Muscle Monday back in full effect, and its time to wrap up this three part series on Calves. As I alluded to in the past articles I have come up with some novels ways of training the calves that also have the added benefit of assisting in fat loss. I have already outlined the way I like train calves in a “standard” way in the last article, so lets get right to the next method.
The trick is essentially to “walk heavy” as often as possible. These methods do require some special equipment, one of which may be difficult to access or use… Such is life. Do what you can do, and don’t worry about what you can’t.
The first one is not going to be revolutionary by any means, but like most simply things it’s damn effective. It’s Weight Vest walking, and the heavier the better, a 20 pound weight vest simply wont get the job done. Guys who weigh 212 don’t have huge calves… Guys who weigh 280 do. So find the heaviest damn vest you can and take a 30 minute walk as often as you can. You can build this up over time, but 30 minutes three times a week is a good start.
If you can do these on a treadmill, set that incline up HIGH and the speed around 2mph to start with and really focus on squeezing each step like a calf raise… Brutal. Even without a weight vest this is a great method to add some “cardio” to the routine and stimulate the calves in an effective manner.
In addition to putting some extra volume on your calves, you should also get some breathing going to develop both your conditioning a bit, drop some fat, and wearing a heavy vest for this long will tax your lower back, shoulders, and traps as well. Can you say “Training Economy?”
The second way to “walk heavy”, and the best option if you have access to it, is with a sled or a Prowler. I saved this for last because I know not everyone will have access to one. Hopefully you do, because this is just one of the many uses for this thing. Gym’s like Metroflex in Long Beach have had them for years, and they are finally starting to pop up in more and more places.
If you have to question where the six-pack abs part of the equation comes from, you’ve never used one of these things. These can be a truly brutal addition to any workout, and done correctly will not only build the calves and really stimulate the entire body.
The key to these is in the execution of the push. Load the sled up and then walk it in one of a three ways:
– Using a weight that allows you to do about 30-50 steps, you can “tip toe” the sled forward by keeping the knees as straight as you can and essentially do calf raises to move the sled. Time is the only limiting factor here, do as much as you can.
– With a heavy weight do the standard forward pushing as shown in the picture, but really focus on coming up onto your toes. This can be done heavy, “sets” of 12 steps, or done light by doing “sets” of 50 or more steps. The heavier sets are quite taxing on the whole body, so switch them up.
– Using straps, walk backwards pulling the sled and stay as upright as possible. This can be done with a flat pulling sled as well.
Mix and match these three methods and perform them as often as you can, for as long as you can. You can really crank up the volume on these because there is no lowering portion of the movement, so there is very little actual muscle tearing. In fact, using the sled shuttles tons of blood to the muscles so it may even be restorative if not done to excess, and if you take some BCAA’s ahead of time.
There you have it. Combine the strategies in this article series and you should be on your way to making people think you got calf implants all the while sporting a beach ready physique.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or want clarification.