Fitness YouTuber Gokuflex (Matt Kido) set out to build up his lower body strength and size. He decided to do a 30-day calf muscle training challenge, to work on his lower legs to see how much they would grow.
"It just dawned on me that I really haven't hit calves in a while. I've been slacking, and it's time for me to get back on it," he said. "During this quarantine time I've been stuck at home, and now I have all the time to actually do this challenge."
He starts by measuring his flexed calf at the largest part of the muscle on each leg. The right and left both come to 40 centimeters, or 15.7 inches.
Kido planned to do elevated single leg weighted calf raises using a weight belt with a kettlebell strapped to his waist. He also plans to do cardio four to five times a week on the treadmill.
Single leg weighted calf raises Week 1: 4 sets of 15 reps with a 30 pound kettlebell Week 2: 4 sets of 15 reps with a 40 pound kettlebell Week 3: 4 sets of 10 reps with a 50 pound kettlebell Week 4: 4 sets of 15 reps with a 50 pound kettlebell
"Slow and controlled," he says as he bangs out reps.
He struggled a bit during Week 1, and decided to lower his reps to 10 instead of 15. He measured his calves after his first week of training. The right leg was 40.3 cm, and the left was 40.5 cm.
"If I can get my calves to 41 to 41.5 cm by the end of this challenge, I will be super happy," says Kido.
After Week 2, (4 sets of 10 reps with a 40 pound kettlebell) his calf measurements were 40.5 cm for the right and 40.8 cm for the left.
"This week is starting to feel a lot better," he said. "We're making slow and steady gains."
After Week 3, (4 sets of 12 reps with a 40 pound kettlebell), his calf measurements were 40.9 cm for the right and 40.9 cm for the left.
"Super excited!" he says after his measurements.
And finally, after Week 4, (4 sets of 10 reps with a 50 pound kettlebell), his final calf measurements were 41 cm for the right and 41.2 cm for the left. That's an increase of over 1 cm on each calf.
Kido says the key to getting your calves to grow is frequency.
"By increasing the volume of frequency, the calves will grow," says Kido. "I was sore every day for the first week, but my calves quickly adapted to the training frequency. My calves just constantly felt pumped."
He says that by walking 10,000 steps everyday on top of training his calves also helped stimulate his calves.
Calves can be tough to train, and some of what Kido says is true—but take some of his statements with a grain of salt. If you want to work on your own muscles, check out these workouts and give your lower half some extra love.