Learn how to build your claves into bulls!
I'm the new kid on the block here at Animalpak.com. People call me "The House". As this is my first article, I decided to write about something that I know a little bit about... Calves. Let's face it, we all want to be a freak, an Animal. Everyone has a different picture in their mind of what this means, but it all starts from the ground up in my mind. So when I picture a freak, I see a bodybuilder with some big as bull calves--and that's no bullshit. All great bodybuilders have awesome calves. Big calves are rare and hard to find and unless you know the right calf workout, you may never find them. So I am going to show you how to jump start your calves “The House” way.
When you want to increase the size or shape of a body part, you must prioritize that body part. This is called “sculpting”. The first thing you need to do is evaluate your calves... Yeah, so take a good hard look in the mirror and find those sticks you call calves. There are many different types of calves. Different types of calves need different forms of sculpting. If the calf fairy gave you real high skinny calves, you need to do different exercises than those with the long, no shape calves.
You can sculpt your calves by doing different exercises, and different training routines. There are three main muscles of the calf that we can work on to make your calves take shape and take off. So the next time you hit the stage or the local gym you will break some necks with a double take at those freaky basketballs you are packing in your pants.
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The base part of your calf is your soleus. The soleus muscle is the big muscle right behind the ball part of your calf muscle. This muscle is engaged when the knees are bent around ninety degrees. If you have the high calf syndrome you want to blast the soleus muscle. Doing this will build up the lower portion of the calf--making those calves not as high looking and appearing bigger. The best exercise for the soleus is the seated calf raise.
The next focus of the calf is the gastrocmenius which has two heads the medial and lateral heads. This part of the calf is known as the ball of the calf. This is the area we all hit the most when doing calves. This muscle works the most when the knee is straight or at a slight bend. If your calf is long with no shape you need to work this area the most. This will give your calf some shape at the top giving you a tapered look in the calf.
To hit the different heads of the gastroc, all you have to do is change feet position. To focus on the medial head, put your heels together and feet pointing out. The lateral point feet in and heals out. The best exercise for the gastroc is the standing calf raise. Now the most neglected part of the calf is the anterior tibia--the front or shin. Training this part of the calf will give thickness. This is achieved when doing a reverse calf raise. Hitting these different parts of the calves will give you a well balanced calf.
When I do my calf training I hit it with different types of intensities and routines. All this just depends on what I want to do with them. If I am in the offseason, my calf training will differ from precontest calf training. Let's talk about offseason calf routines, since this is how we get those calves to be mass monsters. In the bulk portion of my off season I train my calves twice a week. I believe you can train your calves more often because it is a dense muscle group.
The calf is usually a stubborn muscle group that needs extra work to grow. In the off season I train my gastrocs with quads and hamstrings usually after my upper leg workout. I usually try and get six sets on this day, mainly focusing on mass by using heavy weight, full range of motion, and a slow pace. My pace in the offseason is a two count on the positive and a four count on the negative. I do two different exercises at three sets each keeping my reps at the twelve to fifteen range. From expereince, I've found that my calves respond best to higher reps.
When I do a set it is to failure--there should be no other way if you want them to grow. My choice of exercises on this day would be calf raises on a leg press or standing in a squat rack with a block under my feet. My second calf workout in this off season routine would be with arms. Again I do my calves at the end of this workout. This day I will focus on the soleus and the anterior part of the calf. I keep the reps, sets, and intensity the same just choosing different exercises and using a faster pace.
The exercises I prefer would be the seated calf raise and the reverse calf raise. When I do my reverse calf raise I do them on the leg press. One thing to watch for when doing this exercise is make sure your heels don't slip off the sled. When you try this exercise make sure you go lighter than the regular calf raise. I have to do about one fourth the weight I would use for the regular calf raise. On the regular calf raise I can do around 2000 pounds for three sets of fifteen reps.
Now for the precontest period, my calf training is totally different. When I am getting ready for a show, I hit my calves every other day, alternating days with my abs. So I do all parts of the calves every other day. I choose one exercise per part and hit it hard with only two sets each. I do each set to failure trying to set the weight so I can get around 100 to 150 reps per set.
When you do this right you should not be able to walk out of the gym without a limp. Precontest you are also doing cardio work which hits your calves. Doing this should rip your calves up and show the hard work you put in the off season pushing all that heavy weight. Calf training works differently for everyone, so you have to experiment to see what works for you. But this is what I do for my 24” cows.
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