by Tony Gjokaj March 19, 2020 4 min read
The Calves are a smaller muscle that many people have difficulty developing due to ineffective volume, poor moving patterns, and yes, we can even blame the genetics too.
But before we point and blame our genetics on the poor muscular development of the calves, we need to understand that majority of lifters do calves incorrectly.
This is seen from the individuals who put on obnoxious amounts of weight on the calf raise and “bounce” while attempting to perform a repetition.
In this article, we will discuss how to strategize on calf development to truly build some badass calves. Calves may be a big part of genetics, but that does not mean we can’t build some solid ones!
This is a chapter in our eBook, The Muscle Compendium.
The Calves consist of two major muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
The function of the calves is to flex the foot at the ankle and flex the leg at the knee. The calves work with the legs in the assistance of walking, running, jumping, and more.
When emphasizing the muscular development of the calves, one would flex the foot at the ankle by lifting your heel up and rising with your toes.
Isn’t it surprising that a simple muscle like this just absolutely sucks at growing?
Although the calves are a tiny muscle group, there are a variety of strategies you can utilize. In this section, we will discuss any strategies that will transform your calves.
This section is very limited when it comes to calf exercises; the most effective exercises are the following:
Use a standing calf raise variation and a seated/angle variation (either the seated or donkey calf raise).
*You can do dumbbell variations for standing and seated as well if you are lacking a specific calf machine!
To conclude our brief calf training section, we recommend doing 12-16 weekly sets for optimal calf development. You are able to spread calf work over 2-4x weekly granted you follow the weekly sets recommendation.
In regards to rep ranges, 10-20 reps are optimal. Utilizing standing and seated calf exercises will help muscular development in this area. Adding to that, I recommend trying unilateral/a single leg calf raise for effective development as well.
Since the calves are such a small muscle with a small range of motion, slow and controlled is the key to bigger calves. Commonly, people put a heavy amount of weight on the machine and bang out calves by “bouncing” up and down. This is absolutely ineffective and an insult to me.
When training calves, picture leading with the heels and ending with your toes. This means engage the liftoff with your heels first instead of your toes. You will contract your calves right at liftoff in doing this.
To conclude our calf training section, genetics plays a big part in fitness, but that should be no excuse to not train calves.
Thanks for reading, Reforged Legion!
Until next time!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help millions exercise their way out of depression and anxiety.
by Tony Gjokaj October 07, 2022 4 min read
Men, I know what it is like to be overweight and depressed.
Not having the energy to do anything but relax and sleep.
While relaxation and sleep are incredibly important, they can make us feel like we are not making progress in our lives.
And when depression hits, it’s very difficult to push through with exercise and weight loss.
But did you know that even though it takes time and some effort, you don’t need to get obsessively crazy over it?
In fact, with just a few small adjustments, you can lose weight, fight back against depression, and take your life back.
If you're serious about shedding pounds and pushing away those depression demons, here are five tips that can help get you started.
by Tony Gjokaj September 05, 2022 4 min read
A few weeks ago, my buddy Grant and I talked about nutrition.
We talked about how he's lost over 120 pounds so far with the weight loss progress he's been making.
This is all because he has been making healthier decisions over time.
One of the newest challenges he's facing right now is he's got a new job. He's working 10 to 12 hour days with physical demanding labor.
And what's been happening for him is that he's been super exhausted, he's not motivated to meal prep, he's having trouble trying to sit down and cook foods doesn't have the energy doesn't have the time.
So what I propose is five tips that you can use to live a more on the go fast food healthy eating lifestyle.
by Tony Gjokaj July 27, 2022 4 min read
Have you ever experienced anxiety that drains all of your productive energy?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the US each year.
If you're someone who suffers from anxiety, you know that it can be incredibly debilitating. It can hold you back from some positive experiences and opportunities as a result.
The good news is that there are ways to overcome it!
In this blog post, we will discuss eight best tips for overcoming anxiety, from an expert that has been there themselves!
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