If you are lazy when it comes to training your calves but your hands up! My hand is in the air too, I am extremely guilty (in the past) of blaming ‘’terrible genetics’’ for my skinny calves – yet I could count the number of times I have smashed them in the same way I have done my 17.5’’ arms on one hand!! Coincidence? No, just the result of laziness and nothing else in my opinion. Sure, I may not have the best genetics for Olympian calves however I am sure they can look better than they do. This had led me on to a mission, to grow my calves to the same size as my arms by Christmas – a challenge I have no idea whether or not I can achieve but I do know I am committed. Over the last 3 months I have added half an inch to them so instead of looking pathetic, they look nearly as pathetic just with a bit more vascularity.
Below are 3 things I am going to be using to smash my calves in the final quarter of 2012 and make them a staple body part. Wingers, excuse makers and lazy trainers – look away now!!
Calves respond excellently to blood volumisation and I cannot think of a better way to achieve this than to use DTP training. Using this training protocol with two exercises for your calves you can hit 600 repetitions in 30-40 minutes. When you consider the fascia surrounding your calf muscles is extremely stubborn and thick forcing this volume of blood into the area will surely help stretch it out over time!
Here is the DTP calf routine I will use every other week.
Standing calf raises & seated calf raises supersetted
Take 40 seconds between each superset and increase the weight as the repetitions decrease and vice versa.
Whilst I will be busy blitzing my calves every other week with an extreme version of DTP I shall be switching the emphasis for the other weeks. The nature of DTP means that your form should be fluid yet the emphasis on each muscle contraction isn’t going to be so strong. This is why for the other weeks I will be using a more conventional kind of workout with great focus on the isometric muscle contraction. This is the pause at the top of each repetition where I will pause for 2 seconds, forcing the recruitment of more muscle fibres within the area.
Here is the workout routine I will be using on a bi-weekly basis.
Standing calf raises X 4 15-20
Standing calf raises X 4 (toes pointing inwards) 15-20
Standing calf raises X 4 (toes pointing outwards) 15-20
The third and final step I have been and will be using is stretching between sets, every single set of every week. The calf muscles are notoriously tight and the fascia is extremely stubborn, IFBB Pro Flex Lewis taught me this and it so happens his calves are possibly the best in the world of bodybuilding. Stretch by putting a 3-4 inch plate under your toes and drive your heel down to really generate a pull down the back of your gastrocnemius & soleus muscles.
By using these protocols and repeating them time and time again with patience developing a pair of respectable calves should be achievable, right? Updates to come!!