I get asked sometimes whether I train my calves or not.
This is a question no bodybuilder should ever receive about any bodypart, ever, if he has a complete physique.
I know my calves are deficient (suck), but it’s not through lack of effort and variety. I smack those fuckers every workout and have tried high reps, low reps, high volume, low volume, high frequency, low frequency, standing, sitting, skipping, jumping, one leg, two, stretching, tempo, static holds…
Short of becoming a bike-riding ballet dancer, I have tried MOST things for bringing up my lagging cows.
It’s either these lousy convict genetics or I’m the lovechild of Dennis Wolf’s ancestors.
Delving into the T-nation archives I remember reading through a calf-cure from Charles Poliquin who promises to add inches to one’s puny calves with his 4 week, Luke Sauders Calf Routine.
Legend has it that Sauders, an alpine skier under the training tutelage of Poliquin arrived at camp sporting a set of calves so big that his ski-boots had to be remoulded. Poliquin had beefed them up in order to help him avoid knee injuries.
The program involves hitting calves over a 5 day cycle – the first day being a volume day; the second involving lower volume accompanied by greater time under tension-stretch sets.
Before this program, I was used to performing about 100 reps of calves every training session, 5-6 times a week so the program didn’t leave me as debilitated as promised. I was able to add weight to my lifts over the 5 weeks, but always kept my focus on feeling the weight and the stretch, concentrating and visualising my calves pumping up with blood. It definitely hurt while doing it.
I should have taken measurements before the experiment, but felt that I added some size to my calves over the 5 week period. Nothing like the inch promised, but Poliquin has been prone to hyperbolic levels of exaggeration in the past.
Strangely enough, the week after I finished the program I hit my calves with sets of 100 in 3 exercises and experienced calf soreness which lasted a week
I also think I need to train the tibialis anterior more often as there’s no flare to the front of my calf when viewed head on. I’ve noticed that when I hit the tibialis directly I get a nice vein filled pump in that area, so it might be worth adding in more consistently from now on.
On a side note, I thought this Lee Priest vid of him training calves and critiquing the calf training of others was hilarious.