondering what you would recommend for calf work? I would probably utilize 3 sets of 6-8 as its an isolation move, but what day(s) could i include it? I feel my calves receive some stimulation from high pulls, so would it be good to place on these days for a more thorough stimulation or place it on other days to reduce fatigue? also is the set/rep range appropriate? Just so you know my lower body day is Trap Bar Deadlifts…

many thanks in advance!

-just something else i wanted to ask…

firstly, i love trap bar deadlifts! I was wondering if putting small plates under the HEELS is an acceptable way of emphasising the quads?

thanks again!

Hi lboro21,

Im not CT but i have some adive to offer.

Firstly, i would recommend you to buy a pair of olympic lifting shoes. These have the same effect as putting a small plate under your heels but will allow to stay much more grounded especially when driving up and out of a squat or trap bar dead. There are obviously many more benefits of lifting shoes but these are the the ones specific to you.

The best way to make the trap bar deadlift more quad dominant would be to do them from a deficit, this should be approx 1-2 20kg plates. This will increase the deficit enough so as to move the emphasis to your quads without jeperdising your lower back integrity and form.

I hope this helps

@Hull2012

Thank you, thats very helpful! i’ll look into these shoes :slight_smile:

-so would i be correct in saying that increasing heel angle is an acceptable twist trap bar deads?

I think i might try the deficit version until i get some lifting shoes!

thanks again!

  1. In my whole life I have never done a single set of calf raises and have better calves than most. I have also included calf work in maybe 2% of the people I trained, if that. I do not believe in calf work if you do a lot of explosive pulls.

  2. I second the olympic lifting shoes advice. I personally wear them all the time when I train. I makes it easier to a full range of motion in lower body exercises, increase quads recruitment in squats and makes you more stable in overhead pressing exercises.

@CT

yeah I remember you saying that in one of your videos about the calves! -I guess I’ll just focus on proper full body extension in my pulls and report back :slight_smile:

I performed Trap Bar Deadlift layers monday standing on a 20kg plate… I focused on keeping my back more upright (more like a squat) and I really felt it in my quads! -one thing though, it seemed that during the first rep of every heavy set was very slow, it took me about 1 second before i could get the bar moving! -the rest of the set was always smooth but I’m concerned at how difficult the first rep is???

to be honest, I was using a more touch-n-go approach than full reset between reps, should I lower the weight and go for full resets for hypertrophy?

lastly, whats your thoughts on training through muscle pain? my mid back / quads are aching after trap deadlifts yesterday, i’m meant to be doing high pulls tomorrow… should i take an extra rest day or push through? -should there be much aching at all on this program?

-Thanks in advance, and for all your help so far!

My calves have never looked better & I’m doing dead squat launch & 2 days of SGHP with the layer system…my calves are much more vascular & you can really see definition…I’m 6’3" too so I have long legs. Just thought I’d throw that in to go with what CT said…I haven’t done backward sled drags on my toes for awhile but those are awesome too…I don’t think anything beats Olympic lifts for calf development though

[quote]lboro21 wrote:
@CT

yeah I remember you saying that in one of your videos about the calves! -I guess I’ll just focus on proper full body extension in my pulls and report back :slight_smile:

I performed Trap Bar Deadlift layers monday standing on a 20kg plate… I focused on keeping my back more upright (more like a squat) and I really felt it in my quads! -one thing though, it seemed that during the first rep of every heavy set was very slow, it took me about 1 second before i could get the bar moving! -the rest of the set was always smooth but I’m concerned at how difficult the first rep is??? [/quote]

That is common to every “dead” lift, especially if you put your body in a less than advantageous mechanical position. As you work on it, it will improve, don’t worry.

[quote]lboro21 wrote:
to be honest, I was using a more touch-n-go approach than full reset between reps, should I lower the weight and go for full resets for hypertrophy?[/quote]

YES!!! Touch and go on any deadlift is to be avoided. First because it “cheats” the weight up with a small rebound, second because you can get out of position and risk an injury, third because you will not improve “dead starts” if you do not practice them.

The only thing that touch and go deadlifts are for is to boost your ego.

[quote]lboro21 wrote:
lastly, whats your thoughts on training through muscle pain? my mid back / quads are aching after trap deadlifts yesterday, i’m meant to be doing high pulls tomorrow… should i take an extra rest day or push through? -should there be much aching at all on this program?

-Thanks in advance, and for all your help so far! [/quote]

It depends on the pain, if it is just muscle soreness, work through it (it will actually get better as the workout progresses). If it is an unjury pain, wait until it is healed.

@CT

Woah just got back from my incline bench day… felt fantastic! i thought it would be a humbling experience as i havent benched in a while, but man i feel supercharged!

thanks for all you help on my questions CT, much appreciated! :slight_smile:

yeah I know what you mean with the deadlifts! I will work on proper resets. I guess with the lighter weight (to accommodate the resets) the bar will move faster anyway, so it should kill 2 birds with 1 barbell.

yes the soreness is just muscular. my joints are fine, and i dont have any psychological effects of overtraining :slight_smile: i’ll just power through my high pulls tomorrow then haha.

thanks again for your detailed responses,