Really I could laugh, me – yes me writing an article on calf training.
They have been the bloody hardest area for me to develop over the years.
They are still not ‘awesome’ now. But – but they have improved a hell of a lot. More, if I’m honest even with a positive mind- more than I thought they would.
So yes, I thought to myself what have I got to offer the reader here with my ‘ok’ calves.
But thinking deeper – I see there is plenty to offer.
If you wanted to be a millionaire and wanted to understand the strategies of how to successfully do that. Would you ask someone who inherited the money or a self made millionaire?
So I had shit calves and made them good – if you want to improve yours read on.
First let’s cover the rules
Train them more, 3 – 4 days a week works well for me any more they draw off (look thin) any less look under-trained. Find your sweet spot.
Never do the same exact session each time. Change it up constantly.
Full range — this is a must.
All the way up on the big toe and toe next to it, and a deep stretch…always.
Also on standing and toe presses have your knees unlocked this promotes a much better contraction. This has been the main difference in gains so don’t miss this point.
Wear shorts – as in Arnold did years ago to make him aware of his poor underpins. I have taken to doing this every leg session and on calf sessions if I’m wearing track pants I pull them up. Seeing them I’m telling you makes you work them harder and with concentration.
Here are two sessions I did recently
Standing Calf Raise
Think of a weight on the stack that would be a hard 10 (doing full range -real reps) and then split that stack into 3rds.
Top 3rd set 1 – 30 reps
Add down to 2nd 3rd now set 2 -20 reps
Add down now to your 10-rep weight – yes you guessed it set 3 – 10 reps
Set 4 – stay at top weight do 10 again -immediately drop to your 20-rep weight do 10 – drop again to your first weight 10 again.
During the first 3 sets above rest 30 seconds but don’t really!
As you are stood off the machine rock on your toes. Yes rock a little bit on the ball of your foot bounce even just an inch or so but don’t leave the floor, just heals. Do this for 20 seconds at least.
This is again an old Labrada technique.
Seated Calve Raise
3 x 15 reps
Again full range
Rest 30 seconds but get off the machine and stretch hard each calf then pose each calf – then get back on and off you go.
Toe Press On Leg Press
Pick a weight to get 10 reps (full range) knees bent slightly and locked like that.
Now do 10 -rest pause a few seconds – 5 reps — again rest pause 5 reps
Do 3 total sets of 20 rest pause reps.
Again get off the machine and bounce and grip the floor with those toes – this adds to the tension in the muscle massively.
As above but 3 x 15 no rest pause
Stretch and pose on these in-between sets
3 x 20
Just pose from lots of different angles in between sets of these
Here is the main dish in this program
3 x 50 reps a weight that would allow 30 to 40 but rest pause the set to 50
Do your rocks – and try and walk after ha ha
Reps are all over and that’s good –lots of different rep rages are needed.
These are my main three moves, but at times I may do donkeys or one leg dumbbell raise. The different moves offer a slightly different feel and tension from different angles and this adds to all round development and keeps the muscle from adapting. The difference in reps also does this.
Many times during a set I want to stop – the pain is unbearable, but I keep going till the movement stops then I rest pause. Again till the movement fails and not my mind.
Again – not awesome calves -but good for me.
With these ideas you may in time have awesome calves.
So dig in and work at them.
Train hard and smart – Ian x