The most stubborn and hard to develop bodypart for most bodybuilders is definatelty a pair of diamond shaped calves......................even at the professional level,a great pair of calves is seldom seen onstage these days.
I think there are a few reasons why this is the case,especially in todays bodybuilders as opposed to bodybuilders from the past.
Firstly,the top reason that calves elude so many people is simply stated,a lack of effort, and an equal lack of understanding just what the calves need to stimulate growth in the area. The majority of trainess tack on a few sloppy half hearted and half assed sets at the end of their quad session, and then whine about how their calves won`t respond, and that it`s just not in the cards for them to ever have a pair of impressive lower legs.
The key is to use a full range of motion,varied rep ranges,stretching between sets,short rest periods,and lots of intensity techniques.
You see a ton of guys in the gym using a veritable ton of weight on calf movements,but they are usually doing a half assed bobbing kind of motion where the body does most of the moving with no ankle flexion.
Go all the way up and all the way down on every rep,and when you can do no more full reps,do half reps until you can`t stand the pain,then do a few more.
Super-Sets,Drop-Sets,and Giant-Sets are killer, and will help make `em grow fast.
Be intense, and work hard with a full ROM and plenty of in between set stretching, and they will grow.
Another thing to do, is to treat them like any other bodypart,if you do 12 sets for chest, and then tack on only a measly 4 sets for calves,you aren`t working hard enough or smart enough.
I`d do 10-12 sets once a week,and 5-8 sets a bit lighter on another day of the week.
I have heard many people say that they can`t build their calves because they are a hard dense muscle, and no matter what they do the calves do not respond.
I think that most people approach calf development in the wrong way.
After training for many years, and observing a ton of trainees, in a ton of different gyms, I have come to the conclusion that you have to really shock the calves in almost every training session as they adapt to a workload very quickly.
I see people doing calves while using the whole weight stack on Standing Calf Raises and just barely moving the weight, with a hopping/bobbing motion of the body.
Granted you should train as heavy as possible most times, to stimulate growth, but you must always use a full range of motion, especially on calves, as they are one of the tougher bodyparts to build for most people, even with correct training.
An old friend of mine Barry Krimski, who won several world arm wrestling championships in the mid-late 70`s, once told me I would never be able to build up my calves.
Now, I feel my calves are in proportion, and are one of my best bodyparts.
Here are a few of the things I would recommend to get your own "Cows" and a few sample routines I use.
1.-Always get a full range of motion during the exercise.
2.-Keep the calves guessing, by doing different workouts at every training session..............the calves adapt to training easier than most muscles.
3.-Use different intensity techniques, such as Super -Sets, Drop Sets, Tri-sets, etc.
4.-Always stretch the calves between sets.
Now on to two good routines to fry the calves.
I like to set up 4-5 machines, and go through the sets without stopping, for as many reps as possible.
You might try:
Standing Calf Machine
Seated Calf Machine
Angled Calf Machine
Leg Press Calf Presses
And then back to the Standing Machine.
Do a set of each for as many as possible, without resting between sets, add a little weight to each machine, stretch them out on a high block of wood, and go again repeating this for 3-4 cycles.
The next day your calves will let you know that they felt the routine.
Another technique is to Super-Set two movements, such as Seated, and Standing Calves.
Do 5 sets of each, adding weight each set.
Sometimes you should go lighter, and at other times heavier.
I go as high as 50 reps, at times and as low as 6-8 reps, always in good form with no bouncing. Try some of these suggestions and you may get a couple of cows of your own .