CALVES...WHY wont they grow for me?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 11:58 AM GMT
    OK I admit it. I am one of those lifters who for a while has skipped legs many times. But its now part of my regular routine for the last year.

    I have been noticing everything is forming nicely except my calves. I do 3 different work outs for them.

    Are they smaller because I went years without doing them? Or are they a harder muscle group to train?

    Anyone have this problem or some advice?icon_question.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
    The size of ones calves and forearms are largely due to ones genetics. Not that one can't get them to grow mind you. They are a small, highly used muscle group. So you have to do multiple exercises at multiple angles with high rep sets a couple of times a week to get them to grow. This isn't gospel, just my experience.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 4:47 PM GMT
    What are the three workouts you are doing for them?
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Sep 02, 2009 5:01 PM GMT
    tank77 saidThe size of ones calves and forearms are largely due to ones genetics. Not that one can't get them to grow mind you. They are a small, highly used muscle group. So you have to do multiple exercises at multiple angles with high rep sets a couple of times a week to get them to grow. This isn't gospel, just my experience.



    Genetics for calves. Some prof bodybuilders have chicken legs and they get calve implants because they won't grow.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    I always found that if you can't get something you want on yourself, like big calves, then find a guy that has great calves and enjoy them that way. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    Try cycling
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 5:20 PM GMT
    Mostly genetics, but you can get them to grow, just not as much as other muscle groups. The key is the extension, which is partly why they don't grow. There's limited range of movement for the muscle. When working them out, make sure to get nice extension in the movement. If you don't get the extension, then you may as well just stand on your tippy toes on the flat floor. Additionally, calves tend to respond best to explosive movement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:13 PM GMT
    tank77 saidThe size of ones calves and forearms are largely due to ones genetics. Not that one can't get them to grow mind you. They are a small, highly used muscle group. So you have to do multiple exercises at multiple angles with high rep sets a couple of times a week to get them to grow. This isn't gospel, just my experience.


    My forearms suck too. LOL.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:14 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidWhat are the three workouts you are doing for them?


    The leg press for calves, the main leg press but only using front feet for calves and the dip machine doing calve dips.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:16 PM GMT
    Research sacriplasmic hypertrophy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    cthedj said
    MunchingZombie saidWhat are the three workouts you are doing for them?


    The leg press for calves, the main leg press but only using front feet for calves and the dip machine doing calve dips.


    How often do you do that? How many sets? How many reps about? Do you do it to failure? Do you do all three exercises consecutively? Are you working out the rest of your legs on the same day?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:33 PM GMT
    Every time Im in the gym I work my legs thats 5xs a day even on cardio days. My thighs and calves were skinny but by bombing them Ive forced them to grow. I have cut back to 3xs a week but I lift heavy 70to 100percent. I also stretch to relax them. Its kept me limber and able to jump explosively..not to mention they come in hand for the top when you bottom!icon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    cthedj said
    MunchingZombie saidWhat are the three workouts you are doing for them?


    The leg press for calves, the main leg press but only using front feet for calves and the dip machine doing calve dips.


    How often do you do that? How many sets? How many reps about? Do you do it to failure? Do you do all three exercises consecutively? Are you working out the rest of your legs on the same day?


    Wow very thorough my friend. Yes I do it till my legs shake, I start off around 18 reps and keep adding weight till its about 6 reps. Yes I do my other leg work outs that day as well.

    Please note I am seeing SOME results but not what I Was hoping like I get with arms and chest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:40 PM GMT
    I find doing calves before and at the very end of a work out helps a lot.

    I've been nailing them once a week with standing calf raises (3x15, enough weight that I have to really push after the 12th rep) and sitting calf raises (again, 3x15 and enough weight to make me really work for those 15 reps) followed by my usual leg work out.

    I end all that by hitting my calves again.... and then I stumble back to the locker room and rest so I can bike home.

    Also, keep in mind the different muscle groups of the 'calves'. Here's a good diagram of the different muscles. It's more than the two big heads you're thinking of, and hitting the muscles underneath the the big heads will make them look bigger.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 7:48 PM GMT
    So, if I am reading that right. You are lifting once a week for about three sets?

    Try doing other things, like a set of 100 calf raises just using body weight before doing it with weights and adding some plyometrics. If doing the same routine is getting you the same results, change it up a little.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    1) eat more: the more you weigh the bigger your calves get
    2) high reps: the more you pump those fuckers up, the bigger they get
    3) low weight: you need to be doing reps on the order of 50+
    4) lots of volume: we're talking 6-12 sets
    5) do your cardio on the stairs: see all points above

    Do that twice a week and you'll start seeing some size after a month or so.
  • bchbum

    Posts: 161

    Sep 02, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    Calf size is mainly genetic. Hard work and diet can get them a little bigger though. If you have the small "balled up" type calves (live a lot of Defensive backs, Wide Receivers, and Basketball Players) they won't get much bigger.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 02, 2009 9:44 PM GMT
    bchbum saidCalf size is mainly genetic. Hard work and diet can get them a little bigger though. If you have the small "balled up" type calves (live a lot of Defensive backs, Wide Receivers, and Basketball Players) they won't get much bigger.


    Well hey up in Melbourne bud! What would balled up calves look like? I never heard that term sorry...
  • captproton

    Posts: 316

    Sep 03, 2009 9:08 AM GMT
    I once worked with a guy who had 19-inch calves and he never worked them in the gym. It's largely genetics. You can get them to grow a little, but don't waste your time hoping you'll get them to monster size unless you're willing to use roids.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 03, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    captproton saidI once worked with a guy who had 19-inch calves and he never worked them in the gym. It's largely genetics. You can get them to grow a little, but don't waste your time hoping you'll get them to monster size unless you're willing to use roids.


    No man roids are not for me. Only over the counter natural stuff.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 03, 2009 11:41 AM GMT
    i got smaller calves and i love them for 2 reasons: proves i aint juicing and i look great in panty hose!
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 03, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    Have you tried stair-climbing (as in walking up actual stairs) for a few to several floors? Hollywood's got some pretty tall buildings, some of which may be publicly accessible. Just make sure you go for individual steps rather than two-in-one-stepping, which is more thigh and knee intensive.

    It's too bad South Florida doesn't have any hilly or mountainous terrain, which would have helped (though maybe not get you to the size you want).
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 03, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    cthedj said
    captproton saidI once worked with a guy who had 19-inch calves and he never worked them in the gym. It's largely genetics. You can get them to grow a little, but don't waste your time hoping you'll get them to monster size unless you're willing to use roids.


    No man roids are not for me. Only over the counter natural stuff.


    Over the counter and natural stuff can be really unsafe or possibly bad for you too, just fyi.
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Sep 03, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    Genetics. You can get them to grow a little. Even steroids won't make a big difference for them. The rest of you will get bigger and you will look like a turkey icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 22, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    This is rife with confusion. Some believe you can do nothing for your calves. So why bother right? Fact is even if they won't grow you should still train them. It may take years to find out what your true potential is.
    I have good calves and some might say its genetic well for me i just don't know. The way I see it I have worked them to exhaustion for years and have gotten results. I do notice some things that seem to be the rule rather than the exception at the gym.

    Seated Calf raises. Seated calf raises are apparently the only exercise many do for their calves. Maybe because you can sit down like your in a rocking chair. Nothing against seated calf raises its just there are many more exercises than this.

    Range of motion. Most people I see doing calf raises, which again is only on seated calf raises, never get full range of motion in their technique. They lazily do this sort of ankle twitch that I would hesitate to even call a partial rep. How can people expect to have their calves grow if they won't ever put the muscle through its full range of motion?

    Too much weight. Someone else posting mentioned high rep training for calves. This is important to do once in a while. I use much less weight on calve raises for repetitions because i focus hard on fully contracting and extending them. And doing this for 20-25 reps. A recommendation coming from the one and only Bill Pearl. In order to effectively exhaust the calves and stimulate all the available muscle fiber you need to use less weight and focus on more reps. Reason being is that like the forearms the calves are a very dense muscle compared to other bodyparts like the upper arms. The exception to using less weight is when you do power training for the calves and thus you want to pile on the weight to bring out the full hardness of the calves.