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RIDICULOUSLY PUSSY CALVES

The title says it all. My calves are so thin and skinny its ABSURD. I need help in this area. What should I do? I cant seem to get them big no matter what I do. The upper part of my calf is really high up on my leg, and the lower part (i guess the muscle you use during seated calf raises) is completley non existent. Theres like bone, some tendons, a little muscle, but the size is just obscenely small. HELP!

Without knowing what you’ve done in that area before, I’d recommend cleans and snatches, and definitely give Ian King’s calf program a try. You’ll be limping for a week, but, hey, when do you not suffer w/ an Ian King program?

“The eccentric breakin load on the calves far exceeds the concentric load required to push the body forward.”

-Michael Colgan

If you train them with higher reps, the calves tire and ache (you feel the lactic acid build up), so you believe you are getting a workout. However, this concentric load is no where near the amount of stress you need to build strength.

"The bodybuilder who can lift what seems an incredible 1000 lbs for 10 reps to exhaustion on the shoulder calf machine, hardly stresses his calves at all because the eccentric load is too small. If you are one of the thousands who has worked calves to distraction, and they still look like chicken legs, you know exactly what I mean. Mountain runners on the other hand are constantly whacking their calves with big eccentric downhill breaking stresses. Every mountain runner we have worked with over the last 25 years has monster calves.

Now you know exactly how to fix the problem. Providing you don’t have dicky knees, you will get more calf growth from short, steep, downhill sprints that you will ever get with conventional training in the gym. If you can’t get out there to do sprints, then try this. On the seated calf machine, load up for a 6-8 rep max set. On each rep, at the top of the concentric contraction, take away one leg and do the eccentric with the other. Do three progressively heavier sets with each leg. Then do the same on the standing calf or, preferebly, the donkey calf machine. These extrememly heavy negatives grow your calf strength like crazy."

-Michael Colgan

Don’t forget to train the front of your legs as well. I think in one of Chad Waterbury’s Branding Iron articles, he goes over calf growth, and gives an exersice or two for foot dorsiflexion. Basically, your body will not let your calves grow too large without the antagonist(opposing) muscles growing also. It’s your bodies way of preventing injury.

Dumbbell toe raises(as explained in branding iron), or some uphill walking should do the trick.

My calves grew the most when I started running on a treadmill for cardio, it was enough to stimulate dorsiflexor growth, and in turn, calf growth.

Good Luck

dont be too shabbed about your calves cuz you probably have high-cut calves which enables you to store more elastic energy through achilles tendon.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I think really high calves look much, much better. They just look more athletic.

How’s your vertical jump? In one of Joe Defranco’s articles, he said that people with really high calves tend to have longer Achilles tendons which means more explosive, higher jumps. Think of it as an advantage.

You ither have calves genetically or you don’t. You can train the crap out of them all you want and they won’t grow a whole lot.

Guys will tell you oh you can try this it will make a huge difference, they are just trying to make you feel better.

Unless you are on some heavy supplements or enhancing pharmacueticals they will not change all that much.

Those who say different probably had good calves to start off with.

And those who didn’t probably are on the juice hard or are experimenting with synthol.

PPP

Try Strength Shoes! lol…

RUN MAN RUN!!! It’s the only thing that has changed my calf size, and I’ve tried everything.

BTW-“RUN”=Sprint

Cheers

Well, Arnold had skinny calves (never saw them though)… and he claims to have brought them up to size by doing 100s, if not, 1000s of hours on them… that, + the drugs, so I don’t know. I have horrible calves as well, they just won’t grow inwards. Sad really… but I guess you have to go EXTREMELY heavy on them. Train them every other day… I’m talking 100s of kg, several sets.

Try the diamonds in the rough program here on T-Nation (do the search).

good luck!

ps. if they grow, lemme know!!!

DO lots of squats in defferent rep ranges. I’ve been squatting 2-3 times a week with different weight/reps and have seen good growth in the “lower portion” of the calves. Over the last month or so this has been the most notable improvement in my whole body and I have never had great calves.

If some one says you can’t have good calves unless you are born with them, they are just saying this to make themselves/someone feel better. Your calf is a muscle just like the rest of 'um and can be improved on greatly with training.

I’ve always had nice calves with very little gym work. I attribute it to playing a lot of soccer as a kid and lots of hiking, backpacking, and trail running as an adult. As mentioned above, trail running is probably going to be a good option for you, or any type of sprint work for that matter. I prefer the trail running myself because of the various surfaces and angles that will work all of the muscles in your lower legs. Just be sure and get a good shoe if you choice this route.

At 6’1" I know exactly what you mean however I was able to add an inch in 6 weeks doing the following:

Two workouts a week (must be done in the AM or early afternoon!!):

Workout 1: 4 -working slowly up to- 8 sets of 25-15 reps with only 15-20 seconds of rest (REALIZE THAT YOU NEED TO LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR AND USE LIGHT WEIGHTS FOR THIS WORKOUT!) between sets for both standing calf raises and seated calf raises. You should be done within 20 minutes!

Workout 2: 6-10 sets of 6-4 for both exercises with 75 - 90 seconds of rest between the first 5 sets and 90-180 seconds of rest as you are nearing the 10th set.

Now here’s the kicker:
a minimum of 4 hours (preferably 8 hours)after this workout do the DOn Alessi “Plasmic Blowout”, which is 10 minutes of standing calf raises (just bodyweight and try to make it to 10 minutes WITHOUT ANY REST WHATSOEVER! TRUST ME THIS IS BRUTAL).

I limped for the first two weeks and then grew pretty much an inch in the next month.

I have given this program to three on my friends and they all grew close to an inch in 6-9 weeks.

Give this a shot BUT BE SURE TO EAT LIKE CRAZY ON THE DAY OF THE TWO WORKOUTS AND THE FOLLOWING 24 HOURS AS WELL AS SCALE DOWN THE WORK FOR YOUR OTHER MUSCLES!!! This is a specialization program and you should maintain the rest of your body and only try to grow your calves! (no if’s and’s or but’s about that last bit)

Good Luck!!!

Yes, it’s true, we all spend hours of our time reading these posts and lying to you all just to make you feel better about failure. Really, you should just cut your losses and give up on calf growth. Since genetics could possible have screwed you, you probably shouldn’t try any of the great ideas everybody has given you.

Thanks for playing!

(poster’s note- this post should have been read with sarcasm in mind)

I thought running on steep incline on the treadmill works quite well. Try jump ropes even with the weighted vest. Check Poliquin’s calves program… http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459264

Guys-

Thanks for all the responses, and reasons not to feel bad about my calves. Ive done stuff like soft sand sprints ( i mean totally BLASTING MY CALVES), jumping rope, and some other more traditional programs. Ive even done stuff like that 10 minute straight routine, somebody suggested earlier, and I LITERALLY COULD BARELY WALK FOR A WEEK. I nearly THREW UP after that work out, and the only thing I did was calves. Cleans and snatches sound great as well as some of the other programs mentioned including slow step sprinting down a hill. Thanks for the replies, and I will update you all. CHEERS!

On what Doval wrote:
All that for an inch increase? Does that one inch really make a difference? I don’t know why people have an obsession with calves. I could really care less about how they look, as long as they perform when it counts (jumping/sprinting). I bet your sprinting speed went down quite a bit with that endurance oriented routine, Doval.

not everyone needs functional calves…i certainly don’t. i’m already slow as it is. just want those diamonds on the back of my legs. :slight_smile:

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yeah, that’s what i’m talkin’ about!

Heh, want great calves? Do Thai Boxing, that way you are on your toes/ball of your feet the whole time (if you are training w/ proper technique) :wink:

Point is, if you are on your toes/ball of feet for long periods of time, your calves are gonna work like crazy.

Would they get big? Hmm, well, mine got bigger and better defined, might work for you too.

And yeah, running is great too, uphill running, basically anything that forces you to be on your toes.

I agree with Doval- 2 workouts a week, alternating heavy weight/low reps and light to moderate weight/higher reps. Also extended sets such as triple drops, supersets and giant sets have worked really well for me. I got the template from some of Ian King’s routines here on T-mag.

Also don’t believe the guys that say calves are TOTALLY genetic. Those are probably the same guys that do 2 sets of calf raises after a really hard leg workout once a month and then decide they just don’t have what it takes to build great calves.