One of the most stubborn, smallest and desired muscle groups are calves. The fact that you are actually reading this article means that you are you lacking in calf size and obviously want to change that.
If all the efforts you have been putting into your calf workout whether at home or at the gym has not been yielding any desire result, then you have definitely come to the right place.
Calf muscles just don’t receive the same amount of indirect stimulation that most of your other smaller muscle groups do. For example, anytime you train your back, your biceps are also getting hit hard at the same time. When performing compound pressing for your chest or shoulders your triceps are involve.
Where as your calves only receive a very small amount of indirect work. Exercises like squats and deadlifts and leg presses do hit your calves to a degree, but not nearly with the same intensity that your arms or shoulders get work during presses and rows.
We need to first look at the common mistakes people make in their calf training. Once you identify what is holding you back from making progress, then you will start to get better results in your calf training.
1. TRAIN CALVES AFTER BRUTAL LEG WORKOUT
Without digging into deeps why your calves still look the same as last year. If your calves are lagging behind, then you shouldn’t be training them after you’ve just had an intense leg workout. and you have no gas left. For better results work your calves at the beginning of your leg workout for maximum results.
2. NO VOLUME
Another reason why most people calves aren’t getting bigger is the lack of volume. Performing 3 sets of 10-12 reps on a couple of exercises will get you nowhere. Start training them 3 times a week or possibly even 4 times a week if you’re serious about making gains there. If you’re only doing 3 or 4 sets for calves per workout, start doing 6-8 sets.
A lot of guys who have naturally thin calves will often complain that they can’t make any real gains no matter what they do. But when you look at their overall training program. Calf training is usually less volume than all of their other muscle groups.
On top of that, a lot of people won’t hesitate to go into the gym and perform a dedicated arm/ or chest workout. It’s unheard of for anybody to consider going into the gym to do a dedicated calf workout. We’re not not saying that you should do a workout for your calves only. But it’s just an example of how the majority of people treat their calf as a lower priority muscle group and wonder why they aren’t seeing as much progress.
3. NO VARIATIONS
People work their inner, outer, and medical bicep heads and are also proactive in their bicep training- but they don’t follow the same approach as regards to calf training. To get your calves effectively trained, they should be targeted from three angles.
You can do your calf workout by planting your feet parallel to target the medical calf heads. Placing your toes together and heels apart – to form an “A” – will target the outer calf heads and keeping your heels together and toes apart – to form a “V” – will work the inner heads.
Note: Performing calf raises with your toes at extreme angles will prevent maximum calf activation but also places stress on the ligaments and tissues in your ankles and knees. For best result one inch in or out will be fine.
Intensity is also very important. If you don’t train using heavy enough weight and if you don’t take your calf exercises close enough to the point of muscular failure then the growth stimulus just won’t be powerful enough. However, don’t go so heavy that you can’t perform the exercise properly. Proper form is important throughout the exercise.
You need to train your calves like other major muscle groups if you want to turn them into bulls. Switch up the intensity to keep your muscles guessing and do at least five exercise to target all muscles groups.
5. Not Training The Calf Muscle Group Equally
Your calves are made up of 2 main muscles, the Soleus and Gastrocnemius. Your gastrocnemius is the inner and outer head of each calf. For example when you are doing standing calf exercises, the gastrocnemius muscles is doing most of the work.
As for the Soleus, located directly underneath the gastrocnemius muscle are activated when performing calf exercises with your knees bent. Exercise such as seated calf raise or calf raises without your legs locked out activates the Soleus muscle directly.
Now that you understand how the calf muscle works you can now train your whole calf not just parts of it. When more muscles are activated you will started to notice more growth.
Focus on Time – 1 Minute Is The Magic Mark, Forget Reps
To make the most of your calf training, you should focus on performing the exercises for one minute. It doesn’t matter how many reps you do in that one minute but you need to make sure you’re not taking a rest-pause during the set.
To maximize your calf training perform the exercise for one minute. How many reps you perform within that one minute does not matter as long as you are not taking a rest or pausing during the set.
You shouldn’t go light on the weights because the slow-twitch muscle fibers will not be fully work. Taking your time throughout each rep will increase the amount of time your calves are under tension. Keep in mind that this is not a drop-set. You have to finish with the same weight you started with.
Last But Not Least!
Calf muscles can recover quickly from training, which means you can hit them more often and with more volume. Yet still be able to easily recover compare to other muscle groups.
Have any questions? Feel free to drop them in the comment section below.