How do your calves look? If you're like most bodybuilders, you probably think they look small and underdeveloped. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to building ripped, muscular calves. In fact, most people who have great calves only got them because of good genetics.
So does a lack of good genetics mean you have to settle for below-average calves your whole life? Of course not! It just means that you're going have to put some extra work in to build up those calves. With that in mind, let's take a look at what you need to know to properly develop those troublesome calves.
The "Secret" to Great Calves
You're probably expecting some profound truth here or an attempt at explaining why this is the greatest calve training article ever. But the reality is that there is no secret to building great calves since they're pretty limited in the way you can train them. All calf exercises pretty much consist of the same motion….raise the heels up, put the heels down.
That being said, there are a couple of different theories on what is the best way to work the calves. One of these theories is that bodybuilders should use high reps to pump their calves up. The logic behind this theory is that, because calves are mostly slow twitch muscle fibers, growth should not be expected. Instead, people should aim for endurance training while using lots of repetitions with low weight.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the line of thinking that preaches less repetitions with higher weight. This is a very valid theory because people are used to walking around all day, and so their calves already get enough of an endurance workout. That's why they should supposedly be worked with heavier weights. And while both of these theories sound pretty good, neither of them will help you reach maximum calve growth anytime soon
Quicker Workouts, Quicker Growth
Instead of focusing everything on how many reps you are doing within each set, a better concept to focus on is how quickly you are training your calves. Now this isn't to say you should rush through reps and raise your heels as quickly as possible, but rather that you should condense the total amount of reps into as little of a time frame as possible. In other words, don't be taking marathon rest breaks in between each set of calves. Since most calve training articles don't prescribe examples of quick workouts, here is a routine for you.
The 5 Minute Calve Workout
- Find a machine to do seated calves on. Your target in the workout will be 100 reps.
- Use a weight that you would normally use for 25 reps on a seated calve machine.
- Perform the 25 repetitions, and continue until failure.
- After you can't perform anymore reps, rest until the burning sensation in your calves goes away.
- As soon as the burning is gone, continue doing seated calves until failure once again. Don't worry if you are only able to do 10 reps or less.
- Repeat in the same fashion until you are able to reach the target goal of 100 reps.
Five minute calve workouts might seem like a myth to those of you who are in a hurry to develop lagging calves. You might even feel guilty after the workout is over because you spent so little time on this exercise. After all, putting more time and work into your calves would seem like the more sensible option.
However, if you've done the aforementioned workout exactly as described and have reached 100 reps, you will no doubt be feeling it the next day. In fact, you might even have a little trouble walking the next day due to aching calves. If you don't feel any pain in your calves the following day, you didn't use enough weight or let too much time pass after the burning subsided.
While there are several different theories on how one can most effectively build calves, this 5 minute workout definitely stands above the rest. Even those whose genes resist anything remotely related to calve growth can benefit from this workout. Of course, this growth will never come if you aren't able to tolerate the pain that comes with the 5 minute calve workout.
And you will not doubt be going through some pain when performing this routine (it's good pain though). So it is definitely going to take some desire on your part to properly perform this workout. But if you are able to make it through the 5 minute calve workout, the rewards will be great!
When you find yourself completing the 100 rep challenge with little strain involved (it will take a long time to build up to this), you should increase the amount of reps to 125. After you're able to handle 125 reps with ease, plan on adding more weight. Above all though, remember to condense the reps into as little time as possible. By performing your reps quickly, you will be shocking your calves towards incredible growth while minimizing your workout time!
By Jeremy Olson