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My calves need help!

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by BCR, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    2,827
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    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Any suggestions for a calf workout? The rest of my body is doing fine, but my calves are lagging.

    I usually do standing calf raises; 4 sets of 10-15 reps, and then seated calf raises in the same range. Sometimes I substitute the leg press machine to work my calves too.

    Any secret tips? I'd like my calves to match my upper body. Should I be running up hills like a mad man? Is the stair climber an option?
     
  2. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Aug 2, 1999
    What are you trying to accomplish?

    FWIW, if you are after size, my calfs got the biggest when I was jumping rope for 45-60 minutes 5 times per week.

    For me, I find my calfs need very little work. But then, I don't give a hoot what they look like. I only care if they limit me in lifts I am trying to improve upon. In other word, I don't train for hypertrophy only functional strength.

    If your calfs are limiting your lifting, what lifts are they holding you back on?

    Jack
     

  3. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    2,827
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    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    I'm trying to get more size out of them. They don't hold me back at all in my workouts.

    I look like one of those stereo-types that only works his upper body, but I do in fact work my legs and calves. They just haven't responded very well to anything I do.

    I just want to look more balanced and proportioned.
     
  4. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Aug 2, 1999
    More info please.....

    Age?

    How long have you been lifting?

    How often do you work out?

    How often do you do calfs?

    Anything that impairs your recovery?

    Generally speaking, what do you do for your legs?

    Jack
     
  5. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    2,827
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    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Here we go: I'm 30, been seriously lifting for about 5 years.

    Monday: Chest & triceps
    Wed: Shoulders and biceps and calves
    Fri: Back and legs

    For legs I do 4 sets of squats:1st no weight, 2nd 135 lbs, 3rd and 4th 225 lbs for 10 reps. Then leg extensions and leg curls. I don't go crazy working my legs because I mountain bike a lot in the summer and my legs are too sore if I go overboard.

    I lift about as heavy as I can without loosing form and not going over 10 reps for any excercise, except calves.
     
  6. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    1,539
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    Aug 1, 2003
    Indiana!
    Take a look at some of the various plyometric routines. In my experience calkf raises don't work well. I get the best results from plyo workouts and Jumping rope.
     
  7. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    1,539
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    Aug 1, 2003
    Indiana!
    Take a look at some of the various plyometric routines. In my experience calf raises don't work well. I get the best results from plyo workouts and Jumping rope. Also, calves seem to respond better to multiple workouts per week.
     
  8. FreakyBig

    FreakyBig Massive Member

    1,002
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    Jul 18, 2003
    Tennessee
    You just stated your problem right there. Everything else is growing except calves and you train everyting heavy except calves right? Hit your calves hard and heavy with little rest between sets, except for stretching. I try to hit calves 2 or 3 times a week, depending on soreness, for about 7-8 sets. Both calves and abs are easy to pass up and say you'll hit them on the next workout, especially after a hard workout, so start your workout with them.
     
  9. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

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    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Actually I work my calves as heavy as all other muscles but instead of 10 reps I hit the 12-15 rep range. I should've been more specific. And I only take about 15 seconds between sets, just long enough to stretch. But I was only hitting them once a week.

    In the past I was goig to start jumping rope but never got around to it and totally forgot about it until it was mentioned here twice.

    I guess I'll back off the upper body a little and concentrate more on my legs. I work everything equally, whether it's lagging or not. Time to put extra attention in my problem areas. And my riding season will be over soon so it won't hinder my leg workouts.
     
  10. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Aug 2, 1999
    My recommendation, and take it FWIW, would be for you to increase the frequency of you calf work. I seem to remember reading a long time ago that calves can be worked much more often. Try 2x per week or maybe three. I'd start with twice though.
     
  11. FreakyBig

    FreakyBig Massive Member

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    Jul 18, 2003
    Tennessee
    Smaller muscle groups like calves and abs will heal faster than larger muscle groups. You cant train calves like you would quads or back. Hit them more often.....you'll see an improvement.
     
  12. younggenious

    younggenious

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    Jun 29, 2001
    Southern TX
    Running/sprinting up hills will really build your calves.
     
  13. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    2,827
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    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    I'll try hitting them more often, and probably experiment with jumping rope too.

    Do you guys think the stair climber would be another idea, if I concentrate on hitting my calves and being more on my toes?
     
  14. ProfMoriarty

    ProfMoriarty

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    Mar 28, 2004
    Calves are extremely stubborn and probably more effected by genetics than most muscle groups. Some have 'em and some don't. Chris Dickerson has amazing calf development and Mike Christian has sticks. Go figure.

    Calves respond best to heavy weight done to failure and recover quickly.

    Best overall are donkey raises, probably because of the stretch.
    Standing calf raises work the entire calf, but mainly the gastrocnemeus.
    Seated calf raises, due to the bent knees, isolate the soleus.

    Of course, this information hasn't done dick for me!

    Hopefully, YMMV!
     
  15. earl simmons

    earl simmons karate

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    Aug 30, 2003
    LBC
    If you have high calves, they will never look particularly impressive.
     
  16. SouthernGal

    SouthernGal What's Up Dox?

    6,801
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    Jun 18, 2004
    NW MS
    Since I started running more regularly and on an incline my calves have grown quite a bit (and I have skinny birdlegs).