Got calves? Oddly, some of the most chiseled physiques on the planet do not. Hell, even Arnold Schwarzenegger in his early bodybuilding career had issues building his calf muscles. While you may not aspire to become Mr. Olympia and a mega movie star that people can hardly understand what you’re saying, your calves deserve more. Here are four reasons they aren’t growing.
- Neglecting them
This is probably the sole reason most guys have issues with calf growth. You cannot expect them to improve if you train them only once in a blue moon. The same concerted effort you give to your favorite muscle group should also be applied to your calves. The best way to implement this is by working them first when arriving at the gym for at least 2 months.
- Not using enough weight
Many people who struggle with building calf muscles think it is due to weak genetics. I beg to differ. As I said, Arnold had issues building his calves until he did something about it. Here is a quote from him in terms of building that muscle group:
“Every day you walk around. When you walk, you are using your calves. You are pushing at least your body weight every time you take a step. So, when you go to the gym and work out your calves with light weight, are you really stressing your muscles?”
So if you’ve been using 5lb pink dumbbells to perform calf raises, I guarantee that it is not your genetics that is holding you back. Arnold and other bodybuilding pros do calf exercises a few times a week; about 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps with a challenging weight.
- Doing the same ole’ exercises
Have you heard the expression, “Familiarity breeds contempt?” Well, your calf muscles feel contempt whenever you do those seated calf raises for the umpteen time. Your calves need variety in order to grow. While there isn’t exactly a plethora of calf exercises to do, there is certainly enough to spur growth:
- Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises
- Standing Barbell Calf Raises
- Donkey calf raises
- Ankle Circles
- Seated Calf Raises
- Calf Press Using Leg Press Machine
- Poor Genetics
Okay, I admit it. Poor genetics can play a role in inadequate calve development. There are some lucky bastards who cannot even spell calves, let alone work them; and yet their calves are chiseled to perfection.
On the other hand, there are people who work their calves first with a heavy weight and always switch their exercises up; yet their calves are nowhere to be found. It’s just not fair. However, don’t let your genetics discourage you. At least TRY to add muscle to your calves as suggested. While your calves may not grow as big as you desire, they will improve.
May the above four reasons help guide you on your journey towards humongous calves!