Unnaturally small calves/ankles
- 03-01-2014, 12:39 AM
Unnaturally small calves/ankles (Pictures)
I am looking for some high level guidance as to what I can do for my extremely small calves and possibly ankles. I am 36, 5'11", 220lbs. I have been lifting for years with a focus on basic compound movements. I can provide measurements if requested, but my calves are so small and disproportionate to the rest of my body it's almost comical. I have researched and tried many programs dedicated to calf, shin, and ankle training with little to no hypertrophy. I seriously have come to the point of looking at possibly getting calf implants. It's definitely taken a toll on me psychologically; I never wear shorts and limit myself to social interactions where shorts are not mandatory.
Any help would be welcomed.
- 03-01-2014, 01:35 AM
03-01-2014, 08:27 AM
03-01-2014, 10:25 AM
It has taken me some inner work, but I have gotten to certain points, where I do not let, what I might feel my shortcomings are, to effect me. Or give too much power, to what I might think others are thinking about me. ie: Try not to be so handcuffed on what others think of you and just be the best, YOU can be.
IMO, most people don't really care, or they care about themselves, actually.
I was sad I had no gloves, then met a man with no hands, who was quite happy
03-01-2014, 11:51 AM
This dude sounds like he's trained the sh!t out of his calves without any gains and it's affecting his life to the point where he won't wear shorts and avoids situations where he might have to. Some might say that's fine but IMO that's no way to live. Getting well done, tasteful implants isn't the worst idea ever. It's either that or live with it.
I mentioned pgf2a which MAY work, but WILL definitely hurt like a f-ing b1tch (has to be injected directly into the muscle probably 2-3x in each side a day, 4-6 total injections daily) and be unpleasant during a probably at least two month cycle that may or may not even cause results depending on where the muscle attachments are. If they're high, there just might not be muscle fibers in the calf to make bigger.
03-01-2014, 01:58 PM
03-01-2014, 01:59 PM
03-01-2014, 02:10 PM
All the best dude
03-01-2014, 02:11 PM
I would like to reiterate that while it's possible this compound could help you, it's not a guarantee, but it is guaranteed to be an unpleasant and potentially dangerous process. I'm not recommending it by any means, simply suggesting it as a possible option. Definitely research this carefully before pulling the trigger.
03-02-2014, 09:19 AM
Are there not any other extra-natural aids that might be less invasive than implants and less dangerous and painful than PGF2A?
03-02-2014, 10:26 AM
Have you tried blood flow restriction methods similar to the kiatsu method?
Maybe slip an elbow sleeve over your calf then roll it so it is like a band below your knee than do your calf routine. Also try static contractile training if you have not already done so
03-02-2014, 10:34 AM
03-02-2014, 12:31 PM
I think the OP probably has high calf insertions meaning he has few muscle fibers and no amount of training will make them better; even pgf2a won't help in that case. In that situation the options are really surgery and dealing with it. Large only other ip too is synthol which would be stupid and doesn't really work in the calves in addition to being dangerous. Honestly implants are the best option if the op decides he can't live with the situation.
03-02-2014, 04:02 PM
Thank you all for these replies and suggestions. It is wonderful to have a place where people actually understand concerns such as these.
I never really understood what high insertion calf meant, so I am posting pictures with measurements to get some feedback. Be advised Im a little leery on the tape measuring device as it starts at 2"....unless that's common.
03-02-2014, 04:06 PM
Here's is the measuring tape and oddly it starts are 2" so I feel confident saying that the measurement showing around my calf is too large.
03-02-2014, 05:36 PM
Honestly your calves don't look "comical". It looks like you have small bones (as do I), which makes me guess that you are overweight at 5-11, 220#. Do you know your BF%? Is it possible that dropping the extra fat will make your body composition look "less comical"?
What is your current workout routine? By compound movements, are you saying that you incorporate regular squat and deadlift sessions? What is your quadricep measurement? Do your quads match your calves in definition?
03-02-2014, 06:04 PM
Thank you for your input!
I do not have a body fat % but I can tell you I have a fairly large abdominal circumference. I am in no way an image of someone who is in good shape. With that said, I have been doing the Starting Strength protocol for the past few years. My legs have always been small/weak. Through this program, though, Ive managed to get my squat up from 135 lbs to 335 lbs. Nothing great but an accomplishment for me. My deadlift is a decent 435 lbs. With that said, my thighs measure in at 25". They will not grow as well, regardless of how strong I get.
As embarrassing as this is, I will go ahead and put myself out there with some photos I took about a month ago. These were going to be personal before photos in an effort to lose some abdominal fat. Unfortunately, with the fat loss will come a decrease in my leg size.
I hope I have not gone off too far here. Just trying to provide as much info as I can.
Again, thank you.
03-02-2014, 06:20 PM
I can tell you from personal experience that you have hope. 13" calves (but probably closer to 14" since that tape could go up higher) is not "small". In college I could jump like a mad man but had 14.5" calves at the time. When I started training my calves twice a week, and never doing less than 15 reps per set (usually 20 or more), and switched light and heavy weights constantly they started to grow. One off my favorite things to do with weight manipulation is go from heavy to light weight, then light to heavy weight for multiple reps hitting fast and slow twitch hard. My calves now measure 16.5". Do you have an example of weights and rep schemes you've used?
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03-02-2014, 06:50 PM
I don't think your calves look disproportionately small. I think you should work on cutting to 12-15% bf (my guess is that you're around 20-24% now) and see how your calves look, and really hammer them with heavy weight. I'd hit them with seated calf raises with 200-250 lb and standing with at least 400 lb. You may also benefit from buying a weighted vest and trying to walk on your tiptoes as much as possible.
Calves are a hard one; I'm genetically blessed with big calves (18.5") and only train them once every other week with 4 sets of 15 or so. I don't think 25" thighs are bad. Mine measure only 26.5" and I squat and dl a lot more.
03-02-2014, 06:59 PM
Looks like a good amount of muscle there hiding underneath the fat (which I am going to put you at about 25%). If you have worked up to a 435 DL, then your legs are growing...you just cant see the growth. Before you consider anything drastic (molecules or surgery) your first focus should be getting yourself down to 12%. Tons of information on this board on how to get there. Do it slowly. Do it with consistency. Just do it!
03-02-2014, 07:37 PM
First off, congrats on those strength gains JR. That is pretty dang good work getting those lifts especially, up there. Believe me I know they take some effort.
I am also on board with the guys who think you might be overthinking your calves are all that small. I will confess I have small calves too and as I trained over the years, while they have not grown a whole lot, look perhaps okay to me, but nothing like Tom Platz's Hahaha...!
It is funny, but I do think we as lifters, (at least I have at certain times) kinda go thur a such thing as "reverse anorexia" or a body image where we may think somethings are really small or not normal, when they are perfectly normal or even larger and other untrained people actually see us as quite fine.
IMO, don't miss a good outing or event, or maybe a relationship, because you feel you can't or don't wanna wear shorts.
Walk into the party knowing you can most likely out deadlift everyone there...! HAHAHAHA
03-02-2014, 08:17 PM
03-02-2014, 08:21 PM
As for quad measurement, maybe Im measuring in the wrong spot. Where should I place the tape when measuring quads?
Thank you for your input!
03-02-2014, 08:24 PM
All in all, Im walking away from this thread feeling much better about the "situation". Many thanks to you and everyone else here.
03-02-2014, 08:25 PM
03-02-2014, 08:43 PM
03-02-2014, 08:50 PM
03-02-2014, 09:32 PM
Yeah see where you stand after losing some fat. I think weighted vest training is very helpful for fat loss and can also help your calves.
03-02-2014, 10:01 PM
03-03-2014, 12:16 AM
So I did calves today, I figure I'd share the workout:
Leg press plus calf raise with 900 lb 3 sets of 15
Standing calf raise 3 x 15 with 400 lb
Seated calf raise 3 x 15 with 270 lb
For calf raises I vary foot position. The best video I saw demonstrating this is one kai greene made recently:
Train with Kai (Part 1) | FLEX Online
Train with Kai (Part 2) | FLEX Online
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