Calves 101

Calves 101

Frequency
I will typically train calves every other day. I’ve tried training calves three days a week, four days a week, I’ve even tried training them every day. I find that more frequency is better. Training calves every day and continuing to add a load to your calves when they are not fully recovered may help them grow, but also leaves them vulnerable for injury. Hitting calves every day is effective for a very short period of time, but for longevity it's not something I recommend anymore. I feel like I have seen the best results with recovery, size and shape by training them every other day.
Reps
Seldom will I come in the gym and stack a lot of weight on and do low reps with calves. I feel my calves definitely respond better anywhere from a 10-30 rep range and that is where I try to keep things at.
screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-2-20-36-pmExercises
Seated Calf Raise
1 warm up set
7 Sets x 20-30 reps (30 Seconds rest)
I like to start with FST-7 on these. I go toes pointed in with this exercise, and as I'm coming up and contracting the calves, I focus on driving on the big toe. Do not let your ankle roll, but instead push off the big toe side of your foot. This is going to fire primarily your outer calf providing a much fuller, 3D look to the muscle.
Keep the pressure and tension on the muscle as much as possible, and then be sure to time your rest period to keep it right at 30 seconds.

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-2-20-02-pm
Donkey Calf Raise
4-5 sets x 20 reps
Being a straight leg calf raise, this will hit more the gastroc nemius while the seated calf is more soleus. You need both for full calf development.
While this is a simple exercise, it's important to emphasize that you need to get a full stretch and a full contraction on each rep. Do not worry about the weight. When people start bending at the knees and bouncing they can move a substantial amount of weight, but they are not stimulating the calf.
Unlock your knees, because you do not want to lock them out completely. Once you've unlocked them, keep them in that same position. Don’t bend the knees and bounce, because you do not want to squat the weight. You will notice that you will fail at a lighter weight, but in bodybuilding this doesn’t really matter. We are shooting for a specific look and goal.
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