stubborn calves

“Stubborn calves” are an extremely common bodybuilding problem.

For some guys, it doesn’t seem to matter how much intensity, volume and focus they place on their calf training… at the end of the day, the amount of growth they achieve is minimal at best.

Although in many cases this is partially due to improper programming and training technique, the honest truth is that packing size onto naturally skinny calves truly can be quite a challenge, and there are two concrete scientific reasons for this…

2 Reasons Why Calves Don’t Grow Easily

If you’re a guy with “genetically weak calves” when it comes to packing on size, here are the two major reasons why you have so much trouble in this area…

Reason #1 – Anatomical Disadvantage

Guys with naturally skinny calves tend to have a longer calf tendon along with shorter calf muscles that insert higher up on their lower leg.

The longer your calf tendon is and the shorter your calf muscles are, the less potential you’ll have for growth. This is simply because you’ll have less muscle to work with from the start, and even when you do add some size, making those muscles “pop out” is especially difficult.

A long calf tendon and short calf muscles is great for explosive movements like sprinting and jumping, but not so great when it comes to adding mass.

Reason #2 – Low Androgen Receptor Density

Androgen receptors are the areas of the muscle where testosterone attaches to in order to stimulate protein synthesis.

Although there are certainly exceptions, androgen receptor density in most men tends to be highest in the upper body and lowest in the lower body, with the absolute lowest density being found in the calves.

As a result, testosterone can’t exert a very significant effect on the calf muscles, which makes stimulating new growth in this area particularly challenging regardless of how well you train them.

These are the two primary reasons why calves don’t grow easily if you weren’t blessed in the genetics department for these muscles.

So, where should you go from here if you have stubborn calves that won’t grow?

Two points I’ll make on this…

First off, realize that all hope is certainly not lost.

I’m definitely not saying that you can’t build your naturally thin calves up or achieve a reasonable level of calf development; all I’m saying is that it will likely be a longer road and require more patience and dedication than other muscles.

The point of this article is not to discourage you, but rather to give you an honest and realistic explanation of why the calves can be often be a hard muscle to build, and that it will be definitely a challenge if your calves don’t seem to naturally respond well to training.

Secondly, learn how to train them with maximum effectiveness.

You’ll want to get every advantage you can here (including the use of the #1 most powerful muscle building tool available), and many guys really do make quite a few important errors when it comes to their calf training strategy.

Here are two resources I’ll point you to that I’d highly recommend reading through to ensure that you’re employing the best calf training plan possible…

4 Key Tips For Building Up Skinny Calves

The 5 Best Calf Exercises + Sample Calf Workouts

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