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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Thread: Calve Training?

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Calve Training?

    I just have a newbie question about calve lifting. Why is it recommended to do more reps on calves than other muscles? I have noticed that most programs say 10-15 reps and WBB is also 10 reps. Why dont you just stick with the 5 heavy reps? Sorry if this question is dumb.

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  3. #2
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Try both. See what works better for you.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  4. #3
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    my calves really suck so take my advice with a grain of salt.... but I was in the gym the other day doing legs. I was talking with the guy working in on the calve raise machine and he recommended doing 10 sets of 10 reps with only 20 seconds inbetween sets. Of course, use light enough weight to make it all the way through. I did it last week for the first time and my calves are still sore 6 days later.
    "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

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  5. #4
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    I did it last week for the first time and my calves are still sore 6 days later.
    That's probably not a good thing. And soreness is not an indicator that what you did was a good workout for your calves. 10 sets of 10 reps sounds like a bit much. And what works for one person may not work for another. Listen to your body.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 05-02-2007 at 08:43 PM.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    Calves are mostly slow twitch muscle and plus you walk on em all day so it is hard to overtrain them. I had pretty good calves before I started lifting I guess just from sports, but I find 3 sets of 10 with about a 12RM alternating foot position and seated and standing works fine for me. I do it twice a week.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    Try like 8-12 reps, and go really slow on the negative, then really stretch at the bottom of each rep. It's great fun =)
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  8. #7
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    With calves, to get the most out of them, I suggest doing the following:

    Count 2 up
    Pause for 4
    Lower 2
    Pause for 4
    Raise

    Takes the stretch reflex out of the equation.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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  9. #8
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    A couple of things I've found re: calf training....

    If I don't produce an extreme pump, I don't see much in the way of results. I need to force as much blood into the area as possible. Higher reps seem to work better for me.

    The ROM on calf raises is very short, I think this may be a reason why higher reps are effective. Even so, I still mix in sets with lower reps, but only after my calves are pumped from higher rep sets.

    I take short rest periods; the calves seem to recover VERY quickly. Calves require going deep into the pain zone, and once you get there, you need to pound them almost immediately again.

    Get a good, deep stretch in the bottom position. This makes the positive portion more effective in my opinion, and I need all the ROM I can get out of this exercise.

  10. #9
    Senior Member philou123's Avatar
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    I started a doing a new calf workout about 2 weeks ago, and so far I like it a lot. I found it in an article on bodybuilding.com, it goes like this:

    Seated Calf Raises: 4x10
    Standing Calf Raises: 1x20, 1x30, 1x40 (the 40 hurts SO much)
    Reverse Calf Raises (for the front part of the lower leg): 3x10

    I build this into 2 of my weekly workouts.

    It definitely feels like a good workout, but do you guys think 40 reps might be too much? My reasoning for doing it is that cyclists have amazing calves and their training is based on Super-High reps, so combining it with some lower reps attacks the calf from all angles.
    Last edited by philou123; 05-03-2007 at 01:21 AM.
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  11. #10
    Couldn't find IAMBUFF.COM
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    wow...i think we covered every set/rep scenario...ever

    I have even seen guys do a calf raise on the top of there squats.

    I used to do one set of 10 (toes in) one set of 10 (toes out).

    Right now I don't work my calves...cause I am cutting...and hate food...wimper wimper

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoser813 View Post
    my calves really suck so take my advice with a grain of salt.... but I was in the gym the other day doing legs. I was talking with the guy working in on the calve raise machine and he recommended doing 10 sets of 10 reps with only 20 seconds inbetween sets. Of course, use light enough weight to make it all the way through. I did it last week for the first time and my calves are still sore 6 days later.

    That is exactly what I did. I have terrible genetics for calves...they are strong but would not grow. In the past I have tried training them heavy for sets of 10-15 with a 1-2 sec pause at both top and bottom...got stronger but only a little size. For about a month and a half I have switched to using 50-60% of the reg heavy weight I used to use and did 10 sets of 10 with 15-20 seconds of rest. I do both seated and standing. On leg day I do both and about 2 more times I a week I try to get in one or the other. Just in 1.5 month I have noticed a solid gain...even my fiance commented on it. The first few time I did them I was a little sore the next day but now it is not a problem.

    So to sum it up for me at least (someone who has problems gaining size for calves) 10x10x10 with 15-20 seconds of rest is awesome.

  13. #12
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    On a side note:

    CALF: the fleshy part of the back of the human leg below the knee
    CALVES: plural of calf

    CALVE: is a verb meaning to give birth to a calf (the animal, not the muscle) or the breaking off of a piece of an iceberg or glacier.

    (Source: dictionary.com, American Heritage entry)
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  14. #13
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    Thanks for all the advice guys, my calves are lacking and I think I will really focus on going slow on my reps and especially on the negative side.

  15. #14
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    On a side note:

    CALF: the fleshy part of the back of the human leg below the knee
    CALVES: plural of calf

    CALVE: is a verb meaning to give birth to a calf (the animal, not the muscle) or the breaking off of a piece of an iceberg or glacier.
    This may be part of why I got a C+ in English 250. LOL

  16. #15
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad. Just work off the shame by lifting a calve.

    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 05-03-2007 at 02:40 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    Don't feel bad. Just work off the shame by lifting a calve.

    Is it sad that I said 'Awwww' when I saw that?

  18. #17
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    Don't feel bad. Just work off the shame by lifting a calve.
    Too bad that wasn't a calve. It was a calf. There is no noun version of calve; it's a verb.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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  19. #18
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Oh wait...a cow has to calve a calf. My bad.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  20. #19
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    http://bodybuilding.home.insightbb.c...size/index.htm

    I just found this article which was interesting. Chris Cormier says that it was more effective to train the legs using high reps vs a lot of weight with low reps because unlike your arms and chest, the legs are in constant use throughout the day. I don't know about the logic but what do you guys feel about this?

    Should the legs be trained differently?

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithless View Post
    http://bodybuilding.home.insightbb.c...size/index.htm

    I just found this article which was interesting. Chris Cormier says that it was more effective to train the legs using high reps vs a lot of weight with low reps because unlike your arms and chest, the legs are in constant use throughout the day. I don't know about the logic but what do you guys feel about this?

    Should the legs be trained differently?

    No. They are muscle like any other muscle in your body.

    Generally it's best not to listen to pro bodybuilders. Very likely 9 times out 10 it's not even them giving the advice but some ghostwriter. For all you know it could be an out of shape 50 year old eating doughnuts and drinking beer while he
    types with one hand. "Well this SOUNDS right...and who's going to say different anyway?"
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 05-05-2007 at 05:56 AM.

  22. #21
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    Regardless of whether or not Chris Cormier wrote it, the collective info out there includes high rep training for the calves. Why higher reps for the calves? I don't know, and if it works, who cares? I suspect it is because the ROM is so short and the calves tend to be comprised of slow twitch fibers, but if it works, does it really matter?

    The bottomline is to experiment on yourself. I am of the opinion that most will do better on higher reps. Training calves strictly based on how larger muscle groups respond (as opposed to training calves based on results and experimentation) will probably not yield the most favorable results. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Again, I am not against low reps, I use both. But I believe that using high reps (for the calves) has merit.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanderson View Post
    Regardless of whether or not Chris Cormier wrote it, (1) the collective info out there includes high rep training for the calves. Why higher reps for the calves? I don't know, and if it works, who cares? I suspect it is because the ROM is so short and the calves tend to be comprised of slow twitch fibers, but if it works, does it really matter?

    The bottomline is to experiment on yourself. (2) I am of the opinion that most will do better on higher reps. Training calves strictly based on how larger muscle groups respond (as opposed to training calves based on results and experimentation) will probably not yield the most favorable results. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Again, I am not against low reps, I use both. But I believe that using high reps (for the calves) has merit.
    (numbers are mine)

    1. I've seen plenty of info out there that recommend low reps for the calves

    2. That is an opinion and remains such. High reps are generally seen as an endurance program.

    Regardless of whether you do high or low reps, your calves will not grow if you are not eating enough.

    Bottom line. People have gained on both high and low reps for calves. It doesn't really matter.

  24. #23
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    You missed my point. I am not against low reps.

    Couple of things that I have personally experienced and witnessed others do successfully:

    -You can add size to your calves without adding calories. (Gasp!) Let that sink in. How is this possible? Not certain. What I am certain of is the difference between theory and practice. Hence, my original point- don't avoid methods based on a notion of what is right training and wrong training... Train for results, use experimentation.

    -Eventually, one needs to use a considerable amount of weight in good form (on exercises like calf raises on a leg press sled). One can shape the calves without ever going heavy (assuming that things like form, intensity, and focus are spot on), but to get truly large calves, the weights will probably need to be of a considerable amount. I have seen cases that prove otherwise (go to ironage.us and search for "calf training" in the forum- there is a thread with photos of someone who achieved results using only bodyweight coupled with extreme set extending methods).

    Ah, the Internet. Where everyone is an expert. Take advice with a grain of salt (including mine).

  25. #24
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    You don't want me to ask you to explain how you can gain muscle without the need to increase calories?
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  26. #25
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    You can ask, I just don't know for certain the how and why. Dr. Darden had an article on T-Nation a while ago on calf specialization that included a client of his who increased his calves 1/2 inch or 3/4 of an inch without increasing his calories. There were before and after shots as well.

    I have done similar with my own calves. I can conjecture (drew from my own fat stores, increased my blood volume, etc) but in the end, they are just guesses.

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