For example, you can start by setting up 2 sessions per week with 5 series each.
If you are dealing with a beginner, initially it can be good to carry out even 3/4 sessions a week of 5 or more series, bringing everything to failure. In this way you have the opportunity to practice a lot and learn to have good movement control and good technique.
How many series to do?
The number of series to be done for the calves is determined by subjectivity, in the sense that if we want to optimize the growth of any muscle group, a small data collection must be made in order to understand how much volume we need to perform for optimal growth of the various districts.
If working on the technique as precisely as possible we find a good growth of the calves we can also keep the number of sets fixed, if instead we notice that the growth is too slow or absent, we can start adding two sets per week, and so on …
However, scientific research shows us an average starting number of 12 series per week per muscle group , even if for beginners I would opt for a slightly higher volume from the start, in order to have the opportunity to do a lot of practice.
Effective exercises to train the calves is with reference to the specific article
The exercises to train the calf can be divided into two categories: straight leg exercises, more specific for the gastrocnemius; and bent leg exercises, more specific for soleus training.
As straight leg exercises we can use:
- Calf raises
- Calf raises to the multipower
- Calf raises at the leg press
- Donkey calf
While with the leg bent we can use exercises such as:
- Calves sitting at the car
- Calves sitting with barbell
Workout card to train the calves in the gym
An example of a calf training program could be the following:
|Calf raises 2 ″ break in stretching
Seated calves in continuous tension
|Calf raises focus controlled descent
Seated calves 2 ″ pause in stretch
|Calf raises 2 ″ break in shortening
Seated calves in continuous tension
How did Arnold Schwarzenegger train his calves?
Arnold admitted that his calves were his weak point, so he started training in pants he had cut specifically to show off his weakness so that he could be teased. In this way he began to get into the habit of training them every day to avoid receiving the comments of other people forever.
” The routines most effective for me started with the donkey raises, which I performed with two assistants sitting on my back, and then continued with the machine toe lifts .”
Arnold used to bring his calves to maximum stretch in the eccentric phase, then he lifted himself as much as possible, maintaining the position of maximum contraction for about 4 seconds before returning to descend. He did six sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise, then finished the calf workout with a complete static stretch of about 1 minute.
“ I find a block of wood as high as possible, and grabbing a bar I let my heels go down until they almost touch the floor. At this point, instead of going back up, I remain in position for about a minute “.
The calves became one of his strongest muscle groups. This should make you think about how often we ourselves do not give enough priority to certain muscle groups …
How to train the calves at home and bodyweight without tools?
To set up a good exercise at home just find any step (such as a ladder), so you can perform calf raises or donkey calfs trying to follow the same principles listed above. As an overload, if you don’t have a handlebar, you can initially use crates of water and a folder full of books (from the Project).
To conclude we can say that although it is very common to hear that for the calves it is all a matter of genetics, in the end the reality is very different. It is true that there are more fortunate subjects and less fortunate subjects, but unfortunately, this is always the case. What we should focus on is the full development of our potential. Not training the calves because they are not genetically predisposed or because we do not see results is a mistake that we must avoid making. The key to calf growth, as well as all other muscles, is consistency. So don’t give up, because everything takes its time.
If your parents haven’t equipped you with Jason Huh’s calves (and his daughter), you don’t have to give up, on the contrary, you have to give even more to be able to earn even that 2% that will make a difference in morals and aesthetics.