Ultimate Guide On How To Train Each Muscle Group

A lot of people out there have tons of questions on how to train each muscle group. On top of that, simply finding out how many times per week you should be training each muscle is hard enough as it is. That’s why in this article, I’m going to give you the ultimate guide on how to train each muscle group.

Depending on where you are in your training journey and what your goals are, these tips won’t apply for every situation. If you’re focused on getting as strong as possible, you won’t be training the same as those trying to maximize their muscular potential.

With that in mind, let’s go over each major muscle group in the body, how to train it, and how many times you should be training it every week.

Here we go!

Traps

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Frequency

The Traps are an interesting muscle group. As long as you’re doing Deadlifts, Rows, and Side/Rear Delt work every week, you don’t really have to do any direct Trap work at all.

This is great if you’re just trying to maintain their size, but if you’re trying to grow them, you can train them directly 2-6x per week.

The main reason for this is that they’re incredibly fatigue resistant. They’re holding up your entire shoulder girdle after all! The other reason is because of how poor their leverage is. The worse the leverages are for the muscle group, the harder it is to train them directly for growth.

To build truly big traps, you need to train them multiple times per week. Because the range of motion for them is so short, overloading them and building them requires much more volume than other muscle groups.

Intensity

Heavy rows and Deadlifts cover all of the major fast-twitch muscle fibers found in the Traps. This means for most direct trap work, working in the 10-20 rep range with medium weight and more reps work best.

Range Of Motion

I’m sure you’ve seen improper form in the gym, the guys doing 405 lb Shrugs while rolling their shoulders around (never do this by the way!) Instead of doing this and potentially getting a shoulder injury, focus on getting a big range of motion, shrug up and back, and hold the shrug for 1-3 seconds. This will maximize the muscular contraction and time under tension necessary to build big traps.

To see how to do this properly here’s a video from Paul Carter executing a set of Shrugs with perfect form using a T-Bar setup.

Front Delts

Frequency

Just like the traps, the Front Delts don’t need any direct work if you’re trying to maintain muscle mass. They’re hit on every single press variation and it’s rare to see somebody with underdeveloped Front Delts because of this.

Using any compound pressing variations will give you all of the front delt work you need to maintain and build them over the long haul. For those that want to do more work to build them up even bigger, training them directly 1-2x per week is all you need to do.

I recommend focusing on things such as the overhead press instead of front raises which are a huge waste of time in my opinion.

Intensity

Front delts grow best from heavier reps based on how much they grow from your main pressing movements such as the bench press and overhead press variations. Doing sets over 12 reps don’t seem to do much for them so I recommend sticking to the 5-10 rep range for the majority of your front delt work.

Range Of Motion

The range of motion for the front delts is pretty easy to figure out but most people don’t train them correctly, unfortunately. When doing dumbbell and barbell work, you want to touch your clavicle/shoulder region before pressing to the top position. Implementing a pause as well to really tax the front delts works as well.

Here’s a video on how to train things such as the overhead press better with the greatest range of motion.

Rear/Side Delts

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Some days I feel strong, other days I just get shit done! 110’s for 7 today! – Current full pre workout and intraworkout @nutrexresearch supplement stack: Preworkout: 1 scoop Outlift 1 scoop Alpha Pump Intraworkout: 16 ounces of Gatorade mixed with 3 scoops of Postlift (80 grams of carbs) 1 scoop EAA+ Hydration 10 grams of Creatine 10 grams of glutamine #teamnutrex #nutrexresearch . . . . . #ifbbpro #life #betterbodies #physique #gymmotivation #bouldershoulders #training #motivation #fitness #gym #fit #bicepworkout #shoulderworkout #workoutmotivation #weight #backworkout #fitnessmodel #overheadpress #bodybuilding #workouts #fitnesslifestyle #shoulders #fitnessmotivation #gymlife #muscles #workout

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The rear and side delts are worked in a bunch of the same exercises so that is why I grouped them together for the purposes of this article.

Frequency

The rear delts get a ton of work from all of your vertical and horizontal pulling exercises. As long as you’re training heavy rows and pulldowns each week they’ll maintain their size and even grow a little. If you want to train them directly, doing things such as high rows, wide grip pulldowns and face pulls work best.

The side delts aren’t hit much in traditional exercises so they require things such as Upright Rows and Lateral Raises to grow them. They must be trained directly or they won’t grow much from typical pressing for most people. This is all based on your structure as well so make sure to take that into account.

Because the rear/side delts are such small muscle groups and are very resistant to fatigue, they recover very quickly, less than 24 hours in most cases. If you’re trying to grow the biggest shoulders possible, you can train them directly 2-6 days per week to failure without any real recovery issues. 2-3 sets each workout should be all you need per session to grow them bigger.

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Intensity

The rear and side delts are comprised of mostly slow-twitch muscle fibers, because of this, doing lighter sets of 10-20 reps work best for building them up. It’s also very difficult to overload these with heavy weight from a safety standpoint so don’t go heavier than 8 rep sets.

Range Of Motion

The range of motion necessary to train the rear and side delts is entirely dependent on your structure. If you’re doing Upright Rows, you should only be raising the bar as high as you can go WITHOUT pain. This should be pretty obvious but if a movement hurts, don’t do it.

Here’s Mike Israetel of Renaissance Periodization doing a solid set of Lateral Raises training the side delts properly with a great degree of control. This is how you should be performing your shoulder work at all times. Swinging it around and trying to do heavier weight isn’t the goal, doing it with great control and form is.

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Laterals with the 50s for 10. PR!!!

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Chest

Frequency

The chest is the biggest muscle group we’ve gone over so far in this guide. The bigger a muscle group is, the more weight you can train with it. The more weight you can use, the longer your recovery time will be. Because of this, training the chest 2-3 days per week is optimal.

You should be doing horizontal and incline pressing variations to hit the entire chest and also the clavicular heads of the upper chest. As long as you’re doing this, there isn’t much need for more variation.

Intensity

The chest has a pretty even split of fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers. This allows us to train in a more moderate rep range to get benefits of both styles of training. Sets of 8-12 for the majority of your pressing will give you the best bang for your buck.

If you’re doing isolations such as cable crossovers and dumbbell flies, sets of 10-20 work well. On the flip side, heavy barbell benching can be done in the 5-10 rep range to maximize fast-twitch muscle fiber activation.

Range Of Motion

This should be obvious, but the chest likes being stretched under load. The bigger the stretch, the greater the muscle fibers will be taxed and forced to grow. When doing your pressing movements, lowering the bar down to your chest is the obvious choice. Implementing pauses to increase the time under tension works very well also.

If you’re using dumbbell exercises, allowing the dumbbells to touch to the shoulders and getting the biggest range of motion is incredibly important for maximizing the stretch. This is the main benefit of using dumbbells so make sure you’re doing this rather than using super heavy weights and reducing the range of motion.

Here is Jared Feather doing a set of Incline Bench Press with solid control and touching all the way down to his clavicle. This full range of motion should be used to increase the stretch as much as possible.

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Incline Bench- 225lbs X 17,15,14,12 (1st set shown) followed by Incline DB giant set (cluster set, myo rep set, whatever you wanna call it) for 70 total reps and then machine press for 60 total reps. – – Lifted in my feels today. Thanks Bon Iver for the spot ??. Almost ended the session before I even warmed up all the way. Not feeling too hot. – – Super fucked up this week and it is impacting everything else, so I’m ending this final mass short at a 3:1 accumulation to deload paradigm. Food taste like shit, fatigue is very high, and I’m just not enjoying much of anything (All overreaching symptoms of course). Ending this mass phase early is a good idea because I can tell I need to move into a maintenance period before I begin a long diet. – – Goal is to step on stage next time above 200lbs. ?? – – Hope everyone enjoys the weekend. Who do you have for the fight?!! I predict a new champ!

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Back

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Awesome back workout today with @mountaindog1. Seems like every single time we manage to get a training session in over the years it’s been back. – Started off with a standing hammer strength row. Then onto the hammer strength pullover before we hit this weird hammer pulldown that was more like a facepull variation. Finished with some heavy ass dumbbell rows where I happily smashed the 200’s for a solid 8. – John got footage of this and a complete upper chest workout that you guys are gonna love and also a glute workout for the ladies. – Super fun day of training and connecting with old friends. These times are invaluable and priceless and I’m always grateful for them. – Ya’ll keep an eye on John’s YouTube channel for these in the near future. – #backday #backworkout #dumbbellrows #clanginandbangin #progressiveoverload #hardandheavy #noholdsbarred #lats #traps #200

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Frequency

The back is a huge muscle group composed of many different muscle groups. Because of this, training it 2-4 times per week with a variety of different movements in the vertical and horizontal planes works great. I recommend at least 1 exercise for each movement plane to ensure total overall development.

For maximal growth, I recommend doing 2 vertical and horizontal exercises and split them up in this 2-4 day per week frequency. This will allow you to overload the sessions and recover between workouts.

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For beginners and intermediates with less muscle mass, you can train it really hard each session and recover enough to do this up to 4 days per week. As you get stronger, you’ll find you need fewer sessions per week to continue growing your back without overdoing it. A bigger muscle requires more recovery than a smaller muscle and sometimes for super-advanced bodybuilders, they can only train it hard one day while the other day is a recovery day.

Intensity

The back has a ton of different muscle groups that grow from different rep range. Anything in the 5-20 rep range will work in building up a huge back. Things such as barbell rows and pullups work best in the 5-10 rep range while pulldowns and dumbbell rows work best in the 10-20 rep range. Use a variety of rep ranges and train your back hard as much as you can. Nobody has ever said “that guys back is too big!”, it just doesn’t happen because of how long building a truly impressive back is.

The back is also much different than any other muscle group in the body, it requires vertical and horizontal exercises to prevent muscle loss each week. That’s why I recommend at least one of each per week. 2 of each with varying rep ranges works best in my experience, however.

Range Of Motion

The back has some of the hardest exercises to perform correctly. The amount of swinging with Barbell Rows I’ve seen in one lifetime is far too much. Your form should be locked in and you should be using the biggest range of motion possible WITHOUT using a ton of momentum.

This is similar for vertical pulling exercises. When doing lat pulldowns, I’ve seen people swing the weight down with their torso and lean back at the bottom. All this does is take all the work away from your lats and turn it into a weird pulldown rowing movement. If you’re doing this, your lats and back as a whole isn’t going to grow much, unfortunately.

Also, if you’re one of those people that doesn’t perform pullups with a full range of motion, you’re missing out on the majority of the benefits they bring.

Here’s an example of proper form on both Barbell Rows and Pullups. If you aren’t doing them similar to this, you’ve missed the mark completely. These videos are both of Mike Israetel and as you can see by his physique, his back is incredibly big considering how much weight he’s using on his rows. His form is completely the same from rep to rep and he’s using a full range of motion without a ton of momentum.

Biceps

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First off, I hate training biceps. – This is probably why my biceps truly suck. – Now that that’s out of the way, here’s a giant set for biceps I actually do like a lot and used frequently (not frequently enough of course) in the past. – Start using the vertical side (90 degrees) of the preacher bench and hold the shortened position for 2 seconds on each rep…this has an ascending resistance curve. – Once you hit failure go to the angled side (45 degrees) which trains the biceps closer to the mid range position with a bit more of a descending resistance curve. Also of note because people keep insisting the first position and second are the same – they are not. In the first position the biceps are much shorter than the second position (the 45). In the second position the biceps are closer to mid range (mid-short) and the resistance profile is completely different than in the first. In essence, the 45 isn’t quite short and it isn’t quite mid. It’s in between which is why mechanically you’re stronger in it than in the 90. Your shoulders being flexed in both are irrelevant. – Finish with standing barbell curls which is the mid-range biceps movements with a true bell curve resistance profile. – Boom. Gains. – Do 2 rounds of this and that’s really all you need for biceps. –

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Frequency

Just like other muscle groups, the biceps are used while doing pulling movements. This makes it easy to maintain their size as long as you continue to do so. Some people can even get away with only doing compound exercises and build massive biceps!

Using heavy rows and weighted pullups are enough for some to build respectable biceps. For everyone else, including those with longer limbs and different bicep insertion points, we have to do isolation exercises to target them directly. I’m one of these people and I definitely know what it’s like.

Because of how bad the leverages are for the biceps, you can train them 2-6 times per week without running into recovery issues. Similar to shoulders and traps, they can be trained frequently because of how small they are. They don’t require a ton of resources to recover and you can get away with doing 3-5 sets a session if you want to build them up fast.

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This is one of the main reasons most people out there have no luck building bigger biceps. They don’t train them enough to elicit muscular growth. That’s why doing something akin to an arm day is a huge waste of time. Either train them on a pulling day with your back work, or on your upper days if you’re doing an upper/lower split. They don’t need a week to recover and definitely shouldn’t have their own day with triceps.

Intensity

The biceps and forearms get plenty of heavy work from all of your pulling exercises. Isolating them with curls in the 8-20 rep range is where you should be spending most of the time training. Using multiple different curl variations to train the brachialis and biceps directly is a good idea to prevent soreness in the biceps tendon.

Range Of Motion

Just like the back, biceps are one of the most abused body parts when it comes to the proper range of motion. Every time you curl you should be allowing your elbows to extend all the way to the bottom to get the best range possible. At the top, engage the shoulder slightly to build the biceps through shoulder flexion. The biceps cross the shoulders so they also assist in shoulder flexion is the reason for this.

To see what real bicep training looks like, check out this video from Jared Feather, also from Renaissance Periodization.

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Throw back to Mr. squiggly squiggle veins during my prep over the summer. Guess it’s time to let everyone know. Pro debut WILL be happening in 2017….THOUGHT about taking some time off to grow and compete in 2018, but winning my pro card left a bitter taste in my mouth. I wasn’t my best and didn’t like what I brought THAT DAY. It has been leaving me to think where I would place if I brought? MY BEST to the pro circuit with what I have now. That being said….this video is nothing compared to what’s going to happen when I prep for this pro show. Better watch out #ifpa. Here I come.

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Triceps

Frequency

Triceps are used a ton when doing any of your compound pressing exercises. This makes it easy to maintain triceps size as long as you’re pressing every week.

However, to actually improve your triceps muscular development, you should train them directly 2-4 times per week. Because of how they are positioned, they can produce much stronger contractions than the biceps. On top of that, they’re a bigger muscle group as well.

Regardless of if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced lifter, you can train them directly multiple times per week without lowering the frequency.

Intensity

Triceps are similar to biceps when it comes to the muscle fiber types involved. That’s why they are best performed in the 8-20 rep range for the majority of your sets. Obviously your heavier pressing sets (5-10 reps) will take care of the heavier rep ranges.

The triceps also need to be trained in the vertical and horizontal planes to work all three heads correctly. This means things such as Dips and Overhead Press work vertically while Close-Grip Bench Press and Skull Crushers work horizontally.

Using at least one exercise for each of these movement planes is a good idea if your goal is to build the biggest triceps possible.

Range Of Motion

Just like the chest, the triceps love a big stretch! This tells us that the majority of people that can’t feel their triceps working is due to their incorrect form. To work the triceps correctly, make sure to lock out the elbow on each and every rep. If you aren’t doing this, your triceps are going to lag behind your other muscle groups severely.

Here’s a video from Paul Carter on how he does Pushdowns. Notice how every rep is in complete control and he’s extending the elbows with every rep. This is how your execution should look to build big triceps.

Abs

Frequency

The abs are an interesting muscle group that has a lot of important functions. From shielding your internal organs to simply stabilizing your torso, they do a lot in our day to day lives.

The cool thing is, they grow at a pretty consistent pace as long as you continue to get stronger in Squat and Deadlift variations. This is due to the heavy loading of your abdominals. However, if you want to train the abs directly to grow them over the long term, I recommend training them 3-5 days per week.

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Because the abs are used every day from simply moving around and stabilizing your torso, they’re very resistant to fatigue. This allows you to train them hard up to 5 days per week as long as you’re still recovering. For those with bigger and stronger abs, 3 overloading sessions per week is all you really need to continue making improvements.

Intensity

Unlike what some Instagram fitness model might have you believe, doing super high reps of abdominal work (20+ reps) isn’t the best way to grow your abs. They’re just like any other muscle group and require progressive overload to get bigger and stronger.

This leaves us in the 10-20 rep range for the majority of your abdominal training. Any heavier than 10 reps and you can put unnecessary strain on your back. Your goal should be to slowly add weight over time and get stronger in this rep range. Just like any other muscle that doesn’t change whatsoever.

The other main benefit of training the abs directly is improving your barbell lifts! The stronger your abs are, the more stable you’ll be in the Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press, and any other movements that require you to be standing.

Next time you train abs, try to get stronger in the 10-20 rep range and add weight when appropriate. This is the best way to train them no matter what others may say!

Range Of Motion

The range of motion on abdominal training is pretty cut and dry. If you’re doing something such as a decline situp, you want to stretch back as far as you can and curl the upper body as far as possible. If you cut the range of motion back you miss out on all the benefits of training your abs.

Start with bodyweight and only add a small amount of weight (2.5-5 lbs) over time. This will allow you to use a full range of motion and still hit our target rep range.

To see an example of an incredible ab exercise done through a full range of motion, here is Dan Green doing a set of STANDING Ab Wheel. If you think this is easy go try it on your knees first. I guarantee no matter who you are you will be humbled.

Glutes

Frequency

Glutes are another muscle group that gets plenty of work from squatting and deadlifting. If you want to grow them directly with other exercises, 2-3 days per week should be your limit. They get hit so often with other compound movements and they’re actually the largest muscle group in the body.

On top of that, they can generate a ton of force which makes training them with heavy weights a breeze.

Intensity

In my experience, training the glutes directly with heavy hip hinges such as Romanian deadlifts works awesome in the 5-10 rep range. This also works the hamstrings and low back all at once which makes it a great bang for your buck exercise. More on that later.

If you’re doing things such as hip thrusts, focusing in the mid rep range (8-12) is your best bet as you want to squeeze at the top of each rep. This will maximize time under tension.

Finally for things such as lunges, sets of 20-40 total steps (10-20 reps) will push your glute training like crazy. Other single leg exercises such as step-ups and split squats work well in this rep range also. Definitely consider working in all of these rep ranges throughout the week if you want to grow bigger glutes properly.

Needless to say, Instagram fitness models post thousands of videos a day on how to train glutes and their lower body everyday. If you want to listen to them feel free, for everyone else, training the glutes with progressive overload will do more than anything they’re selling. Guaranteed.

Range Of Motion

Using a full range of motion in things such as Romanian deadlifts and lunges will produce the biggest gains in glute hypertrophy. The other thing you should think about doing is pushing the hips through at the top of each movement to fire the glutes hard.

Further squeezing them at lockout is also a good idea to maximize the tension placed upon the glutes.

If you want to really push your glute training, you can use bands on things like Romanian deadlifts. This does two things, 1. Forces your hips back into a proper hip hinge, and 2. allows you to get a greater muscle contraction when extending flexing the glutes.

Here’s an example of what this looks like as shown by Paul Carter. Insert video of banded Romanian deadlifts by PAUL CARTER.

Quads

Frequency

The quads are one of the biggest muscle groups in the body. This makes it very difficult to train them hard more than 3 times per week. 2-3 days is the sweet spot and should be mainly squat variations, leg presses, hack squats, and other compound movements.

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Since the quads are so big, the more you train them and can recover from the better. If you find you’re not recovering training them 3 days per week, consider backing off on one of the days with something easier to recover from such as leg extensions.

My clients train squats 3 days per week to build their lower body faster. As they get stronger, this will transition to only two days per week but no less. Doing only one hard quad workout per week is a good way to prevent optimal muscle growth.

Intensity

Just like other muscle groups, the quads have a strong blend of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. This makes them respond to growth from any reps in the 5-20 rep range.

You should be doing sets of 5-10 with your heaviest exercises such as high bar squats, front squats, and other close variations. For the 10-20 rep range, I recommend doing higher reps of things such as machine work (leg press, hack squats, and leg extensions). This is also a great rep range for single leg work like lunges, split squats, and step ups.

Range Of Motion

The proper form for quad exercises should be an attention to depth. For things like squats, the lower your depth is the better. Of course, you need to be thinking about going as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. That’s why using Olympic weight lifting shoes while training your quads is such a good idea. It allows you to push the knees forward and really stretch out the quads to full depth.

For things such as leg extensions, focusing on holding the top extended position is a great idea. This will extend the time under tension in a way that squats can’t replicate.

Final note: if you think deep squats are bad for your knees, think again. It’s actually the opposite. As soon as you squat down to a full range of motion, the load is evenly distributed to your hamstrings and glutes as well. When you stop the movement in a half or quarter squat, the force goes directly into your knees. That’s the reason “squats are bad for your knees”, not because of squatting correctly, but by squatting incorrectly!

To see what a solid squat looks like for training the quads for maximal hypertrophy, here’s yet another video of Mike Israetel squatting to an incredible depth. His hamstrings touch his calves he’s going so low and this puts a ton of tension on the quads for maximal growth.

Hamstrings

Frequency

The hamstrings are incredibly similar to the quads when it comes to training them. Unlike the quads though, they’re incredibly fast-twitch dominant.

The hamstrings are probably one of the easiest muscle groups to train and they get sore very quickly. That’s why training hamstrings 2-3 days per week along with quads is a great idea. I would recommend focusing on at least one hip hinge movement and one hamstring curling movement per week.

Intensity

Because the hamstrings are very fast-twitch in nature, using big hip hinge movements such as deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts and good morning in the 5-10 rep range is your best bet. These all create a huge stretch in the hamstrings which is what they need to grow. Adding to this, the majority of the work you do for hamstrings will also train the lower back and glutes simultaneously.

The other exercises you can do such as leg curls and back extensions should be done in the 10-15 rep range. Any heavier and the risk of injury goes up due to the nature of the exercises.

Using a mix of these types of exercises and rep ranges is all you need to build a solid set of hamstrings.

Range Of Motion

As I said before, the hamstrings love huge stretches. Doing Romanians deadlifts with the biggest range of motion possible and a controlled negative is the best way to grow them.

The other main exercises you will be using, leg curls and back extensions can have pauses added in to increase the intensity.

Between these types of lifts, you don’t need much variation at all to build bigger hamstrings luckily. To show proper form on a hip hinge such as the Romanian deadlift, check out the lift below. This is the best form you can possibly manage on this exercise and is the main thing necessary to build the biggest hamstrings possible.

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“Stick with sets of 5–10 in hip hinges with an emphasis on anterior pelvic tilt, a lordotic spine, and an ‘almost straight’ knee position.” – @rpdrmike I’ll take what Mike said even further/ modify what he said. Go down until you feel the stretch and if you can still emphasize the above parameters then YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS STOPPING THERE AND COMING UP!! IF YOU WANT HUGE HAMSTRINGS, with less injury risk, then keep going. My training partner @charlton_banks And I noticed I could get more ROM while maintaining these parameters. Added plates for an extra 1.5 inches! If you can stay neutral (natural curve of the spine for the most part), can maintain the slight bend in the knees, and can continue to push back/emphasize the pelvic tilt then you’re really just stopping short for the sake of stopping short. And probably to increase the load on the bar. This is no different than quarter squatting, if you ask me. Can you take a quarter squat all the way down? No, because the weight is too heavy. IF you cannot emphasize those things mentioned then you should probably have someone look at your technique to assess if you could be doing things slightly different BEFORE you stop right below your knees for the sake of intensity. I’m JUST STARTING to feel the stretch of this movement when the bar reaches right below my knees. To me there are two parts to this exercise. The moment I feel the stretch (where people come up) and then the painful stretching beyond what feels comfortable!!! I guess some people can handle the painful stretch after that and some just can’t, so they say “active ROM bro”. “I don’t feel it in my hamstrings bro” (because they’ve compromised biomechanics for load). – – I remember squatting ATG for the first time as well. Felt terrible, load had to come down, and I had to control the entire range of motion. Shit was hard, but now my quads are huge and I’ve had 0 injuries (same goes for HUNDREDS of clients/friends I’ve trained with/ fixed technique for). – – Can you get big hamstrings with partial ROM?? Sure! Does that mean you’re sacrificing ROM for load (which means more systemic fatigue probably, as well as increased injury risk)?? Probably…..

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Calves

Frequency

Calves require no direct training to maintain their size luckily. They’re trained through squats, deadlifts and other lower body movements.

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For those that are trying to train them directly to build them up bigger, you can manage between 2-4 days per week.

This is mainly going to be determined by your specific calf composition. If they’re faster-twitch, 2 days per week is plenty due to the amount of soreness you’ll experience from training them. If they’re more slow-twitch, they require at least 4 days of solid training per week to grow.

You’ll know how much you need to train your calves based on how much soreness you experience from one session. If you don’t get very sore and recover quickly, train them more. If you get incredibly sore, train them less.

Simple.

Intensity

As I stated before, training your calves properly depends entirely on what type of muscle fibers your calves are mainly composed of. In general, using a mix of heavy and lighter reps will give you the best growth possible.

This means sets of 8-20 reps will work well for most people. Split up the training sessions each week so you’re working in a different rep range. You could do 8-12 reps one day, 10-15 the next and 15-20 another day.

It depends on how many times you need to train them and recover from. In most cases, the more you can train a muscle and recover the faster you’ll grow.

Range Of Motion

Calf training is probably the most bastardized on this entire list. You’ll see tons of guys doing bouncing reps tacked onto the end of their leg days with no actual calf size to speak of.

To train calves correctly, you have to focus on two very important phases of calf raises. The stretch at the bottom, and the flexion at the top of the movement.

When you get to the bottom of a calf raise, you should be allowing the weight to stretch your heel down for around 3-5 seconds. If you don’t do this, the incredibly powerful and reflexive Achilles tendon will snap into action and steal most of the work away from your calves!

When you get to the top of the calf raises, you want to flex hard for 3-5 seconds as well. Once again this is to increase the time under tension necessary to grow these stubborn muscle groups.

As long as you execute your calf work with this level of precision you will build bigger calves. It’s very hard work but you have to make them a focus and not an afterthought.

If you’re curious of how to do this properly check out the video below and learn why your calf training has gone nowhere! It’s an easy fix but it absolutely works!

Conclusion

As you can see, each muscle group in the body requires a different stimulus to grow. A lot of them have similar rep ranges or intensities you should be working in.

If you ever wanted to simplify this it would be very simple;

  • Get stronger in the 5-20 rep range.
  • Use big, compound movements.
  • Train each muscle group at least 2 days per week.
  • Make sure you’re recovering.
  • Consume enough calories to maximize muscle growth.

That’s basically it! If you do these 5 things you’ll not only build more muscle, you’ll get stronger too. I’ve seen it too many times for it to be a coincidence. If you aren’t stronger 6 months from now, the odds that you built muscle are pretty low.

Getting stronger solves most problems in life so focus on it and reap the benefits!

If you learned a ton from this piece definitely drop a comment below! I had a ton of fun researching for this and writing it so definitely consider sharing it with anybody that might get something out of it.

I hope you all have an awesome Halloween!

Until next time,

-Dante Redgrave

danteredgrave

danteredgrave

I'm a Strength Coach and Content Creator with freedom on my mind! Without strength training, I hate to think of where I would be without it. What kind of person I would be, what kind of shape I would be in. It scares me, and that's why every day is a new chance to better myself. Anybody that's interested I am taking online clients now! Just shoot me an email and know you won't find a better deal online or offline. Guaranteed:)

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