Who doesn’t want a big set of calves? Some people are naturally gifted with better genetics than others. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get big calves. It takes work and dedication, plus the right program.
First you have to understand the basics of the program and then let’s get started!
Range of Motion
Far too many people load up a ton of weight and then bounce through a very short range of motion to work their calves. They don’t get a full stretch down or a peak contraction at the top. The theory is since you walk on the calves all day you need to add a ton more weight because the muscle is dense.
While the muscle might be dense it is also used to being worked in that short range over and over. What it isn’t used to is a full stretch or contraction. You can tell because almost everyone has tight calves. So for each exercise you are doing the weight should be lighter to allow a very deep stretch, followed by a slow rep, and ending with a peak contraction that is held for a five count. Then you should lower the heel slowly again down to that deep stretch (five count) and start again.
So when using machines you need to set them up for maximum range of motion before you even load the weight. Most people never even bother adjusting the height on either the standing machine or seated machine; they just dive in and crank out reps.
If you have stubborn calves then work them out first. They should get top priority which also means more energy and focus. If you work them on legs day then they get an added bonus of a residual workout during squats and presses.
It is a pretty simple workout. You can workout calves twice a week. Start by doing the very slow reps with exaggerated pauses at the bottom and top of the exercise. After you finish the basic reps and can’t hold the contractions any longer switch the faster reps that target the mid-range and fully pump up the calves. This is also a combination of doing heavy-light work.
- Seated Calf Raises – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
- Standing Calf Raises – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
The Bottom Line
Yes calves are dense muscles but this method covers working the upper and lower ranges first with power and then blasting the middle with endurance. If you follow this workout specifically you should feel a pump and burn that is second to none. Fair warning, you might be a bit sore the next few days!