MIKE MATARAZZO'S CALVES

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Mike Matarazzo, 1991 NPC USA heavyweight and overall champ, was well known for his freaky calves and hardcore yet jovial nature when it came to training and competition. Here are Matarazzo's seven fundamental principles for calf growth.

Written by The FLEX staff

May 9, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

THE SEVEN FUNDAMENTALS:

STAY ON YOUR TOES
Matarazzo believed that a lot of his calf development came from his boxing training, especially bouncing around on his toes doing footwork. He remembers guys in his gym in Boston walking on their tiptoes to help build the calves' diamond shape. The reasoning: If you're stressing your calves all day and you give them an extra boost with each step, something's going to happen.

FULL RANGE OF MOTION
For every calf repetition, lower your heels all the way to the bottom for a full stretch. Press steadily all the way to the top and give it a final push with your toes, extending as far as you can.

TRAIN HEAVY
Calves need to be trained with the heaviest weight possible to reach maximum size. Matarazzo made sure he couldn't do more than 10 reps in a set, screaming in agony on the last four.

>>Continue Reading Tips Mike Matarazzo, 1991 NPC USA heavyweight and overall champ, was well known for his freaky calves and hardcore yet jovial nature when it came to training and competition. Here are Matarazzo's seven fundamental principles for calf growth.

Written by The FLEX staff

May 9, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

CONTROLLED CHEATING
Because calves have a long and narrow range of motion, leverage and contractive power are lost when they are stretched all the way to the bottom. The only way to fully fatigue all of the calves' muscle fibers is to cheat them up to the middle position, where the most explosive power is required. If he couldn't start the contraction with muscle power alone, Matarazzo would use bodyweight momentum to move the weight off the bottom. This would develop into a slow even bounce, just enough to overcome inertia, but not so much that his calves weren't flexing or he might tear something. Since calves are traditionally hard to develop, controlled cheating enabled him to really pound them.

EVERY FOURTH DAY
If you are on your feet 12 to 15 hours a day, your calves are being worked even when you're not in the gym. Like other muscle groups, they need a break for recuperation or else they can become overtrained. Matarazzo felt that three to five days should pass before getting into the gym and blasting calves again.

TRAIN CALVES AFTER HAMSTRINGS
After training hamstrings, Matarazzo had plenty of blood in the back of his legs, so he would capitalize on that pump by going directly into his calf workout. The calves should be sufficiently stretched out and pre-exhausted after hamstring training.

AVOID INJURY
Since you can apply so much direct extreme stretching force to your calves, they can be more easily strained or torn. Use only weight you know you can handle correctly when training calves. FLEX.

FLEX FORUMS: Share your calf routines.

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