Have you ever seen the guys at the gym who have jacked torsos and bulging quads, but twigs below the knees? Some body builders are stuck in the mindset that a ripped upper body is the only characteristic of a great body. And for them, maybe that’s true. But the fact still remains: it’s clear they skimp on their calves during their workouts. It can be easy to make these smaller muscles an afterthought, but strong calves don’t only help to balance out your appearance, they’re also key to gaining power and explosiveness both inside and outside the gym.
And while there are those who simply prefer to skip their calf training, there are also many out there that simply do not know how to develop their calves. Therefore, in this article, we will provide you with some tips about how to develop this important muscle group.
The Calf Day Approach
One of the biggest mistakes one can make, is to simply avoid training your calves all together due to the belief that they will never grow. That said, it’s important to get in the habit of training your calves as you would any other muscle group. Take it from Redcon1 CEO, Aaron Singerman, who grew an inch in his calves from the Calformation Program after making it a priority in his training split.
Ideally, as mentioned in the video, you should focus on training calves at the start of your workout session, rather than at the end. This is based on the theory that you have more energy at the beginning of your exercise and will be able to put significantly more effort, focus and dedication to the calf exercises.
Steady Progression Plan
Another important piece of the puzzle is to have a steady progression plan in place. This is because many people tend to get into the “comfort zone” and slowly begin to decrease intensity in their workouts. Simply said, you may do calves workout on daily basis, believing that you are improving your strength and endurance. However, the harsh truth is that your body probably adapted to the exercises and it is withstanding the challenge. Therefore, it is imperative to enrich your calf exercise arsenal with a steady progression plan, changing up the frequency and intensity when you no longer feel challenged with your training. Moreover, you can set yourself short term and long term goals that allow you to be able to analyze your progress, strength and endurance and your calf muscle gains.
Improve Your Technique and Movement
There are many people that lift heavy weight and believe that just a few incomplete reps can stimulate calf growth. However, the reality is that the range of motion is one of the undermined elements that can stimulate muscle growth. Moreover, a proper technique combined with a full range of motion can especially stimulate the growth of the leg muscles. Therefore, it is imperative to concentrate on your technique and on a full range of motion.
The Old School Approach
The Old School bodybuilding style from the ’80s and’90s can be described as the way of the Golden Era of bodybuilding. Also, this period is still providing many young athletes and bodybuilders with a potent arsenal of effective exercises.
All of these novel workouts and movements can galvanize the muscle size, strength, and endurance. And one exercise from the bodybuilding Golden Age is the so-called Donkey Calf Raises. Another exercise from the old school locker is the “Farmer’s Walk on Toes ”. Also, it is important to emphasize that this exercise is great for functional calf endurance. In the same time, it can improve your overall balance. This is also beneficial as it can provide you with the stability and strength for reaching your next fitness levels. Additionally, the general recommendation is to complete this exercise last of your calf training. This is based on the theory that it can deplete your calves which will prompt muscle cells rebuilding action. Simply said, it can ignite the development of new gains. However, the catalyst for strategy is to mix up different calf exercises. That way you will be able to hit the calf muscles from different Angeles. Therefore, you will be on the fast track to building well balanced, thick and strong calves.
The Bottom Line
Calves are one of the most challenging muscles to develop. Also, it is safe to say that that this muscle group is one of must undermined. However, by incorporating this approach combined with a strong nutritional strategy, the goal of building thick and massive calves can become a reality.
Lucky for you, Redcon1 CEO Aaron Singerman with the help of the Hypertrophy coach Joe Bennett released the Calformation workout plan. Through this program they will show you tips and tricks to take those chicken legs to the next level. It comes in an easily downloadable pdf format. So if you aren’t sure where to start with gaining some calf circumference, take a look.
Chris Hazen | @thechrishazen | Tier Operator - Alpha Team Member