Seated Calf Raise

Edgar Artiga

For years, a lightweight, high-volume barrage has been considered the right formula for big calves. And considering that the calves—made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus—are worked every time you take a step, walk up the stairs, or stand on your tiptoes, it makes sense that they would need a lot of volume for them to respond and grow.

This straight up calf workout that we published four years ago follows that very dogma, with reps reaching well beyond 15. But to keep your muscles guessing, and for the sake of changing it up, we reworked this routine. The exercises don’t change much. Instead, this workout will have you lifting heavy weight, a stimulus your calves probably aren’t used to, in the 6- to 10-rep range. Form is still a priority. Make sure you achieve a full range of motion on every rep and also make sure you hold the contraction at the top. If you’ve been following the high-reps-on-calves dogma for years, this heavier, lower-rep workout should serve as some nice shock treatment for a muscle group that certainly needs it to grow.

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