Hypertrophy is hypertrophy, you gotta work the muscle group you are looking to develop HARD, and for multiple sets. A lot of guys will do a set or two of calves, or just skip then in general. Calves are one of the forgotten muscle groups that we don’t train!
But having big calves first off shows that you don’t skip leg day. Also it will show that you are a serious lifter and a BODYBUILDER instead of just an UPPER bodybuilder! So when it comes to how to get bigger calves, we have to be working them as much as we work things like chest or biceps.
How many times do you work others priority muscle groups? Lets say you hit biceps for 4 exercises for 3 sets apiece. Well this same type of work ethic needs to be applied to your calf game. Doing 3 or 4 exercises will expand them and make them look fuller.
So getting bigger calf muscles all comes down to work ethic on leg day. Now, being that your legs are the biggest muscle groups in your body, it takes a lot of dedication to kill a good leg workout. Which is why I suggest doing your calf workouts on a different day. I like to do them on my shoulder day. The shoulders are far enough from my calves that I don’t even have to rest during sets.
Dedicating a day to your calf workouts will grow you bigger calves GUARANTEED. Create a workout plan, writing it out. Schedule in your calf workouts twice a week.
Writing it down will keep you accountable for hitting calves. Without writing a workout plan out and following it, you will most definitely miss certain body parts. Because you are consciously or subconsciously leaving out certain muscle groups.
Yes I know you may want to skip calf day because you would rather focus on muscles that are adored in the public eye, ex. chest, biceps and abs. But you in order to add good symmetry, you gotta be beating on those calf muscle as hard as you are hitting your favorite muscle groups.
You can grow bigger calf muscles with the workouts below. To 8 to 12 reps of these exercises, which when you are getting towards your eighth rep you want to be nearing the phase where the exercise is getting very tough. Also, you have to consider things like time under tension.
Are you doing your sets as fast you you can? Slowing your reps down can place more stress on the muscle you are working, tearing it down more effectively then just pumping out your reps to get them out of the way.
- Seated Calf Raises – Can be on the machine or by placing dumbbells on your knees and raising them on in a seated fashion.
- Donkey Calf Raises – Can be great for those with a girlfriend as it is shown that a women that is sitting on you while exercising can spike your testosterone levels!
- Standing Calf Raises – Can be done on a machine, using a barbell in place where you do so with a high bar squat, or doing them weight weight in your hands on with the tips of your toes on a platform, dipping your heels down and back up. The can also be done with a smith machine, gripping the bar either in front of your body or in the back of your body.
- Calf Raises on a Leg Press
- Calf Raises with a Band
Utilizing the above workouts can really make your calves pop. But if you want to get an even better calf pump then make sure you are doing drop sets with your exercises. Bang out 10 reps then drop the weight down by 20 percent and kill another set at that weight. Do it again and even again. 3 dropsets in one set can really set your calf muscles on fire, achieving optimal muscle growth in that muscle group.
Isolation Calf Exercises
You can also really ensure proper muscle growth in each calf by isolating them. Doing the exercises above but doing them with one calf at a time can place all the emphasis on the working calf. Instead of possibly using one more than the other which can happen when we are using both extremities.
Stretching Your Calfs
I know stretching just seems like a waste of time. But stretching your calf muscles out can ensure that they are at the proper length to be able to generate the most power. Tight calf muscle and result in you not being able to get a good contraction, leading to wasted time on the muscle.
Do calf stretches daily. But from personal experience, my advice don’t do them BEFORE your workouts. I have noticed that I feel less powerful when I do so. Could be a mental thing, but lifting if a mental exercise just as much as it is a physical exercise!
Make sure you are packing in a big amount of calories. You can calves for days, but if you aren’t eating enough then your muscle isn’t going to grow as big as it could. It will get defined but won’t get much bigger.
Now you know how to build bigger calf muscles. It is up to you to utilize these tips to make your calves looked like they were carved from a piece of stone by Michelangelo himself!