3 Short 5-Minute Bodybuilding Workouts For Growing Your Calves


One of the most under developed muscles I have heard bodybuilders complain about is their calves. I have heard a wide range of excuses for why many don’t develop calves, but I think one of the main culprits is consistency. Sure there are other factors that can play into calf development, but honestly how often do you see all the calf machines full at your gym? For the most part calves are trained at the end of most programs, which I think is a fine placement for them, but I think they are often skipped all together because of this.

My solution to the calf dilemma…

If you are a hard training individual that trains your calves 2-3 times a week already and struggles to develop size, read this article:


If you try to train your calves 2-3 times week, but find that you often cut your self short a day due to time, below is my solution for you.

For those of us that are limited on time when we train, it can be taxing to get in 15 minutes of calves at the end of the workout 2-3x / week. What I have found that does work well though is making sure that your calves are attacked consistently with intensity 2-3 x /week even if 1-2 of the sessions are just very brief. So for those of you that are on a time crunch here are three workouts that take roughly 5 minutes to complete.

Calf Workout #1: Time Under Tension Method

Amazing legsSet up the standing calf machine at about 50% of the weight you would normally use for a set of 10. Using a stop watch complete 30 seconds worth of repetitions. At the end of the 30 seconds, rest for an equal amount of time. Repeat this for 4-6 rounds. When you get to the point you are no longer able to complete full reps, complete partials. If you get to the point during any set you are not able to complete partials hold the rep in the stretch position until the time expires.

Total time required- 3.5 minutes for 4 sets & 5.5 minutes for 6 sets

Calf Workout #2: Stretches and Holds

Strong Athletic Man Fitness Model Torso showing naked muscularSet up the standing calf machine at about 50% of the weight you would normally use for a set of 10.

Set 1: Complete 10 reps and then hold the 10th rep for a 10 count at the contracted position. Complete another 10 reps, then hold the 10th rep for a 10 count at the contracted position. Complete another 10 reps, then hold the 10th rep for a 10 count at the contracted position.

Take a 45 sec break.

Repeat 2 more times

Total time required- 4.5 minutes

Calf Workout #3: Drop Sets with Iso-Tension

Thats How You Train Legs CalvesOn a calf raise machine set the weight to an amount that you can manage 10 good repetitions at. At the completion of the initial 10 reps hold in the stretch position for a 10 count. At the end of the 10 count drop the weight by about 25% and try to complete another 10 repetitions and once again complete the hold in the stretch position. Complete 2 more drops at 25% of the current weight being used along with a 10 count in the stretch position for each of the sets.

Total time required- 2 minutes

The above workouts are an excellent way to quickly attack your calves for continued growth. I do not think they should be a replacement to your normal calf routine, but I do think these are a great alternative when you have a time crunch. Most of us don’t purposely skip out on training our calves, but sometimes a grueling leg or back workout just takes longer than we had planned. Try one of the above routines next time you think about heading for the gym exit without training your calves.

About the Author

DSC_9331Marc Snyder is an active NPC Bodybuilder and current 2013 Mr Ohio. Marc has created a balance in his life with the sport he loves and the family of 2 kids and a wife that he lives for. Marc has been involved in many avenues of the fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. He also has experience in clinical exercise physiology working in the field for nearly 2 years.

It is now Marc’s goal to educate and guide individuals through yèt-their health and fitness journey by utilizing the knowledge he has gained over the years. He operates SnyderAthletics.com an online nutrition and training website to help people. achieve their goals.

Please follow Marc on his journey of continued progress by following him on his website at SnyderAthletics.com , facebook at www.facebook.com/NPCMarcSnyder and twitter at www.twitter.com/SnyderMarcA. He post his daily lifestyle tips on these feeds for you to access and utilize in your health and fitness journey.

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