Getting yourself ready for leg day, a few pieces of equipment on the gym floor are given the ‘thousand-yard stare.’ The squat rack, leg press and leg curl machine are common targets but what about the standing calf raise machine? Or the seated? How about the donkey raise set-up?
Those are usually only visited at the end of your leg workout, if you remember and if you have the time. But instead of putting your puny-ass calves on the back burner – and constantly bitching about their size – blow the dust off those machines and get to work.
Getting your calves where you want them to be will give you an advantage and help avoid runner’s knee.
It’s a constant compliant heard if you’re within earshot of the majority of meatheads – my calves just won’t grow no matter what I do for them. But while the guy you’re talking to might buy that, you’re conscious certainly won’t. It’s time to admit to yourself that the only way you’re going to change things is to change what you are doing for your calves – or lack, thereof.
The first thing that you need to do is begin training your calves on days other than leg day. As a matter of fact, calves can be hit each and every day that you are at the gym – provided you do not overdo it.
Performing four solid sets of a different exercise at least three days a week should be the bare minimum. So let’s say you hit your calves on Monday, Wednesday and Friday doing standing, seated and donkey raises, respectively. That is a good start and after six-to-eight weeks of strict form sets of 12-to-15 reps, you should see some improvement.
That’s when you need to take it to the next level and add in one or two more days and drop down sets. There are so many different variations of calf raises that can be performed on basically every leg machine and then some. Here are some examples of how you can train calves every day and not repeat the same exercise twice:
*Standing calf raises
*Seated calf raises
*Donley calf raises (either on a machine or with a training partner seated on you old school style)
*Standing one-leg raises holding a dumbbell
*45-degree leg press raises
*90-degree leg press raises
*Hack squat machine raises
*Various leg press machine raises
*Body weight raises (leaning on a machine or chair)