Happy Monday. Last week you learnt a dead easy recipe for a high protein dip, great for summer barbecues, a snack, and making the protein game a little less boring.
This week we’re back to giving yourself a workout edge when it comes to the things that some people find the hardest to grow – calves.
Let’s get started.
For those of us who haven’t been genetically blessed with superior calve muscles, we’ve all been there.
Whether enlisted or a gym enthusiast, we’ve all seen the struggle.
You go hard in your workouts, make great gains, pack on lean mass, add some inches, but no matter what you do…your stubborn calves won’t grow.
The lack of power when it comes to uphill sprints. The dread of wearing shorts. The appearance of “chicken legs”.
I was in the same spot – until I discovered how to unlock my potential. It was so ridiculously simple I was surprised I never thought to do it before.
Let’s make one thing clear – calves are damn stubborn muscles. Seeing as your legs are what hold you up all day, like quads, the muscles groups in your lower leg have an incredible amount of endurance. It’s that same endurance that makes it really fricking hard to pack on more muscle.
For those of you who bought SUPP UP. No Bull, Gym In A Bag Workout Guide, you’ve probably already read the chapter where I elaborated on the burst strength and speed you can develop in your legs through the exercises and sample workouts provided, and the importance of conditioning.
Since calves are so stubborn, you have to approach them differently to other muscle groups. This means working them beyond their normal endurance point.
So here’s the quick and dirty answer: ditch the machine (plus, if you’re deployed let’s be realistic, you won’t always have access to one), and start doing progressive calve raises. But WAIT.
How you do these is damn important.
First, take off your shoes. This is far more effective barefoot, as it activates all your little stabilizer muscles as well.
The progression goes like this: start with doing 100 body-weight calve raises, having a 2 second ascension, 2 second hold at the top, and 2 second descent, for 30 days straight.
Have your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and your toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your hands on your hips, not leaning or grabbing anything for support, and lead with your chest – you’ve got to act like your sternum is being pulled up with a fish hook by G-d himself.
That means going up slow, squeezing and holding at the top as hard as possible, then coming down slow again. Don’t drop like a bomb.
You will be sore the next day. Heck, you might even be crying halfway through this because if you’re doing it right, you’ll feel the lactic acid buildup and it will burn.
It’ll take you about 10 minutes. This is the most important part – you can’t skip a single day. If you keep at this 30 days straight, you will get stronger calves.
After 30 days, progress to weighted calve raises, looping some rope around a dumbbell or anything heavy that’s between 8-10 kg or 18-22 lbs maximum then tying it around your waist, and go for another 30 days. This’ll add more muscle, size, and definition.
I suggest taking a week off before starting with weighted calve raises though, to give your muscles a chance to fully recover.
After 60 days, all you’ve really gotta do is maintain by hitting calves twice a week with a weight looped around your waist.
Most importantly, measure your calves at the widest point before starting this progression plan, taking note, then measure them again after 60 days.
What’s great about this progression is, it helps with unlocking your potential for burst power and speed, the calves being part of your powerful posterior chain (which contributes to real strength gains).
There’s another great way to develop or contribute to getting even bigger calves in conjunction with this, which those of you who bought my book already know about. If you haven’t read my book yet, well…you know what to do.
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If you really like this post, but don’t have the SUPP UP. books yet, buy SUPP UP. No Bull, Gym In A Bag Workout Guide now, as a paperback or E-book, and discover more great ways to get more out of your workouts while travelling or on the go (preview of chapters available in shop).
Drop by next week for yet another great post to add to your workout and nutrition arsenal.
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