Trifecta Calf Training
When beginner bodybuilders enter the gym, their mental training map usually starts with the bench press. After that, it's straight to the dumbbell rack for biceps curls. From there, they may emulate the training of others in the gym, or bounce around machines looking for something that tickles their fancy. The more they read muscle magazines and check out the bodybuilding message boards, the more aware they become of the importance of other movements. They start to add exercises for back, shoulders, thighs, and eventually calves. However, the calves remain one of the least trained body parts for most beginner and intermediate bodybuilders.
Fast-forward three years of training and most bodybuilders who have stuck with it this long are aware of deficiencies in their physiques. If they have underdeveloped calves, they're now training them. In fact, they may even be attempting to adjust calf training angles to address specific shortcomings which have arose due to genetics or training style. Most intermediate bodybuilders are aware of the fact that toe placement on calf exercises affects the outcome of calf training. Point the toes out, and you stimulate the inner calves. Point the toes inward, and you hit the outer calves. Point them forward, and you equally stimulate the entire muscle group. However, most bodybuilders don't employ these techniques. Here is a sample routine designed to stimulate the calves from all angles with great effectiveness.
Seated Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed outward
Seated Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed forward
Seated Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed inward
Reduce weight by 20% if necessary to ensure
Rest 3-5 minutes
Standing Barbell Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed outward
Standing Barbell Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed forward
Standing Barbell Calf Raise - 10 reps with toe pointed inward
Rest 3-5 minutes
Locked Leg Press Calf Raises - 10 reps with toe pointed outward
Locked Leg Press Calf Raises - 10 reps with toe pointed forward
Locked Leg Press Calf Raises - 10 reps with toe pointed inward
Sets 1 through 3 should be completed one after another. Rest for several minutes, then complete sets 4 through 6. Rest several more minutes, then finish with sets 7 through 9. As you can see, this routine allows for the calves to be hit from nine different angles in under fifteen minutes. It is advantageous in two ways. First, it allows the muscle fibers to be hit from many different angles. Second, it draws a great deal of blood to the region, and keeps it there. Ninety intense repetitions in under 15 minutes is quite a workout.
Ideally, this calf routine should be performed twice per week. However, in the beginning, the sheer volume and new angles might result in soreness which lasts several days. Therefore you should complete the workout, then wait however many days it takes for the region not to be sore anymore, whether it be 3, 4, or even 5 or 6 days. Complete the workout again, then wait for the soreness to subside. After several weeks, you'll adjust to the workload and be able to complete the workout twice per week without any problem.
Each time you complete this workout, change up the toe position for the first set. The second time you do this routine, use 'forward, inward, outward' as the order of toe placement for each exercise. The third time should move 'inward, outward, forward'. Then, repeat the initial workout. This allows you to hit each area when at its freshest, at least once every two weeks.
Dane Fletcher is the world's most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.
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