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  • Calves

    sup guys well I'm about 6 ft 195 lbs. My calves are 14.75" (L) and 14.5" (R) measured unflexed just standing.

    So obviously I'm not a big guy to begin with, and adding weight well help facilitate the process, but do my small calves indicate a deficiency in how I am training them?

    I suppose calves are one of those muscle groups whose growth is also more influenced by genetics. My father and older brother both have shitty calves, despite my brother also bodybuilding and weighing ~240. I've noticed people of my ethnicity also tend to have shitty calves anyway.

    But I refuse to accept defeat. How can I really get them to grow?

    Currently on a 4day split


    But I'll usually hit calves a second time too, on back/bi day. On one day I train the soles with seated calve raises (ramp up and superset, bout 5 sets) and on the other day I do gastroc by doing standing calves raises in hack squat machine (also around 4-5 sets). I go pretty heavy and use decent form. Sometimes I go lighter and use perfect form (stretch and bottom, hard contraction, controlled eccentric) etc.

    I don't know. It blows having toothpick calves and a wide upper body. look like a chicken

  • #2
    also I live in the city and walk a decent amount every day and for some reason I feel its catabolic or something. like the less walking I do the fuller my calves feel.


    • #3
      Walking will not hurt your calves. Genetics can be a bitch though. Both my parents have very little calves. I've done absolutely everything known to man. Here are some things I've found to work. A word of warning, these will kill. I have had tears at the end of these workouts.

      1. John Parillo Method. I don't know if it is exactly his "method", but it kills and if done sparingly will bring up your calves.

      2. DC Training Protocol: You can read up on this in the Doggpound or Puppy pound, but basically do a 5 second stretch, explode up, and then a 5 second negative. Alternate calve exercises each workout per the DC plan.

      3. Forster Method: Again, I don't know if this is his method, but I learned it from him. on these I do a 5 second hold in the contracted position, and a 5 second negative. I will do 1 exercise per workout and do 2 sets of these. I also stretch the crap out of them after this.

      4. Partial rep training I have been doing this as of late. I'm not sure, but I think Skip has mentioned these before. Pastor Pump, and John Meadows do these a lot also. You can do these two ways. One way is just go heavy and just work the bottom range of motion for high reps. I like a good deal of volume on these. Another way is to do full range of motion to failure, but then end with multiple partial range reps in the lower stretched position. These work well, because you are not used to working your calves in this range of motion. When walking each day we are not stretching, we are in the contracted position more often.

      Hope this helps and gives you some ideas. Like I said all of these work. For the most part I would say 2x a week is plenty of work. Also, I would do at least 2-3 light warm ups before doing any of these. Remember to stretch after training as well.
      1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
      2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
      2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
      2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
      2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
      2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place
      Use Discount Code AMJ


      • #4
        Originally posted by Doberman View Post
        1. John Parillo Method. I don't know if it is exactly his "method", but it kills and if done sparingly will bring up your calves.
        Dobe- I saw this the last time you posted it. I started using this method and was having great progress with it. Then for some reason my gym got rid of the machine. It really exhausts the muscle!
        2014 USPA Nevada State / Regional Championships - 1,168 total

        2014 USPA National Championships - 1,235 total

        2014 Village Gym Meet - 1,260 total

        2015 USPA Camp Pendleton Meet - 1,235 total



        • #5
          Dobe also had a great post on squatting calve raises. I love those things!


          • #6
            Ok this is my new thin and feels like it's working. One day a week I do 1 and a half reps for the calves for however long I feel like, 3-5 sets. After I do high rep soleus exercise, did the squat calf raises and holy shit I was sore. Later in the week, space however, I do the calf raise up fast down slow 5-10 second negative for however many reps and sets. Another high rep soleus, did the squat raises again. next workout I'm just going to do straight sets of 8-10 and really press the weight, probably do the same thing for the soleus.
            Big key is don't forget the soleus and don't give up on those toothpicks, one day they be bull calves.


            • #7
              The Double Pop method

              Do a standing calf raise and reach what feels like a full range of motion (this may be pretty subjective and is applied from my personal perspective) then keep going and continue doing a calf raise and contracting your calves and hit what feels like a second maximum ROM pop.

              Also IME calves can feel like you've given 100% when compared to other muscles like quads or chest but they've only given like 60% (again personally subjective)


              • #8
                Another way I train on standing calf most weeks is pyramid up and down in weight all in the one set.

                So it could be:
                4plates x 10 reps.
                6plates x 10 reps.
                8plates x 10 reps.
                6plates x 10 reps.
                4plates x 10 reps.

                So 50 reps total.

                Starting off with really good form and gradually losing form.
                TEAM :tea: SKIP

                2012 IFBB Australian Grand Prix Novice 4th Place.
                2013 Nabba Victorian Championships Novice 3rd Place.


                • #9
                  I haven't done a set of calves since I broke my big toe doing DC cardio, lol That trick Dante had on the incline treadmill really was wonderful, I think I just took the "push from your first toe" advice too literally or something. These all seem like sound methods to get the calves growing. The common thread seems to attack it from all angles (high volume, heavy, past-failure methods, etc).