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How To Grow Your Calves

Show Off Your Calf Gains!

Posted by NattyGains100 - August 20th, 2019

Everyone wants a nice set of calves, but everyone also seems to have a billion excuses why they won’t grow. I know you’ve heard the excuses before. “I have small calves because I have bad genetics!” “No MATTER what I do my calves just won’t grow!” Well, let me fill you in on a secret. If you train them with the proper form, consistency, and frequency, then they’re going to GROW! I have 3 solid exercises for you to complete as a tri-set. You are guaranteed to feel the burn doing these bad boys back-to-back-to-back. Let’s turn your calves into COWS! ;)

Exercise #1: Standing Smith Machine Calf Raises

This is by far my favorite calf exercise. What you’re going to want to do is stand on a platform (about a couple inches in height) inside the smith machine with your feet about shoulder-width apart. If you don’t have a platform, no problem, just stack a couple of 45 pound plates on top of each other, and you’re good to go! Place weight on the bar that you can get a solid 6 – 8 reps with. In regards to form, you want your heels to go down to where they are almost touching the floor (this looks like a flexed foot) with a 2 – 4 second negative, and on the way back up, make sure you’re squeezing and contracting your calves as hard as you can for about 1 second at the top of the rep.

Exercise #2: Leg Press Calf Extensions

It’s time to get inside the leg press and make some more calf GAINS! As you sit in the leg press machine, your feet should be about shoulder-width apart resting on the bottom edge of the foot rest with your knees slightly bent. Start this exercise by moving your toes towards you (strong, flexed foot with a 2 – 4 second negative) allowing for a pull / stretch in the calves. On the way back up (start to point your foot for the extension), you need to give it a good squeeze at the top for at least 1 second in order to get that mind-muscle connection.

Something to keep in mind: No bouncing the weight around. Control it throughout the entire motion. This will require you to focus on your negative as well as your squeeze at peak of your extension. You will continue this exercise for 12-15 reps and then immediately move on to the last movement in the tri-set!

Exercise #3: Seated Calf Raise

It’s time for the last exercise in this tri-set, and I know your calves are going to already be on fire by the time you get here. Take a good 30 seconds of rest, and smash this last exercise! When you are ready to go, sit in the calf raise machine, and have the pad resting on the main part of your thigh. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart to start, and slowly let your heel down to where it nearly touches the floor. As you guys can see this is exactly like the last 2 exercises having a 2 – 4 second negative and then squeezing at the top of the contraction for 1 second! Choose a weight that you can handle for 20 repetitions.


After you complete your first 10 reps, you will do another 10 reps with your feet in a different position. Place your feet at an angle with your heels inward and your toes outward.


Your calves are going to be on fire by the end of this workout! For this tri-set calf workout specifically, these are my set & rep recommendations.

  • 3 sets of 6 – 8 reps for the standing smith machine raises
  • 3 sets of 12 – 15 of the leg press extensions
  • 3 sets of 20 reps at the seated calf machine (10 extensions at shoulder-width position, 10 reps at angled position)

You’re going to do all three exercises in a row, rest about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, and then repeat for a total of 3 sets! Go build some calves, no more excuses! Don’t forget you guys can find me on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as well. I look forward to seeing you there!

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