Talk to lifters and bodybuilders about calves and you’ll the hear the word “stubborn” come up often. The calves just don’t seem to want to grow, even if you persuade them with standard resistance training. That’s why many strength coaches employ shock techniques to force breakdown and subsequent muscle growth. Here’s one of those techniques from coach Charles Poliquin.
- Start at the standing calf-raise machine. Perform eight reps with a two-second pause at the bottom of each rep.
- Rest 10 seconds.
- Have a barbell sitting nearby loaded with about 25% of your body weight. Hold it in a squat position and, with minimal knee bend, jump up and down, bounding with the calves on each rep. Do this for 30 reps. “The eccentric damage caused by the landing will favor hypertrophy,” notes Poliquin.
- Repeat the superset four more times.
“If that doesn’t make your calves grow, nothing will!” says Poliquin.