Let’s face it, the calves are some of the hardest body parts to develop. We try everything – bulking, leaning, cardio, heavy weights, light weights, stretching, and just about every other trick in the book. The result is that we are able to add a quarter inch to our lower legs each year, if we are lucky.
Calves are a painful body part to train due to quick lactic acid buildup, and they never respond like other body parts. What are the calves so tough to grow? What is the trick?
The truth is, the calves are the most used body part we have, and they are very resistant to growth. Think about it for a moment – you are on your feet for 3 to 12 hours each day, right? That’s a whole lotta reps your calves are already conquering. Then consider the amount of weight they are carrying. They’re not just splitting your 180-pound bodyweight workload in half. Rather, with each step you take, they are carrying your entire body weight. That’s 180 pounds per calf muscle, thousands of times per day. Is it any surprise that your workouts aren’t working? Heck, you’re making yourself complete 6 sets of calf raises with 220 pounds… your body does that much work just getting dressed in the morning!
The bottom line is simple: You need to find new ways to make the calves grow. One way to do that is to shock them beyond anything they have ever seen before. “Cinco de Calvo” is one such method. It involves training the calves five times per week. Obviously, this type of training might seem like overtraining at first. However, when you learn about the variances in training leading to various muscle fiber stimulation, as well as added recovery means, you may begin to appreciate the Cinco de Calvo method.
Workouts 1, 3, and 5 will involve heavy weights, low sets, and low reps. You decide what you prefer for the movements and the ranges. Workouts 2 and 4 will involve grass or track sprints for 30 minutes. No sets or reps, just you and a 30 minute timer. The weight session will complement the effects you see from the sprinting, and vice versa. Your legs will be stimulated, no doubt about it!
You will immediately stretch your calves (on all five training days) for 10 to 20 minutes following training. Keep the stretching slow and methodical. You’re not trying to create or maintain a pump at this point. Rather, you just want to break up the lactic acid which has built up in that region. Apply ice as well. This will help to reduce swelling and allow you to come back stronger – and faster – to the next workout. Eating 100 grams of additional protein each day (above your normal intake) is a great help as well.
The bottom line is that just about any muscle group can grow, provided you give it enough stimulation and recovery. Give the Cinco de Calvo training method a shot!