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Training Calfs Before Squatting?


Any body train there calfs before they squat???? Any down side to doing this??? Thanks for any help-Jack


i'd do those the other way around. i'd assume you want to be fresher when putting up bigger weight. so, would you rather have taxed calves when squatting, or when doing calf raises when you want them to be?


you might feel a bit of trouble doing calves before squats, they help keep you stable during the squat. I would agree with midwestathlete that you would probably want to do the larger, more taxing ex. first


Why do you want to? What would you be trying to achieve? If you have a reason, go ahead and give it a try.

I find that when my calves are very sore from running, It has little effect at all on my squat. Keep in mind I squat very wide so my shins hardly move when I squat, if your a narrower stance squatter, or have much forward knee movement, it may be different.


I have a hard time walking out with heavy weight so I deffinately would not try it.


Do it!

I've been doing it and it doesn't effect you squatting numbers

if someone like Justin Harris does it, it can't be all that bad to do.


Justin Harris does this? This seems like a huge, and pointless safety risk. You wouldn't work your forearms before benching, would you?


I say try it. It is the only way you are going to know if it works, right?

It may depend upon how you train calves. For instance if you do standing calf raises with massive weights (substantially more than you are capable of squatting) -then when you get to squatting your training weights may "feel" lighter and therefore give you a psychological advantage.

If you do seated calf raises...well that may not work to your advantage so much.

I've tried it -I liked it.
There is a definite psychological boost to handling heavy, heavy weights at the beginning of your session. It seems to make everything else seem light by comparison.


...if I walked on my hands I might



Pre-exhausting the calves would provide them with greater growth stimulus. They would also hinder you from setting squat PRs on any given day.


This is true. But, Justin has also stated on several occasions that he doesn't train specifically for powerlifting. He's a bodybuilder first and foremost. He just also happens to love to lift heavy and has competed in powerlifting.

I train calves before squats as well, but I'm admittedly not a powerlifter.

I agree with others that the OP should just try it and see how they like it.


You know, I'm not convinced that the calves would inhibit your squat at all. Maybe the walkout, but they just don't do anything in a squat.


It might prevent a all time PR on the first couple of sessions. so if his pr is 450 he might only squat 440 the first time, but that doesn't mean he'll never set a pr again. his next time he could squat 450 and that would be a pr. a month later he could squat 460. and then if he ever prepares for a meet he can stop training calves for a while and get an instant pr out of that.
Max effort isn't about setting an all time pr, its about straining with heavy loads for a training effect.


I would never do this, in fact I think it's a dumb idea.

That being said, I lift as heavy as I can and that's what I like to do. I never found pre exhaustion to be very effective. Maybe because it didn't meet my needs, but still, I got to 20-205 at 5'7" without it. By lifting heavy stuff and doing accessory work.

As some said, you wouldn't train forearms before benching. I don't deadlift before squats, I don't do grip work before benches, and I wouldn't do calves before squats.


It's just better to get used to handling heavy weights by getting bigger and stronger. To me weights aren't heavy until it's 300+ in my hands for benches and boards, and close to 500 in squats and deads.

I don't need a psychological boost because I know I can deadlift 500 with the flu while shitting myself. In fact, the big, strong guys who I know, and I'm not one of them don't need any boost. They just try to lift it.

And they don't screw around with this kind of stuff. A good way to understand this stuff is WWLSD Or WWCVD, or WWABD? The letters stand for what would Louie Simmons, Chuck Vogelpuhl, or Andy Bolton do?


Well, i think i'll give it a try,everyone's body is different so i'll see how mine takes to it.Right now i'm not using crazy weight so this would be the time to see.I'm in the 5th week of madcow's 5x5.My weights are bench 325x5,squat and dead 445x5 for this week.I am both raw and natural.Thanks for everyone's time....


You still haven't explained your reasoning. Do you have a reason or is this just a whim?


True, I'm trying to be a pler myself, and I sometimes feel like doing calves before squats, and it doesn't really affect my squat at all. I think the OP should just do it.


i feel that when i start getting into the higher weights with squats a stronger calf would be a better platform to work off of....i happen to have high calves and figured a stronger soleus and gastroc tendon would help with stabity....for the record i am not a powerlifter,i just enjoy training...


forgot to say...i have torn a few tendons and i feel muscle imbalance played a large part....i go by the saying your only as strong as your weakest link...