What is the best calf building workout? Everyone wants to have big arms, ripped abs, but only the true bodybuilders care about calves. Our forum members share some great workouts about building your calves. Try them out!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Calf Building Workout?

The Question:

Everyone wants to have big arms, ripped abs, but only the true bodybuilders care about calves. It was Arnold's weak point for awhile, is it yours?

What is the best calf building workout? Be descriptive (sets, reps, etc).

How long should an effective calf workout be?

Should they be trained with any other muscle groups in particular?

How do you break your calves out of a plateau and into a growth spurt?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

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      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - BurningHeart
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

What do cowgirls/cowboys love? Big calves! One can spend years working on a splendid and muscular build. However without the balanced calves to match this physique, that person will look disproportional. More attention would be focused on the neglected calf muscles than the supreme upper body or upper legs.

Think back a few weeks ago to the 2006 Pro Europa Super Show. The top contestants all had superb physiques, but the one thing that was constantly mentioned by the commentators... their calves weren't in proportion to their bodies.

Calves are not a difficult body part to work. They do not tire you out as squats do and they do not burn as shoulders do. Thus there should be no reason not to train calves.

Let's first go over the anatomy of the calf muscles in order to better understand how to formulate the best workout for them.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Calf Anatomy.

This may look like a complicated set of muscles, but in all actuality it is not. Let's break down the muscles into individual groups.

The Gastrocnemius:

    The first section of the calf muscles is the medial head and the lateral head. Together they are called the gastrocnemius, also what people most commonly refer to as the "calves". They are the most noticeable muscles in the lower leg, and the most worked through weightlifting and everyday tasks.

    The gastrocnemius is able to be seen most when standing up. Stand up and raise your toes off the ground, from there you will be able to see your medial and lateral heads contract.

    Even though the gastrocnemius is the most common section of the calf muscles, it should not be the only one trained. Remember undeveloped calves means a disproportioned looking physique.

The Soleus:

    Let's now move on the 2nd section of the calves, the soleus. The soleus is responsible for helping your body stand up from a seated position. In bodybuilding terms, it makes the back of your lower leg wider.

    The soleus is most felt when sitting down. To feel your soleus sit down and wrap your hands around the back of your calf, placing your fingers on the highlighted areas in the above diagram. Raise your leg with your toes, just like you are standing on your toes. When seated, the soleus bears almost the entire load while the gastrocnemius is almost totally inactive. So if your workout routine consists of only standing calf raises, your soleus would not be getting any work.

    Now that we've discussed the two back parts of the calves, we move to the most commonly neglected calf muscle... the tibialis anterior.

The Tibialis Anterior:

    The 3rd and final section of the calves is the tibialis anterior, the red highlighted part of the above diagram. Looking at the area of the leg it occupies, it is hard to believe that so many weightlifters do not train this muscle isn't it?

    The tibialis anterior is used for walking up slopes and other activities that put the toes higher than the heel. In bodybuilding terms, a well developed tibialis anterior will make the lower legs appear larger and less boney. It could also serve to stabilize your body in certain exercises.

    Now that we know each muscle of the calves, let's move on to the workout done to develop each of these muscles.


Part 1:
What Is The Best Calf Building Workout? Be Descriptive (Sets, Reps, Etc).

The best calf building workout does not and should not have to be long and complicated. There is no noticeable benefit from doing many sets of various types of calf exercises. Unlike chest, legs, and triceps there is only 1 way to work each muscle of the calf. Standing motions that raise your body up with toes will work the gastrocnemius; seated calf raises will work your soleus, reverse calf raises will work your tibialis anterior.

Basically the best calf building workout consists of exercises done to work each section of the calf. The workout looks like this:

Best Calf Building Workout:

Muscle Worked Monday Thursday
Soleus Barbell Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise
Tibialis anterior Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises
Gastrocnemius Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
print Monday Log. print Thursday Log.
Rep/Sets - Max Weight 15 reps, 3 sets 6 reps, 3 sets

    This is the whole calf building workout. Note that on Monday there are 15 reps listed, while on Thursday there are 6 reps listed. This is done because Monday's calf workout is aimed to build size while Thursday's workout is aimed to increase strength. You should use maximum weight for the reps done, thus on Monday you will use less weight than on Thursday. As your calves get stronger, continue to increase the weight.

    This is only a section of a workout; of course it is not necessary to devote a whole day's workout for calves. The rest of the workout will be mentioned later in the article.

    References for the calf exercises listed above can be found here.

Nutrition:

    As for the proper nutrition for building healthy calves, one must consume a surplus of calories to build muscle. This surplus would be ~800 calories above your daily expenditure. Your daily expenditure can be calculated below.

MACRONUTRIENT CALCULATOR

Enter Your Bodyweight In The Appropriate Box Below:

Your Bodyweight In Pounds: OR In Kilograms:

Your Body Fat Percentage: %

    One must not only eat a surplus of calories, but it must be a surplus of healthy calories. Eating a surplus of junk food will only cause you to gain fat, not muscle. Healthy calories would consist of about 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% essential fatty acids for your daily intake.

    Healthy sources of protein are:

    • Protein shakes
    • Fish
    • Lean meat
    • Nuts
    • Eggs
    • Chicken

    Healthy sources of carbohydrates would be whole grain products. These include:

    • Wheat bread
    • Brown rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Wheat pasta
    • Vegetables

    It is important to stay away from white carbohydrates such as regular pasta, white rice, and white bread. These sources of carbs will spike your blood sugar, causing a spike in insulin, which ultimately leads to greater fat gain.

    Fats, while having a name that shuns away most, should not be neglected in a diet. Essential fatty acids play a role in maintaining your skin, hair, and vitamin digestion. Good sources of essential fatty acids are:

    • Olive oil
    • Nuts
    • Fish
    • And even can be found as a supplement

Rest:

    And last but not least, your calves will not grow without the proper rest. Weightlifters need an average of 8 straight hours of sleep a night for optimal recovery. Depending on the person it may be a little less (7 hours) or a little more (8 hours). Nevertheless any less or more sleep than that could hinder your gains.

    Some people have trouble sleeping at night. While it is a very frustrating thing to go through, one should not have to suffer through insomnia. Some basic tips on getting better sleep are as follows:

    1. Do Not Workout Right Before Bed.

      Give yourself at least 4 hours after a workout before trying to go to sleep. This is because after a workout your central nervous system is still in shock and trying to stabilize your body to normal. This will cause restlessness if you try to fall asleep during this period.

    2. Avoid Liquids A Couple Of Hours Before Bed.

      The more liquids you drink before bed, the more of a chance you will wake up in the middle of the night to have to use the bathroom.

    3. Release Any Pressure On Your Bladder Before Bed.

      This includes tight fitting jeans or sleeping on your stomach. When pressure is placed on your bladder, there is a high likelihood you will wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

    4. Keep Your Bedroom Cool.

      Often we wake up in the middle of the night because the room temperature as gotten hotter since we went to bed. For most people a cool room will make you fall asleep faster.

    5. Relax Yourself.

      Thinking about the day or what will happen tomorrow is useless and will only delay your sleep. Remember it's no use trying to plan your day in bed; there is nothing much that can be accomplished when lying in bed.

    6. Try Supplements If Your Sleep Problems Continue.

      These supplements include ZMA and melatonin. They can be a great help when you need a little extra help falling asleep.


Part 2:
How Long Should An Effective Calf Workout Be?

An effective calf workout does not have to be long to be effective. It is actually not ideal to workout your calves more than 20 minutes max, or any other body part for that matter. More is not better. There is a law called the law of diminishing returns, and it applies to many things in life, including bodybuilding.

Basically what it states is that the longer you exercise a body part, the less muscle you will gain per set. This runs to the point where eventually you start to lose muscle.

For instance the first set of calf raises will earn you 3 points of muscle (just an illustration). The second set will only earn you an additional 2; the third will earn you 1. Doing a fourth will yield no muscle benefit. Doing a fifth and higher will subtract a point away from overtraining. This shows why it is ideal to keep calves and other body parts in the three set range. Of course these aren't hard numbers, but the same principle still applies.

So for instance take the workout above. On Monday you will be doing three sets of the barbell seated calf raises for your soleus muscle. Each set should take no longer than 30 seconds plus 90 seconds rest in between sets. So the maximum time the first exercise will take to complete would be, 3 sets * 30 seconds = 1.5 minutes + (1.5 minutes rest * 3 sets) = 6 minutes. Since there are three calf exercises a day, (6 minutes * 3) = 18 minutes max - of total calf work.


Part 3:
Should They Be Trained With Any Other Muscle Groups In Particular?

Calves can be trained with any other muscles in your routine. There is no benefit from isolating a workout by exercising calves with a certain body part. Since some leg exercises work multiple leg muscles, I prefer to work calves along with my hamstrings, quads, and chest. Chest is included with leg day just because upper body has more muscles to work than lower body.

Some leave out isolation work in their legs, and just prefer to do deadlifts or squats. While both are superb exercises for the quadriceps, they do not incorporate a full range of motion for the calves. Doing only squats for calves would be like only going 1/2 of the way down with parallel squats to work the quadriceps. This is why it's important to include isolation work for your calves.


Part 4:
How Do You Break Your Calves Out Of A Plateau And Into A Growth Spurt?

There are two ways that I prefer to break out of any kind of plateau. By doing a few weeks of 4X6 exercises (which will be explained shortly) and by forcibly increasing the weight and doing as many reps with that as possible.

Let's talk about 4X6 exercises first. It is widespread throughout the bodybuilding community that lower reps with higher weights are best for gaining strength. On the same note, higher reps with lower weight are best for gaining size. 4X6 exercises combine the benefits of both, into a workout that will absolutely shock your muscles into growth.

4X6 exercises means first setting a weight that you can do only 12 reps with. From there you complete 4 reps, rest 10 seconds, complete 4 more, and so on until 24 total reps are done. That is considered 1 set. After one set rest 3 minutes and complete another, then another for a total of 3 sets.

Thus broken down a 4X6 workout would look like this:

    4 reps... rest 10 seconds... 4 reps... rest 10 seconds... 4 reps... rest 10 seconds... 4 reps... rest 10 seconds... 4 reps... rest 10 seconds... 4 reps.

Mixing in 4X6 workouts in my routine has prevented me from reaching plateaus. They are a very intense exercise and yield great benefits.

The next way to break out of a plateau would be to forcibly increase the weight. Some weightlifters will only increase their weight used when their target reps are reached. For example if they are aiming for 12 reps but can only get 10 with the weight being used they will keep that same weight for weeks trying to one day pump out those last 2 reps. That is not the correct way to go about fixing a plateau.

Instead of spending weeks on trying to be able to complete 2 more reps, increase the weight used so you can only get 8 reps or so done. This will almost always let you overcome a plateau. Soon after forcibly increasing the poundage you will notice that you are able to accomplish 10 reps now with the new weight.

No weightlifter should be satisfied with being stuck in a plateau. You do not grow by using the same weight and reps each week. While a calf plateau may be hard to overcome because all of the exercises work the calves in pretty much the same way, it does not mean they are impossible to break.

That concludes this article on calf work. Just because calves are a quick and easy body part to work does not mean they should not be allotted the same amount of work as other muscles. Calves, just as every other muscle, separate casual lifters from serious lifters. Which do you want to be considered as?

References:

  1. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calves.htm
  2. www.exrx.net


2nd Place - RC26
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Everyone wants to have big arms, ripped abs, but only the true bodybuilders care about calves. It was Arnold's weak point for awhile, is it yours?


Introduction

Calves are the most neglected muscle group, and the hardest to build. If you plan on developing Olympia sized calves, you need to learn how to correctly train them, and obtain all the tips and techniques that are proven to work.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the building calf muscles, including the best exercises, techniques, and workout.


Workout:
What Is The Best Calf Building Workout? Be Descriptive (Sets, Reps, Etc).

Calves Anatomy:

    In order to get the best results, you need to understand the anatomy of the calves, including the location and function of each muscle.

    Gastrocnemius:

      Gastro in Greek means "belly." This muscle, along with the soleus, makes up the Triceps Surae group. The "gastroc" can act on the knee or the ankle, and raise the heel during walking, running, and jumping.

      • Origin - Medial Epicondyle of Femur (Medial Head), Lateral Epicondyle of Femur (Lateral Head)
      • Insertion - Calcaneus via tendo Achilles
      • Action - plantarflexion of ankle, assister in knee flexion

    Soleus:

      Soleus is a Latin term for sole, a flat fish. It is located deep to the Gastrocnemius, and is the stronger plantar flexor.

      • Origin - Soleal line of tibia, posterior head and upper shaft of tibula
      • Insertion - Calcaneus via tendo Achilles
      • Action - plantarflexion of ankle

    Tibialis Anterior:

      Located in the front lower leg, the Tibialis Anterior separates the inside calf from the outside calf, and is involved in "shin splits." Paralysis of this muscle causes foot drop.

      • Origin - Lateral condyle and lateral shaft of tibia, Interosseus membrane
      • Insertion - base of 1st metatarsal, plantar surface, first (medial) cuneiform, plantar surface
      • Action - dorsiflexion of ankle, inversion of foot

Exercises:

    In this section, I will go over the best calf building exercises, how to correctly perform them, and which areas of the calf they build.

    Calf exercises are generally divided into two groups:

    1. Straight-Leg (Gastrocnemius)
    2. Bent-Knee (Soleus)

    Standing Calf Raise (Straight-Leg)

      This is the best calf building exercise, so always include it in your workouts. Since the Triceps Surae is an extremely powerful muscle group, don't hesitate to work it with heavy weights. Keep in mind that this muscle group alone raises the entire weight of your body hundreds of time each day when you walk, so you need to train it hard for it to grow.

      Execution:

      • Stand at the machine with your back straight, place your shoulders under the pads, and place the balls of your feet on the foot plate.
      • Rise up by extending the feet, while keeping the knees straight, and hold the contraction for one to seconds.
      • Return to the starting position, and try to get a full stretch when you lower your heels, then repeat.

      Muscles Worked:

      • Gastrocnemius
      • Soleus

      Variations:

      • Standing Barbell Calf Raise
      • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
      • Standing Calf Raise on a Dumbbell
      • Standing Rocking Calf Raise
      • Standing Calf Raise With Bands


Click Image To Enlarge.
Standing Calf Raise.
Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Donkey Calf Raise (Straight-Leg)

      This is a great exercise that increases the mass and width of the calf muscles. Reps in the 12-15 range provide best results.

      Execution:

      • Lean over forming an L with your torso and lower body, and place the balls of your feet on the platform.
      • Have a couple of people sit on your back, then rise up on the balls of your feet, and hold for the contraction for one to seconds.
      • Return to the starting position, and try to get a full stretch when you lower your heels.

      Muscles Worked:

      • Gastrocnemius
      • Soleus

      Variations:

      • Donkey Machine Calf Raise


Click Image To Enlarge.
Donkey Calf Raises.
Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Seated Calf Raise (Bent-Knee)

      This is the best exercise to increase the size of the soleus. Reps in the 12-15 range provide best results.

      Execution:

      • Sit at the machine, with your knees positioned under the pads, and the balls of your feet placed on the foot plate.
      • Extend your feet, and hold the contraction for one to two seconds.
      • Return to the starting position, and try to get a full stretch when you lower your heels.

      Muscles Worked:

      • Soleus
      • Gastrocnemius

      Variations:

      • Seated Barbell Calf Raise
      • Seated One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise


Click Image To Enlarge.
Seated Calf Raise.
Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Leg Press Machine Toe Press (Straight-Leg)

      This exercise builds the entire calf muscle. Make sure you go through the full range of motion, to get full development.

      Execution:

      • Sit at the leg press machine, and place the balls of your feet on the foot plate.
      • Push up on the balls of your feet, and hold the contraction for one or two seconds.
      • Return to the starting position, and try to get a full stretch when you lower your heels.

      Muscles Worked:

      • Gastrocnemius
      • Soleus

      Variations:

      • Vertical Leg Press Machine Toe Press


Click Image To Enlarge.
Leg Press Machine Toe Press.
Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Standing Reverse Calf Raise (Straight-Leg)

      This is the best exercise for developing the Tibialis Anterior. Training this muscle adds width to the front of the lower leg.

      Execution:

      • Stand under the smith machine bar, and place your heels on the platform.
      • Rise up on your heels, and hold the contraction for one to two seconds.
      • Return to the starting position, and repeat.

      Muscles Worked:

      • Tibialis Anterior

      Variations:

      • Standing Bodyweight Reverse Calf Raise


Click Image To Enlarge.
Standing Reverse Calf Raise.
Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

Cardio Exercises:

    Jump Rope

    This cardio exercise can slightly build the calf muscles. Perform it for 30 to 60 minutes to obtain maximal results.

    Execution:

    • Grab the jump rope with each hand.
    • Jump on both feet with each turn of the rope.

rope
Click Image To Enlarge.
Jumping Rope.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

Techniques:

    Below are training techniques that will help build your calves.

    • Drop Sets - perform a set, then when you reach failure, lower the weight, and immediately perform an additional set.
    • Supersets - perform two exercises with no rest in between sets.
    • Trisets - perform three exercises with no rest in between.

Hybrid Training:

    This is one of the best calf training techniques, and will be included in the workout. For an explanation of this training technique, click on the link below to view the Fit Show Episode 30, Hybrid Training with James "Flex" Lewis.

THE FIT SHOW 30
James Flex Lewis Training with James Flex Lewis!
Date: 4/23/2006

This week on The Fit Show under 21 Junior Mr Universe James Flex Lewis Brings to you a great mixture of exercises including his Hybrid calf training exercises.
Video Show 30

The Theory:

    Many people believe that it's impossible to isolate a certain area of the Gastrocnemius muscle, by pointing the toes inward/outward. However, many bodybuilders have used this technique, and claimed it worked well, so here it is.

    • Point the toes inward to isolate the outer head of the Gastrocnemius
    • Point the toes outward to isolate the inner head of the Gastrocnemius

Stretching:

    In order to get full calf development, one needs to stretch before and after each calf workout. Below are descriptions on how to perform the best calf stretching movements.

    Calf Stretch Hands Against Wall

    Execution:

    • Stand a few feet from the wall, and place your hands on it.
    • Keep you back straight, and press your heel against the ground.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Calf Stretch Hands Against Wall.
    Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Standing Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch

    Execution:

    • Place your right heel on the step, extend your knee, and grab your right toe with your right hand.
    • Pull you right toes toward your knee until you feel a stretch in your calf, then repeat the movement on the left side.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Standing Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch.
    Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    The Stair Stretch

    Execution:

    • Stand on the stair with your right heel over the edge, and lower it as far as you can.
    • Repeat with left heel.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Stair Stretch.
    Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

Tips:

    Here are some tips that will accelerate your calf development, and improve your workouts.

    • Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before each workout to decrease the risk of injury, and fill your target muscles with blood.
    • Avoid training with thick rigid footwear, or any footwear, to ensure your calves do all of the work.
    • Incorporate training techniques to accelerate your progress.
    • Change your workouts frequently, to avoid reaching a plateau.
    • Train your entire body to maintain balance and symmetry.
    • Take a week off from training every 2 to 3 months, to ensure your muscles fully recover.
    • Join a gym to get access to more equipment.
    • Join the Bodybuilding.com Forums, and find answers to all your questions.
    • Create a Bodyspace Account, so you can track your progress, and find people with similar goals from all over the world.
    • Visit the Bodybuilding.com Store, for all your supplement needs, at the lowest prices.

Sets/Reps/Rest:

    Each exercise will consist of 3 sets, 12-20 reps, and 60-90 second of rest in between sets, and exercises. On Wednesdays, you will be performing Hybrid Training, so rep ranges will vary between 12-30 reps.

The Split (Weeks 1-3):

  • Monday - Calves
  • Tuesday - Cardio
  • Wednesday - Calves/Hybrid Training
  • Thursday - Cardio
  • Friday - Calves
  • Saturday - Rest Day
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Calves:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Donkey Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

Tuesday - Cardio:

    Jump rope for 30-60 minutes.

Wednesday - Calves/Hybrid Training:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Leg Press Machine Toe Press 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

Thursday - Cardio:

    Jump rope for 30-60 minutes.

Friday - Calves:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Donkey Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - Rest Day

The Split (Week 4):

  • Monday - Calves
  • Tuesday - Cardio
  • Wednesday - Calves/Hybrid Training
  • Thursday - Cardio
  • Friday - Calves
  • Saturday - Rest Day
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Calves:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Standing Rocking Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

Tuesday - Cardio:

    Jump rope for 30-60 minutes.

Wednesday - Calves/Hybrid Training:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Leg Press Machine Toe Press 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

Thursday - Cardio:

    Jump rope for 30-60 minutes.

Friday - Calves:

Main Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Gastrocnemius Standing Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Gastrocnemius Standing Rocking Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Soleus Seated Barbell Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec
Tibialis Anterior Standing Reverse Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12 60-90 sec

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - Rest Day


Diet/Nutrition

Follow the diet/nutrition guidelines below to obtain maximal gains.

  • Eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • Drink 1 to 2 gallons of water per day
  • Consume 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day
  • Consume 2 to 4 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day
  • Consume a minimal amount of fat, no more than 75 to 150 grams per day

PROTEIN/CARBS CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein
Carbs

Recommended Protein Sources:

  • Lean Red Meat
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Egg

Recommended Carbohydrate Sources:

  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Recommended Fat Sources:

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids)


Supplementation

Follow the supplementation guidelines below for added gains.


How Long:
How Long Should An Effective Calf Workout Be?

An effective calf workout, like the one mentioned above, should last no more than 15-30 minutes. Any longer and you can end up overtraining, and/or getting injured. However, there are exceptions to this. If you are an advanced bodybuilder, then you should train your calves anywhere between 15-45 minutes.


Muscle Groups:
Should They Be Trained With Any Other Muscle Groups In Particular?

If calves are a lagging muscle in your physique, then train them first in your workouts. Doing so ensures you focus most of your energy and concentration on the calf muscles. So whether you train calves alone, or with another muscle, always train calves first.

Again, if you're an advanced bodybuilder, there are exceptions. Since advanced workouts take numerous hours to complete, bodybuilders can use supersets to shorten their training routine. A good superset you can use is back and calves.


Plateaus:
How Do You Break Your Calves Out Of A Plateau And Into A Growth Spurt?

Changing your calf workouts frequently can prevent your calves from reaching a plateau, all the while accelerating growth. Also, using the training techniques that were mentioned in this article can prevent plateaus.

For those of you who think that your calves will never grow, think again. If you've read Arnold Schwarzenegger's story, you would know that building your calves takes time, as much as 3 years, but it's well worth it. Arnold had lagging calf muscles, and would wear long pants to hide them, until one day he realized that he was making a mistake.

He then cut off his pants, so his calves would show, and everyone could see he had lagging calves. People made comments about it, and he took that as added motivation. After 3 years of brutal calf training, 30-45 minutes a day, 4 times a week, Arnold Schwarzenegger built Olympia sized calves, which helped him win several Mr. Olympia's.


Conclusion

Now you know the truth behind calf training, and how to maximize your gains. So next time you go to the gym, go to the calf raise machine, and within a few weeks, you will notice a difference. If you don't, keep training, and I guarantee you won't regret it.

Good luck!
Richard C.

References

  1. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calves.htm
  2. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stretches.htm
  3. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm
  4. Strength Training Anatomy Second Edition, By Frederic Delavier, Human Kinetics
  5. Illustrated Essentials of Musculoskeletal Anatomy, by Kay W. Sieg, Sandra P. Adams


What Is The Best Calf Building Workout?

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