by Tony Gjokaj March 19, 2020 4 min read
The Calves are a smaller muscle that many people have difficulty developing due to ineffective volume, poor moving patterns, and yes, we can even blame the genetics too.
But before we point and blame our genetics on the poor muscular development of the calves, we need to understand that majority of lifters do calves incorrectly.
This is seen from the individuals who put on obnoxious amounts of weight on the calf raise and “bounce” while attempting to perform a repetition.
In this article, we will discuss how to strategize on calf development to truly build some badass calves. Calves may be a big part of genetics, but that does not mean we can’t build some solid ones!
This is a chapter in our eBook, The Muscle Compendium.
The Calves consist of two major muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
The function of the calves is to flex the foot at the ankle and flex the leg at the knee. The calves work with the legs in the assistance of walking, running, jumping, and more.
When emphasizing the muscular development of the calves, one would flex the foot at the ankle by lifting your heel up and rising with your toes.
Isn’t it surprising that a simple muscle like this just absolutely sucks at growing?
Although the calves are a tiny muscle group, there are a variety of strategies you can utilize. In this section, we will discuss any strategies that will transform your calves.
This section is very limited when it comes to calf exercises; the most effective exercises are the following:
Use a standing calf raise variation and a seated/angle variation (either the seated or donkey calf raise).
*You can do dumbbell variations for standing and seated as well if you are lacking a specific calf machine!
To conclude our brief calf training section, we recommend doing 12-16 weekly sets for optimal calf development. You are able to spread calf work over 2-4x weekly granted you follow the weekly sets recommendation.
In regards to rep ranges, 10-20 reps are optimal. Utilizing standing and seated calf exercises will help muscular development in this area. Adding to that, I recommend trying unilateral/a single leg calf raise for effective development as well.
Since the calves are such a small muscle with a small range of motion, slow and controlled is the key to bigger calves. Commonly, people put a heavy amount of weight on the machine and bang out calves by “bouncing” up and down. This is absolutely ineffective and an insult to me.
When training calves, picture leading with the heels and ending with your toes. This means engage the liftoff with your heels first instead of your toes. You will contract your calves right at liftoff in doing this.
To conclude our calf training section, genetics plays a big part in fitness, but that should be no excuse to not train calves.
Thanks for reading, Reforged Legion!
Until next time!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj July 26, 2021 3 min read
What are the benefits of getting direct sun exposure?
Our human skin "runs" (for lack of better word) on a serotogenic system. This means that it is capable of producing serotonin. Sunlight exposure helps produce serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood, digestion, bone density, and sleep. It is synthesized from tryptophan as a result of Vitamin D, which is synthesized from sun exposure.
So in this post, we are going to explore what this means to us and why sunlight exposure benefits us.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj July 19, 2021 3 min read
In our quest to find what is leading to the decline in testosterone in men, we look towards the lifestyle choices encountered in our society today.
While we are all about optimal performance, some of us will sacrifice sleep, proper eating habits, and exercise for career performance.
One of the most neglected factors in this pursuit is sleep... and sleep is one factor that can have a large impact on testosterone.
So in this post, we are going to go over how sleep impacts your testosterone levels.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj July 14, 2021 4 min read
When it comes to testosterone production, many men scour the internet in hopes of finding various ways to improve testosterone naturally.
The big secret about all of this is that it is well within our grasp for most of us.
Nutrition, for example, can play a huge part in testosterone production and is essential to optimize.
So in this post, we are going to talk about nutrition and how we can use it to optimize our testosterone levels.
Let's dive in!
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