T Nation

Training Calves a MUST?

How many people here train calves? I train everything else but calves…I guess that is not really a good thing.

I used to train them when I first started…weird thing they would not grow in size but in strength, as odd as that sounds. So i got frustrated and stopped training them at all. I know… how can they get get stronger w/o growing. lol

Now I regret that decision everything is big on me but my chicken legs lol. From my understanding it is one of the hardest muscles to grow.

Anyone here start with chicken legs and BUST their ass to bring that body part up? I think I am going to start again, any tips?

I read on one of the articles that doing standing clave raises with the pads pressing down on your shoulders could compact your spine and over a period of time making you shorter/bad posture?

Although I’ve been training a long while (15 years), it’s only in the last 3 that my calves have come up. Which is cool on one hand, and uncool when I realize how long it took me to get over the “they’ll never grow” mentality and find something that worked. While I used to bust my ass doing squats, it occured to me one day that no one really sees your quads, but in summer, your calves are on full display, and if you’ve ever see someone with a ‘complete’ physique,… well, it’s damn cool when they’re popping out below a pair of cargo shorts.

S

[quote]Cron391 wrote:
How many people here train calves? I train everything else but calves…I guess that is not really a good thing.

I used to train them when I first started…weird thing they would not grow in size but in strength, as odd as that sounds. So i got frustrated and stopped training them at all. I know… how can they get get stronger w/o growing. lol

Now I regret that decision everything is big on me but my chicken legs lol. From my understanding it is one of the hardest muscles to grow.

Anyone here start with chicken legs and BUST their ass to bring that body part up? I think I am going to start again, any tips?

I read on one of the articles that doing standing clave raises with the pads pressing down on your shoulders could compact your spine and over a period of time making you shorter/bad posture?
[/quote]

I used to train them as a beginner and they never responded so I quit training them for years. I see growth in them now. In fact, they have come up quite a bit in the last 3 years or so that I have started training them several times a week (just about every time I lift).

They still lag behind everything else even though they measure at about 18". At my size, if they aren’t 20", they will still look small.

My calves didn’t start to grow until I got much heavier in body weight. It is like if you grow enough everywhere else and truly get big, they eventually pick something up even if they still lag.

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that really fat people seem to have some of the best calves on the planet.

i train them. i train them on my “scrap” day though.

what the scrap day refers to is my sunday. when i lump together abs, calves, shoulders, ad/abductors or anything else that really doesnt deserve its own session but still needs to get hit.

and basically if i have the availibility i do them. if im too tired or too busy, i dont.

my calves are making decent progress though. i use a (simple) method i created myself which i think works really well since its the only thing thats really brought em up.

just like Stu said, no one can really see your quads so if you to impress people with your lowerbody you need a set a calves bustin out.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that really fat people seem to have some of the best calves on the planet.
[/quote]

nor do i hence my measures of calf training are founded on that observation. most importantly the similarities between muscular anatomy; the similarities between forearms and calves both in their anatomical placement and their correspondence with the same gowth stimuli. in lamen terms, calves are like your forearms. they are similar in that they connect to hands and feet (which are similar) and that i believe they both grow better from TUT from maximal weight versus higher repetitions. and i would argue the amount of weight placed on them is more crucial to their growth than reps at all.

If your quads are big enough, they are always noticeable.

Does anyone have any feedback on calf development through wearing heavy ankle weights often. My calves are proportional in size to my arms, being that they each measure 16 inch, but look soo damn small considering i am 6"5 and have such long legs. Its definately a curse being tall in reguards to trying to look big!

I train my calves 2-3 times a week on average. I’m always trying a new routine or method for training them, too.

While, they have grown over the years, they are still far from impressive.

I’ve noticed that sometimes I can go long stretches of time without noticing anything in the way of development, despite significant gains in strength. Then, in a very short period of time, I can gain like a half inch on them.

They won’t grow if I don’t keep training them though, so I’ll keep grinding it out.

X Can I ask what your Calf Routine looks like?
or for that matter anyones elses Calf routine?

I also notice that fat people have some of the best calves…them and sprinters.

I took thought about the ankle weight thing but would it even make a big difference? I mean I know calves need heavy weight and volume to make them grow.

Do not wear ankle weights while walking/running around. That’s how knee injuries and cartilage wear happens.

[quote]Cron391 wrote:
X Can I ask what your Calf Routine looks like?
or for that matter anyones elses Calf routine?

I also notice that fat people have some of the best calves…them and sprinters.

I took thought about the ankle weight thing but would it even make a big difference? I mean I know calves need heavy weight and volume to make them grow. [/quote]

Ankle weights won’t do shit for calf development unless they weigh 50+lbs each and you are doing calf raises everywhere you go.

My calf routine is simple. It is the first thing I do when I get to the gym. I use it now just to help me focus on what I am about to work on that night. Sometimes I do both standing and seated raises but very often I will only do one or the other. I do them almost daily so it works out. I only do about 4 sets and leave it at that.

My calves used to be as big around as my ankles.

[quote]Cron391 wrote:
X Can I ask what your Calf Routine looks like?
or for that matter anyones elses Calf routine?

I also notice that fat people have some of the best calves…them and sprinters.

I took thought about the ankle weight thing but would it even make a big difference? I mean I know calves need heavy weight and volume to make them grow. [/quote]

I’m currently using this routine. I like it so far.

The thing is with ankle weights is that I really don’t think the added weight is really stressing the calves much. When I wear ankle weights, I feel it more in my knees and hip flexors.

If you’re going to add external weight, then I think you’d be better off getting a weighted vest and then doing some uphill walking and focus on your calves. I used to get great pumps in my calves when I did this. Actually, I need to start doing that again.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
Cron391 wrote:
X Can I ask what your Calf Routine looks like?
or for that matter anyones elses Calf routine?

I also notice that fat people have some of the best calves…them and sprinters.

I took thought about the ankle weight thing but would it even make a big difference? I mean I know calves need heavy weight and volume to make them grow.

I’m currently using this routine. I like it so far.

The thing is with ankle weights is that I really don’t think the added weight is really stressing the calves much. When I wear ankle weights, I feel it more in my knees and hip flexors.

If you’re going to add external weight, then I think you’d be better off getting a weighted vest and then doing some uphill walking and focus on your calves. I used to get great pumps in my calves when I did this. Actually, I need to start doing that again.[/quote]

hey vader how do you like those smith calf raises?

[quote]crod266 wrote:
AngryVader wrote:
Cron391 wrote:
X Can I ask what your Calf Routine looks like?
or for that matter anyones elses Calf routine?

I also notice that fat people have some of the best calves…them and sprinters.

I took thought about the ankle weight thing but would it even make a big difference? I mean I know calves need heavy weight and volume to make them grow.

I’m currently using this routine. I like it so far.

The thing is with ankle weights is that I really don’t think the added weight is really stressing the calves much. When I wear ankle weights, I feel it more in my knees and hip flexors.

If you’re going to add external weight, then I think you’d be better off getting a weighted vest and then doing some uphill walking and focus on your calves. I used to get great pumps in my calves when I did this. Actually, I need to start doing that again.

hey vader how do you like those smith calf raises?[/quote]

They aren’t too bad. I had to switch to calf raises on the leg press machine because the calf block at my gym has NO grip on it, so I’d have to readjust my feet after every few reps or so and it was getting frustrating.

In the past, I’ve never really focused on holding the stretched and contracted positions when training calves. I’ve always just tried to lift heavy and grind all the reps out. It’s a different stimulus for me, but I like it.

The Carl’s Calf Raise on day three is the one that has me cursing though. Once you get about halfway through the set, the burn gets pretty intense.

I train calves on every leg day, high reps.

In the summer I sprint up the hill that is next to my apartment. I think that is very underrated for calf size. Stay on your toes and an incline and feel the burn.

analog_kid, have you noticed much actual, measurable growth (or strength/stiffness improvement) from doing that or you just get a good burn?(honest question)

I train calves once a week in addition to leg day.

Mine are strong as fuck but arent much larger than they were before I started hitting them hard.

Like X said the only thing that really reliably makes them larger is gaining weight.

Adapting to carry around an extra 30-50 pounds all day long will make them larger.

Ever notice that fat people still have amazing calves when they cut down ? Even women.

Fat man calves is from carrying around 350 pounds all day ever day for years.

The best thing I ever stumbled upon, was doing straight leg and bent leg calf work on different days. I’d seen way too many people just do a few sets of ‘this’, then a few sets of ‘that’… usually after a very intense upper leg workout. So I figured I’d divide and conquor, so to speak.

After chest (which used to be done by itself as it was a weak point for me), I would do 20 minutes of straight leg calf work (either the machine they have, or standing on a block under a smith). On ‘Leg’ day, after my quads and hams, I do 10 minutes of seated calves, usually higher rep ranges than I use for straight leg work.

I honestly feel that this has enabled me to do more work, and really deal with my calves’ inclinzation to take a beating without growing for so many years. I hit 'em with more frequency, and more volume, and don’t end up staying in the gym for 2 hours each time.

S

call me crazy but calves and forearms are muscles i think people have by way of genetics. my brother has never worked out in his life, eats like crap and has calves that are big as well as striated to all hell, same with his forearms. Not saying you can’t build them up but as far as making flat calves turn into cantaloupes…forget about it!

What do people think about the Olympic lifts for calf development: rubbish or magical cure?