• Balancing Your Physique

      By Parker Cote, ISSA, CFT Men's Fitness

      Have you ever tried to use the bench press on a Monday night a 5 PM? Itís almost impossible. Most gym goers will never skip a chest or arms workout, but the smaller, less visible muscle groups tend to fall to the bottom of their list of gym priorities. Over time, these habits will lead to an imbalanced physique.

      A great upper body with chicken legs commands no respect. Shift your attention to the often neglected calves, forearms, and traps, and you can develop a proportional and balanced physique. All you need to do is prioritize those muscle groups with effective, hard-hitting routines to bring them up to par.

      Chicken legs, no more.

      To combat stubborn calves, target them from multiple angles and use heavy resistance. The calf muscles can be trained anywhere from one to three times per week. Any more than that and you run the risk of overtraining. If your calves are your weakest body part, train them in the beginning of your regular strength-training workout. This way, youíll hit them when youíre fresh and be less likely to skip.

      Calves Workout:
      1. Toe Press on Leg Press Machine - 3 sets of 15
      2. Single Leg Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise - 3 sets of 15 per side
      3. Seated Calf Raise with Toes Pointed In - 4 sets of 20
      Fuller forearms.

      Having a great set of forearms does more than make you look good in a t-shirt. Regular forearm workouts will improve your grip strength significantly, which will allow you to use more weight when training other body parts.

      The forearms are activated residually during back and biceps workouts, but for most people that isnít enough. They have to be trained directly to grow. The most important part about forearm training is timing: avoid working them before a workout, especially a back or biceps session, because your grip strength will be weakened considerably. Add this mass-gain forearms routine to the end of your workout, up to two times a week.

      Forearms Workout:
      1. Reverse Barbell Curl - 3 sets of 15
      2. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Wrist Curl - 3 sets of 20 per side
      3. Behind-the-Back Barbell Wrist Curl - 3 sets to failure
      Triple-sized traps.

      Everyone is familiar with dumbbell shrugs, but a few haphazard sets of them after your back or shoulder workout isnít going to lead to the growth you want. Like any muscle group, they need to be trained regularly to grow. Try this multi-angle traps workout one to two times per week for best results.

      Traps Workout:
      1. Incline Bench Dumbbell Shrugs - 4 sets of 12
      2. Smith Machine Shrugs - 3 sets of 10
      3. Cable Upright Row - 3 sets of 15

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...l-and-grow-big
      Comments 7 Comments
      1. TheMovement's Avatar
        TheMovement -
        Thought calves were more genetics and only hypertrophy 15%? I will look up the case-study later but has anyone truly ever gained an inch in girth in their calves? I have long legs, thighs that widen from my hips but below the knee looks pencil like lol. I dont neglect legs and I feel my numbers are decent but anyone have a decent testimonial? Forearms and Traps do get great results on the other hand.
      1. yanin's Avatar
        yanin -
        I've gained on my calves, but you must work them like a bicep on ham machines. Also working the tibia can give you an all around larger look
      1. TEH253's Avatar
        TEH253 -
        Powercleans would work out all of these muscle groups if I'm not mistaken....
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Arnold claims that you need to put in 30-45 minutes twice a week for 12+ months to see well-developed calves. He claims in his book that it should be trained just as hard and frequently as any other small muscle group.
      1. Easeball's Avatar
        Easeball -
        Well I was one of those guys that didn't worry too much about calf development until a little under a year in hahahha so hard to catch them up to the rest of my body. Don't make the same mistake I did.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by Easeball View Post
        Well I was one of those guys that didn't worry too much about calf development until a little under a year in hahahha so hard to catch them up to the rest of my body. Don't make the same mistake I did.
        Too late.

        Mine are strong though and only 3/4" shy of my arm girth so I'm not doing terrible.
      1. mountainman33's Avatar
        mountainman33 -
        I managed to get my calves to go from 13" to 15.5" in just under a year and a half after some experimenting in college during our off seasons of volleyball. I'm 6'1" and have the same long legged problem. It was pretty simple once I figured it out and the rest of the team saw results doing the same thing.

        Split = Quads and calves one day, hamstrings and calves day 2 with 3 days in between.

        Day 1:
        Typical quad work out super setting with calves. Do a set of squats, then leg press calf raises. Finish out your sets as such. Leg press then standing calf raises. Finish out your sets as such

        Day 2:
        Stiff legged dead lifts super setting with seated calf raises. Russian hamstring curls (Nordics) supper setting Standing calf raises.

        Just a sample but you get the idea. Obviously you would do more quad and ham exercises. But 2 major things though, leg press or donkey raises on seperate days vs. seated raise days, seperate your soleus training from stretched gastroc training. AND finish your set then do a burn out set DIRECTLY after every calf exercise. This hurts like help but pumps were amazing, and my vascularity was incredible. Try it out for a couple months and see what you think.
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