Alright guys, listen up: it’s leg day and your man, John Doe has some new tips out for you to get you pumped to destroy those legs!
And since it’s leg day, let’s take a closer look at one of the most misunderstood topics in bodybuilding: your calf muscles.
It’s true that the appearance of your calf muscles is mostly going to be dependent on your genetics.
But that’s not an excuse to avoid hard work! You can train hard and get results with your calf muscles!
If you follow the right routines, you can build some impressive calf muscles.
Let’s go over a good calf training routine:
Calf Press – with the calf press, you really want to focus on getting a good lock out at the end of the movement and compressing the calf. Give it a good 1 or 2 second pause at the end of the movement.
This movement is also really good for stretching out your achilles tendon.
Make sure you get a full range of motion when you pull the weight back towards you.
So again: as you push the weight away from you, really squeeze and contract your calf. And when you bring the weight back, focus on coming back all the way and getting a good stretch in.
After you do one warm up set, go with a wider stance for your second set of the calf press.
Your second set here is really still a warm up set in preparation for the main work set. So focus on the same main points as the first set: lighter weight, full extension, good squeeze, and at least a one second pause.
Now let’s do the work set.
A high intensity technique you can try for the work set is to do it with a 20 second negative.
So push the weight forward all the way out (the positive for this should be explosive) and then very slowly, counting from 1 to 20, let the weight come back all the way.
So to all you guys out there who say you can’t grow your calves, try this shit out! The calves are no different from any other muscle!
Sure, we all have our body parts that grow and develop faster than others but that’s still no reason to stop trying to make a straggling body part grow and get better.
Here’s a tip for if you start to wear out while doing this set: switch your footing.
Start out with a wider stance but when starting to fail at that, switch to a more narrow stance.
I also keep a slight bend in my knees. That’s just to prevent injury. It keeps me from being too stiff during the exercise.
For our next calf exercise, let’s do Standing Calf Raises.
For these we are going to keep it to 3 – 4 sets and we are going to keep the reps high: 15 – 20 reps per set.
I also like to make the calf raises more challenging by putting chains around my shoulders. Another way to add resistance is to do them with a smith machine or a squat machine. You can even just hold weights in your hands!
Remember guys, just like the calf presses, you want to get a full stretch at the bottom of the movement. Go all the way from the top of the movement to the bottom with maximum squeeze on the calf muscles.
It’s all about getting a full movement in for calf raises.
And in addition, it’s also all about time under tension. That time under tension is so important for guys whose calves are a weak spot.
Most sources for bodybuilding knowledge are going to tell you to up your frequency when you are trying to improve your calves.
But not JDB! Hell, I’d sooner even tell you to lower your frequency but really up the time under tension and intensity.
So give your calves more time to recover but when you’re in the gym, hit them a lot harder!
And there you have it, guys. That’s the calf routine I would do.