Calves are a particular muscle group that many people forget to train regularly. To get that well-built and functional body that the golden age era athletes possessed, it is imperative that you train your calves. Kick start your journey to some strong calves today with these five training tips!
Increasing the Intensity of Your Training
Conventional training for the smaller muscle groups like the calf muscle will not be effective if you intend to increase the size of your calves. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is primarily facilitated through several repetitions of eight to twelve reps when working the calves to increase size. To bring the intensity of your workouts to the next level, decrease your rest times, and increase repetitions. Feel the burn in your calves!
Increase the Frequency for Toned Calves
The rule remains the same for most if not all muscles – an increased frequency of your calves will yield results and give you toned calves. Aim to hit your calves at least three times a week as opposed to your usual twice a week schedule. Concentrate on heavy and intense contractions during these sessions to maximize those gains.
Train Without Shoes
Shoes limit your range of motion and the cushion in the soles essentially change the dynamics of the muscle recruitment in your lower legs. The reason why barefoot running shoes became popular is the very same reason that bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger preferred training his calves barefooted – the contraction in the lower leg becomes much more intense. So the next time you’re training your calves, opt to do away with those shoes and go barefooted.
Switch Up Your Calf Routine
Muscle confusion can work really well on smaller muscles like the calves because they become accustomed to exercises very easily. Not only does changing up the movement work your muscles in a different way, it stimulates hypertrophy which is what we really want. Change your routine every week if possible and alternate the intensity throughout the week to take advantage of your body’s adaptation period.
Daily stretching before your workout or even before sleep can work wonders for your training. Not only does it reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, allowing you to train in your best condition, but it reduces lactic acid build up making your next set more manageable. Stop waiting and develop the habit of stretching regularly!