The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Not Enough Weight on Calf Exercises?

    Yeah guys I was just wondering if anyone else here has to deal with the problem of not being able to find a machine or other logical way to get enough weight for a calf exercise.

    Today I was doing calf extensions on the leg press machine and it was stupid because I had to put on over 6 plates on each side which takes forever. I tried using the Smith machine once for standing calf raises but I had one problem... I couldn't find somethind decent to stand on and allow for a good range of motion. I tried using one of those boxes (it was a few inches off the ground) and hurt my shins pretty badly when I stepped on the edge of it only for it to flip up and hit my shins really hard. I have a feeling the same thing would happen if I tried it on some weight plates also. I've tried the actual standing calf raise machines but noticed that the amount of weight it went up to was not enough for my calves and that it would sometimes cause serious discomfort in the spine (like it was being compressed) when at high weight (but no problem for calves to lift it).

    Will I have to switch to one-leg-at-a-time calf raises or something? Is there any other exercise that I haven't though of yet where I could still use both legs at a time?
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  3. #2
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    tried doing them one leg at a time its what i do and it really works. I use a leg press machine at my gym as the standing calf macine really sucks
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  4. #3
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    Yeah, just try using a les press machine if your gym has one.

  5. #4
    Former Fatass Unreal's Avatar
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    Deal with it. Yes it takes forever to load 9/10pps on the leg press machine, but its better then nothing.
    Nick V

  6. #5
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Use a couple of plates on top of each other while using the smith. I highly doubt that they will flip up.
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  7. #6
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    Rest some 45's on the other side of the box that jacked you in the shins. (haha I bet that hurt like a biotch)

    -Seated calf raises
    -Single leg DB calf raises off the back of the incline bench spotter platform. Hold a DB in the opposite hand of the leg you are doing and keep your balance with the other hand resting on the station somewhere.

  8. #7
    Banned Slim Schaedle's Avatar
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    When I lived in England 5 years ago I would put the pin at the bottom of the stack and raise away.

    Today I use about a third of that weight and my calf developement is much better.

    Try concentrating more on technique than weight. Unless your calves currently resemble those of a pro bodybuilder.

    Unracking most of the weight you are using and concentrating on plantar eversion while raising (even better while doing donkey calf raises, or with legs locked out, if comfort allows) will humble you.

  9. #8
    Senior Member smalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    When I lived in England 5 years ago I would put the pin at the bottom of the stack and raise away.

    Today I use about a third of that weight and my calf developement is much better.

    Try concentrating more on technique than weight. Unless your calves currently resemble those of a pro bodybuilder.

    Unracking most of the weight you are using and concentrating on plantar eversion while raising (even better while doing donkey calf raises, or with legs locked out, if comfort allows) will humble you.

    Agreed. I see people doing crazy weight on calf exercises but the stored energy in their achiles tendon is doing most of the work. Slow negative, long stretch at the bottom and then contract all the way up.
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  10. #9
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Mind me asking what plantar eversion is? My form isn't bad at all, I take my time and do the eccentric part of the movement really slowly and even pause at the bottom.

    And Muscleup yes it hurt like a bitch. I literally had to stop my workout and go home.

    Sounds like I'll just have to deal with it...
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    Bench.........225x1...............275x1.................?
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    Deadlift........?.....................315x5...............435x5
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  11. #10
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    Mind me asking what plantar eversion is? My form isn't bad at all, I take my time and do the eccentric part of the movement really slowly and even pause at the bottom.

    And Muscleup yes it hurt like a bitch. I literally had to stop my workout and go home.

    Sounds like I'll just have to deal with it...
    Try pausing longer...like for a count of three or four so the elasticity goes out of the muscle.
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  12. #11
    Banned Slim Schaedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    Mind me asking what plantar eversion is?
    Plantar mean foot

    Eversion is the opposite of inversion, and in this case it means raising up on the "ball" of your foot (the area right below the big toe) in order to increase stimulation of the gastrocnemius, as opposed to the soleus.

    This is very uncommon to see in the gym and is one major reason why most people have a developed soleus ("outside calf") and smaller "inner calf."
    (For those of you knowledgeable in anatomy, I know the terms "inner" and "outer" are not completely accurate)

    Of course there's more detail involving anatomy/phyisology of the calf and lower leg, but you should catch my drift.

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member bdckr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    Plantar mean foot

    Eversion is the opposite of inversion, and in this case it means raising up on the "ball" of your foot (the area right below the big toe) in order to increase stimulation of the gastrocnemius, as opposed to the soleus.

    This is very uncommon to see in the gym and is one major reason why most people have a developed soleus ("outside calf") and smaller "inner calf."
    (For those of you knowledgeable in anatomy, I know the terms "inner" and "outer" are not completely accurate)

    Of course there's more detail involving anatomy/phyisology of the calf and lower leg, but you should catch my drift.
    Well actually...

    Both the soleus and gastrocs attach to your heel through the achilles. The upper end of the soleus is below the knee, the upper end of the gastroc is above the knee. So the best way to develop the gastrocs is resisted plantar flexion with knee straight, while the best way to develop the soleus (by taking the gastrocs out of the contraction) is with knee flexed (like with seated calf raises -- the gastrocs are relaxed by the knees being flexed).

    The key here is that the gastrocs cross 2 joints (ankle and knee) and acts across both joints, whereas the soleus only crosses one, so the soleus is more of a pure ankle plantar flexor (doesn't matter if knee is flexed or extended).

  14. #13
    Banned Slim Schaedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdckr
    Well actually...

    Both the soleus and gastrocs attach to your heel through the achilles. The upper end of the soleus is below the knee, the upper end of the gastroc is above the knee. So the best way to develop the gastrocs is resisted plantar flexion with knee straight, while the best way to develop the soleus (by taking the gastrocs out of the contraction) is with knee flexed (like with seated calf raises -- the gastrocs are relaxed by the knees being flexed).

    The key here is that the gastrocs cross 2 joints (ankle and knee) and acts across both joints, whereas the soleus only crosses one, so the soleus is more of a pure ankle plantar flexor (doesn't matter if knee is flexed or extended).
    I am already quite aware of the material you posted. Combining that with what I suggested in my first post would lead to optimal stimulation.

    Knee straight + plantar eversion flexion = gastrocnemius stimulation.

    Knee bent + plantar inversion flexion = soleus stimulation.

    Or you could take one of those variables out of the equation and you will still have some of the product.
    Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 10-20-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  15. #14
    Wannabebig Member bdckr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    I am already quite aware of the material you posted. Combining that with what I suggested in my first post would lead to optimal stimulation.

    Knee straight + plantar eversion flexion = gastrocnemius stimulation.

    Knee bent + plantar inversion flexion = soleus stimulation.

    Or you could take one of those variables out of the equation and you will still have some of the product.
    I guess I should be a little more clear: the position of the knee, not the ankle, makes the difference in stimulating the gastrocnemius. You neglected the knee completely in your original post. Any kind of eversion or inversion makes little (if any) difference.

    And plantar doesn't just mean "foot." It refers to something related to the sole of the foot. So plantar flexion is the motion that your ankle goes through to point your toes. The opposite movement is dorsiflexion.

    More accurate would have been:

    Knees straight + concentric plantar flexion = soleus (+ gastrocnemius)
    Knees straight + eccentric plantar flexion = gastrocnemius (+ soleus)

    Knees bent + plantar flexion = soleus
    What you seem to be ignoring is that the gastrocnemius has two heads. Because of the way the gastrocs and soleus insert into the heel, inversion or eversion makes little (if any) difference. If it makes even a little difference, it would be in trying to target one head (side) of the gastrocs. I doubt that's possible to do in any significant way.

    So bent knee plantar flexion exercises target the soleus. Straight knee plantar flexion exercises, especially with a focus on the negative part of the contraction, target the gastrocs.

    That's why plyometric exercises like skipping rope can give pretty good results for the gastrocs: knees almost straight, heavy load on the negative.

  16. #15
    202 CarlP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    Plantar mean foot

    Eversion is the opposite of inversion, and in this case it means raising up on the "ball" of your foot (the area right below the big toe) in order to increase stimulation of the gastrocnemius, as opposed to the soleus.

    This is very uncommon to see in the gym and is one major reason why most people have a developed soleus ("outside calf") and smaller "inner calf."
    (For those of you knowledgeable in anatomy, I know the terms "inner" and "outer" are not completely accurate)

    Of course there's more detail involving anatomy/phyisology of the calf and lower leg, but you should catch my drift.
    One of us is thinking backwards. Raising up on the balls of the feet flexes the "outer" calf doesn't it? How would that increase stimulation of the gastro?

  17. #16
    Banned Slim Schaedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlP
    One of us is thinking backwards. Raising up on the balls of the feet flexes the "outer" calf doesn't it? How would that increase stimulation of the gastro?
    I already described the "ball" as being the area right below the big toe. Maybe I should specify and say the "inner ball." Try my suggestion yourself and you will see what I mean.



    ...and smalls already agreed with what I said eralier, so that should be enough proof for y'all ....
    Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 10-20-2005 at 07:58 PM.

  18. #17
    Senior Member smalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    I already described the "ball" as being the area right below the big toe. Maybe I should specify and say the "inner ball." Try my suggestion yourself and you will see what I mean.



    ...and smalls already agreed with what I said eralier, so that should be enough proof for y'all ....

    LOL, I like it. Very few people are really working their calves very much when doing calf exercises. It's one where ego really comes into play.
    Diet is key, the calorie is king

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    alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
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  19. #18
    Wannabebig Member bdckr's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    Reading comprehension is obviously not your strong suit. You should practice a bit on your own writing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    Eversion is the opposite of inversion, and in this case it means raising up on the "ball" of your foot (the area right below the big toe) in order to increase stimulation of the gastrocnemius, as opposed to the soleus.

    This is very uncommon to see in the gym and is one major reason why most people have a developed soleus ("outside calf") and smaller "inner calf."
    (For those of you knowledgeable in anatomy, I know the terms "inner" and "outer" are not completely accurate)

    Of course there's more detail involving anatomy/phyisology of the calf and lower leg, but you should catch my drift.
    Let's try this again: It isn't "one major reason." It likely isn't even a reason at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    I am already quite aware of the material you posted. Combining that with what I suggested in my first post would lead to optimal stimulation.

    Knee straight + plantar eversion flexion = gastrocnemius stimulation.

    Knee bent + plantar inversion flexion = soleus stimulation.

    Or you could take one of those variables out of the equation and you will still have some of the product.
    It's easy to say that you're "aware of the material."

    You started off by neglecting the most important factor (knee position) in targeting parts of your calves, and then pretend, "Oh, I knew that all along."

    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    Right, we have already established that.
    Try reading my post again. I actually mentioned something new. Both the soleus and gastrocs are used with the knees straight, but the gastrocs are preferentially activated on the eccentric contraction, the soleus on the concentric.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Schaedle
    I never claimed that my first post had the "be all, end all" answer to calf stimulation. I only presented one way in which this is possible, when faced with the circumstance of the thread starter.

    And yes, the eversion and inversion certainly can make a difference b/c it has for me, and others I know personally, and non-personally. Am I saying it is anatomically/physiologically correct to formulate a "calf training law" based on these two variations? No.
    I didn't accuse you of anything more than missing the point.

    And do you know what your personal/anecdotal evidence is worth?

    Here's an analogy with some clues for the reading impaired:

    You could claim that your special technique of wiping your butt [training your calves] is really good and tell anyone who asks that crossing your eyes ["plantar eversion" -- btw, it's ankle eversion; "plantar eversion" is nonsensical] when you wipe [train] makes your butt extra clean [your calves extremely well-developed]. Since your explanation doesn't make sense, and you miss the point entirely of needing clean toilet paper [positioning your knees properly], your claims that you have a really clean butt [well-developed calves] are very hard to believe.

    And even if you could prove that your butt was really clean [calves are really well-developed], I would suspect that the reason is that your mom is still wiping your a$$ for you [there's another explanation].

    The point is if someone is having trouble with calf development, maybe try to target the gastrocs a little more, since it's easier to find a position for training the soleus.
    Last edited by bdckr; 10-21-2005 at 12:11 PM.

  20. #19
    Banned Slim Schaedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdckr
    *sigh*

    Reading comprehension is obviously not your strong suit. You should practice a bit on your own writing.

    Let's try this again: It isn't "one major reason." It likely isn't even a reason at all.
    It's easy to say that you're "aware of the material."

    You started off by neglecting the most important factor (knee position) in targeting parts of your calves, and then pretend, "Oh, I knew that all along."



    Try reading my post again. I actually mentioned something new. Both the soleus and gastrocs are used with the knees straight, but the gastrocs are preferentially activated on the eccentric contraction, the soleus on the concentric.
    I didn't accuse you of anything more than missing the point.

    And do you know what your personal/anecdotal evidence is worth?

    Here's an analogy with some clues for the reading impaired:

    You could claim that your special technique of wiping your butt [training your calves] is really good and tell anyone who asks that crossing your eyes ["plantar eversion" -- btw, it's ankle eversion; "plantar eversion" is nonsensical] when you wipe [train] makes your butt extra clean [your calves extremely well-developed]. Since your explanation doesn't make sense, and you miss the point entirely of needing clean toilet paper [positioning your knees properly], your claims that you have a really clean butt [well-developed calves] are very hard to believe.

    And even if you could prove that your butt was really clean [calves are really well-developed], I would suspect that the reason is that your mom is still wiping your a$$ for you [there's another explanation].

    The point is if someone is having trouble with calf development, maybe try to target the gastrocs a little more, since it's easier to find a position for training the soleus.
    I'm really not going to respond to all this mainly b/c it is all coming down to you obviously having a greater knowledge of anatomy, me not offering a complete solution in the first place (which I never claimed to have offered), me agreeing with you on things, even if I did not initially present them, me offering a little personal experince, and you continuing to pick apart my posts as if I claimed to be the most skilled medical professional giving out advice that is in fact slightly incorrect.

    So, seeing that I am missing a few pieces of information, please give the original poster a complete calf training lesson, and post some pics of your calves.

    Also, I really don't see why you had the need to attempt to insult me.

    ....all that matters in the end anyway is that smalls agreed with what I initially posted. That is enough to satisfy me.

    (also, the term I used, "plantar eversion," comes from an A&P textbook. My physical therapist brother also offered the fact that there are several different terms, meaning similar things for the things we have discussed. My apologies if these are not an adequate sources)
    Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 10-21-2005 at 02:56 PM.

  21. #20
    Wannabebig Member fattyniebs's Avatar
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    Message to bdckr

    I find it somewhat humorous that you (bdckr) feel a sense of need and worth using this thread on calves as a tool to try and bring someone down on the "indepthness" of the technicality used to describe a method of calf training. I believe slim was graciously offering his experiences as an option to experiment and possibly allow the original thread starter to try out his techniques. Like slim said, he wasn't offering the "be all/ end all" answer to calf stimulation and by no means was he trying to write a book on anatomy and physiology. He was simply posting a technique that could be experimented with and possibly incorporated into someone's regimen. Why you feel this is an appropriate place to try and put someone down based on your knowledge with A&P terminolgy makes me feel you have some kind of egotistical issues lying beneath the surface that need to be addressed. Like slim said... I'd like to see your calves... being the "expert" that you are in calf training and stimulation. I'll be awaiting that post...

    Slim, I'm with you all the way on this one.
    Last edited by fattyniebs; 10-21-2005 at 03:20 PM.
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  22. #21
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Would your gym freak out if you had someone sit on the leg press machine why you did your presses. One person = a few plates on each side.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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  23. #22
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Nah I don't think they'd freak out but I doubt anyone would be too interested in doing it.

    This whole thing wouldn't be a problem if my gym would just get enough 45lb plates, they are severely understocked. I fee bad when I have to take all te 45's and put it on my leg press machine so I can do calf extensions while everyone else has to go to the other side of the gym to find 45's. Whatever though, people who are serious about lifting should get priority anyway...
    ...........||High School||.....||July '05||.......||January '09||
    Bench.........225x1...............275x1.................?
    Squat...........?.......................?....................365x5
    Deadlift........?.....................315x5...............435x5
    Weight........180...................192...................185
    BF%.............?......................12.....................12
    Time to Get Ripped
    Pictures of Me

  24. #23
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    i use the smith machine, but stand on a non-fixed bench press bench. suport beam that runs across the floor.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  25. #24
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    Squat rack/power cage, grab something stable, a weighted box or some plates, and go at it. At my gym they have those foam floor pieces, they're pretty loose so I pull one out and put it back when I'm done. The piece is rectangular so it doesn't flip as easily. I've also tried it with 45 lb weights, one under each foot and they don't budge even when I have 275lbs loaded. Only problem being that 45lb circular weights make for a very wide stance.

  26. #25
    You stay classy San Diego. Ron Burgundy's Avatar
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    Fat I have the same problem i think im getting a great workout, but im never soar! Thanks guys for the help you help out more people then you know.

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