A Program For Calves

For most of us who didn’t genetically inherited big calves, their development requires long-term and significant effort.


Even those with relatively good calves should make a considerable effort if they want to improve the level of development.

Although your calves do not respond to any form of weight lifting, you must work very hard to promote their growth.

Certainly so far you have tested many programs for calves but out all of these we single out only two that we think are most useful for the “genetic abbreviated.”

The first program is by Charles Poliquina, from his book “The Poliquin Principles”.

Those who used his program really got the size. The program was faithfully followed for 18 months.


  • Each training do only an exercise.
  • Make three tough sets with the same weight and thereafter a series with less weight.
  • Increase the weight or repetitions every day.
  • After every workout slowly stretch the calves.
  • Rest on every 6-8 days.



Our three exercises for three days: lifting behind a stand on Smith device, lifting the calves while sitting and lifting on a calf’s machine.

When exercising on а Smith machine you need to work with more weight with more repetitions, but be careful to hold a full range in motion.

Most can begin this exercise with two plates on each side, even three in case you’ve been doing it for a longer time.

The goal is to do three sets with the same weight, but with a minimum 15 repetitions in the series (do over 20 up to 50 repetitions).  Rest 2-3 minutes between sets. After performing three series, cut the weight in half and do another series, this time with a rather slow pace.

When you finish these murderous series, go to extreme stretching.

Use the machine for foot thrust or the machine for super-squats.

Calves fitness


Wednesday is a day for the next lifting on calves, so that you are working on soleus which is mainly composed of slow muscle fibers and gastrocnemius is composed of the fast fibers, but both need to be done with a greater number of repetitions, and with great difficulty.

Series and repetitions are the same as in training 1 – three series of the same and a lot of weight but be careful to make the full range of motion.

After that follows the series with halved weight. Slow down the pace of execution and make a short pause in the upper and lower repetition and finish by stretching for a period of 45-60 seconds.



The Friday workout is a little different.

In this exercise you use a machine for a stand lift but you start with only 50-75% of the weight you used for a series of 15 repetitions.

The plan is to do a repetition with a contraction on top, and at the bottom position to stretch the calves of about 10 seconds.

Then you perform a new iteration in the same way in the next 12- 15 repetitions.

Performing a series lasts about 2 minutes, and you have to be mentally strong and motivated (or masochistic set) to survive until the end.

Perform 2-3 sets of these two minutes continuous tensions and even if you stretched the calves in the course of the performance, repeat the usual stretching as you did in previous training.


Follow your progress

The workouts should be intense and difficult every day.