Get Huge Gastrocs!

I haven't dedicated an article to calve training yet so I felt I should get one posted- since it is an often neglected area in many trainers. Hope you all are doing well and keep up the good work.
I haven't dedicated an article to calf training yet, so I felt I should get one posted - since it is an often neglected area with many trainers. So, here goes:

If you like wearing shorts without feeling ashamed of your calves, then you should not neglect them! There are many variations you can use in your training to help them out immensely. You should train calves just as hard and often as everything else so your body is balanced.


Calf Anatomy

One point to remember about the calves is that they have two (2) main functioning muscle sections:

  1. Gastrocnemius
  2. Soleus

Anatomy Of The Calves
Click Image To Enlarge.
Anatomy Of The Calves.

The gastrocnemius is recruited in calf exercises when the leg is at full extension, as in standing calf raises.

Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises
Click Image To Enlarge.
Standing Calf Raises.

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The soleus is recruited during calf exercises when the leg is bent, as with seated calf raises.

Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises
Click Image To Enlarge.
Seated Calf Raises.

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In dissection studies, the gastrocnemius came out as being mostly fast twitch (strength) fibers and the soleus is mostly slow twitch (endurance) fibers.

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2 Types Of Calf Training

This means, of course, that you should train them accordingly: low, heavy reps for the gastrocnemius, and really high reps for the soleus.

Because everyone's unique muscle structure regarding fast and slow twitch fiber percentages varies greatly, you should experiment to see what your optimal rep range is for your other muscle groups. But more on that in another article. Here are a few calf blasters to get ya started down the right path.


Calf Blasters

Rest-Pause Drop Sets On Seated Calf Machine

    Get ready to work! Combining rest-pause with drop sets into one workout equals one hell of a grueling workout for the soleus muscle. Use whatever sized plates you need to use so that you can drop the weight 4 times. Instead of doing normal drop sets with it, do your first set of at least 15-30 reps and then wait 20 seconds.

What Is A Drop Set?
A drop set is a set where you do as many reps as you can with a certain weight, then immediately lower the weight and do more reps. There should be as little rest as possible between sets.

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    Then leave the original weight on it and grind out more reps with it until you can do no more. Wait another 20 seconds. Strip some more off and repeat until all four weight drops are complete at two sets for each weight. You will do a total of eight sets resting 20 seconds in-between each. This will test the limits of both your mind and body!

Assisted Standing Calf Raise Negatives

    Get on the standing calf raise machine and set the weight pretty heavy for yourself. Begin the rep pressing with both feet and lower using only one foot. This method immediately doubles the workload on the working calf during the negative portion of the exercise where you are stronger.

    Your gastrocnemius muscles need heavy training and this overloads them quite nicely!

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    Go for about 4-8 negatives on each set and remember that your legs can handle a slightly higher training volume than most other groups because you have walked on them your entire life and they need the extra stress to provide enough shock.


Thanks

Hope you all are doing well and keep up the good work! Until next time...