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Is working this soleus necessary for great calves?

Love_to_Bodybuild

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The soleus is worked enough when doing donkey calve, or leg press tow raises, or standing calves from what I understand.

what do you think?
 

romo

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Its really worked hard on seated calf raise. Be careful start light make sure you are warmed up seated puts a big strain on the achilles tendon.
 

FK86

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One thing I've noticed is 99% of people go too heavy and too fast on seated calf raises. If you apply a controlled rep cadence and ensure the calves are stretching and contracting, you'll be surprised how much weight you'll have to reduce on your working set(s).
 

unc0mm0n

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Few years ago I watched a video of Ian McCarthy (one of the first guys that started uploading videos on YouTube talking about flexible dieting). He mentioned in one of his videos that in theory if you work the soleus first, then the gastrocnemius would have to work harder later as the soleus would be fatigued. Tried it, it did improve my calves a little bit. However, removing the momentum from all exercises improved my calves significantly more.
 

maldorf

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Train both, and train them on different days. Calves 4 days a week.
 

Pericles

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The gastroc is still worked during seated just to a lesser extent. I would like to know which movement added more growth and actual width when viewed from the front.
 

Fa Seeshus

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This is probably dependent on genetics and athletic history. For example someone who used to bike allot might not need to train the soleus directly and instead focus on gastrocs. For a former track sprinter the opposite might be true.
 

maldorf

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The gastroc is still worked during seated just to a lesser extent. I would like to know which movement added more growth and actual width when viewed from the front.
I feel intuitively that the soleus is more important for width from the front. The soleus is what flares out, and the gastrocs are what look most impressive from the rear.
 

Elvia1023

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One thing I've noticed is 99% of people go too heavy and too fast on seated calf raises. If you apply a controlled rep cadence and ensure the calves are stretching and contracting, you'll be surprised how much weight you'll have to reduce on your working set(s).
This. No bouncing or momentum is key. Squeeze hard at the top. Don't go too heavy that you can't perform a full ROM rep. Obviously at certain times exceptions can be made (partials etc). I would also recommend a standing and seated calf raise variation in your training. You can perform them on separate days or together on the same day (rotate the order or even superset). If you don't have the genetics for great calves you have to do everything you can to ensure they are the best they can be. Guys with great genetics build great calves by just walking/running. That should also indicate how heavy weight isn't essential either. Of course lift as heavy as possible but form is the most important factor when it comes to calves (well all body parts too). I got more results from perfect form with lighter weights than I did from good form with very heavy weights. Guys may think that doesn't make sense but look at ballat dancers and horseriders etc. Start doing cardio on your tiptoes at times as well.
 

maldorf

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Most guys I see training calves at the gym are using way too much weight and the range of motion is almost none existent at times! Like Elvia said, lighten up some if you must in order to get a fuller range of motion. You don't necessarily have to go really slow in the speed, but I believe I get best results by doing a full ROM and not using momentum to throw up the weight. You can go really heavy, but have to work up to that and make sure you are still going slow enough that there isn't a lot of momentum and that you are going as deep as possible at the bottom. Most guys I see work like the top 1/3 or so of the movement.
 

Elvia1023

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Most guys I see work like the top 1/3 or so of the movement.
It varies but I would say more the middle or even bottom 1/3 of the movement. Actually it's a combo of the top, bottom and middle. Meaning I see some get a good negative stretch but they are lifting too heavy for them to lift the weight up properly. Although a good negative stretch can do lot's of good especially if someone has good calf genetics. Others stay in the top 1/3 without a good negative stretch. Regardless of the rom most of these guys go too fast and don't connect properly with the calves. Now some of these 1/3 reps can be ok at the end of a proper set just to maximize intensity but they shouldn't be the entire set.
 

buck

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People train abs and calves with a different tempo and rep range then they do other muscles like say during the bench or squat. How many people load up a squat bar and drop into the eccentric range then bounce up and down for 2 inches for 10 reps and think they did a good set. I had a buddy that had bigger calves then any pro that I have ever seen. Before he ever started lifting. And he liked to put a 45 lb plate on the seated calf raise and do slow controlled sets and then tell everyone that is how to get big calves. Then he would leave the gym and laugh like mad.
 

maldorf

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Now some of these 1/3 reps can be ok at the end of a proper set just to maximize intensity but they shouldn't be the entire set.
Exactly! I will do that sometimes when I am trying to hit them really hard. Do that until you hit failure, doing partial reps. Then you quickly drop the weight down a good 30% or so and then rep out again, drop set. Do 2 or 3 drop sets and you are fried!
 

Elvia1023

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Exactly! I will do that sometimes when I am trying to hit them really hard. Do that until you hit failure, doing partial reps. Then you quickly drop the weight down a good 30% or so and then rep out again, drop set. Do 2 or 3 drop sets and you are fried!
Yeah! Calves can really take a beating. I have done many crazy drop sets starting at 5pps moving down 1pps each set. Many probably going over 100 reps total. You can really build up strength endurance to very high levels. I don't go so crazy now and use less weight and generally take my time during sets and really focus on the whole rep one by one. The heaviest I go on seated calf raises now is about 3 plates per side but often even half that and my calves have improved a lot in the last year. It's still an uphill battle but I will keep fighting :eek::D
 

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