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cure for "chicken legs"

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:21 pm
by tyler
I can squat 235 ten times...deadlift 215 10 times....and do a standing calf raise with 205 10 times...I know I am not the strongest here by ANY means...but even being able to do that much, I still get referred to as having "chicken" legs. How the hell do I increase my calfs?!?!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:28 pm
by stuward
Calves are very hard to train if you are not naturally blessed. One thing you can do is do calves standing and sitting. There are 2 muscles in your calves. You need to do them both ways. Your calves are stronger in the eccentric than the concentric so try using both legs to raise your body and hold and lower under tension with 1 leg.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:08 pm
by pdellorto
Calf Raises.
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/CalfWt.html

These are really productive:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gas ... Raise.html

You can double up the dumbells and do them with two legs, but you'll need a lot heavier dumbell to make up for the lack of extra bodyweight focused on the one leg. The thing I remember most is (I think) from Arnold's giant Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Basically that your calves individually have enough weight to move your whole body (i.e. stand on one leg and do a calf raise - no problem except balance maybe). So you have to train them hard...lots and lots of weight.

You can also do them with a dip belt to add weight, or a backpack full of weight or a weighted vest.

For the rest of your calf, try these:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Tib ... Raise.html

Hope that helps,

Peter

Re: cure for "chicken legs"

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:52 pm
by George G
tyler wrote:I can squat 235 ten times...deadlift 215 10 times....and do a standing calf raise with 205 10 times...I know I am not the strongest here by ANY means...but even being able to do that much, I still get referred to as having "chicken" legs. How the hell do I increase my calfs?!?!
Squat and deadlift 345 for 10 :)

Calfs - attack the problem from multiple angles:
-perform various forms of calf raises in various rep reanges at the end of your workouts
-perform explosive lifts suck as various cleans, snatches, or even jump-shrugs
-add calf work on upper body days to increase training requency
-if you are training calfs multples times a week, better to do it with different rep ranges on different days

That's all from me.

Re: cure for "chicken legs"

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:11 pm
by Stephen Johnson
tyler wrote: How the hell do I increase my calfs?!?!
Just curious - how much cardio do you do each week? A lot of cardio can hinder your muscle building efforts. You don't need big calves to run a 21:30 3K

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:27 pm
by Ironman
Heavy weight is what you need for calves. Most people go for light weight in ridiculous rep ranges. You just need to go as heavy as you can. Then like any lagging part, more sets, more often.

If you always do 10 reps for everything, you might try something different for a while.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:50 pm
by pdellorto
I'm one of those ridiculous rep range guys Ironman is talking about - I do 400 calf raises in a row once a week. I also get lots of calf work doing knees in sparring or on the mits, and in clinching - essentially, explosive one-legged calf raises and resisted dynamic two-legged calf raises, respectively. My calves are strong and proportioned, and have lots of muscular endurance.

But I'll admit I'm a bit of a freak - even other MMA training folks I know prefer low-rep high weighted calf work if they do it at all. I know it works. High reps don't do a thing for them. I just also respond well to high reps...good calves, no chicken legs. I wouldn't try that unless you a) need to throw lots of knee strikes or b) tried single-leg and double-leg weighted calf work at high weight and found that wasn't doing it. I tried and settled on the 400 reps I do after lots of dedicated calf work...but you'll notice I suggested weighted low-rep work initially and I think it's best to start there.

Re: cure for "chicken legs"

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:40 pm
by tyler
Stephen Johnson wrote:
tyler wrote: How the hell do I increase my calfs?!?!
Just curious - how much cardio do you do each week? A lot of cardio can hinder your muscle building efforts. You don't need big calves to run a 21:30 3K
LOL...I hit up cardio alot, and seem to get bigger doing it. Probably because it forces me to eat more, whether I want too or not. It's probably true that I don't need big calves to run that, but, I do admit I am a little vain ;).

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:41 pm
by tyler
Ironman wrote:Heavy weight is what you need for calves. Most people go for light weight in ridiculous rep ranges. You just need to go as heavy as you can. Then like any lagging part, more sets, more often.

If you always do 10 reps for everything, you might try something different for a while.
Hmm...would u suggest a lower or higher rep range? I'm thinking of increasing to 15...but I don't know if that would work better or worse. By the way- I should clarify- I don't want monster calves (or monster anything), but my calves are probably my most lagging body part.

P.S. I am training calves only twice a week- do you think I could do more? As mentioned in a previous thread, I am also running alot, and do not want to oblierate my calves to extinction. But I have heard they can be trained more often than other parts, kinda like abs I guess.

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:16 pm
by stuward
You probably won't get monster anything anyways. That takes a long time of hard work.

Anyway, if you want to get stronger and build some muscle, you need heavier weights and that means fewer reps, not more.

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:07 pm
by Ironman
You can't train them more than anything else. You just do higher frequency to bring up a lagging muscle.

When they get big enough, just stop. A couple sets a week should maintain.

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:11 pm
by tyler
http://www.columbusrunning.com/r4k07%20181.jpg

That is me...tell me if u think i have chicken legs :P.[/img]

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:18 pm
by Ironman
They look ok to me. Definitely not chicken legs.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:23 pm
by Matt Z
Use something (block, step, etc) to elevate the ball of your foot so you can get a good stretch, and make sure you go all the way down and all the way up on every rep. Don't shorten your ROM!

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:42 pm
by Stephen Johnson
@tyler:

Your legs look proportional to your body to me.

It sounds like the people who say that you have chicken legs are trying to get into your head. Whether it's good natured ribbing or malicious trash talk is hard to say. But unless the taunters have Greek God bods, don't pay them any mind. Chickens can't run that well, anyway! ;-)