Calf Training By Vince Gironda

If any single muscle rates as the least developed of all muscles among all bodybuilders — it’s the calf. Stubborn and difficult to develop, it requires special attention; it must be bombed into growth.

No matter how well developed the thighs, the legs, as a whole, cannot be impressive when the calves are small.

Take Steve Reeves as an example — perfect from top to bottom. How great would he look if his upper body and thighs tapered down to a spindly “base”? Get the point?

Because of the density of calf tissue and its distance from the heart (the body’s pumping station — which delivers nutrient-rich blood to the muscles), the calves must be worked a minimum of 20 repetitions per exercise to respond. You must rise on your toes with most of the weight on the base of the big and second toe (when performing various exercises) if you are to develop the meaty inside portion — the most difficult part of all.

Rotate the heels inward as you rise to the contracted position. As you lower the body allow the heels to resume the wider position. The legs should always be slightly unlocked at the knees. This places stress on the lower part of the calves.

Calves are a “stretch muscle” — so you must try to lengthen the muscle by stretching at the bottom of the movement. I have discovered that men with poor calf development have poor range of motion.

On the other hand, men with good calves have developed great flexibility. Obviously, then, the Donkey Raise is one of the best calf exercises because the bent-over position induces a great stretch. Second best is work on the calf machine.

Hard-to-develop calves should be worked daily, but not in the same way. That is, work 3 heavy days and 2 pump days. On your pump days — do not tire the calves just induce circulation. The best procedure is to do sets of 100 or more reps with moderate (body-weight) poundage’s. Use good slow form. Do not try to rush, especially when you reach the pain barrier … speeding usually causes a shortening of the motion and causes pain, or “burns” to the point that you won’t be able to take it.

Again, work slowly and stretch the muscle at the bottom of the movement and fully contract at the top.

Here’s another tip for good calf development — keep your bloodstream saturated with protein. In other words take protein foods and and a drinks every three hours. The reason for this is that protein remains in the blood for approximately 3 hours — and you must replenish it. Twenty grams of protein is all the body can use at
each “reload”.

If you’re serious — and if you follow my advice you will develop huge and powerful calves and they will enhance your entire physique.

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