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Thread: calves???

  1. #1
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    Aug 2003
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    My upper body is big along with my hamstrings and quads but my calves are really small what can i do to get them bigger?? i am goin to start jumpiong rope cause i heard that helps develop the calves and also helps leaping ability. So andyhitng else i can do or is it just calves raises seated and standing and walkin around on my tiptoes?

  2. #2
    Good Enough Never Is
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    I do calf extentions until my calves feel like they are going to explode, then I wait 10 seconds and do more, wait 10 seconds and do more. The thing is, and this is not what you want to hear, calves are more genetics than anything. I never had to work hard on my calves when I was younger to have big ones. Don't get down on yourself, it is nothing that you can really help.
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  3. #3
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    This is true. I see some of the biggest guys in the gym with small calves. And it's not because they don't work them hard enough. You can just tell that it's genetics. But keep on working them hard, they will atleast improve some.
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  4. #4
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    I recommend that you work your calves just like any other muscle. I use the leg press machine. I LOAD it up just south of 600 lbs and knock out about 12 reps....bump up the 8 reps...bump up the reps and do 6. Then I drop a set or 2 and smoke the calves.
    Keep in mind your calves have a tremendous capacity to work. They can allow you to walk for days, or run miles and miles.....Who ever quits because their calves give out? I am yet to hear that whine made. My point is you have to use Big Poundage to get to those guys. Thats a mistake I believe allot of people make.
    Hill runs are great too. If you are near a serious slope, it does not have to be real long, but steep. That will do it too

  5. #5
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    I think the mind to muscle connection is very important with calves. As well, you just have to try everything. Here are a few suggestions:

    Do your calf exercises super slow. Try a 4-2-2 tempo or something of the sort. I have read a few experiences of people shocking their calves into growth this way.

    Use a wide variety of rep ranges. Because of their high red fiber content, calves often respond very well to sets as high as 20 repititions. Try from 4-20 reps.

    Try circuit training. This is basically a superset, but with even more exercises. For example, start with the leg press calf raise, then seated calf raises, then one leg dumbell calf raises. You could even finish that with standing calf raises unweigthed until you actually hit failure, which is really hard to do with calves because of the extreme burn you will feel.

    Try burnouts. Basically, it is dropsetting over and over until you aren't using weights and going to failure. For example, do the leg press calf raise. Have one person standing on each side. Lift until you are a few reps short of failure, have them remove a plate from each side, repeat. Eventually you will get to only the weight of the apparatus or just one plate per side and then go until failure.

    Try working out your calves with higher volume and frequency. I just started doing 8 sets per week divided into two session. I used to only do 2 sets for calves, but I have pretty good genetics. I just felt like I was neglecting them despite this fact. Your calves can handle a lot of volume.

    Try running up hills with weights in a backpack and ankle weights. It seems crude, but you would be surprised not only at your calf activiation, but the toll it takes on your body as a whole.

    Also, here is a link to a thread with a calf workout that looked pretty good to me.

    Hope something works for you. Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    Sure genetics are a huge factor, but i'd agree that since we use the calf muscles each day in walking, they require a lot to shock them out of complacency. With the right amount of effort and experimentation to find what works, i have to think that most people can have at least good calves that aren't too far out of proportion.

    When i see someone with small calves on an otherwise good physique, it seems more likely to me that they've not found the answer yet vs. genetics. Have to work em till they're going to explode, then some more, or try supersets, adding more sets or weight while reducing rest interval time, slowing down the reps, running in sand, etc. Whatever it takes to find the solution before concluding there's no potential.

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