Calf raises for size

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  1. 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

    Thanks


  2. 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.
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  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by pinchharmonic View Post
    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.

    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.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    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.
    i had to read that about 4 times to understand it lol... but in simple terms, what exactly are you trying to say by that?

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by soseg View Post
    i had to read that about 4 times to understand it lol... but in simple terms, what exactly are you trying to say by that?

    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.


    Young's modulus:
    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

  11. 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. 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.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Aggravated View Post
    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.

    LOL

    Girls on your back... I've gotta see that in real life. Only seen pics of Arnie doing that.

    gold

  14. Quote Originally Posted by soseg View Post
    LOL

    Girls on your back... I've gotta see that in real life. Only seen pics of Arnie doing that.

    gold
    There is one girl in particular that is always there that works behind the counter and she does it willingly. I don't workout with a partner so I have no one to stack plates on me. It is a pretty funny sight though.

  15. 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.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by pistonpump View Post
    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.

    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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. hmm
    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

  23. Quote Originally Posted by soseg View Post
    hmm
    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
    Sometimes you need to work in a higher rep range to build quality/size. A couple IFBB pros at my gym swear by light weight. They also do steroids, but everyone that I have ever seen with nice calves do light weight movements. I'm not sure what the correlation is here, but it works for me and these other good people here obviously. It is a relatively small group of muscles as well.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Aggravated View Post
    Sometimes you need to work in a higher rep range to build quality/size. A couple IFBB pros at my gym swear by light weight. They also do steroids, but everyone that I have ever seen with nice calves do light weight movements. I'm not sure what the correlation is here, but it works for me and these other good people here obviously. It is a relatively small group of muscles as well.
    Interesting...

    Is the calf muscle the only muscle everyone finds its better to go lighter weights with?

  25. Pretty much!

  26. Quote Originally Posted by soseg View Post
    Interesting...

    Is the calf muscle the only muscle everyone finds its better to go lighter weights with?
    I like to WO arms with lighter weights sometimes as well, most of the time I might do moderate weight super sets at the end of my WO. For calves though, lightweight baby!

  27. Quote Originally Posted by Aggravated View Post
    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.
    same here, 2 yrs ago i was just in college reppin out 3 45's on each side. My form sucked, i went all the way down, but did them way too fast using my upper body to pull the weight up. Now i start out with 25's on each side work my way up to 45's and a 25 on each side. Ive found starting all over again, perfect form and also pausing at top pressing the contraction til it burns bad also helped me. Also OP you gotta practice around with sets and reps. I know guys who dont respond to high reps, and others that do. If a 45 on each side of seated calves arent doing anything @8-15 reps, lower the weight and do 30+. Experiment with it. Also, how do you feel when u leave the gym? I didnt start seeing good results till i crawled out of the gym on leg or calve day. Notice i didnt say walk, but CRAWL. lol.

  28. 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

  29. 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
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