Tip: Occlusion Training for Big Calves

No, you haven't tried everything to get your calves to grow. Take a look at this extreme method.

Getting calves to grow requires two things:

  1. Obtaining such a nasty pump that you curse the day you were born
  2. Stretching the pumped muscle

There are many ways to get a skin-splitting pump, but the granddaddy of all pump methods is blood flow restriction (BFR) or occlusion training. The best way to use occlusion on the calves is with knee wraps.

Put the wraps just below the knee and about 30-40% looser than you would for a set of squats. Wrap them too tight and you'll never complete a full set – you've been warned!

You can use any calf machine including seated, horizontal, or standing. Ideally, aim for three rounds of 15 reps with 30 second rest breaks. "Ideally" because the intensity of the burn you'll get with occlusion calf training will challenge your resolve.

Do 15 full range reps, stand and rest for 30 seconds, do another set of 15 reps, rest another 30 seconds and finish with a final set of 15. Then remove the wraps.

Work up to two rounds of these and don't forget the second key to calf hypertrophy – stretching. A good 30 second stretch of each calf at the end of each set of BFR is both painful and vital.

Mark Dugdale is an IFBB pro bodybuilder and Mr. Olympia competitor. Mark has 22 years of experience on stage and a passion for brutal workouts. He has also produced five documentaries, participated in seminars with prison inmates, and was granted one of the last recorded interviews with Joe Weider. Follow Mark Dugdale on Twitter