Calves Won’t Grow? – Try These Secret Tricks
The calves are one of those body parts that seem to be either a standout freakishly developed muscle group for individuals or an underdeveloped, less than impressive hidden feature on an otherwise muscular and lean physique. For some reason it seems that you either have good calves or you don’t and this is based purely on one’s genetics. With that said, even if you haven’t been blessed with massive cows hanging onto the back part of your tibialis, you can still make what you do have better. Many have tried everything they can think of in the gym for packing on quality calf size and most times it is to no avail. To those who fall into that category I’m here to provide you with some hope. The following strategies may seem strange, unorthodox and maybe even ridiculous; but nothing else has worked for you so what have you got to lose, right?
One heavy set to failure using full range and partials
Every single day at the beginning of your workout, pick your favourite calf machine, load it up with a bunch of weight and perform one all out heavy intense set to failure. Start off with performing full complete repetitions with a nice stretch at the bottom followed by a hard squeeze at the top and bang those out until you can’t complete another rep like this. Once you’ve achieved failure in this fashion, start incorporating bottom half reps where the focus is now placed solely on the stretch of the calf (which by the way is usually missing when people train calves). Do as many as those as you can until you literally cannot move your heel up and out of the stretched position and then simply allow your calves to be in the stretched position for a minimum of 30 seconds. By the time you’re done with this set, your calves should be on fire. If you can’t do this every day, then shoot for every other day.
Double up on the exercises
Most times the routines you see for training the calves involves two different types of exercises. One is usually an exercise that has your legs in a straightened position to target the gastrocnemius. The other exercise has your legs in a bent or 90 degree angle position to target the soleus. If this is something you have been doing on a regular basis and still can’t seem to get the results you’re after, then why not double up on the number of exercises you’re performing? Perhaps you just aren’t doing enough and your stubborn calves need more stimuli to get them growing. Start incorporating twice the amount of work you do for them with twice the amount of exercises. This increase in training volume may be just what your calves have needed this whole time!
Don’t forget about the tibialis anterior
While this muscle is usually the forgotten muscle when it comes to training the lower leg, if trained consistently the tibialis anterior will significantly add to the overall look of your calves from the front. When fully developed it will help provide that diamond shaped look to your calves which will keep them looking impressive from any angle they are viewed from. If you’re lucky enough to have a machine at your gym that targets this muscle then use it! Otherwise, heel presses on the leg press and banded dorsi flexes will offer a phenomenal alternative for you.
Calf development is under appreciated in my opinion. Sure you only see them when wearing shorts but that shouldn’t negate the amount of effort it takes to build up a substantial amount of size and shape especially when you are fighting a genetic battle with yourself. Do whatever it takes to add to what you already have, try the above strategies and be consistent. Eventually they’ll grow; by how much I couldn’t tell you but some growth is better than none.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.
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