Special Calf Workout for Stubborn Calves!
Do you cringe when people bring up calf workouts? For many of us, effective calf training is no easy task. We want to see growth, but those stubborn little suckers won’t budge–not even 1/4″! It’s frustrating, to say the least.
So what’s the answer? Should we give up trying and always wear long pants? Hardcore bodybuilding trainees can’t even consider this option. So, what to do?
First, What’s the problem?
Unless your parents are giraffes, poor calves can be attributed to two reasons.
First, the calves are accustomed to a lot of use, so they’re used to hard work. Because of all the activity they receive, calves are hard to simulate in training. We’ve all done endless sets of calf raises to no avail. Calf training must be hard!
Secondly, some people tend to neglect this body part by just tacking on a few pump sets at the end of a hard workout. This is a sure fire way to get so-so calves.
Nothing comes easy in bodybuilding. Either take your calf training as seriously as you do your chest and back or get used to training in jeans! Seriously though, start doing calves early in your workout while you’re mentally and physically fresh.
So, where to start? Well, as with any workout, a warm up is needed.
A special warm up for stubborn calves
What should one do before training any body part? Warm up, of course? Well, what if you took warming up to the next level?
Before training calves (which, by the way, should be trained first, especially if they’re a weak body part), apply moist heat for 10-20 minutes and hand massage the calves. Don’t just rub them a bit, but really massage them HARD to loosen them up for the torture you’re about to subject them to.
Not only will this get the muscles warm and ready, but you’ll get a good mental connection going. The calves are the farthest body part from your brain. The mind muscle connection has to travel through a lot of nerves.
They’re also hard to see when training. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong!
A good thermal massage warm up will get you concentrating solely on the calves. Use the time to mentally go through your workout. Imagine the calves working hard and squeezing out those last difficult reps. Imagine your calves growing, growing, growing! Don’t underestimate the power of the mind in bodybuilding. Arnold didn’t and neither should you.
Now that you’re good and ready, let’s get to the workout!
A Calf Workout For Stubborn Calves
One legged calf raises on a standing calf machine
This might sound a bit odd, but it works. Use a weight that will allow for approximately 12-15 reps with one leg. At failure, raise the weight WITH BOTH FEET and lower slowly with the working leg.
Do this for several reps and your calf will be on fire. Be sure to perform complete reps from extreme stretch to hard contraction. Repeat with the other leg.
The number of sets is up to you and will depend on whether you are a follower of HIT or volume.
Seated Calf Raises
After you’ve fried your calves with exercise #1, these will finish them off nicely.
Again use 12-15 reps but when you raise the weight, try to push hardest with your big toe. This will help create the elusive “diamond shape” calves. Remember to stretch on each rep. Again the number of sets is up to you.
From time to time, reverse the order of these exercises to fend off boredom but always apply moist heat and massage the calves hard before training them.
The “feel” of training calves will change for the better after using this method for a time. You will become more mentally in tune with your lower legs.
This new mental connection and calf workout should produce growth that has previously eluded you. Good luck!