The calf muscles are among the most challenging to develop so even veteran bodybuilders will perform half-baked calf raises just two times a week. Why settle for second-best when you can kick your calve muscles’ growth into high gear with a complete workout? You just have to remember that it requires at least three days a week of full training, aside from feeling the burn with each movement.
Frequency of Training
You don’t have to spend hours on calf-related exercises for significant improvements – just 15 to 30 minutes for 3 to 5 days a week will suffice. You have to lift with focus and with a purpose during your exercises, however, to achieve your desired results. You must be conscious about the range of motion during your movements to ensure the best results, too.
Be sure to go light at first instead of performing half reps of calves. You should also ensure that your leg and calf muscles feel the stretch at the bottom of each rep while also getting your heels up as high as possible – aim for a tippy-toes position. You may feel pain at this position but it’s temporary and it will do the job.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has one of the best calves in modern bodybuilding history, once recommended reaching a ballerina’s en pointe position for every calf raise rep.
You can add variety to the following routine, which consists of 4 types of calf exercises ranging from moderate to high rep sets. You may, for example, change the order of exercises or swap rep counts after a few standard tries. Your goal: To challenge the stubborn muscle group to actually grow!
- Seated calf raise – 3 sets, 10 to 15 reps
- Standing calf raise – 3 sets, 30 reps – Start with a moderate weight on each set and perform as many full-range reps as you can. Follow with dropsets until you reach 30 reps.
- Leg press calf raise – 3 sets, 15 to 20 reps – Perform each set differently; first set, point your toes straight ahead, second set, point them outward, and third set, point them inward
- Donkey calf raise – 50 reps – Use a light weight and perform the 50 reps within a few sets
You can perform this routine either as part of a larger workout or on its own. For example, you can do the exercises at the end of your lower body or upper body workout at your favourite David Barton Gym.
As you calves become more developed, you can also increase the frequency of the workout from 3 days to 4 days, for example. Just be sure to give a rest day for proper recovery.