When it comes to building calves, every lifter heard that one saying: if you don’t have the genetics for them, you can’t build them. Either you have them or not!
I’m convinced that there is a many lifters who just don’t train the calf muscles as they should. There are a lot of mistakes when it comes to working out the calves.
Here is a list of top 5 mistakes that are keeping your calves small:
1.Training Calves Once a Week.
All we know about that popular training routine splits that have one leg day involving calves a week. This will get you nowhere try adding calves into other workouts throughout the week so your training calves 2-3 times a week.
2. Calf Exercises At The End Of Your Leg Workout
If you really want to make your calves stand-out, you must start training them the way you train your back or chest: fresh, from every angle, and complete exhaustion.
Try to start your leg training with calves—and train them with the same intensity as you do your quads and hamstrings.
3. Sticking to the 10-15 Rep Range
This rep range might be effective for most other parts of your body but calves a different. When it comes to training calves you need to look at doing 20+ reps preferably closer to 30. This works for a number of reasons. First, it forces you to use a lighter weight which in turn means better form.
This leads to a better contraction of the calves muscles and a better pump following those 30 reps.
4. Only Training With Small Weights.
You cannot expect results only training with light weight and high reps. Calves are one of the annoying high resistance muscle groups that require overload once in a while to grow. Your best bet? Try something between the two: heavy weight/low reps and low weight/high reps and see which gives you the best results. Most will find a combination of the two gives optimal calve growth.
5. Not isolate and contract the muscles
Just like chest, back, legs and arms your calves benefit from getting a full contraction as well as a slow and controlled negative. Way too many guys use momentum or bounce the weight during calf raises which means they miss out on half the benefit of the exercise.
In order to get the full benefit of the calf raises you to need to emphasize the contraction at the top of the exercise. Really focus on flexing hard at the top of each rep and it will make all the difference in your workout. Now once you’ve contracted properly at the top of the rep it doesn’t mean you can drop the weight down to the beginning. Lower the weight slowly and under control and do this for each rep. Each part of the rep should be under control.
Taking your time throughout each rep will increase the amount of time your calves are under tension, even if you’re using the same weights and reps you normally do.