The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter, and your favorite time of year is quickly coming upon us. Summer is fast approaching and that means you guys will be breaking out the tank tops. So you make your plan and starting blasting biceps, thrashing triceps, smashing shoulders, and working to get your chest and abs right too because hopefully you have a reason to take that shirt off. You might want to consider something else though.
By Roger Lockridge
If you’re going sleeveless with the shirts then that likely means you’re going to be pulling out the shorts from storage too. You don’t wear tanks with pants, bro. We all know this. So before you hit the beach or pools, you might want to give your legs some attention. Those calves are going to be showing too and no one wants to look like the disproportionate cartoon characters. Your lower legs need to be right too. Make sure you throw in this plan with your routine and hopefully you can make a positive difference before summer gets here.
Your New Plan for Calves
Something we should cover right off the bat. Calves are a trait you can thank your parents for. They’re something you’re either blessed to have or not. Some guys can look at a calf machine and have steers. Others can do thousands of reps and see little progress. Wherever you may fall in the grand scheme of things, this plan should help you maximize the potential you do have and at the very least prove you do work them. There are two major parts of the calf muscle. The gastrocnemius is that big area you can see when you flex them. Below that is the soleus which isn’t as visible but just as important to train.
Seated Calf Raise
To train the soleus, you need to use a bent leg movement which is why you should start this routine with seated calf raises. After you warm up on the machine, load up serious weight that you can get 20 reps with. Make sure you focus on stretching at the bottom when your heels go below your toes. When you flex the calves, hit it hard so you know you got a good rep. Three sets of 20 reps here with 60 seconds rest in between will be very effective here.
For the gastrocnemius you’re going to load up the leg press. Position your feet on the sled so your heels are hanging off but your toes are secure enough they won’t slide off. Load up a weight that you can do 10-12 reps with. If you have access to a leg press machine with a stack, that would help you save time here. We’re going to do some drop sets.
Perform 10 reps the same way you did the seated calf raises. Upon the 10th rep, lower the weight you’re using so that you can get 10 more reps. After that, lower the weight even more so you can do 10 more reps. That’s 30 reps total. Once you finish that 30th rep, rest for 60 seconds and reload the weight you started with. (This is why a stacked leg press machine will serve you well.) Perform this drop set three times.
Once you finish this workout, take a couple of minutes to really stretch and flex the calves. Find a step and stand on it with your heels hanging off. Lower your heels and hold that stretch for at least 30 seconds. Repeat this twice over the next few minutes and you can leave the gym knowing you gave your lower legs the love they need to grow.
Prepare for Summer Calf Plan
Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets of 20 reps.
Calf Press – 3 drop sets of 30 reps.
Calf Stretches – 3 times for at least 30 seconds each.
- Rest for 60 seconds between sets.