There are quite a few strange muscle groups people get completely obsessed with when they start bodybuilding, one of these being the calves. Want big calves? I have some bad news for you: they are ridiculously hard to grow and are very resistant to strength training. As opposed to wasting your time trying to bigger your calves, I recommend turning your attention to your traps.
Where even are your traps, you might ask? ‘Traps’ are short for ‘trapezius’ and it is a “large paired surface muscle that extends longitudinally from the occipital bone to the lower thoracic vertebrae of the spine and laterally to the spine of the scapula”, as Wikipedia explains it. Okay, who cares? Well, you should as training the traps is not only easier than growing big calves but it will also make you look ‘bigger’, even when you wear a t-shirt. Win-win.
Coming back to the question of calves muscles, it’s completely baffling why people would want to go above and beyond to grow them. This is pretty much the ‘how to get a six pack’ debate all over again: it’s not impossible to have either (or both), it’s just unnecessary. Neither your six pack, nor your calves are visible to others around you most of the time, and considering the effort it takes to get them, it’s a bit silly to focus your muscle building effort on them.
On the other hand, having large traps, much like having big shoulders, will make it pretty obvious that you are working out, without having to pull up your t-shirt all the time to showcase your washboard abs. Traps will also make your pecs and shoulders look bigger, as well as supporting your neck, which is not a bad thing if you stare at computer screens often.
To summarise: never mind the calves and if you really need to workout a random muscle in the body, make it the traps.
Farmer’s carry is an amazing exercise. It’s as simple as it gets, yet it works the arm and especially the traps beautifully. All you need to do is to walk around holding a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells . That’s it. You will need some space and I wouldn’t recommend walking backwards as you see it in the video above but other than that, feel free to carry the weights around as long as you wish.
The deadlift, a.k.a. the King of Lifts is one of the best – if not the best – compound exercise to build overall strength and burn fat, all in the same time. The idea is to work with large weight when performing deadlifts – although please start small and work up – so form is especially important. Perform deadlifts incorrectly, and what you’ll get is a pulled back, not big arms and toned glutes. When done right, the deadlift will build strength and traps like no other exercise can.