Double Your Results Using Varying Workouts: Calves!

Calve are perhaps the most difficult muscle group to train and get a large amount of gains from your training. The purpose of this article is to provide you with two different approaches to training these pesky little creatures.
TIf you are like most people, calve are perhaps the most difficult muscle group to train and get a large amount of gains from your training.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with two different approaches to training these pesky little creatures.

To begin let me remind you of the definitions of these terms (in my view) so that things will run a bit more smoothly throughout this series.

High-Intensity Training (HIT):

    Method of training using heavy weights, lower repetitions (6-10), and explosive movements using a large amount of energy over a brief period of time.

    HIT focuses more on the larger Type II-b fibers that give your muscles a more voluminous appearance. These fibers fatigue more quickly but produce the greater amount of force compared with Type-I fibers.

Volume Training:

    Method of training using medium weights, higher repetitions (12-15), and more succinct movements using a similarly large amount of energy over a more extended period of time.

    Volume training focuses on the smaller Type-I fibers that give your muscles a harder, more defined look. These fibers have a greater longevity for training and are more associated with cardiovascular training.

The greatest difficulty in adequately stimulating your calves for maximal growth is to modify your training ideals on a regular basis. These muscles, made up of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius and soleus.

One anatomical reminder here is that the gastronemius crosses the knee joint posteriorly which means that it is longer when your knee is fully extended. The soleus, however, does not cross the knee and is therefore more isolated when you do movements with the knees flexed.

Also, the makeup of these muscles is primarily Type I fibers due to the fact that these gastroc/soleus group is active throughout the day as you walk, go up stairs, or even stand stationary. Therefore to increase their size you must stimulate the Type II-b fibers to hypertrophy.


Sample HIT Programs

HIT Program 1:

Click here to print the HIT program 1.

HIT Program 2:

Click here to print the HIT program 2.


Sample Volume Programs

Volume Training Program 1:

    Standing Heel Raises: Start with 100 pounds and perform 100 repetitions. You might only be able to perform about 60 before fatiguing. Stretch your calves for 10 seconds and then resume. You might again have to rest after another 20 or so but only break for 10 seconds to stretch. Repeat until you have performed a total of 100 repetitions.
    Seated Heel Raises: 90 x 20, 115 x 20, 140 x 20

Click here to print the Volume program 1.

Volume Training Program 2:

    Smith Machine Heel Raises: You will want to perform this exercise using a 25 pound plate under the front part of you foot so that you can get a stretch when you go down. You will begin by using a starting position as though you were doing squats. 180 x 20, 270 x 20, 360 x 20 (note that I do not count the bar as weight here so 180 pounds would be two 45 pound plates on each side.)
    Seated Heel Raises: 90 x 20, 115 x 20, 140 x 20

Click here to print the Volume program 2.

* Please note that this is just an example of the weights I would and do use in my training program. You will need to modify the weights to fit your particular level whether it be more or less weight.


As you can see, I need a lot of work but I’m doing my best.

Thank you for reading this article.

Thanks,