How to Gain Muscle Mass in the Calves


There are a number of reason why your calves aren’t developing mass as much as other areas of your body such as your biceps and abs, report trainers at Body Building For You. For many, the calves are not a priority until fitness buffs become bothered by skinny legs. Calves need variation just like other muscles in order to develop and gain mass. You can easily overcome these and other barriers with a few simple adjustments in your workout.

Step 1

Perform the exercises on your calves first thing in your routine. Trainers at Body Building For You report that because calves don’t produce the ego-boosting, exciting muscles mass like the arms and chest muscles do, they often are neglected. Put the calf routines first so you won’t forget to do them.

Step 2

Switch up on the kinds of routines you put your calves through in order to shock the muscles into growing. Muscle groups become complacent after being worked in the same way every day. For example, adjust your seat on the leg extension machine you use in order to push your calves higher than normal; adjust the tension and number of reps you perform. Increase the distance that you keep your feet apart. Switch from leg press machines to weighted squats.

Step 3

Work your calf muscles to complete failure, or until you can’t do anymore, especially if you have inherited weak calves. Heredity plays a big role in how each of your muscle groups develop. People whose genes allow them to pump up their calves with one heavy workout should not be used as role models if your family tends toward weaker calves. You’ll have to stay consistent with your workout to get and maintain mass.

Step 4

Increase the frequency of your calf workouts. Unlike larger muscle groups in the quadriceps and chest, the calves don’t need as long to recover between workouts. Try working on the calves three or four times a week, varying the weight and number of reps between days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Practice focusing more on your calves as you workout. Bodybuilders report that they get into a zone when they concentrate on various muscle groups and swear that the mental manipulation helps to build mass. The concentration will at least keep you focused on pushing your calves to their maximum abilities.
  • Don’t bounce when you perform leg exercises. The movement can injure your muscles. To prevent bouncing and unbalanced squats, perform them close to a wall so you can get your balance with a touch to the wall without interrupting your routine.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has held posts at newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” Demand Studios and “American City Business Journals.” Ray has covered health and fitness, business, sports and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.