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Do you suffer with calf envy? Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with large calf muscles. Therefore when you see those lucky few who have perfect calves without having to do any additional leg work, it can be really frustrating.
However, it isn’t always down to genetics why you might not currently be sporting perfectly shaped calves. A lot of the time it is actually down to a lack of focus on that particular muscle group.
Calf muscles are often considered more of an afterthought when it comes to working out. Even if you wasn’t born with genetically perfect calves, there are still ways you can build them up.
Your 6 step calf-building system
You’ll notice your calf muscles are actually one of the hardest to build up. They are annoyingly resistant due to the fact that they are worked every single day. Think about it, every single time you walk, your calves have to carry your full body weight.
So if you’re looking to build them up, you need to do some pretty tough exercises. If you’re looking to step up your calf training then the following 6 steps will help…
1. Begin training your calves every day for 2-4 weeks
Focus on adding 4-6 sets of calf exercises each day. Ideally you should switch it up and focus on a different exercise daily.
If you carry this on for 2-4 weeks before continuing with your usual workout, you should notice a real difference.
2. Focus on nightly calf raises
Before you jump into bed, while standing, focus on hard-squeezing calf raises. Aim to do 100 and do them slowly. It will hurt, but that burn shows they are working.
3. Practice walking on your tiptoes
Ok so you might look a little strange, but walking on your tiptoes will really help to build up those calf muscles.
Look at ballet dancers – they tend to have amazing calves.
You don’t have to walk everywhere on your tiptoes, just try it around the house every now and again.
4. Stair-based calf raises
When walking up stairs, try and do a calf raise exercise up every step. When you’re walking back down, make sure you are stepping onto the ball, rather than the heel of your foot.
5. Do 2 varied weekly calf workouts
Focusing on 2 calf workouts a week can help even the most stubborn calf muscles to start working.
One of the workouts should be focused on 4-6 reps using heavy weights, while the other should be a lighter workout, focusing on 25-50 reps with really light weights.
6. Go bare foot
If you do your calf exercises bare-foot, it increases the workout. You will notice your muscles contract more intensely.
It is important to note that you shouldn’t do all of these 6 steps at the same time! If you try and do everything, you will end up causing more harm than good.
You don’t want to over-train your calves. Just do 2-3 out of the list and be sure to mix it up every 3-4 weeks.
Don't forget that adequate nutrition is essential for muscle growth, our bulking guide will give you everything you need to know.