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Leg Development

slesh

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So I was watching one of the latest RBP podcasts with Fouad and Ian and they were talking about cardio during prep and what they favor. Ian said he likes to do the bike because he feels that he gets decreased muscle volume in his legs from the stairs or treadmill. As most of you know my legs and especially calves are my weak points. I been hitting the incline treadmill extra hard not only for cardio to cut BF but I also thought it may help my calf development. Now based on what they were talking about I’m thinking the treadmill is counterproductive. Thoughts?
 

danieltx

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I very rarely use a treadmill. I walk outside for the majority of my cardio (flat, incline, and decline - I live on a hillside) and it hasn't hurt my calves.

I don't do stairs for the exact reason they said - it flattens out my legs.

Don't count on cardio to help your calves, hit them hard with weights. Emphasize a slow, deep stretch on every rep as your calves already do the top half of the movement when you're walking - they're not used to being stretched under heavy weight.
 

3BILLS

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I noticed an increase in calf size when i did incline treadmill on a step incline
 

alfresco

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So I was watching one of the latest RBP podcasts with Fouad and Ian and they were talking about cardio during prep and what they favor. Ian said he likes to do the bike because he feels that he gets decreased muscle volume in his legs from the stairs or treadmill. As most of you know my legs and especially calves are my weak points. I been hitting the incline treadmill extra hard not only for cardio to cut BF but I also thought it may help my calf development. Now based on what they were talking about I’m thinking the treadmill is counterproductive. Thoughts?
My experience, and I have tried about everything, is that the treadmill, regardless of the incline did nothing for my calf development. And I used to ride my road bike regularly, standing up, climbing some monster hills in hopes of squeezing out some improvement. Never happened.

The only exercise that I can attribute to any significant calf develop to is flat footed calf raises; zero stretch, high reps, long hold, squeeze at the top.
 

Gunsmith

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I've heard of a couple coach that have there bodybuilders stop doing stair or high resistance bike for cardio a month out and just use the tread mill to "preserve" muscle.
Then I've heard of people doing less actual cardio and more things like lunges for HIIT cardio.
As for calves (aside from being highly genetic)
I think that taxing them with very slow reps , and deep stretch and long contractions has worked for several people I know.
3 second stretch at the bottom on an elevated block , a 3 second ride to the top , 3 second squeeze then a 3 second negative , use a weight you cal only do 12-15 reps till failure.
We rarely put this kinda stress on the calves.
 

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Hammer4

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My experience, and I have tried about everything, is that the treadmill, regardless of the incline did nothing for my calf development. And I used to ride my road bike regularly, standing up, climbing some monster hills in hopes of squeezing out some improvement. Never happened.

The only exercise that I can attribute to any significant calf develop to is flat footed calf raises; zero stretch, high reps, long hold, squeeze at the top.
Nailed it. This is a key to calves for me. Squeeze the hell out of them at the top and hold that squeeze like your life depends on it!
 

buck

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I can see the recumbent being easier on the legs as it does not seem to facilitate working the muscle hard, especially for most. Even the pros i see are just looking like they are spinning their wheels. With the stepper you are actually lifting your body weight away from gravity ever step, unless your are all bent over, holding on or taking quick small steps. I know a study i saw years ago comparing the elliptical, bike and tread mill showed the treadmill burned more calories on the average all things being equal i.e. everyone doing what they thought was an 80% effort. On a side note. Some of the biggest caves i have ever seen have been on fat guys who only walk around. And if you are ankling while biking you certainly can get a good calf workout in.
 

OuchThatHurts

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My experience, and I have tried about everything, is that the treadmill, regardless of the incline did nothing for my calf development. And I used to ride my road bike regularly, standing up, climbing some monster hills in hopes of squeezing out some improvement. Never happened.

The only exercise that I can attribute to any significant calf develop to is flat footed calf raises; zero stretch, high reps, long hold, squeeze at the top.
The best my calves ever looked (and it is of absolutely no evolutionary benefit to have thick bulky calves) but at their biggest in circumference, I was doing 20 minutes of straight heavy free-standing single calf raises on a platform and the donkey calf machine every single day with sprints 3 days a week. I gave up because I knew I was unable to achieve the Tom Platz style calves look which I feel just looks awesome.

PlatzDickersonCalfComparison_copy.jpg
 

LATS

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Legs and calves are the muscle groups with huge genetic component attached.. my best bodyparts were always my legs and calves.. i can't say with any real science behind it but I started racing BMX when I was 10. But I did dozens of starting gate drills.. sprints with heavy chain gauge ratios.. and rode hills ... every day for training.. doing this daily for 5 or 6 years gave me pretty good quads hams and calves right from the start before I picked up a weight..
To this day my legs are still the easiest to grow even after a double knee replacement.. Ive literally only have done 20 sets for calves ever in my life .. but I attribute much of it to my bike racing.. and every job I've had I've walked quite a bit.. being 275 and walking 10 000 steps a day is a bit of volume lol..
But to your question.. all cardio is going to involve legs a bit.. personally I'd think walking would keep fullness more than a bike which is quad dominant exercise.. but maybe easier on the calves.. Ian is basing his experience on exactly that.. his experience.. doesn't mean it will translate to you.. experiment..
 

OuchThatHurts

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I've heard of a couple coach that have there bodybuilders stop doing stair or high resistance bike for cardio a month out and just use the tread mill to "preserve" muscle.
Then I've heard of people doing less actual cardio and more things like lunges for HIIT cardio.
As for calves (aside from being highly genetic)
I think that taxing them with very slow reps , and deep stretch and long contractions has worked for several people I know.
3 second stretch at the bottom on an elevated block , a 3 second ride to the top , 3 second squeeze then a 3 second negative , use a weight you cal only do 12-15 reps till failure.
We rarely put this kinda stress on the calves.
The calves in this photo are far better than my calves will ever look. I've even considered syntherol. Truth is, with the amount of running I do, I don't know if having an extra couple of pounds below the knee would help me at all anyway in terms of functionality.
 

juggy38

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In studies, it showed cycling retained more muscle and strength than jogging. But jogging has a huge eccentric demand on the leg. I can’t remember the forces, but impact on one foot jogging is very taxing to the muscle and tendons.

I think incline walking would be fine, as walking and adding an incline drastically reduces eccentric load
 

alfresco

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In studies, it showed cycling retained more muscle and strength than jogging. But jogging has a huge eccentric demand on the leg. I can’t remember the forces, but impact on one foot jogging is very taxing to the muscle and tendons.

I think incline walking would be fine, as walking and adding an incline drastically reduces eccentric load

Two to three g’s. Speed dependence.
 

juggy38

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Two to three g’s. Speed dependence.

Alfresco when you were riding a lot, did you structure your rides to not impact your leg days or was it more fun rides? I do 1 short ride of about 15-20 miles for enjoyment, but MY long ride at this point is getting to 30-40 miles (I ride half of what my woman’s long ride is that day…she’s an iron man…iron woman?)

And my legs have no POP for like 24-48 hours. Do you experience this?
 

11sh11

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I've had a few recommendations for bigger legs to incorporate biking. Drop the seat just slightly lower than normal on a spin bike. Makes for a tighter rotation, keeps more burn in the upper leg. Ive found it to bring out more detail and a bigger pump.
Wind sprints knock it out of the park for me
 

b-boy

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I like Fouad am a John Meadows disciple, nice easy stroll on the treadmill.
 

slesh

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Lol so I know I just posted about tweaking my quad but wow just two weeks on the elliptical instead of stairs/treadmill and muscle volume is wayyyy up.

1D4179DB-C26E-4FD4-B0F8-5DFCB7B2AF96.jpeg
 

Biggerp73

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Fuck big legs. Big calves and glutes? Yeah, absolutely. Big thighs? Nah. Functional thighs that are cut up and aesthetic? Yup. Big? Nah. Makes the pee pee look smaller.
 

Hammer4

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Fuck big legs. Big calves and glutes? Yeah, absolutely. Big thighs? Nah. Functional thighs that are cut up and aesthetic? Yup. Big? Nah. Makes the pee pee look smaller.
You just gotta jelq that bad boy so it keeps up with the quads.
 

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