Some people are born with money. Some people are born with great intelligence. And then there are those blessed with huge calves.
Don’t you just hate those people? (Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word.) But for those of us who struggle to see calf growth, we’re envious of guys with thick, strong muscles from knee to ankle, even though they rarely grow calves.
There are many such guys (and girls). However, lack of genetics is not a good excuse for a calf that isn’t great. In most cases, weak pairs of calves are not the product of bad genes, but of poor training.
The good news: Even if you don’t share the genes for massive calf muscles with Manny Pacquiao, you can still build impressive muscles in your lower legs. Sometimes the hardest and smartest workers come out ahead of the genetically gifted. If you’re only doing a few lazy sets at the end of your workout, or worse, neglecting them, it’s time to start treating the area below the knees with more respect.
Most guys notice that their calves don’t grow as much. This means that if you want to gain size and strength, you need to attack your calves completely. Conventional training just won’t work, so here are 6 unique ways to wake up those stubborn calf muscle fibers.
Note: Do not use all of these methods at once, otherwise your calves will be overtrained and growth will not be affected. Pick two or three items from this list and change them every few weeks.
- Train calves straight for 2-4 weeks
Train your calf every day for 2-4 weeks straight and return to your normal routine. Using a different exercise each day, use about 4-6 sets per exercise.
- Prepare before bed
Every night before going to sleep, do 100 slow and firm compressions to raise the calf using only your own weight. Do this in addition to your regular program. Go for maximum burn!
- Walk more on your toes
Wherever possible, walk on your toes instead of your flat feet. (That’s why ballerinas have strong calves.)
- The calf gets up on the stairs
Whenever you come across a ladder, raise the calf on each rung. Step on the balls of your feet on the way down, as this will work your calves as a plyometric movement.
- Do 2 calf exercises per week (heavy and light)
Try doing calf exercises twice a week: one set of 4-6 reps with a very heavy weight and another set of 25-50 reps with a very light weight. It will attack strings that you may not have hit in your normal practice.