If you are concerned about your calves’ growth, then it is good to know that you can grow them – even bigger than you may think. Stop your ears from the naysayers and train your calves in line with your body anatomy. One major step to this objective is by prioritizing them to firstly work them up. Therefore, it is imperative to incorporate calf jumps as a stimulant to the calves and to generate a natural movement pattern.
However, there are 3 major reasons as to why calves get mistaken for quads. Below are the lists of the reasons.
- Selection of exercise
Primary exercises engage two basic muscle groups. These muscle groups are 1) that which gets you to heavy lifting and 2) that which stimulates the muscle by natural movement pattern. It is obvious that bench press and squats are the recommended exercises for pecs and quads respectively. Therefore, which exercises are best in growing calves?
Opinions from several professors, bodybuilders, and my fellow personal trainers on their favorite calf exercise choices suggest that calf raises were popular. However, all their other choices did not meet or even came closest to any of my seven principles when selecting an exercise (microloadibility, directness of stress, long range motion and compound movement among others).
Calf raises face challenges with the talocrural joint of the ankle. It is a hinge joint which causes the ankles to move in a rotary manner just like the elbow. Nonetheless, calf raises comprise of straight up-and down movement. Thus, the necessity of a shoulder or footpad with a hinge as an alternative of a slider in good calf raises gear.
Access to good calf raise machines is not a guarantee that the calf raises will make your calves to grow. Calf raises will only be optimal if the machines were designed to perfectly fit one’s anthropometry- body height and foot length. When the machine does not fit perfectly, you will be like a person who dons a regular jean but feels like it is a skinny jean on the legs but the waist is incredibly baggy. Therefore, it will be of importance for you to get customized tailored calves exercises. Also, calves become strongest after undergoing stretching, when in partial range walking motion or when in the calves and Achilles tendons length-tension relationship.
Your anthropometry may fail to fit in the design of the calf machine because it is designed with a mind of average body height and length. You know that feeling when you wear your regular jeans and it feels like a skinny one round about your legs but still feel its bagginess around your waist. This is the exact same picture with the calf machine. You may require to tailor up your exercises by customary provisions for the calves. That calves’ length and tension relationship and the Achilles tendon may make you the strongest calves, especially when they are stretched or in partial motion range that is used when you are walking.
Combining this fact with an imperfect hinge mechanic will result to calf raises that have a sticking point in the top of the movement. And this might be the reason to why they at times feel off.
Calf Jumps Exercises: These start with a certain position and ends in the same position as you raise the regular standing calf. In this, you jump to the top position instead of doing a strict calf raise. The thought of jumping will initiate an automatic knee movement to the forward direction and will be followed by a natural extension jump pattern. The result of this is a curve of excellent resistance by the calf jumps. Do not detach your feet and shoulders from the machine – it will only happen if the weight is too little. This exercise is truly of strength and you should be able to adjust to more weight than when you can squat. Always remember to warm up properly before this kind of exercise because it puts much pressure on your core.
- Genetic Effects
According to the argument of many people, calf size is all about genetics. I can’t dispute this – there are some truth in it. The calves’ soleus muscle has a muscle fiber composition that is up to 90 percent slow-twitch dominant. Slow twitch muscle fibers do have approximately half the potential of growth of fast twitch fibers. And along this, the soleus contain 42 percent of the vastuslateralis capacity in the quads for synthesis of muscle protein after training.
There is another reason why the soleus calves are relatively not responsive to weight training. This is because calves positions your body to be upright whenever walking or standing. They are basically active throughout a whole day. As a result, the calves do develop more than any other muscle of the body on untrained people. You must note that this point is not a genetic limit but an environmental effect.
Except for their composition of fiber type, nothing inherent that exists that will prevent the calves from expanding. No curse of genetic voodoo may have been cast over your calves to make them puny for your lifetime. But both muscle architecture and training status ought to be taken into account in the training program you have designed. The calves’ necessary requirement are a high frequency of high reps and high volume. The gastrocnemius fundamentally require more of the parameters for moderate training.
It may not sound a better technique until one considers that most recreational athletes in this study were already running about 25 kilometres (15 miles). They also trained for about 4 times per week. And, the highly trained athletes averaged 95 kilometres (59 miles) per week. This indicated that even those training a muscle at frequency of 4 times per week will simply do more of the same, and can increase any trainee’s calves by over 20 percentage.
Even more importantly, running makes it terrible generally for muscle development and this gives a more impressive result. On a proper training, your calves should grow as big as your upper arms or neck. This forms a same case as of many elite male bodybuilders on drug free workouts. Women have a great potential of growing calves than upper arms. Only and only if your ankles compared to your wrist are smaller do you have a legitimate reason to develop calves that are much smaller than your neck and arms. By small size, your ankles are smaller than 125 percent of your wrists as a man, and/or 120 percent of your wrists as a woman.
- Priority Sets
Many lifters have shoulder days, chest days, and arm days. But how many dedicate a day to calves? Do you even train your calves first on any session?
The exercise order do significantly affect both immediate effect and long-term effects of the exercises. A Brazilian researchers group in their study compared two programs of upper-body training which differed only on exercise order. In one program, bench press was done before the triceps extension. In the second program, the triceps extension was done before the bench press. The study finally depicted that the exercise you firstly perform will be the exercise that advances its progress more and determines where most muscle gain occur.
Practical: After warming up, your nervous system is refreshed and metabolic wastes have still not so much accumulated. At this state, your body is perfectly ready to adapt to anything you get on it. As you begin the rigorous training, lactic acid production will cause acidosis in your blood (acidosis is a byproduct of having inadequate oxygen to supply energy requirement). The muscle protein breakdown will flood your blood with ammonia to more levels that exceed those of liver disease patients. This will certainly cause some degree of brain poisoning and numerous neurological disturbances. Both the muscle fibers and the connective tissue will then tear and inflame from this contracting tension against maximal resistance. That is the exact condition your body accrues when you decide to train calves after a heavy leg day (just as an afterthought).
Do you want your calves to enlarge? Begin prioritizing their attention. I mean start giving them that fond-like attention you probably give your mirror muscles.