Workout Tip Of The Day: Calf Training
By: Mark Wallace
When everyone’s favorite day of the week comes around, (leg day) calf training is usually included. Seems legitimate. After all, your calves are attached to your legs. The thing that I’ve discovered, however, is that when you train your calves you also incorporate your quads and hamstrings more than you’d think. When your upper legs are already a little sore from things like squats and leg press, your body naturally continues to use those muscles while doing calves. The outcome being less pressure and less calf involvement in the exercise. If you’ve ever felt your quads tighten while doing calf raises then you already know what I’m talking about.
Because there’s really no way to ONLY put stress on your calves, I’ve found that training calves the day after leg day can be more effective to really get the most out of the exercise. Waiting a day will let your legs rest and recover just enough to let your calves be the ones to lift the weight. Your body’s hormone levels are also highest after training legs due to the fact that it takes more work to get blood flowing in the lower portion of the body. More blood flow equals more nutrients being fed to that area. Once blood gets to your legs, your hormones are raised to its highest levels for 24-48 hours after. To be sure that you don’t miss out on your body’s peak, I suggest not waiting more than one day after doing legs to train calves.
Always remember the saying, “Every muscle should be trained the same.” This implies that when you do biceps, you probably don’t just do one curl exercise and then leave the gym. So why would you for calves? Or any other muscle for that matter? Do a few different calf exercises the day after training legs and make sure to GO SLOW! Slow movements up and down for calves are imperative! Too many try and speed their way through the workout that they don’t actually get a workout. Do you bench press or do any other weighted exercise at full speed with no control? No. So don’t do that with calves!
Try this method out for a little mix up in the everyday routine and see if it’s right for you. Not everything works for everyone but until you’ve tried everything, how will you know?