Workout Tips

Lift Doctor: Prescription for Bigger Calves

Crush your calf growth plateaus with these lower leg training tips and exercises.



What is your most recommended calf workout for building them up? I'm 6'3” and struggle with small calf syndrome.” – Zakk McCarthy

If you’re not blessed with killer calves, you are going to have to dig in for the long haul. Calves aren’t a muscle group you can build overnight and you’ll definitely not see immediate results regardless of the program you’re on. 

First and foremost, your calves are shaped by genetics. If your parents have big calves, then more than likely you’ll have them too. If your calves are small, your goals should be to reach your greatest potential, not compare them to others. Do the best you can with what you have to work with.


But don’t play the genetics card. Train your ass off and make calf work a priority in your workouts. If it is a weakness, try to make it a strength. Do them first before every training session. Calves respond to high volume training so shoot for 4-6 sets of 20 reps. Isometrics - where you hold the lockout for a count of 1-2 - and slow eccentrics - where you control the lowering of each rep for 3-5 seconds – are advanced and highly painful ways to make each set harder.