Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
When it comes to smaller muscle groups like your calves and forearms, sometimes, straight sets aren’t enough. For these pump-prone but growth-restrictive muscles, you usually need to go above and beyond the norm to elicit serious gains.
The Weider Principles may be the answer. These tenets, made famous by our founder Joe Weider, help bodybuilders inject more intensity into their workouts. But when these techniques are paired with others, however, your body is truly pushed to the limit. Here, you’ll find two sinister pairings aimed at helping you build bigger forearms and calves.
Wrist curls and wrist extensions are two of the best ways to build forearm mass. But you can get much more out of these exercises by simply boosting the intensity of these dedicated workouts. Here, we pair two techniques that will leave no muscle fiber behind.
|Wrist Curl||3/12, 1/12*|
|– superset with –|
*Perform burn reps to failure after reaching 12 reps.
Load a barbell, or barbells, with your 12RM for wrist curls and extensions, being careful to select a weight for each that brings about muscle failure at 12 reps. After completing a set of 12 wrist curls, immediately flip your grip and start a set of wrist extensions. Repeat this sequence three more times, resting 60-90 seconds between each superset. On the fourth and final superset, once you can no longer complete a full rep of the wrist curl with good form, begin pumping through as many short, or partial reps as you can before switching to wrist extensions and repeating the process.
It’s one of the most frequent complaints of gym rats: “I just can’t seem to get my calves to grow!” The calves can be a difficult muscle group for those of us who were not genetically blessed with pre-beefed gastrocs. The one steadfast rule for calf hardgainers is that nothing works for long. That’s why you have to constantly breathe new life into your calf routine – heavier weights and lower reps one week, lighter weights and higher reps the next, calves-only days at the gym, explosive exercises. The list goes on. This brutal combination of two very effective Weider Principles and a proven mass-building exercise is guaranteed to kickstart growth in even the most stubborn set of calves.
|Donkey Calf Raise||8RM||1||5/5, 5/5, 5/5|
|7RM||1||4/7-10, 4/7-10, 4/7-10|
|6RM||1||3/10-12, 3/10-12, 3/10-12|
|5RM||1||2/15-20, 2/15-20, 2/15-20|
* Between sets, rest only as long as it takes to adjust the pin on the stack – no longer than 60 seconds.
Here, you’ll be using two principles in tandem in an unconventional but very effective manner with the donkey calf raise, which allows for a deep stretch and strong contraction in your calves. In your first set, you’ll set the stack to a weight you can handle for eight reps, but you’ll only do five reps. Rest five seconds, then do five more. Rest another five seconds, and knock out a final five reps at that weight. That’s one set. Go slightly heavier on the stack (7RM) and begin your next set. Here, you’ll complete four reps – again, stopping well short of failure – then rest 7-10 seconds. You’ll follow the same pattern as your first set at four progressively heavier weight loads, with your rest periods stretching to 20 seconds on your final set. This ascending set/rest-pause scheme allows you to go progressively heavier and takes advantage of your body’s energy stores to lift the most weight possible. (NOTE: If you’re looking for complete lower-leg development, alternate between donkey calf raises and seated calf raises from week to week.)