Endless calf raises, uphill walking and other exercises just aren't turning your calves into cows quick enough? Do you find this area of your body a struggle to develop and grow? Did you know that in body building terms (and everyday society) your calf size should match the size of your arms (how many of you had a little peek at both to see if they match haha). No pressure, here is what I think you need to do in order to blast these calves into a new generation of beastly cows.
The Calf Muscle
Breaking it down before we start the calf is split into two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle which sits underneath and has to be worked in a different way. To work the larger muscle of the two, the gastrocnemius you must perform a calf raise whereby the leg is straight and you flex onto your toes and lower into your heels. On the other hand, in order to work your soleus muscle you need to have a 90 degree bend in your leg, this is best performed seated and concentrating on flexing/lowering in every rep.
Think About It
Our calves support our upper body weight and therefore you need to be smart when you train this muscle group. Have a look at your weight and just know that your body is already supporting this. So for me, I weigh in at 80kgs and so I make sure I am lifting at least that for my calf raise sets. I usually take it up to 120-140kg on sets because I want them to grow. What do we know? We know that lifting heavy breaks down muscle tissue, so for calves this is the story. We want to break these down so that they grow back bigger, right?
Standing Calf Raises - Whether it is on a machine or on a Smith with a step this is a great way to initiate some growth of your gastrocnemius muscle. Remember, you have to make sure you standing with your straight legs and go through the motions with them straight. Lift heavy on this one too and adopt different feet positions to target the inner and outer head.
Seated Raises - Same technique but this time you are seated. This one works best on a smith machine using the foam roller and placing it across the bar. This will make the exercise more comfortable for you when you are doing it. Again, try your best in lifting a heavy weight.
Donkey Calf Raises - Finally, finishing with a donkey calf raise is a great burn out exercise and will really target your calves nicely. Bend over from the hips and rest your elbows on a bench, you will be at almost 90 degrees on this one from your hips. Place your feet on a step or platform so that you have room to raise and lower the heel back down. Rep out for 100 reps on this as a finishing exercise.
Hitting this workout twice a week is going to turn your calves into cows as long as you hit them hard enough. Don't be afraid to whack some weight onto your exercises and aim for 4-5 sets on each exercise so you really feel the burn.