Are you struggling to grow and develop your calves?

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It’s such a common thing to see in gyms - men who look like they’ve never trained their lower body.  When you get talking to them, they tell one of 2 stories - unsuccessful training results or just a lack of training them entirely.

Well fear not... here are the methods we’ve used with great success:

1. Place a pause in the most stretched position. You often see guys bouncing up and down with no care to lifting speed (tempo). Try pausing in the stretched position for at least 1 second on each rep the next time you train.

2. Try to get more out of your short calf position by cueing ‘ankles forward’ at the top instead of heels up. This will ensure the calves are taken to their shortest position and you’re leaving nothing in the tank.

3. Train all the lower leg muscles, the gastrocnemius, the soleus and also the tibialis anterior. A lot of people only use the seated calf raise as their lower leg exercise. This will limit challenge to other calf tissues and therefore limit development. We recommend you have a bent knee calf raise, straight knee calf raise and heavy leg curl in your programme to ensure challenge in all actions.

4. As with any lagging muscle group, be intent on prioritising them a little more - instead of attached 1-2 sets at the end of the occasional session. Train them at least twice, but ideally 3x per week.

5. Periodise your training like any other muscle! Try structuring a 4 week skill phase, followed by 8-12 weeks of progressive overload and finished with a deload (after all, the time when you rest is when you grow the most).

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