Calfs? How do they grow good lord

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    Calfs? How do they grow good lord


    I have heard heavy sets and high reps.....

    I know alot of it is genetics, but what works for helping this body part grow?

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    Consistent, heavy training. As far as rep ranges go, I'd say around 12-15 would be best for most of the time, but you may want to do a couple sets of very heavy weight where you're only doing 4-6 reps.

    The stripping method works well with calves. I may do a few heavy sets, then on my last attempt I'll do a certain weight as many times as possible, drop the weight, keep going, and so on (a few times).

    But the main thing is to go heavy. You may have to work to get your strength up because even twice your bodyweight is a pretty low weight to be using. Just keep at it, go up in weight when you can and they'll respond. How much they respond is dependent on training, diet, and unfortunately, genetics. But regardless of your genetics you should be able to get some response out of them.
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    They're mainly a genetic muscle group like forearms. There isn't much you can do for them.
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    You figure you walk around on them all day with your body weight.... You weigh 178. Doing 200lb or even 300lb calf raises isnt straining your muscles too much. I have always done my calf raises immeadiately following my leg presses. Starting weight on leg press for me is roughly 700-800 lbs. Ill do as many calf raises as i can following my sets. Has worked pretty well for me so far.
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    sounds solid thanks josh and everyone
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    They're mainly a genetic muscle group like forearms. There isn't much you can do for them.
    I'll agree with you in that genetics has a lot to do with it, but you can still get development out of them if you train them properly and your diet is adequate. Now, I'm not saying if you have naturally smaller calves that you can build them up to be massive, BUT you can build them up some.

    It's all about genetic potential and most people's calves aren't up to their own genetic potential. Now what your genetic potential is, that's different for everyone, so though you may not ever have huge boulder-like calves, you can get them bigger. It's all about proportions! Regardless of your build, if you can achieve some level of muscularity, leanness and proportion, you will stand out from the average person.

    Like I said, consistent, heavy training. You have to find that right groove where you're stimulating them efficiently but not overdoing it.

    I've always had naturally small calves, which has sucked, but they're better now than they used to be, so...
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    I believe one misconception people have that all you need to do is go heavy as hell, which I believe you need to go heavy BUT you also need to get a full range of motion. Save the half reps for when you absolutley can't get a full ROM. I always see so many people put the whole stack on and do like quarter reps and not doing one at a full stretch. And also do them with toes pointed in and out along with forward which should be your foundation. Also I think its good to do higher reps
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    although it is not a calf exercise, since I have really worked leg curls into my routine and gotten pretty heavy with it is has helped increase the outward sweep of my calves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiLShAnK357 View Post
    I have heard heavy sets and high reps.....

    I know alot of it is genetics, but what works for helping this body part grow?
    Heavy, but not so heavy that it compromises your range of motion and the total workload performed during the workout.
    Concentrate on the negative portion, and lots of loaded stretching for a 20-30 second count.
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    they wont grow dude sorry. I can deadlift 440 and i suck at squat 315 max PL style... and my calfs are smaller then my cardio bunny sister
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    I gotta chicken legs below the knees,but I do my raises with my toes up on a 2x4, so I can get a really really good stretch on the neg. Really burns them, but they'll never be like a fat white girl's calves.
    True story:

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    I recently surrendered to seated calf raises only for a while, because that works my inner calf to get me that diamond cut look. I work them 2-3 times a week. I will also incorporate Leg press calf exercises, and standing but seated and donkey calf raises are the favorite for this guy.
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    Just do HUNDRED'S of toe raisers every other day, my calfs are chiseled. Or.... THOUSANDS of skips every day, i used to do like 3000 everyday but when i started i used to do like 4000-5700 every saturday.
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    Tons of work. Flex your calves in every step you take in a day. Do seated calf raises and standing raises ever 2-3 times a week. They are very resilient and can take a lot of weight/work. I used to think I just had great genetics for calves and thats why they've always been 17-18 inches, but I found I do work them a lot and and have always concentrated on using them throughout movements in a day. It may take a year or two to add up the work needed to make them grow, consistency is key as always, but it's great to have huge calves just the same as it's great to have huge arms/chest/back/legs/whatever.
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    True, overload them. I plan on obliterating mine before this contest. I dont want that against me. Work them to death, and make them grow.
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    DC STYLE training for calves dominates all but, many people cant do it because of their egos.
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    The key is consistent and heavy work with great technique. I think the biggest problem is that people don't use enough weight. For example, I would consider twice your bodyweight to be a fairly light weight when it comes to calves. If you train your calves consistently, they'll get stronger, allowing you to use more weight, thus increasing overload. It just takes a lot of work, time and effort. Also, make sure to go all the way up on your toes, then all the way down for a full stretch so that you're working the calves through their full range of motion. Rarely outside the gym do you use your calves through their full range of motion. I've been doing calves twice per week: one day I'll do 4 sets of standing calve raises and a few days later I'll do 4 sets of seated calve raises. For standing calve raises, try increasing the weight by a lot for your last set and just crank out a few really heavy reps (maybe just 3-4 reps). For seated calve raises, try doing a set, then remove some weight, another set right away, remove some weight, and so on until your calves feel like they're going to explode. Anything you can think of to increase your training intensity is good. If you just tack on a few sets for calves at the end of your workout and don't give it your all, you probably won't see much in the growth department.



    How much they respond and develop is up to your own genetic potential but I'd wager that most people on these forums aren't up to their natural genetic potential when it comes to calves. By the way, my calves suck as well, but since I've been hitting them hard, I've noticed some improvement.

    It might take months and months of hard work before you notice any change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadlift18 View Post
    I believe one misconception people have that all you need to do is go heavy as hell, which I believe you need to go heavy BUT you also need to get a full range of motion. Save the half reps for when you absolutley can't get a full ROM. I always see so many people put the whole stack on and do like quarter reps and not doing one at a full stretch. And also do them with toes pointed in and out along with forward which should be your foundation. Also I think its good to do higher reps
    I agree with this. I happen to have good genetics for calves (around 20" when they are at their peak), but I have also been able to find success in maximizing my potential. I absolutely believe that a full stretch and a full contraction are necessary. I switch my calf routine up quite a bit, but one of the best things you can do before trying to go super heavy is to work on your form and ROM. Use a moderate weight on a donkey raise or seated calf raise and do a set where you don't count reps; simply focus on getting a fully locked contraction and hold it tight until it screams, then lower the weight for a full stretch. End the set when you cannot get a full contraction again. Then get up and stretch. I see guys going really heavy but they are either doing partial reps, or they are finding a way to roll their ankles laterally so they can get their toes pointed without having used their calves for the majority of the work. Some people have trouble locking their calves fully without getting cramps, so work on your range of motion and over time you will be able to get a full contraction at the top.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    They're mainly a genetic muscle group like forearms. There isn't much you can do for them.
    Thats utter BS. It takes hard work and heavy weight. Thats it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    Thats utter BS. It takes hard work and heavy weight. Thats it.
    That is not BS. And calves are not a muscle you would go heavy on. They are a muscle group with more slow twitch fiber makeup and you would train them with high reps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    That is not BS. And calves are not a muscle you would go heavy on. They are a muscle group with more slow twitch fiber makeup and you would train them with high reps.
    Well I will say this. All the BB"rs with large calves used heavy ass weight and utilized low reps in conjunction with high. My calves were the worst possible body part on me. I could do very heavy squats but my calves never grew. I did the high rep scheme. Nothing. I switched to heavy reps with very heavy weight and lo and behold they grew 2 inches in 2 months. I have since added in drop sets to stretch the fascia at the end and have added another inch and a bit. It is possible. As for forearms it is the same. Train them hard and heavy and they will grow. After hard years of training my forearms are bigger than the average gym rats bicep by far. Just because they are slow twitch and can take the extra volume of high reps doesn't mean it will grow. You NEED to shock them. Every workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    Well I will say this. All the BB"rs with large calves used heavy ass weight and utilized low reps in conjunction with high. My calves were the worst possible body part on me. I could do very heavy squats but my calves never grew. I did the high rep scheme. Nothing. I switched to heavy reps with very heavy weight and lo and behold they grew 2 inches in 2 months. I have since added in drop sets to stretch the fascia at the end and have added another inch and a bit. It is possible. As for forearms it is the same. Train them hard and heavy and they will grow. After hard years of training my forearms are bigger than the average gym rats bicep by far. Just because they are slow twitch and can take the extra volume of high reps doesn't mean it will grow. You NEED to shock them. Every workout.
    The term "shock" comes from the method of overload, which is the only way to assure muscular hypertrophy. Change of volume is not the only method of overload; resistance and tempo can be too. According to Fred Hatfield, muscles with more slow twitch fibers should be stimulated through light weights and high repetitions to assure growth. Calves are an example of these muscles in specific. I have decent calves, but do not train them religiously. Calves are something that can be either huge or small without training them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    That is not BS. And calves are not a muscle you would go heavy on. They are a muscle group with more slow twitch fiber makeup and you would train them with high reps.
    If its mostly slow twitch fibers, then high weight low reps is how to train it for more growth of those fibers because that is what those fibers are suited to. high volume works better for fast twitch muscles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    The term "shock" comes from the method of overload, which is the only way to assure muscular hypertrophy. Change of volume is not the only method of overload; resistance and tempo can be too. According to Fred Hatfield, muscles with more slow twitch fibers should be stimulated through light weights and high repetitions to assure growth. Calves are an example of these muscles in specific. I have decent calves, but do not train them religiously. Calves are something that can be either huge or small without training them.
    True some people are truly gifted with a bodypart, mine are arms and back. I am using shock from my own vocabulary. As in hit it fn hard make it hurt, then hit it again till you can't hit it anymore. Thats MY method. Fred calves look like ****e and are small. I don't want Fred's calves. I realize that there are different methods...but I have always trained mine religiously, which is why I feel that I am qualified to make the judgement. If you ever desire big calves try my plan and see if it works for you. If you don't care about calve size..well then I will never convince you. High reps and light weight never, ever made my calves grow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    If its mostly slow twitch fibers, then high weight low reps is how to train it for more growth of those fibers because that is what those fibers are suited to. high volume works better for fast twitch muscles.
    Not according to Dr. Squat. "Hardgainer" muscles are generally classified as slow twitch dominant muscles that do not respond well with low reps.

    http://drsquat.com/content/knowledge...training-split
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    Not according to Dr. Squat. "Hardgainer" muscles are generally classified as slow twitch dominant muscles that do not respond well with low reps.

    http://drsquat.com/content/knowledge...training-split
    interesting and actually you are right about slow twitch muscles responding better to higher reps now that I looked at it again, but most other sources say the Gastrocnemius



    is mostly fast twitch.
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    to add, here's an actual study supporting that as well

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/t7446n300207km7m/

    showing the Gastrocnemius as close to 50/50 slow/fast. The soleus is more slow twitch, but its a small part of the calf overall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    to add, here's an actual study supporting that as well

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/t7446n300207km7m/

    showing the Gastrocnemius as close to 50/50 slow/fast. The soleus is more slow twitch, but its a small part of the calf overall.
    Interesting study, but I'm sure it would depend upon the person.

    It would seem to me that gastrocnemius would be more slow twitch and soleus used more fast twitch. Since a standing calf raise uses more gastrocnemius and seated uses more soleus.
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    as far as everyone saying forearms and calves are genetic and wont grow, ive never heard worse advice.

    this past year i made it my personal goal to bring both those muscle groups and with hard work i did just that. i had skinny 16 inch chicken calves and there now 20 inches, theres a pic on my page so yall cant call BS. i posted the whole thing in the bulking forum when i noticed i had stretch marks down the back of my calves.

    forearms same, thing, no stetch marks but i got them to grow 2 1/2 inches in the year.

    its heavy weight, low reps, slow reps, good form. thats it. if you disagree then your not doing one of those things. im really tired of people blamming genes for small calves. it seems like everyone who complains doesnt do them consistantly.

    stretch them between sets too***
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    Interesting study, but I'm sure it would depend upon the person.

    It would seem to me that gastrocnemius would be more slow twitch and soleus used more fast twitch. Since a standing calf raise uses more gastrocnemius and seated uses more soleus.
    It always depends upon the person. Genetics play a big role. There is a reason though why Reg park and Arnold used 1000+ pounds and used a rep scheme of 4-12 reps. To overcome skinny calves...and they did. I definitely feel that the article is accurate as in my routine it ends up that I am doing a combo of both now and that is where it stands today. It also corresponds with what I learned in my previous HK classes. The gastro is involved in all the explosive actions having to do with the calf muscle.

    Here is another interesting article to peruse.Interesting thoughts.
    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/a...eFiberType.htm
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    i have read in ironman magazine that a full range of motion isnt that useful, i have also read it about ronnie coleman when he works his calves.
    He works from just above the middle of the stroke to down just short of full stretch - the semistretched point.
    .

    also if you take note of cyclists calves they are pretty impressive and they dont use a full range of motion either.

    still different techniques can work for different people
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane0Mac View Post
    i have read in ironman magazine that a full range of motion isnt that useful, i have also read it about ronnie coleman when he works his calves.
    .

    also if you take note of cyclists calves they are pretty impressive and they dont use a full range of motion either.

    still different techniques can work for different people
    Yup partials definitely work eg; Arnold's cheat curls,Arnold's flys,James Lewis' Standing(squatting more like it haha) Bent Knee Calf Raise. I truly believe it is the maximal effort you put in to your workouts that matter the most from a workout standpoint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    Yup partials definitely work eg; Arnold's cheat curls,Arnold's flys,James Lewis' Standing(squatting more like it haha) Bent Knee Calf Raise. I truly believe it is the maximal effort you put in to your workouts that matter the most from a workout standpoint.
    I agree with you 100%.
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    Thank God for genetics. I'm Asian and blessed with a good set of calves. All I really do are calf raises. I don't know about you dudes, but they've recently come out with special sneakers that "tone" your calves while you walk. It's like, curved and forces you to rock a bit to keep balanced. I know Scheckers has a pair. So does Avon brand Curves. I don't own a pair myself, but that's something you can check out. You figure you do enough walking for a day to make a difference.

    I'm female, BTW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMCLouzee View Post
    Thank God for genetics. I'm Asian and blessed with a good set of calves. All I really do are calf raises. I don't know about you dudes, but they've recently come out with special sneakers that "tone" your calves while you walk. It's like, curved and forces you to rock a bit to keep balanced. I know Scheckers has a pair. So does Avon brand Curves. I don't own a pair myself, but that's something you can check out. You figure you do enough walking for a day to make a difference.

    I'm female, BTW.
    I picture the ones from Seinfeld haha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMCLouzee View Post
    Thank God for genetics. I'm Asian and blessed with a good set of calves. All I really do are calf raises. I don't know about you dudes, but they've recently come out with special sneakers that "tone" your calves while you walk. It's like, curved and forces you to rock a bit to keep balanced. I know Scheckers has a pair. So does Avon brand Curves. I don't own a pair myself, but that's something you can check out. You figure you do enough walking for a day to make a difference.

    I'm female, BTW.
    I'd like to see pictures so few asian women have really good legs.
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    Take the good advice that was in this thread and attack them hard! Put as much effort as you do say chest or biceps into your calf training. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMCLouzee View Post
    Thank God for genetics. I'm Asian and blessed with a good set of calves. All I really do are calf raises. I don't know about you dudes, but they've recently come out with special sneakers that "tone" your calves while you walk. It's like, curved and forces you to rock a bit to keep balanced. I know Scheckers has a pair. So does Avon brand Curves. I don't own a pair myself, but that's something you can check out. You figure you do enough walking for a day to make a difference.

    I'm female, BTW.
    Hmm my wife and sister in law both have awesome calves..and are Asian...Hopefully my children will inherit that trait =)
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    in all this talk about calves I guess i more or less wonder what people consider big? Is it just proportional to biceps or talking about absolute size? mine are just 16ish, but that looks pretty big overall compared to most of what I see in my gym.
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    Ricky5145's Avatar
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    id say just sheer size/ measurement.
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