Your Complete Calf Workout

your complete calf workout

It’s calf day. You may have done this a million times, in which case this article will be nothing more than a convenient review tool for you. Maybe you’re still in your first two years of training, in which case it’s just been a few hundred times you’ve entered the gym intent on pushing your calf muscles to their absolute breaking point. Whichever the case, this article should help you to develop a better sense of how to piece together the many components of a good calf day into one complete workout


Always begin your calf workout with 10 minutes of light walking on the treadmill. You may feel this isn’t necessary, but it will go a long way in helping increase your blood flow and preventing injury.


Just 2 to 3 minutes of calf stretching is all that is required before your workout. Stand on a step and just move up and down slowly to warm up the muscles of the lower leg; Anything more than this may lead to a loss of strength in your coming sets or increase your chance of injury.

Acclimation sets

Select the exercise you will be using first – and make it a heavy one. Start, however, with lighter weights and far less weights. If this exercise is seated calf raises, for example, you will want to use sets of 15 to 20 to fully warm up your lower legs.

Heavy sets

Now, it’s time for the sets you’ve been waiting for. Drop the reps and increase the weight. It’s three straight exercises of 3 to 4 sets (for a total of 9 to 12 sets) using as much weight as possible. This is where the muscle is built!

High rep sets

Now that you’ve done the heavy work, it’s time to enter the higher repetition territory. Choose your higher rep exercise and lighten the weight. Then get to work. Two exercises of 3 to 4 sets of each, with repetition ranges in the 12 to 25 range are what your calves are craving for that deeply etched definition, and veins that come alive under any light.

Cool down

Spend about five minutes using little to no weight, moving through the repetitions on 2 to 4 sets of calf raises. This will break up lactic acid and settle any trembling you may be suffering from by this point in your workout!


Now it’s time to really spend a good 10 to 15 minutes stretching. Don’t worry about hurting any structural integrity now. Instead, all you need to be concerned about is breaking up the lactic acid that has built up during your workout. It’s time to break that up, increase your blood flow, and reduce the soreness you will be feeling for the next 2 to 5 days. Stretch the muscles slowly and deliberately.


Finally, when all that is done, you are not. It’s time to move up onto the treadmill once again and knock out ten minutes of steady walking. This will serve as a cool-down, and will also give you a chance to evaluate your workout and plan the next one!