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!
As my brother has a passion for powerlifting and gaming, one of the biggest challenges he has faced is getting proper nutrition in his daily diet.
While you might not think it, poor nutrition has a negative impact on mood, energy, focus, and more. Now it won't make you better at a gaming session, but it most definitely will allow you to perform your best.
Pro gamers have nutrition regiments and training programs to abide by. This allows them to perform their best when the time comes.
In this post, we are going to dive into our recommended supplements for gamers.
When I started working out at 17 years old, it was all about how good I looked. I would chase the six-pack abs because I believed that was a measurement of success.
As it was my goal, I would fail consistently to keep them for a long period of time. I would develop temporary binge eating disorders because I would restrict my calories too much.
Eventually, I realized that when I changed my mindset... my abs would eventually chase me.
In our latest post, I wanted to give you my own training framework - a Reforged one. This post will be an introduction to a systematic approach to creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself.
If you look at many great individuals in history (from inventors to athletes and to leaders), you will see each one of them had various unique rituals.
In following a routine that improves the mind, body, and soul, you can focus more of your energy towards the more complex tasks in life.
At Reforged, we believe if you can control your morning ritual and evening ritual, you can seize your destiny.
In this article, we are going to go over our framework in creating our own rituals.