If you’re an avid bodybuilder, then getting bigger calves is certainly on your agenda. However, your calf growth can be “derailed” by doing the wrong things in your workouts. Here are three common mistakes that bodybuilders make that negate the efforts of their calf training.
1. Performing Partial Reps – While performing partial reps for other bodypart exercises is an accepted training practice, it’s not a good practice for your calf training. Your calves must be trained through a “full range of motion”. This means that you must achieve a peak contraction at the top and a full, deep stretch at the bottom of each calf repetition.
While performing daily activities such as walking, jogging, or running, the calves never really experience a full range of motion. Therefore, they become accustomed to a partial range of motion. So, why would you go to the gym and subject your calves to the same activity that you perform outside of the gym? Essentially, you’re giving your calves “more of the same”. As a result, you’ve not challenged the muscle fibers enough to grow.
A full range of motion will allow for a longer “time under tension” during your calf raises, which will produce more stress on the muscle fibers. The addition stress will cause more calf muscle growth.
2. Stopping When The Muscle Starts To Burn – If you’re training your calves properly, then you should be experiencing a “lactic acid burn”. This lactic acid burn is the accumulation of a byproduct of Glycolysis, which is the energy process used during muscle contractions. This buildup of lactic acid stimulates the production of Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone. These two hormones are necessary for muscle growth.
When you experience a “lactic acid burn”, don’t stop the set. You must “work through the burn” and push yourself until you reach absolute failure on the last rep of your last set of the exercise. Only in this way can you stimulate more calf muscle growth.
3. Performing Cardio On Your Calf Training Day Off – If you’re interested in maximizing your calf growth, you must give your calves at least a day of rest after you’ve trained them. They must have time to recover and remodel the muscle tissues to be ready for another training bout. Performing intense cardio such as fast walking, jogging, running, and sprinting will not allow the muscle to recover. If you must do cardio, then do bicycling or elliptical training, which do not affect the calf muscles as much.
If you want bigger calves, then keep these common mistakes in mind and change your calf training practices to avoid them.