3 Reasons Your Calves Aren’t Growing

Are you having trouble getting your calves to grow then read this article by Menno Henselmans over at T Nation!

Here’s what you need to know…

•  Contrary to some naysayers, your calves have significant growth potential and should be able to grow as big as your arms or your neck by training them in line with their functional anatomy.

  The first step to bigger calves is prioritizing them by working them first.

  Incorporate calf jumps to stimulate the calves with a heavy compound lift that has a natural movement pattern.


Here are 3 reasons your calves don’t quite get mistaken for your quads.

1. Genetics

Many people argue that calf size is almost completely genetically determined. There’s some truth to this. The soleus muscle of the calves has a muscle fiber composition that can be up to 90% slow-twitch dominant, and slow twitch muscle fibers have roughly half the growth potential of fast twitch fibers. In line with this, the soleus has only 42% of the capacity of the vastus lateralis in the quads to synthesize muscle protein after training.

There’s another reason that the calves, especially the soleus, are relatively unresponsive to weight training. The calves keep your body upright when you’re standing or walking. That means they’re active throughout the entire day. As a result, the calves are already further developed than any other muscle in “untrained” individuals. Note that this isn’t a genetic limit – it’s an environmental effect.

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