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Replacing Calf Raises in Program with Lunges?

I don’t have much use for calf raises and was wondering if lunges would be a suitable replacement in the following program in workout b ( adopted from “solutions for the skinny fat ectomorph”)

Workout a
Bench 3 x 5
Pull ups x 40 total reps spread through workout
Trap bar deadlift 4 x 8
Good morning 2 x 8-12
Push-ups 2 x max / curls 2 x 10-15

Workout b
Overhead press 3 x 6-8
DB rows 4 x 8-12
Hip thrusts 2 x 12
Calf raises 2 x 20
Farmers walk

Workout c
Deadlift 3 x 5
Front squat 3 x 5
Pull ups x 25
Incline press 3 x 8
Dips 2 x max / curls 2 x 15

If you’re going to do a program, do it exactly as written. It’s set out as it is for a reason.


If you can do lunges before farmer’s walks, you aren’t pushing one of those exercises hard enough.

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Yes, good substitution. That workout isn’t very difficult in absolute terms and lunges do a shitload more for your body than calf raises.

In general I’d agree, but beginner’s have a lot more “training economy” buffer than advanced guys because they’re so inefficient at using their muscle. It’s not like he’s going to be lunging with the 80-100 lb dumbbells…

I just have the sneaking suspicion that he is doing farmer’s with dumbbells and treating it like a grip exercise rather than a full body loaded carry. I have been seeing a LOT of trainees doing that these days.


I wouldn’t replace an exercise with something illogical, but in this case I feel lunges or goblet squats would be more productive

I say go for it. Lunges are oodles better than calf raises for everything except calves, and who gives a shit about them?

From like a “Functional Movement” stand point, I would totally hit those lunges, right after hip thrusts. You’d working the leg extension/hip flexion of your quads from 2 angles. I think that’s a smart way to pair up.

If you’re using a fat ectomorph’s program, you could probably use some practice “moving around.” Controlling the way your knee tracks over your toes, and how your quad and hip and Glute work together, like you do in the lunge, Will help your front squat and deadlift.

I don’t mean to argue with Mark and Punisher. It’s just that they are studs, and have figured out how to move around pretty well.

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Hahaha. I don’t doubt it. That’s a very prominent problem and has been since farmer’s walks became popular. I was just sort of mentioning that you’re a shitload stronger and more experienced than he is and they drain experienced guys more than beginners.

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I do use Dumbbells because that is all I have access to, but I make sure I use good posture and I use a weight that I can walk for at least 45 seconds, which is around 60 pounds per arm or 120 total.

I do that with 1 dumbbell. A “suitcase walk” to really challenge the posture, and force the hip/oblique of the off side to work.

I do my lunges and step ups the same way.

If upper cross syndrome is for real, I’m gonna prevent it.

That’s what I am getting at; you are using very light weights and not actually training the movement as it was designed, which means not getting the benefits as ascribed in the program.

Lots of companies make farmers handles. You could probably get some. Otherwise, consider getting a sandbag and doing front carries instead.


How is the movement designed to be used?

It is a heavy load that taxes the entire body with a quick stride. Farmer’s handles are designed to not roll out of your hand and allow for a quick stride since it won’t bump against your legs like dumbbells will.

As an example, I have performed farmers with 300lbs per hand with the implements, but there is no way I could the same with a 300lb dumbbell.

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You could also use lifting straps in the mean time so that you could load up heavier and save your grip from being the weak point.

Farmer’s handles are great implements

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I use straps with the handles to be super ridiculous, haha.

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Calf raises are there as injury prevention IMO. You should do them.

If you can’t, consider lightish prowler runs (swap the farmer and prowler work around)

@Yogi1 I have high calves that barely grow. They make your entire legs look small even when you have meaty thighs.

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you and me both. Gave up on those fuckers a long time ago

They’re great for Boot Season tho!

I really know what you are saying, but having worked on a farm for the majority of my youth, I disagree a bit.

Yes, grip is important, but the action is more important. Yes, 30lbs is not a goal to strive for, but nothing wrong with starting. At one point, if he wants to compete for real, yes, the tools will have to change. But for now, I see more good then harm just by doing it.

And OP. Time to move up the rack. And, if you can, I find kettle bells way more comfy.