Calves

When I first started working out I had that typical mindset of "I want big arms and a big chest". Turns out, that's the easy bit. But good lord almighty calves just don't grow!!

I'm currently doing:

Seated calf raise x 6 sets
Smith machine calf raise x 4
Calf press on the leg press x 3
Walking calf raises x 3
Dumbell calf raises x3

Doing the above twice a week.

Growth is so minimal!! Ps, yes I'm on a bulk my diet is on point.

Anyone else struggle with this area? Or have had success?
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Replies

  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,973 Member
    Not what you want to hear but it could be a genetic limitation which cannot be overcome thru diet and exercise alone.

    You can see it in professional body builders and boxers who are in a max state of conditioning but have smaller or larger calves than others their size.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,084 MFP Moderator
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    Not what you want to hear but it could be a genetic limitation which cannot be overcome thru diet and exercise alone.

    You can see it in professional body builders and boxers who are in a max state of conditioning but have smaller or larger calves than others their size.

    There is a lot of this, but calves are one of the few body parts that can take years to grow. Jeff Nippard did a pretty good summary on this.

  • shaf238
    shaf238 Posts: 4,021 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    Not what you want to hear but it could be a genetic limitation which cannot be overcome thru diet and exercise alone.

    You can see it in professional body builders and boxers who are in a max state of conditioning but have smaller or larger calves than others their size.

    You've just ruined my day....
    psuLemon wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    Not what you want to hear but it could be a genetic limitation which cannot be overcome thru diet and exercise alone.

    You can see it in professional body builders and boxers who are in a max state of conditioning but have smaller or larger calves than others their size.

    There is a lot of this, but calves are one of the few body parts that can take years to grow. Jeff Nippard did a pretty good summary on this.


    Thank you mate will check out the vid 👍🏼
  • ForecasterJason
    ForecasterJason Posts: 2,582 Member
    I didn't do any specific calf exercises, but I have bulked about 10 pounds in the past 6 months and I believe that is the only skeletal muscle group that I saw zero gain from.
  • bostonjim23
    bostonjim23 Posts: 41 Member
    The way I got my calf's big was doing seated leg lifts with 1k pounds.
  • shaf238
    shaf238 Posts: 4,021 Member
    6hhohkod4uaw.jpg
    Basically.
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    As mentioned already (so I am just confirming things) calves are one-part genetics and one-part proper training (seated and standing....super important to hit them *BOTH* ways). Also, as mentioned, the calves are one of those muscle groups (going with "muscle group" here in that there are multiple muscles involved) that can indeed be worked more often....

    And, I do believe that I have seen that Jeff Nippard youtube video. He puts out consistently outstanding information. Like that dude!
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Ha! I love that. Do you by chance know who Omar Isuf is? He is from your neck of the woods! Ask him about working calves!!!!! Be very far away when you do that! He does not like working calves (because his apparently do not respond). He has no idea of what "acceptance" is......not when it comes to calves! Thanks for the chuckle!
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Ha! I love that. Do you by chance know who Omar Isuf is? He is from your neck of the woods! Ask him about working calves!!!!! Be very far away when you do that! He does not like working calves (because his apparently do not respond). He has no idea of what "acceptance" is......not when it comes to calves! Thanks for the chuckle!

    Oh yea for sure I've heard of Omar.. I didn't know he was Canadian though.

    Haha.. ok I won't ask him :D
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Ha! I love that. Do you by chance know who Omar Isuf is? He is from your neck of the woods! Ask him about working calves!!!!! Be very far away when you do that! He does not like working calves (because his apparently do not respond). He has no idea of what "acceptance" is......not when it comes to calves! Thanks for the chuckle!

    Oh yea for sure I've heard of Omar.. I didn't know he was Canadian though.

    Haha.. ok I won't ask him :D

    Yes, ma'am! He still is! HA! HA! My silly humor (being pedantic).
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Same!

    I have to buy men’s sized compression socks for running because the women’s sizes are not big enough...
  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 821 Member
    edited August 2018
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Same!

    I have to buy men’s sized compression socks for running because the women’s sizes are not big enough...

    Me too! I buy pants specifically to fit my calves. I've lost over 60 pounds at this point and still wear wide calf boots!

    If anyone figures out a way to donate freakishly large body parts to the less endowed--call me!
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,495 Member
    Genetics mostly dominate here. They can be directly affect IF the resistance on them is progressive DAILY and that's usually in the form of carrying more and more weight each day along with a calorie surplus.
    But if the MUSCLE INSERTION isn't low on the tibia, a "club" looking calf (lots of muscle up top, but dwindles to ankle size just below it) will always be the look.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    Just like any muscle, give it the appropriate stimulas at a useful frequency and they will grow.

    Giving the muscle too much stimulas not only can effect recovery it might be unknowingly increasing your AMPK inhibiting MPS. I would cut most of those working sets out and focus more on working sets close 2-3 reps to failure with extremely short rest periods with an initial set closer to 15-30 reps and the next 4-5 sets in the 4-6 rep range. This is well proven to work and has data to back it.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    Possibly the best known calves transformation; took the guy like 20 years.
    Like others have mentioned, notice the insertion points can not change (genetics)
    d4ao06i30gy2.png
  • GymTennis
    GymTennis Posts: 133 Member
    Calves take time to develop but they generally respond to high volume and moderate to high frequency (3 times a week), at least in my case, I've made very solid gains in 3 years of training. A guy I know did standing calf raises with 405 lbs using that stepper little stool and broke his foot badly. He still can't walk normally after 3 months. So watch out, don't jump in to some crazy weights. Of course you do wish to follow the principle of progressive overload just like with any exercise. But it's mostly genetics. They will grow. But If they are short and inserted high up, right below your knee level, good luck with that.
  • nexangelus
    nexangelus Posts: 2,084 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    You can have mine :p . I don't work them ever. They are like a beast that takes over my legs. Ahh genetics. Sorry I know that's not helpful, I feel the same about my glutes that have taken forever to grow. Lots of work, patience, after all that..maybe some acceptance.

    Same here, large calves and need more glutes and quads... I put it down to cycling everywhere since I could balance on my bike, but I think I inherited my mother's chunky calves...I only do seated calf raises...

    Wow 20 years for great calves, that is dedication...and what a difference. Looks like persistence is the key to most things OP...