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View Full Version : Does calf hypertrophy affect performance?



KingJustin
01-07-2007, 05:07 PM
I've pretty much blindly followed the advice of someone on this forum for the past several years in regards to calf training. I recall someone saying that adding size to your calves causes your speed (ie 40yd dash) to slow down and your vertical jump to diminish.

I guess since I haven't trained my calves ...ever ... that I might as well ask this question again.

Unholy
01-07-2007, 05:25 PM
Dont think thats true.

drew
01-07-2007, 05:36 PM
I guess if your calves were bigger that would mean you weigh more which would mean you would be slower and not be able to jump as high.

But seriously, does it make any sense to you?

Isaac Wilkins
01-08-2007, 05:24 AM
Rarely do athletes have to work towards calf hypertrophy. Whatever they need usually comes as a side effect from the normal lifting they do in addition to the jumping, sprinting, and so on that comes from their training and sports.

Sprinting speed and jumping ability are usually more the result of overall and relative body strength, low body fat, technique, CNS refinement, and posterior chain development.

Having big and presumably strong calves (larger cross-sectional area) could contribute to a greater sprint and jump, but probably will only be a small part of the equation.

I think the individual who implies that bigger calves will make you slower is worried about reduced turn-over speed. I doubt this would be a problem, particularly at the level of speed refinement you're probably at.

The fastest people in the world don't usually work their calves, but they do squat like hell.

Guido
01-08-2007, 08:18 AM
Having big and presumably strong calves (larger cross-sectional area) could contribute to a greater sprint and jump, but probably will only be a small part of the equation.

I think the individual who implies that bigger calves will make you slower is worried about reduced turn-over speed. I doubt this would be a problem, particularly at the level of speed refinement you're probably at.

The fastest people in the world don't usually work their calves, but they do squat like hell.Well put. And those squats also work the calves!

smokinHawk
01-08-2007, 08:23 AM
i used to have no calves when i was younder until i started jumping and doing back flips for gymnasics, when i was able to jump high and flip well i noticed taht i actually devoloped calves (this was when i was like 14) i didnt start working them till i was 16, and my verticle increased more.

Chris686
01-08-2007, 10:19 AM
Well put. And those squats also work the calves!

Very true.

Isaac Wilkins
01-08-2007, 11:56 AM
Well put. And those squats also work the calves!

Well, that's certainly true, but I meant dedicated calf isolation work.

Keep squattin'. ;)

Davidelmo
01-08-2007, 12:05 PM
If you want to be a fast runner train your hamstrings and lats too :D

WillKuenzel
01-08-2007, 12:13 PM
If anybody knows me, they know that I've always been upset with my calves. Over the past 2 years I've stopped doing any direct calf work and have just about put an inch or more on them. Just from the squatting and deadlifting I've been doing. Deadlifts (sumo at least) light up my calves like nothing else.

As far as the carryover of larger calves to decreased sports enhancement, I'd disagree. That as long as you continue to train for the sport, if your calves grow and you get better then what's the point. I've gotten more agile and faster, or at least over short distances. I'm more explosive and have a higher vertical at my current weight (215lbs) than I ever have, and I'm just shy of the heaviest I've ever been (225lbs).

Sleepy Guy
01-08-2007, 03:04 PM
Being well calf endowed I must say they do not seem to effect my jumping nor my speed. Playing beach football or volley I have been told I jump too high.

I have no endurance maybe the calves are to blame?

teenathlete3030
01-10-2007, 06:07 PM
I think only 20% of vertical comes from calves. 40-60% from posterior chain and 20-40% from quads, and the rest from upper body, or something like that.

Isaac Wilkins
01-10-2007, 07:20 PM
That would depend on your anthropological shape and your biomechanics.