To crown 2013 with some new super-hot material we have decided to do a “play by play” on every muscle group we as a collective team of gym bunnies love to train. If you are looking to improve a specific muscle group you may well come across some advice which helps you break through a current barrier you are up against. Even if you are a beginner this is perfect because you know you are doing it all right from the very beginning. Here goes, some top tips for muscle mass!
Today’s muscle group is calves!
Tip 1 – Pump Up The Volume! Calves respond best to high volume training in most cases! With that said we love to use workout systems such as DTP supersets (totalling 600 reps in the following rep order – 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 supersetted)! It doesn’t even have to be so precise, simply hitting sets of 20-30 reps with short rest periods (60 seconds) for as many sets as possible within a 30 minute time frame will get things moving! The bottom line is, most people who rock a great pair of calves hit them with volume!
Tip 2 – Using A LONG Range Of Motion Typically stretching as far as you can at the bottom of the repetition (using a plate under your toes to offer the leverage to do so) and squeezing as far upwards as possible at the top of the rep are good staples for calf development. The secret is to the stretch the muscle and stretch it some more against the resistance!
Tip 3 – Rep Tempo! Every gym has the ‘’bounce on toes’’ crew members whereby they simply go on the leg press and do ‘’calf raises’’ which are done at 100MPH!! Rep tempo is essential to ensuring you are making your calves work as hard as possible! Typically using a 2 second pause at the top and bottom of the rep works wonders with a 2-3 second window in-between going up and down!
Tip 4 – Angles! To ensure you are hitting the outer and inner heads of your calves as well as the soleus you want to use a range of angles. Straight forward raises are fantastic but make sure you also include raises with your toes pointing inwards and outwards! Variation is essential with your angles!
Tip 5 – Variation In Exercises Standing calf raises is undoubtedly your ‘’bread and butter’’ exercise however you should also make an effort to include other variations. These include seated calf raises and single legged raises. The latter exercise is particularly good at taking your calves apart if they are stubborn!
No more excuses, get some calves!