Why are calves so hard to train?

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Dobis P.R., Oct 10, 2006.

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  1. Dobis P.R.

    Dobis P.R. Guest

    I'm still a beginner so don't laugh at my low numbers. But today I did this.

    I used a pyramid scheme on all exercises working up to the numbers that I give below for my last set.

    5x5 squat (past parallel) 185
    5x5 bench 140
    5x5 deadlift 185
    standing barbell calf raises (I did one set of 10 at 165, then another set of 10 at 185, then instead of going for 10 at 205 I just kept going to test my endurance and went for 25 reps before I decided that I had done enough)

    why are my numbers for calves so disproportionate to my squat numbers? And I can even do more weight than I did today but significantly more is going to be difficult to hold on my back. does training traps help you support a barbell on your back? or should I just not be a pussy and deal with the pain of putting a shit ton of weight on your back.



    p.s. do I look like a jackass doing my standing barbell calf raises inside the squat rack? while I was at the gym today I saw three kids doing curls in there so at least I'm not the worst.
     
  2. disblohs

    disblohs I can't shake this little feeling I'll never get a

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  3. John Blaze

    John Blaze New Member

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  4. Devil

    Devil I have become my terror. OT Supporter

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    srsly

    :wtf:
     
  5. Dobis P.R.

    Dobis P.R. Guest

    this is a serious question that I'd appreciate an answer to. why is f&n so hard on beginners?
     
  6. Marijuanair

    Marijuanair Remember to have your pet spayed or neutered! OT Supporter

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    calves are always hard to train, I dont know what to say. You're not gonna find much help on F&N either, just alot of flaming.
     
  7. Dobis P.R.

    Dobis P.R. Guest

    last week was my first week doing these and I did 3x10 (155, 175, 195) and my calves weren't even sore the next day. I guess I'm just underestimating how much weight I should be using.
     
  8. Marijuanair

    Marijuanair Remember to have your pet spayed or neutered! OT Supporter

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    being sore isnt a good indicator of getting a good workout. I used to get sore every leg day no matter the weight, now I'm pretty much just a little stiff the next few days, the soreness is gone.
     
  9. Devil

    Devil I have become my terror. OT Supporter

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    i seriously don't know what you're asking

    bb calf raises doesn't equate to squat strength
     
  10. Dobis P.R.

    Dobis P.R. Guest

    I was asking

    is it normal to be able to do bb calf raises with more weight than you squat?

    and

    will developing my traps help me hold more weight on top of my back?

    and

    do I look like a jackass doing bb calf raises inside the squat rack?
     
  11. Devil

    Devil I have become my terror. OT Supporter

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    yes, yes, no

    you'll have to condition yourself to handle heavier weights on your back. reverse band squats or just standing with the bar on your back for a timed count helps
     
  12. realest00

    realest00 New Member

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    It's easy to cheat (and not in a good way) with standing calf raises. This may be the cause of your "disproportionality" (not that it matters anyways - Devil is correct).

    Or it might be that you don't know how to squat.

    Also, I dont think you're getting a full stretch doing calf raises in a rack, unless your toes happen to be on a block or something.

    But what do I know, my calves are small.
     
  13. Dobis P.R.

    Dobis P.R. Guest

    what constitutes cheating with calf raises?

    I'm not standing on a block or anything. I go from feet flat on the floor to as high as I can get my heels.
     
  14. slang4lavatory

    slang4lavatory New Member

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    you need a shit ton of volume.. try 4 different exercises at 4 sets x 12-15 reps. as heavy as you can.
     
  15. realest00

    realest00 New Member

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    If you're doing them safely, your knees should be very slightly bent. It's easy to use this knee bend to help push up the weight.

    Doing them flat on the floor also makes it easier to just rock the weight back and forth, instead of lifting it.

    Why don't you just use a standing or seated calf raise machine?
     
  16. realest00

    realest00 New Member

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    Calf raises are one of the few muscle groups where it might be better to follow the bodybuilder's adage of strict form and "feeling the contraction", instead of stacking a shit-ton of weight on and doing the exercise half-assed.
     
  17. realest00

    realest00 New Member

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    Trying to clarify here...
    Are you saying that calf raises from some sort of block isn't necessary? I would think a stretch / full ROM is paramount, especially from a performance-physiology standpoint.
     
  18. realest00

    realest00 New Member

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    probably.

    i'll go back to lurking now.
     
  19. Neo22

    Neo22 OT Supporter

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    doing calf raises like that is fine. If you can get 25 add more weight. Try hitting failure close to the 15th rep and see how that goes. Having something to elevate the foot will help with a better stretch though.
     
  20. supramandrew87

    supramandrew87 Picture Me Rollin OT Supporter

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    "Due to incessant low-level stimulation, they have biologically adapted by developing a higher proportion of slow-twitch (76%) fibers than fast-twitch (24%) fibers. As a result, it is difficult to stimulate the same growth in the calves as most of the other muscle groups. The special physiological composition of the calves prevents them from responding well to traditional bodybuilding and strength training programs, in which the same load and RI are used for the calves as for other muscles.
    ... In order to offset the energy balance in the calves, training must be slightly different. The RI should be no longer than 30-45 seconds, in order to inhibit immediate ATP and CP restoration. This forces the body to increase its energy transport capacity which increases the CP content of the cells and activates protein metabolism. As a result, the hypertophy of the calves is better stimulated, allowing the athlete to build calves in proportion to the rest of the body."

    From Serious Strength Training by Tudor O. Bompa, pg 68

    RI = Rest Interval
    ATP = Adenosine Triphosphate
    CP = Creatine Phosphate

    I also agree with realest00 and his points. :bigthumb:
     
  21. TracerBullet

    TracerBullet Active Member

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    Because day in and day out youre using them at high volume. Theyre the muscle most used to propel you when you walk.
     
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