Training Calves

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Training Calves

Postby kp1512 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:22 pm

Reading some stuff about calve training and a few seem to suggest hopping on one leg at a time with a dumbell on the side that is taking the stress - meant to be an awesome calve builder

Anyone do this?
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Alex on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:04 pm

I'm sure there are a few members on here whose significant others do something similar...
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Re: Training Calves

Postby health4ni on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:26 pm

For you KP, I'd suggest skipping. That way you burn some body fat and build your calves up at the same time.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby simon m on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:03 pm

I've never trained calves directly, but find that they grow whne doing sport, so skipping may well help
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Dtlv74 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:06 pm

Never done that, but whilst trainig at home most of my calf training is improvised due to not having a calf raise machine. Improvised exercises include -

- seated calf raises (with weight discs on a low table that my legs just tuck under, block under heels)

- single leg calf raises with two DB's (no jumping though)

- single leg donkey calf raises (when my brother is available to sit on my back)

- walking DB lunges with push up onto tip-toes

- standing calf raise (barbell high on traps)

- plyometrics like standing verticle jumps

- leg curls with toes pulled towards shins

Also sometimes do tibialis raises holding a DB between my feet and pulling up towards my shins

In general my calves respond quite well to the bit of running and treking I do so they don't need a lot of focused work to stay in proportion.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Bison on Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:35 am

Unless bodybuilding for competition I wouldn't worry about the calf muscles too much. I'd agree some kind of sport is best.

Such an incredibly strong muscle that to push them hard enough to trouble them, puts you at greater risk of injury to another bodypart. You're only as strong as the weakest link.... think achilles heel. I know I learned the hard way.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Rilla on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:56 am

health4ni wrote:For you KP, I'd suggest skipping. That way you burn some body fat and build your calves up at the same time.


Quoted for truth.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Rab on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:24 am

Calfs are such a pain in the arse. Unless you have them just by going out walking etc, then they are goig to be a nightmare to grow

Ive been doing a vee variation recently that has been working but take that on merit of my sittuation i suppose...... ;)

Take a weight on standing calf machine you fail at 15 reps with and then rest pause up to 30 reps, increasing the weight every week

Finishing this off with single leg bodyweight raises and long stretching
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Craig on Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:20 am

anyone train the calf antagonist muscle (tibial muscle)?
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Re: Training Calves

Postby ollie on Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:33 am

I've thought about it - but no. Do you?
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Dtlv74 on Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:51 pm

Craig wrote:anyone train the calf antagonist muscle (tibial muscle)?


Yes - but not regularly, only when following a 'hit all muscles from all angles' type routine. I just do the tib raises with a db i mentioned earlier.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby julesm on Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:57 pm

walking round in high heels takes care of the calf muscles :D
para will be able to confirm or deny- but at the olympic gym there used to be some posters instructing you on how to build calves (muscular development mag from memory), other than the norm, it suggested putting some ridiculous wooden blocks onto your shoes, and then go for a walk? :o

calves are a toughy, you either have them or you dont, i have seen people do ridiculous amounts of stuff in a futile attempt to build them

already said, skipping, incline walking, box jumps
just a mix of weights and rebounds to hit the diff twitches
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Karlos on Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:57 pm

I disagree bison, whilst a total fitness there was a couple of guys with arms bigger than their calves. Huge upper body and a child's lower leg, it looks silly.

Calf size has a lot to do with the size of your calcaneous. Bigger calcaneous (heel) = a greater leverage so the calf has less work to do. I did that hopping thing for a few weeks, but at the end of a session I can rarely be arsed to train calves. Luckily I seem to get enough calf stimulation from deadlifts and sprints.

I know the gastrocs are likely to respond to heavy and dynamic/plyo work, so hopping and low rep standing calf raises, while the soleus will respond to high rep seated (legs bent) exercises.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Bison on Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:13 pm

I think you misunderstood me mate. I wasn't saying ignore calfs, just don't train them like other muscles. They're so strong that hitting them hard and heavy for a few reps won't cut it and will put you in more danger of injury. I'd say use something like sprinting, hopping, etc rather than repping out calf raises with an elephant on your shoulders.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Spit on Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:18 pm

Dtlv74 wrote:
Craig wrote:anyone train the calf antagonist muscle (tibial muscle)?


Yes - but not regularly, only when following a 'hit all muscles from all angles' type routine. I just do the tib raises with a db i mentioned earlier.



I did last summer when I started running and was getting pains up my shins- did dorsiflexion exercises with a DB between my feet, sorted me right out. They don't take anything out of you so if you're benching or similar then you can just have a sit down and fire out a set during your rest period.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby exclusive on Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:04 pm

You guys should see the size of andy boltons calves!!! he trains at my gym, all i ever see him doing for them is toe presses on leg press.

Im a firm believer in the basics for calves, mine are coming on well with 3 up 3 down sets of 8 calf raises
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Richard on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:24 pm

Skipping.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Karlos on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:31 pm

exclusive wrote:You guys should see the size of andy boltons calves!!! he trains at my gym, all i ever see him doing for them is toe presses on leg press.

Im a firm believer in the basics for calves, mine are coming on well with 3 up 3 down sets of 8 calf raises


He needs those calves to stop his fat ass falling down.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Richard on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:36 pm

Karlos wrote:
exclusive wrote:You guys should see the size of andy boltons calves!!! he trains at my gym, all i ever see him doing for them is toe presses on leg press.

Im a firm believer in the basics for calves, mine are coming on well with 3 up 3 down sets of 8 calf raises


He needs those calves to stop his fat ass falling down.


Why don't you go & tell him that :D :lol:
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Rab on Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:27 pm

Aint no fool doing that Rich :D
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Dtlv74 on Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:23 am

Spit wrote:
Dtlv74 wrote:
Craig wrote:anyone train the calf antagonist muscle (tibial muscle)?


Yes - but not regularly, only when following a 'hit all muscles from all angles' type routine. I just do the tib raises with a db i mentioned earlier.



I did last summer when I started running and was getting pains up my shins- did dorsiflexion exercises with a DB between my feet, sorted me right out. They don't take anything out of you so if you're benching or similar then you can just have a sit down and fire out a set during your rest period.


That's exactly why I first did them, had been running and hill hiking a lot wthout a problem - then suddenly got shin splints a few times. A few weeks of tib raises, then occasional use thereafter and never again.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Rab on Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:55 am

I donmt think skipping would work for me or people who have difficulty growing calfs.

I play golf so im out walking up and down hills with a bag of clubs and waterproofs etc on my back for a 4 mile hike. does nothing for me, but for guys that get them easy this woukld probably put inches on them
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Re: Training Calves

Postby health4ni on Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:33 pm

Calf exercises:
- should be performed both with an extended knee (engage the gastrocnemius) and with a flexed knee (engage the soleus)
- anywhere from 10-25 reps
- 2-3 working sets
- trained twice a week (or 3 times if calves are a problem).
- hold lowest stretch for 2-3secs
- 1-leg calf work is also very good to balance up the calf strength/size
- full rom stretch at the lowest point is important.
- come up right onto your toes

If you adhere to the latter two points you'll need to drop the weight; I rarely see people doing calf exercises effectively.. and in this muscle I do think that full rom at eccentric stretch is valuable.

And then do skipping, esp if you are looking to lose some fat.
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Re: Training Calves

Postby Rab on Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:21 pm

Theres no definatives in this game. Thats a lesson I have learnt this year Health

Most of your sets should go right down ful stretch, but going heavier to really stimulate and boot them hard means going right down has no benefit as you will just fail with the innitial raise which doesnt really get the meat properly..kinda like heavy partials.

This also lets you use a very heavyweight and not worry about the achilles
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Re: Training Calves

Postby health4ni on Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:16 pm

mate I know there are no definitives, but what I wrote is not far off. Simple too. There's always something else that can work. Sometimes it's just a case of getting the basics right to start with, then go down the route of more "advanced" ways.
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