How To Get Bigger Calves

how to get bigger calves

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by – From an aesthetics point of view, the calves are one of the more influential muscle groups when trying to achieve a perception of power and athleticism.

They’re also one of the few muscle groups both men and women want to develop for muscularity and size. It’s a sexy muscle.

If you ask anyone in a gym, many are going to say the calves are among the hardest to develop and there’s a good reason. It’s not a myth, or bad luck.

Calves need to be trained a little differently than the other major muscle groups. Here’s how to get bigger calves, and which exercises to do and avoid.


First, let’s get the genetics talk out of the way. If you have small, or underdeveloped calves it doesn’t mean you’re doomed genetically.

Genetics matter with all muscle groups, but it’s better to view your genetics as a floor and a ceiling and not a blueprint. Your genetics will determine how big your calves can get when fully developed, and what you do (exercise) determines how close you get to your full potential.

Some people are gifted with thick, muscular calves that require very little direct work. Funny enough, some even avoid working their calves because they explode with very little stimuli and they don’t want them to get too big.

On the other end of the spectrum, are people that need to put in some time and effort. It won’t come easy, or overnight, but the gains and results will start to show after a few months.

Stretching Matters

Always thoroughly stretch your calves before direct work. Not only will this help prevent injury, it actually elongates the muscle head making it appear fuller.

Reaching Muscle Fatigue

Calves are considered a workhorse muscle. Meaning they’re designed to sustain repetitive motion for long durations of time without reaching fatigue.

Imagine trying to walk, or run, anywhere if your calves were constantly reaching fatigue. You’d literally have to take a thirty second break every two minutes. Our calves have evolved and are designed to NOT get tired easily.

So what does this mean when you’re trying to build more calf muscle?

You’ll need to reach a deep state of fatigue, with higher repetitions, then you usually use in a gym. If you’re trying to build your biceps, back, or chest you typically try to get into the 10-12 repetition range.

With calves, and forearms (another workhorse), you’ll need to reach a higher rep range to reach the needed state of fatigue for muscle growth.

And it’s going to burn, haha. It’s this deep state of fatigue, the burn, that lets you know your calves are going to grow.

With calves you generally need to get into the 20 rep range to start seeing results.

Calf Building Exercises

Calf Workout At Home #1

Workout #2

Standing Barbell Calf Raises

Seated Calf Raises

Donkey Presses

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