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The secret to big calves

Get rid of those wide pants to hide your calves, it's time to show them! Calves can be very difficult to grow. But once you have large calves, you quickly steal the show. But how can you train your calves for optimal muscle growth? You will have to train both parts of your calves for good development. Both parts you wonder? Yes both parts, because your calves consist of two parts called soleus and gastrocnemius. Didn't you know this yet? Then don't stop reading because this blog contains much more indispensable information!


There are not many different exercises for calves. A standard practice for any exercise consists of a “raise”. For example, there is a standing and seated calf raise, these are generally the basic exercises. To make it more difficult, you could also do a one-leg calf raise. A "full range of motion" is also very important, lower yourself completely until you have a good stretch and then come up as high as possible. You get a good stretch by making it long or stretching the muscle, the opposite of tightening the muscle. In order to let your calves do all the work you will have to leave your ego outside the gym, because many athletes use too much weight when performing these exercises, which means that you often cannot make full range of motion. How you can avoid this is by doing "paused reps" for example. You can do this by stopping for a second at the bottom of the exercises. Or if you want to make it even more difficult, you can stop in the middle for a second and then continue the exercise. With this tactic you don't need a lot of weights, because your calves will do more work and will receive a better stimulus.


Your training frequency is very important for good development. How often do I have to train my calves you probably wonder? It is most efficient to train your calves regularly, you can think of two to three times a week. If you train your calves every other day, you will ideally stimulate your build-up of protein synthesis over a week. The process here is namely in building up the protein synthesis, which takes between 24 to 48 hours. For these reasons it is very important to train them regularly to let them grow well.


Do I not train them too often? If you train your calves several times a week, overtraining can just happen. It is also very important to adjust your volume to the number of training sessions per week. An ideal number of sets or training volume is difficult to determine. Over the years, many studies have been done on this and what most ideally comes out of the test is a high volume approach. This would consist of tem or more sets per week and would work better for muscle growth than a low volume approach consisting of less than ten sets per week. You will have to rely on your gut what works best for you because there is not really a clear ceiling for the number of sets per week. A good guideline is therefore to go for a minimum of tem sets per week, based on this you can determine your training volume.