Developing the Lower Legs

Don Peters Alternate Calf Heel Raise

Don Peters Alternate Calf Heel Raise

This exercise calls for weight belt with a heavy dumbbell hung between the legs, and a 3-1/2 inch to 4 inch calf block.

Building Muscular Calves

Calves must be worked in a different way, as Vince quickly found this out since the calves are the only muscle that is directly worked every time you take a step and walk.

Initially, his 3 sets of six, 6 sets of six, 8 sets of eight wasn’t quite working and he didn’t know why and after awhile he realized that the calves should be really overworked or worked more than the biceps, triceps, delts, chest or back and low and behold, it worked.

So Vince always called calves a high rep muscle and you use as much weight as you possibly can to stimulate growth. Vince found out that anything less than 15 - 20 reps per set are not going to stimulate the calves. And Vince also found out in order to stimulate the calves even further, to induce growth, what you would have to do on your off-days is to perform 100 to 150 reps with no weight just to induce circulation. He then discovered that the calves would respond and this of course was through trial and error.

Vince was big on trial and error. He used to spend a tremendous amount of time testing his theories, whether they were right or wrong, and after awhile he found his theory about calves was true.

Now some people, like me, never had to work the calves in this method. And Vince would always tell you, do what works for you. Know the "Golden Rule"; know your body.

My calves would become stimulated with 8 sets of eight reps or 4 sets of twelve reps and sometimes a little extra work. But for a lot of people, this doesn’t seem to work. You have to know your body.

My calves are easy but I wish other parts of my body would grow just as fast as my calves and I had decent calves to begin with so that helped me.

But with calves, do what Vince tells you to do; high rep, as much weight as you can handle, and on your off days, do 100-150 reps with no weight just to induce circulation and you will find out this will really help your calves.

Developing Diamond Calves

What makes a calf muscle look spectacular is the smallness of the knee and ankle.

As a general rule, calves require more reps than any other muscle in the body due to their great number of muscle fibres.

Toe Raises Performed Incorrectly

Toe raises, for instance, performed where you raise out on the toes instead of up on the big toe and ball of the foot with the heels coming together produce not only a bow-legged look, but stretches the structures of the feet and weakens the arches.

(IronMan Magazine Nov 1973 Vol. 33 No. 1)

How To Train Stubborn Calves

A former student of yours told me you advice working stubborn calves every day. What exercise do you recommend on the off day?

I was also told that you do not work the calves maximum every day, but merely pump the calf on the off day. Is this information correct?

Your information is correct. The stubborn calf must be worked maximum 3 days a week and pumped 3 days a week. The following exercise is the one I recommend.


This exercise calls for a 4 inch calf block.

Assume position on calf block, with the balls of the feet spaced about 6 to 8 inches apart. Hold onto a table, pole, or lean against the wall with the arms outstretched.

Raise the left heel until the calf is fully contracted. At the top of the motion, bend the knee and shift the weight to the right leg and lower on the right leg. Raise on the right leg, and at the top, or contracted position, bend the knee and transfer the weight to the left leg and lower with this leg.

This is a very concentrated peaking exercise, and I know of no other gym in the country that teaches it.

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