Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by JonnyG11, Oct 4, 2018.
Ok, so I’m resting up this week and starting to get eager to get back at it.
Curious what everyone is doing for calves. First round I did standing single calf but my DBs only go to 90 so I’m going to need to switch that up next cycle.
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As I am sure you know, the problem with calves is that they are a very resilient muscle. For people with full physical mobility, even in a seated down job or environment, the calf muscles are activated, even only partially, almost constantly.
So how do we build them, if they are already used to constant high reps/partials/pulses since birth?
Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer and other HIT proponents, used to do the opposite, and hit them maybe once or twice a week, with a tremendous weight stack. They did have seriously big calves. As an aside, Arnold - famous for his GVT (in his early days) - was also famous for fairly weak calves... (Ok there are other factors too, such as AAS and genetics.)
Are calves genetic? Of course. Even so, we can still improve them as much as our limits allow.
My current routine - at the moment I am cutting, so I have reduced volume 2/3rds (dont ask me why I am cutting in the lead up to Xmas....) - I am hitting my calves 3 X week, varying the rep range and exercise.
Mondays - 1 X 15 rep activation set + myo rep sets of 4 using auto-regulation
Wednesdays - 4-5 X 5 rep sets. Heavy as possible.
Friday - 2 X 10 reps.
As you can see, it is a HST/DUP combination. I also alternate between standing calf raises and seated. So Monday this week will be standing (1X15 + myos) Wednesday will be seated for 5X5. Friday is standing again (2 X10), then the following Monday is Seated (1X15 + myo) Wednesday standing 5X5 and Friday seated (2X10)
If I was bulking, then I would increase the sets on the Friday to 3 -4 X10 and possibly on the Wednesday, 5-6X5 (depending on the weight)
One thing I have to say - and I suspect that O&G and Blade may disagree with me - and they are far more knowledgeable and experienced than me, and I respect their opinions very highly - but 'myo-reps' don't work too well on calf exercises (at least IMHO) because the muscle, by its genetic nature, seems to recover very quickly between sets. For bulking (on the Monday) I would move to 'clustering' instead. So an activation set of 15-ish, heavy as possible, and then cluster reps, even single reps, with minimal rest up to about 30-40 reps.
Ok, that's me.
I have the advantage of training in a commercial gym, so I have access to huge weights and a variety of machines and equipment.
Training at home is always going to be more complicated, as you really do need to hit the calves with the heaviest weight you can, and even on one-legged exercises it is difficult without certain equipment.
I have done one legged seated calf with a dumbbell before. I am thinking your best bet would be to rig up some sort of structure with a step, like a half rack, where you can do calf raises with a barbell on your back.
Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
I have used a ton of calf workouts through the years. As @Brixtonian said, the calves are engaged almost constantly through the day, so to effect change, you need to hit them hard. On a step or platform with your DBs, try this:
20 reps pidgeon-toed (toes in, heels out);
20 reps toes out (toes out, heels in);
Then one big set: 8 regular reps, 8 partial from the top down, 8 partials from the bottom up, 4 full negatives per leg, 8+ reps to finish
That last bit of fun is what I call the "Eric" after my buddy who told me about it. He learned it from someone else, but because I learned it from him - it's Eric. If it's too easy by that last rep, do it again, but add volume if you cannot add load. I.E - move all the numbers up 4 so 12, 12, 12, 8, 8, 12+.
30-45 degree Hypers will hit calves like nothing else, Smith Machine raises done with a block under the balls of feet are also good.
Two ways to get good calves:
1. Become morbidly obese for a decade or so, then slim down. Formerly obese people usually have killer calves.
2. Find someone blessed with good natural calves (who didnt do #1) - kill them and eat their heart to gain their powers.
I can't give much advice other than that, as I rarely work calves. Please don't try to my heart.
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