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.
What works for me is mixing, heavy work one day high reps another. And of course hill sprints.
I wonder at what point one is over training the calves. My calf training session always results in soreness and slow but steady growth for a few days. I don’t work them directly, but they are greatly affected by the body weight jump squats, and split jump squats I do. For a few days after that my calves are subject to no more stress than they get during my bicycling and yoga asanas and regular activity: works better for me than anything else I’ve tried (I’ve tried everything through the years) for this hard (for me) grow area.