If you're looking to build muscular calves, you've got to learn how to get a peak contraction on calf raises.
Most people, when doing any number of calf exercises, will typically just try to get through as many reps as quickly as possible.
Instead of focusing in on the calves during each rep, I usually see people load up the barbell or weight machine with as much weight as possible.
Once the machine or barbell is loaded up with as much weight as possible, I see people bounce up and down with the weight as quickly as possible. They bang out 20 quick partial reps and call it a day for the calves.
This is why people aren't building muscular calves.
There's absolutely no focus on the calves during the exercise. The focus is typically on lifting the heaviest amount of weight possible and getting through the reps as quickly as possible.
I do recommend heavy weights, but I don't recommend weights that are too heavy. When the weight is too heavy, a proper rep cannot be completed and you miss out on all the benefits of the exercise.
Your Goal During Calf Raises is a Peak Contraction
Instead of loading up the calf raise machine with as much weight as possible and bouncing up and down for each rep, you should start out with really light weights.
I want you to feel each and every rep from the very bottom full stretch position to the very top peak contraction position.
Using light weights for the calf raise is one of the keys to getting this right.
Once you get it right, then you can start adding weight each workout and continue to focus on doing each rep perfectly and especially getting a peak contraction on each rep.
How do you ensure you are getting a peak contraction on each calf raise rep?
You need to get as high up on your big toe as possible during the top of each rep on any calf raise exercise you are doing. This includes standing calf raises, seated calf raises, and squat raises.
You might think you are at the top of each rep and that you've gotten a peak contraction BUT I want you to go even higher. Spend a full 5 seconds trying to go up even higher at the top of each rep.
This strategy alone will ensure you are getting the best possible peak contraction. Imagine trying to push the weight higher and higher.
Once you've done so, you can slowly lower the weight to the full stretch position.
Now You Can Start Increasing the Weight
Once you understand how to get a peak contraction in your calves by going as high as possible on your big toe for a full 5 seconds each rep, then you're ready to start adding weight to all of your calf raise exercises.
You will, without a doubt, feel a HUGE difference when you start focusing on the peak contraction on calf raises.
The results will follow as well.
If you want to build muscular calves, you've got to get up on the big toe as far as possible each rep. Do so, and you'll begin to see a difference in the muscularity of your calves. And it won't take long.
Remember, the key to building muscle is adding weight to each exercise which provides your body with a muscle building stimulus. When your calves see a weight or resistance that they are not accustomed to, they will respond by building size and strength.
This means you first have to learn how to do calf exercises properly, and then you need to start adding weight to each workout. Larger weight increments between workouts works better for building muscle while smaller weight increments work better for building strength.
Please understand that strength is needed to build size and size is needed to build strength. The stronger you are the larger the weight increments you can use which leads to more size from each workout.
Remember Your Priority During Calf Raises
Don't overdo it by adding too much weight between workouts. If you need to build strength first, then focus on increasing the weight by smaller amounts while getting that peak contraction each and every rep.
Then when you gain more strength, you can try a weight lifting program with larger weight increments between workouts.
This alone will lead to bigger muscle gains in your calves over time.
But please remember that you can NEVER sacrifice weight for the peak contraction.
Always strive for the peak contraction.
Start out with light weights and learn what the peak contraction feels like. You will feel and see a huge difference in your calves. Get that peak contraction.