5 Reasons Why Your Calves Aren’t Growing

Calves can be one of the most stubborn muscle groups. Look around your gym and you’ll probably see a lot of people with skinny legs and even skinnier toothpick calves. Although calves are a small muscle group, they can be one of the hardest to develop.

Building calves can be harder for people with genetically weaker legs. If you’ve hit a plateau and your calves refuse to grow, you need to change your training program. This article will help you takes your calves game to the next level and get you ready for the summer.

5 Reasons Why Your Calves Refuse to Grow

1. Treating Your Calves as Accessory Muscles

Most people make the mistake of treating their calves as accessory muscles. They train their calves at the end of their workouts when there is nothing left in the tank. If you have lagging calves, you should be training them at the beginning of your workouts.

Don’t perform a single calf exercise at the end of your workouts. Do 12-15 sets on 3-4 different exercises targetting both your soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. Your calves should be flushed with lactic acid at the end of your workouts.

2. Sticking to the Same Training Routine

You have hit a plateau if your calves have stopped responding to your workouts. Shocking your muscles with new exercises or advanced training techniques like supersets, drop sets, intra-set stretching or blood flow restriction training is a great way to break the plateau.

You don’t need to be in the gym to train your calves and if you’re in the gym, you don’t need to use weights every time. Your own body weight is enough to get the ball rolling. If you don’t have access to calf training equipment at your gym, use an elevated platform to do the calf raises.

3. Not Training Your Calves From Every Angle

Your calves consist of three heads: inner, medial and outer. You need to train all the three heads to ensure an overall development. Switching your feet placement can make all the difference.

Pointing your toes inwards and the balls of your feet outwards will target the outer calves head. Pointing the toes outwards will target the inner head and keeping your feet neutral will work the medial head.

4. Doing Too Little

Calves are a small muscle group and can recover quickly from your workouts. A good rule of thumb to training your calves is to train them every day if they’re not sore. Toothpick calves won’t turn into full-grown bulls by training them once a week.

Three sets of standing calf raise at the end of your leg workouts aren’t good enough to budge the needle on your calf gains. Train your calves as you would train your biceps, and hit 12-15 sets.

5. Overloading

People will small calves usually engage in ego lifting and load the machines with more weights than they can handle. The range of motion is one of the key factors in calf development.

You should maintain a full range of motion and your toes should be pointed like a ballerina at the top of the movement. Establish a mind-muscle connection with your calves and pause and contract them with every repetition.


How often do you train your calves?

Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

5 COMMENTS

  1. if you want big calves you need to go back in time and find parents with better calf genetics, one of the biggest and freaky calf i ever saw was on a guy that did not even go to the gym

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