Calves are a muscle group many guys tend to struggle with in the gym. Not only are they an extremely stubborn muscle group to grow but people tend to get lazy when they need to train them hard or they follow the wrong approach.
To get your calves to grow I believe you must work them extremely hard with either heavy weight and low reps or with higher reps with moderate to heavy weight. You can also use a combination of both strategies. At the top of each calf movement you perform you should squeeze your calves as hard as possible to drive blood into the area. At the bottom of each rep you should also stretch for two to three seconds to increase the range of movement you are working your calves through. This will improve your mind-muscle connection.
I have personally found that training calves twice a week is more than adequate for recovery and growth. If you recover quicker you can even hit them three times a week, leaving at least 48 hours between workouts.
Always include standing and seated calf raises in your routine. I regard both of these exercises as extremely important. You can also add other exercises like donkey calf raises, toe presses on the leg press etc. Remember to only increase the weight you use when you can maintain good form and complete your rep range.
Techniques I have used with great success to shock my calves and stimulate new growth are strip or drop sets, tri sets and giant sets.
I also suggest stretching your calves between sets and also after your workout.
Here is a sample routine I often use for my calves with great success:
- Standing calf raises 5×15
- Seated calf raises 5×15
- Toe press on leg press 4xmaximum reps (15 reps with your toes outward, 15 reps with your toes inward and 15 reps with your toes straight)
Perform a drop set on the last set of your standing and seated calf raise exercises. Drop to 75% of the weight and squeeze out another 15 reps. Then, drop down to 50% of the weight and try to knock out another 15 reps.
Jump-start stubborn calves into new growth today Terminator-style!
WBBF Pro John ‘The Terminator’ Leslie