December 18, 2015

December 18, 2015
Three Mistakes To Avoid When Training Your Calves

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is on the road until the end of the year speaking at events and doing our holiday parties for children living with HIV. So stay tuned for more new pictures and slide shows soon.

Yesterday, I started talking about how to keep exercising during the winter. For me, calves has been one of the hardest since I can't jog any more. So today I thought I would blog about three mistakes to avoid when training calves.

Letís face it, no one likes leg day. Almost every gym goer would give anything to just be able to focus on their upper body and not go through the tedious process of training their legs, but still have sexy calves and glutes.

Well, we all know that doesnít work that way and thatís why we incorporate leg training into our routine. So, youíve devoted just as much attention to your legs as to your upper body and theyíve begun to flourish slowly. That is, except your calves. Whatís up with that?

First off, calves can be very stubborn when youíre trying to work them. More stubborn than most other muscle groups, as a matter of fact. This can be quite demoralizing and many people stop training their calves entirely because of it. Donít give up yet, though.

If approached right, even the skinniest calves can be sculpted into raging bulls in time. There are some common mistakes and misconceptions that many people come across when trying to work their calves, so without further ado, here are some guidelines that will help you deal with them:

Donít Do Calves At The End Of The Workout
One of the most common things people do wrong when exercising legs is that they leave the calves for the end of the workout. If you have weak, skinny calves, this is definitely something you shouldnít do. If you expend all your energy before targeting your calves, youíll hardly be able to muster enough strength for a full set by the end of the workout. This is not the way to go. Work the calves when you are fresh.

Increase The Number Of Reps
Itís easy to fall into a routine when exercising, however, this should be avoided. When asked how many reps you should do, the answer is almost always 10 or 15. Why stop there, we say? Why not 20, 25, 30? As much as you can? Try increasing the number of your reps (though youíll maybe have to decrease the weight a bit) and youíll start to see some serious pump in your calves.

Not Training Opposing Muscle Groups Equally
This goes for any muscle group, and the calves are no exception. The calf is made up of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius makes up the inner and outer head of the calf and the soleus runs underneath it. While the gastrocnemius is activated by exercises performed when youíre sitting or standing, to target the soleus, your knees have to be bent (for example, in a seated calf raise or a calf raise without your legs locked out). Train both of these muscles equally at all times and your calves will grow stronger and bigger.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Friday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab