Calf Exercises: How To Build Your Most Stubborn Muscles

If you want to be have your body sculptured and you want to define your calf muscles, pay attention to the advice below of Roger Sciberras.

People are born with different qualities and destinities. For example, some are wealthy and rich, others are extremely intelligent, and there are also others who are born to be high-performance athletes. But there is a different category, a very special one we'd say, those who have great calf muscles.

Therefore, you might be gifted with well-shaped calves, but building and keeping them in an excellent form, needs great effort and constant training. Those who were not so genetically gifted might see this as mission impossible, but don't worry, because if you follow the below simple principles you will succeed as well.

1. Train Heavy

Arnold once said: ‘You’re constantly using your calves all day and every day as you walk around. Then people go to the gym and train them with light weights and expect them to respond to that minimal resistance that they’re used to’.

And Arnie knows.

Calves are not used to heavy resistance, so if you are looking to build them, train them as heavy as possible for a maximum rep range of 10 – 12.

Once you can complete 12 in any given set or exercise, bump up the weight.

2. Go Bare

When it is safe to do so, try training your calves with bare feet. This was popularised by Arnold Swarzenegger who believed he achieved a greater range of motion without shoes on.

When it comes to calves, every little bit helps.

3.  A Month of Pain 

For 4 weeks, absolutely nail your calves by training them at every session. Pick one exercise per day/session for you valves, and perform at least 4 sets, heavy. Do this constantly for 4 weeks before returning to your regular program.

4. Hold and Squeeze

I see gym patrons day in and day out for almost every exercise ‘going through the motions’ of a workout; the weight swinging and bouncing boys who love to jump on their calf lifts – if they train them at all.

When you hit the peak of a movement (this goes for almost everything) pause and squeeze for just one second. This extra tension as well as the focus you must put on the muscle is crucial to developing those calves.

Also, don’t drop back to the start position too quickly: go slow and control the eccentric phase.

5.  Mix It Up

I’m talking super sets, drop sets, negative reps, reverse pyramid training: the lot. Change up volume, rest times, everything: the calves need to be shocked more than any other muscle group.

6. The Top Three Exercises

Standing Calf Raises

Make sure you really stand up as tall as possible at the peak of the movement. You can also use this to train each calf separately.

Seated Calf Raises

Keep your back straight and make sure you avoid using momentum as much as possible. This is probably one of the more suitable exercises for going barefoot, as shoes can restrict your range of movement on this considerably.

Leg Press Calf Pushes

A chance to really go heavy, and try different angles for your feet: just be sure you have the safety catch in place.

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