Calves!!!

My question is simple, i can make every bodypart on my body grow like mad, and have! but my calves seem to grow too slowly… right now, im doing 6 sets of standing raises for like 20-25 reps (high reps cause i heard that high reps are needed to build calves) plus 3 sets of seated raises…a routine or whether or not that is enough would really help…they are growing, just not nearly as fast…thanks for hte help :wink:

Ah, the traditional high sets on calves. Ok, you want your calves to grow…listen up. The soleus muscles, are the muscles of the calf that are recruited in a seated calf exercise, or any calf exercise where the knee is bent 90 degrees. The soleus is comprised of approx. 88 percent slow-twitch muscle, and therefore respond better to high reps. The gastrocmemius handles exercises where the knee is straight, such as the standing or donkey calf raise. The gastrocnemius is comprised of approx. 60 percent fast-twitch, and respond better to low reps.

A trick I learned from CP was to gauge your training by TUT (time under tension). Soleus training (bent knee) should be completed in 40 seconds or longer. Gastrocnemius training (straight knee) should be completed in 20-40 seconds.

Here are some examples: Standing calf (gastroc) five reps at a tempo of 421 (that is 4 seconds to lower, pause at bottom for 2 seconds, but don’t just pause stretch, and finally 1 second to raise. If you multiply that out 5 (reps) x 7 (4+2+1) you get 35 seconds per set. Which is within the 20-40 second rule. Seated calf (soleus) 10 reps at 421. 10x7 equals 70 seconds.

Additional info: Don’t bounce. Pause at bottom. Stretch, stretch, stretch your calves (some people have very tight facia, the covering around the calf muscles). Do approx. ten total sets every 2-4 days. Change your reps and TUT brackets every month. Just multiply out to make sure you stay within your range.

Want a shake-me-up, try the luke sauder calf routine. Do a search on the t-mag website. I think it was in issue #1.

Yeah, what Bodz said! I can’t really add more, as he said what I was going to say, but I would encourage you to try the Luke Sauder calf routine from issue #1. You can also access it in the FAQ section. I put an inch on mine after using it for six (12 if you count both workouts) workouts, and my calves, unlike many people’s, were already fairly big (bigger than my arms) as I have played basketball my entire life. Also, forget the training myths that Bodz (I hope) dispelled. People who say that you have to do high reps, usually have “girly-man” calves themselves.

Nice reply Bodz. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Do this and your calves WILL grow.

If your calves are already smaller than the rest of your body your going to have problems making them grow. The Luke Sauder routine should work for a while, but after that I recommend doing some real heavy partials. Really pile on the weight.

What’s helping me now is working the muscle at the front of the shin (anterior tibialis). Still trying to find comfortable shoes that support my arch for calf raises (gonna try work boots next time).

The only thing that I would add to Bodz’s post is something else Poliquin suggests. He suggested that you use a round bar as your foot support. The idea is that since your not using a platform your toes can be pointed even farther, adding another inch or so to the top of the range of motion. Poliquin said to use the handle of a Hex shaped dumbbell; however, if you wear wide soled shoes they barely fit. What I’ve found to work in the place of the dumbbell as the foot support for a seated bench (a free standing seat used for military presses or tricep extensions, with knurled foot rests so you can push against the foot rests when doing heavy over head lifts and not tip the seat over). You can put the foot rest end up on a block of wood to make sure that you go down far enough, and you can use this set up holding a dumbbell (very shaky and hard) or with a smith machine, which allows you to use more weight because you are more stable. This has worked great for me and some of the people in the gym not afraid to try something different. Good luck with your calf growth.

Ian King has a killer calf program back in issue #39 of T-mag in his old ‘Questions of Power’ column. Same article has a good trap routine, too.

Please excuse me for my ignorance, but could somebody please explain what “drop sets” are? I read the article in Testosterone Issue #1 that Charles Poliquin wrote about calves. Even if I do get an explanation about “drop sets” I am not sure that I would ever be desperate enough to attempt that routine. UGH!!!

A drop set is the same as a strip set. In his example, it does sound confusing (three triple drop sets). What he wants you to do is do ten reps and take off some weight, ten more reps, take off some weight, ten more reps…all with resting only long enough to change the weight. Rest 90 sec. and do it again. Rest 90 seconds and do it again. Each set of 10 should be taken close to failure, before the weight is changed. Only take off enought weight to keep you in target range. Hope this helps.