Calf raises for size
- 12-04-2008, 02:14 AM
Calf raises for size
Ok guys I was told by one guy that seated calf raises are better for your calves than standing raises... anyway I do both (just correct me if im wrong on that).
My question is this... at my gym we have a standing calf raise machine which goes up to 300lbs... anyway its too easy and although I've been using it for 2months or so what I do is I pack 44lb disks onto the top of it (resting on the pads that my shoulders push against to lift the weight)... so all up today I was raising 490lbs
I am just about to break the skinny 15" calves and am wondering... should I continue doing this and keep adding the big disks on top of the machine with people looking at me? Cause I think I'd add another 200lbs worth before I got to 17" calves at least, and eventually I just cant stack anymore disks on top before they begin to topple over
I am wondering - should I just do calf raises on the ground using a barbell on my back where I can load it up high without any issues...but as I'm doing it standing on flat ground I dont get the same range of motion as on the machine which lets you stand on a step so you can go further down
OR... should I take the weight off the machine and do the calf raises with 1 leg (which feels weird) but might be more beneficial? I find with 1 leg I am able to do 1/4th the weight of both legs together
- 12-04-2008, 02:34 AM
i think you'll get a similar response from most people, but
calves are an easy exercise to butcher, as far as form.
definitely re-check your form, in fact, go on youtube and watch calf raising training videos...
you admit yourself you have skinny calves.. even guys with great calves don't use that much weight. doesn't that make you skeptical?
the achiles tendon is a very strong tendon with great elasticity. that's commonly why calf exercises can be cheated so easily as you can just bounce on that tendon, and 300lbs it may be, it'll still bounce.
- 12-04-2008, 02:36 AM
maybe you're right.
tho I do them pretty slow
When i get to the bottom I pause and then lift up slowly
but who knows
I'll go youtube right now
12-04-2008, 03:29 AM
I've gotta say after watching some youtube clips this is a tough one. I really dont know what I'm doing wrong - if at all I am?
I can only think of pausing longer between reps and trying to tense my calves further...
I'm the type who can be quite pedantic on form so I'm just a bit lost here... hmm
12-04-2008, 12:37 PM
also you can try standing calf raises under a smith machine and place the thickest plates you have or the calf roller underneath you and stack plates on the bar thats what i do, as well as the leg press machine if you got one just put your feet on there and slide your heels off and so its like a toe press but for your calves ya kno check it out
12-04-2008, 08:35 PM
Tendons are very inelastic, sort of like a rope. Ligaments are elastic, they are very pliable. If tendons were not inelastic when a muscle is contracted it would not have an instant reflex, instead it would be delayed then the contraction would place a bunch of force on the tendons origin and insertion.
12-04-2008, 09:32 PM
12-04-2008, 09:41 PM
If you are doin that kinda weight and actually using good form then your a beast. Make sure your going all the way down and getting a good stretch. If all that checks out then increase your reps. Speaking of that how many reps are you doing at that weight????
Want something new,,try doing donkey raises...
12-04-2008, 09:49 PM
A recent forum post on here said donkey raises is like wearing a wife beater to the gym - gay. haha
Um atm I've taken it down to 5 reps (5x5s) but I could do 470lbs like 8-10 times.
I've got legs on tuesday so I think ill go ask one of the gym instructors to watch me and see if im doing it wrong.
I'll try with longer pauses as well first up, but I still can see myself having at least 3 plates on top of the machine.
12-04-2008, 10:07 PM
Ok, Imagine if your tendons were elastic (very giving and pliable 'capable of large strain'). When a muscle is contracted imagine a rubber band stretching as the muscle contracts which wouldn't generate much musculoskeletal movement because the tendon would have to stretched a great length before movement can occur, thereby creating a needless amount of stress on the tendon.
In actuality, tendons are generally inelastic (not pliable 'incapable of large strain'). When a muscle is contracted imagine a rope as your tendon, little to no strain which causes instantaneous musculoskeletal movement. However, depending on location some tendons are more 'elastic' or more / less 'inelastic' than others. The overall idea is the transmission of muscle force from the fibers to be effective and rapid.
For a better understanding, take or read a biomechanics course / book.
Ligament 0.3 - 0.4 (Y) in GPa
Tendon 0.8 - 1.2 (Y) in GPa
To put this in perspective:
Rubber 0.01 - 0.1 (Y) in GPa
Nylon 2.0 - 4.0 (Y) in GPa
12-05-2008, 05:25 AM
russy_rus i think i get you
but ill have to pass on looking up the physics... young's modulus brings back bad memories from highschool and first year university
12-05-2008, 12:30 PM
12-05-2008, 06:59 PM
I do anywhere between 8-12 sets of calves, twice a week. I do them on a smith machine, standing with the balls of my feet on a box. I also donkey raises with random girls sitting on my back (not the big ones from the womens only room though). After those I will do the sit down calve raises or the machine.
12-05-2008, 10:21 PM
12-05-2008, 10:48 PM
12-06-2008, 10:10 AM
i have to question your form as well even if you had 17" calves you could still get a good workout with only 250lbs. Its not about how much weight its about how you are moving it and something doesnt sound righ about it.
12-06-2008, 08:38 PM
Yeah I'm starting to agree with you guys but I honestly have NO CLUE as to what I'm doing wrong...
I'll ask a gym instructor to monitor me next time and tell em about my predicament.
What about seated calf raises? what weights to what calf sizes do you guys roughly use? I find gains on that are hard - dont think you can cheat it as much cause you're sitting down.
12-07-2008, 01:20 AM
its how you move the weight imo on calves. do you have a plate loaded seated calf machine? i find a 45 plate on each side is a good weight, not too much but you can make it work. see what i mean?
12-07-2008, 01:50 AM
pistonpump yeah we've got a plate loaded seated calf machine... i can throw 4x44lbs on it and do my 5x5s on it atm
I'll try some other ways of doing my raises. maybe the positioning of my feet on the food-rest-things...
I've done it all from pushing the weights up very slowly to normal speed to fast and dropping them at all speeds...
i dont know... like i said ill ask an instructor sometime during the week when i do my legs
12-08-2008, 10:28 AM
I have good size calves, but mine never really grew until I started to use lighter weight. I usually do the seated raise with just one 25lb plate on each side. If I want to go heavy, then the most I will use is one 45lb plate on each side. I like to focus on the contraction.
12-08-2008, 11:28 AM
I like the donkey calf exercises. When I do seated ones I feel like the middle of under my feet are tearing. So now I keep the weight light. Are there any special type of soles or type to shoes you guys recommend that will have a nice grip on the foot rests? I always feel like my feet might slip if I stretch too far down. Is the down stretch as important as the up stretch?
12-08-2008, 12:42 PM
On calf raises, there are a couple factors that you need to consider....
Standing and sitting raises, they work different areas of the calves, but also toe position isolates different sections of the calves as well.
What I do to get size on mine, I make sure I do no less than 20 reps, correct form, and right after I stretch my calves for 30 seconds, stretch to the extent that it hurts as much as the burn from the last rep. But form is most important rather than weight, and doing higher reps (I do 20 per set)
I must say I see weekly improvements on my calves from shape to size, but you have to hit them damn hard.
12-08-2008, 08:07 PM
so all you other guys with success do relatively light weights and heaps of reps?
kinda goes against the originaly theory of building a bigger muscle... higher weight / relatively low reps
12-08-2008, 08:41 PM
12-08-2008, 08:43 PM
12-09-2008, 12:26 PM
12-09-2008, 04:31 PM
12-09-2008, 04:59 PM
12-09-2008, 06:47 PM
DC calves exercises are pretty good if you are looking for something new, extended eccentric in the range of 20-25 seconds... you can search for more info
12-09-2008, 11:00 PM
bro heres what u do.. start off on a leg press with about 405---> to how ever much u want.. do 3 sets of 15-20 reps.. then bust out the stAnding raises.. in between sets go to a step and best out 20 raises with no weight pausing and just focusing on your form and getting maximum blood flow between sets into your calves.. i alwasys cycle in supersets with standing raises/no weight.. works wonders
12-09-2008, 11:26 PM
thanks guys ill give the calves tomororw a workout with lower weight with longer pauses and tensing at the top of the raise with heaps more reps
ill keep everything else at the 5x5s or roughly about there
its a bit of a dodgy one i dont know if higher reps would go good for my arms either (maybe more biceps than triceps)... if i lower the weight and do like an easy 12 reps you feel the arms fill up with blood... even if u went double the reps to about 25... but mentally you just know that if you keep them low... say below 10... maybe even 5x5s you're killing them hard with the heavy weight... all the stress = growth?
dont know.. ah well
12-10-2008, 01:00 AM
idk if this was already posted, but what i do on my calf raises, is grab a moderate weight and on the complete stretch position i hold for 5-15 seconds and then explode up and continue this until failure. this has worked quite well for me. once i fail and cant get another, i hold it in the stretch for another 5-30 seconds. i only do 1 set every other day.
12-10-2008, 01:27 AM
12-11-2008, 10:26 PM
Tell you guys what... I took down the weights yesterday and did lower weight (not so much higher reps.. maybe 10-20reps depends)... but on seated calf raises i did 44lbs... standing i did... i dont evne know... crap all... very slowly lift up and down... at the top especially... hold it as high as i can for a good 15 seconds... first few reps feel so pointless but then the burn comes in... and its a different feel
today my calves are killing me unlike anything before so I hope its the right type of soreness... and it will cause growth... not the crappy soreness from running to long or something (considering low weight etc as everyone recommended)...
I'll see where this takes me in the next few weeks/months
12-11-2008, 11:29 PM
12-12-2008, 01:14 AM
yea probably true
i find doing low reps high weight doesnt always give u a burn on certain workouts... not sure
I have read in the past that the burn feeling the next day doesnt necessarily mean you worked out that muscle correctly... ie theres different opinions / workout routines such as not going to failure (5x5s?) where you might not feel so much of a burn as with going higher reps till you jsut cant do it anymore... let alone super-setting which just kills you the next day
I tried a lower weight on the shoulder shrugs as well and felt the blood pump into them... at the top of the shrug I tried to hold it up as high as I could for 5+ seconds and lower slowly... felt good
12-12-2008, 02:51 AM
12-12-2008, 03:45 AM
Don't neglect the seated calf raise. Your calves are made up of two major muscles, the gastrocnemius, and the soleus. The gastrocnemius, is the major muscle that makes up 70% of the calf, and is emphasized during standing calf raises, the soleus, during seated, since it attaches right below the knee. For full calf development, you need to do both. Also, as "gay" as they might be, if you want calves like Arnold, you have to do the donkeys! Donkey raises add width size to the calves, because special emphasis is put on both muscles, when the hamstrings are in a stretched position. I've found a way to do donkeys that isn't so gay, using a smith machine. Set the smith machine bar two notches above your waist, grab a step, and slide it under the machine, step onto the step with the balls of your feet. Slide yourself underneath the bar, placing the bar on your lower back. You might need a foam pad, or some gym towels, because the bar can really dig into your back with heavy weight. I still get some looks, but not nearly as many as if I had some dude straddling my back, lol! Also, if you have one of those seated rotary calf machines, leaning forward getting a good hamstring stretch accomplishes the same thing.
12-12-2008, 05:04 PM
12-12-2008, 07:30 PM
I want everyone in this thread to do seated calf raises like this next workout. Put a weight on where you fail at about 18-20 reps. Keep banging out reps until failure... rest 10-15 seconds and keep going... keep doing this until you get to 75 reps. You can train your calves in about 4 minutes and you will not be able to walk right so do them at the end of the workout. I just started training them like this and its pretty crazy. Its a good idea to do a lot of stretching afterwards or you'll be walking funny for days.
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