calf workouts, entraînement des mollets

Luke Sauder’s Calf Workouts – Grow Your Calves into Cows

Working calves involves all the brain work you can muster. Calves, physiologically speaking, are problematic.

I developed this calf routine a few year ago for one of my athletes in the National Alpine Ski Team. It works wonders.

A lot of trainees are frustrated with their calf training. In fact the optimum loading parameters for lower leg development are a lot more restricted than they are for, say arm training. Contrary to something like biceps work, your calf exercise repertoire is rather limited. To counter this, you have to be more diligent about manipulating reps, sets, and even rest intervals to give yourself more exercise routine permutations. Another problem is that calf movements only offer a limited range of motion.

Let’s say you were doing squats. The range of motion in a squat is considerable and it’s easy to vary the tempo. For example, it might take you 3, 4, 5 or more seconds to complete the eccentric portion of the movement. However, during calf exercises, you have a limited range of motion and you can’t vary your tempo as easily as you can in the squat or other exercises. During the Winter Olympics in Nagano, a bunch of my athletes from different sports were riding the bus after an event.

For some reason, they started discussing the merits of the calf routines I had given them. The one I had given to Luke Sauder, one of my alpine skiers kept coming back in the conversation. One skier recalled the fact that Luke had come into training camp sporting a new pair of calves. The ski company rep was actually freaking out because he had to remold him all his boots. I recalled that Luke had wanted a calf routine because big calves prevent knee injuries in alpine skiing. Calve actually provide a cushion to prevent the skier’s knees from reaching too acute an angle as they jet down a mountain.

Anyhow, back home, I dug out Luke’s routine from my computer archives. It’s one that would serve anyone well.

Here it is:

The Luke Sauder Calf Routine

Day 1: High-Volume

Exercise A: Calf Superset*

A1) Seated Calf Raises 3 x 10-5-5 (one set of 10 reps, followed by two drop sets of 5 reps) at a 1010 tempo to lower the weight, no pause, and 1 second to raise the weight)

A2) Donkey Calf Raises 3 x 30-50 at a 10X0 tempo

*After finishing a set of the A1 exercise, proceed immediately to exercise A2. Then rest two minutes before repeating the super set.

Exercise B: Standing Calf Raises

B1) Standing Calf Raises 10 x 10-30 at a 11X0 tempo, ten seconds**

**In other words, you’ll be doing one, long, extended set, resting ten seconds between each mini-set and lowering the weight in between.

After day one, you’ll probably have to call the fire department to extinguish the fire in your calves. You may also find that you have the same walk as Homer Simpson’s 80-year-old father.

Day 2: Low-Volume (to be done 48 hours after Day 1)

Exercise A: Triple Drop Standing Calf Raises

A1) Triple Drop Standing Calf Raises 3 x 10-10-10 (in other words, three drop sets) at a 1210 tempo,*** resting 90 seconds between sets.

***The pause is taken in the bottom stretch position, and be sure to take the full two seconds.

This routine provides freaky size increases. As you can see, it uses a great number of total reps. I’ve found that in order to build calves, you need some frequency of training and some volume, but you can’t have both high volume and high frequency.

Therefore, I advise training them twice over a five-day cycle, one workout being very high sets (16) and high total reps (250-510 reps); and the other being low sets (3) for a low amount of total reps (90). I’ve known people to gain in between 5/8ths of an inch to a full inch with this routine in as little as 30 days.

Train hard!

Coach Charles R. Poliquin