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technical calf ?

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Old 04-18-2004, 09:48 AM   #1
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Location: St Louis metro, USA
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Evl316 HB User
technical calf ?

This is fairly technical. I have skinny legs and work my legs twice weekly, one workout being focused on hams and calves, the other workout focused on glutes, quads and again calves. During a typical week I'm doing 8 to 12 sets of standing calf raises on a smith machine standing on a block of wood using 180 to 160 pounds at around 12 reps per set. I used to do seated calf raises in the past along with standing ones but my gym got rid of the seated calf machine so now I concentrate on standing calf raises. Everything I've read indicates that seated calf raises (any calf work done with a bent knee) work the soleus muscle of the calf which is essentially the outside of the calf muscle. Calf raises done with a straight leg work the gastrocnemius muscle which is that round muscle at the back of the lower leg we all typically identify with as the calf muscle or at least the main one as it's the biggest in size.

Now on to my problem. I've been working my gastrocnemius muscle doing standing calf raises as I've stated but flexing my calf I've got excellent definition in my soleus muscle but hardly any gastrocnemius muscle at all. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong. I try to get a great range of motion out of my calf raises and do them slowly. I also stretch my calves between sets. Does anyone else have this problem and have you found a way to overcome it? I've read that in some people they have excessive connectivity tissue in the calf region which leaves no room for hypertrophy of the gastrocnemius. To overcome that problem surgery is an option for opening of the fascia with a scapel to allow the muscle to hypertrophy. Also there is mention of an active release technique pioneered by Dr. Mike Leahy but I've heard no specifics on this technique.

From everything I've read I think I'm doing the right things for my gastrocnemius muscle to grow. They say this muscle is 60% fast twitch and responds best to sets completed in 20 to 40 seconds (higher weight, lower reps) and that's what I do but still no real progress.

I have virtually no calfs and am not afraid to put in the work, time and effort to get bigger calves but it's so frustrating to not be getting results even after all the research I've done to ensure I have a good calf workout. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:05 AM   #2
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Re: technical calf ?

Calves are hard to grow, so don't get too discouraged. When I started doing higher reps to failure is when I started to see some real growth with my calves (15-25 reps). Seems to be about the general consensus from other people I have talked to as well. I also tried changing my foot position once in a while so that every other week or so, I'd alternate sets with toes pointing in, out and straight. You can really feel the tension difference on each side. And to add some variety, if you have a leg press/invert leg press machine, use those to do calf work also. I it will change your body position some and maybe be enough stress to force some more growth.
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Last edited by Naxis; 04-18-2004 at 11:06 AM.

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