Q:Jimmy thanks for your insight so far on the forum and on your personal website. I have a terrible time with calf development. I've literally tried it all. I've tried hitting standing, then immediately do seated and vice versa . I'll do long rest and short rest. I've even tried an approach by Arnold I read in Men's Health where he does 10 reps waits 15 sec and does that for 10 sets. I've been hitting them lately 3 times a week MWF , but have tried many other approaches as well with no success. I've also switched up heavy weight and light weight trying to get a good squeeze and stretch out of them at the top. I get a good burn out of them when I do high rep with little rest, but I never feel it the next day, or see much results. What's your approach on calves? Exercises, Sets, How Often?? Thanks in advance for your advice, greatly appreciated
A:Calves are an interesting muscle group to develop that's for sure. Most people just don't train them enough. I like your MWF approach but I'd train them at least 5 times per week if you really want to bring them up. Remember that calves have two different muscle fiber types, the gastroc is fast twitch and has more potential for growth while the solues is slow twitch thus harder to grow.
You need to hit the gastroc with your leg straight so you'd do that on the leg press or any standing calf raises. For the soleus , you know you have to keep your knee bent.The gastroc needs to be trained with lower reps, anywhere from 1-6 reps while the solus needs to be trained in typical size ranges from 8-12. First try raising your gastroc sets, anywhere from 6-10 sets of 1-6 reps. You can keep your solues rep ranges anywhere from 3-5.First increase the overall frequency then see what happens.
At times, calf development is limited due nerve inhibition of the sural nerve that cross the outside of your leg, this could also be a potential problem.I'd first focus on increasing your gastroc size, keep your legs straight and play with various feet placements and single or double leg calf raises.The twitch make up is important but for these issues I'd hit the gastroc with a lower and higher reps range but on separate days.