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!
If you look at your body in a biological standpoint, we have various processes that occur in a Yin & Yang like-way. For example, anabolic and catabolic processes are both a necessity for our sleep/wake cycles, for exercise & recovery, and more.
These are a part of our Circadian Rhythm, which are physical, mental & even behavioral changes that follow our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.
In understanding this, we can explore a new and promising area of study: Chrononutrition.
In this post, we are going to talk about Chrononutrition, an area that could potentially be great opportunity for building healthy habits towards fitness.
Let's dive in!
Everyone uses the scale to track progress, but I’d argue it’s one of the least important methods to track progress.
It's never consistent, due to a variety of factors: sodium intake, water intake, stress, hormones, poor sleep, and more.
So today, I wanted to talk about all of the Body Performance Indicators you can utilize to measure progress.
Let's dive in!
One of the more common questions that gets asked in fitness is if 6 meals a day is "mandatory".
It's not necessarily mandatory, but it is commonly utilized by pro bodybuilders in their contest prep phases.
I have been eating 3-5 meals a day for years, implementing 4 strategies I typically prioritize my nutrition with.
So with that, we are going to dive into 4 Nutrient Timing strategies you should utilize in this post.
Let's dive in!