By Chris Wilson, Head Strength Coach
Below you will find three Q&As shedding some light on effective calf training, calorie consumption for hardgainers and 3 quick tips helping guys to reach the Alpha Zone.
25-15-10 Calf Blast
Q) People laugh whenever I roll up my pant legs. Ah, let me explain. Like everybody else in bodybuilding, I have been neglecting my calves or they just won’t grow so I skip them and they are really undersized so I am thinking that I really need to give them the attention they deserve. I don’t want to spend a ton of time on them so can you come up with a short and sweet calf routine for me?
A) So you want a short and sweet calf routine! Okay, how about this. It is called the 25-15-10 extended set technique.
While doing the standing calf machine, do 25 full range of motion reps (from the bottom stretch to the top peak contraction) doing each one in a slow and deliberate manner, stretching at the bottom and squeezing and contracting at the top.
Upon completion of the 25th rep and without any rest what-so-ever begin doing 15 Super-Fast Speed Reps in the high one-quarter to one-third range of the movement.
These partial reps will appear almost bouncy in nature. Once you have completed the 15 reps and again without rest finish off with a final 10 full range of motion reps in super-slow fashion.
This completes one cycle. Do 3 cycles. On the 25 and 15 rep phase of the cycle stretch the calves at the bottom of every 5th rep for approximately 10-15 seconds. The 3 cycles of this calf blast should be performed 3 nonconsecutive training days per week.
Blender Magic for HARD-gainers
Q) I need to pound down some extra calories each day and up to now I have been buying those convenient ready-to-drink shakes at the gym but they can get really expensive especially when I need 2-3 or more of them a day. I don’t have a clue about making my own protein/gain weight shakes home so I’d like to know what you recommend.
A) The GORILLA BIG BULK WEIGHT GAIN DRINK FORMULA will give you some extra calories and compared to the ready-to-drink shakes it isn’t that expensive.
2 cups non-fat milk
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 raw eggs
2 scoops of quality ice cream (as natural as possible)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. 100% egg protein
8 tbsp. powdered milk
Mix ingredients in a blender at high speed for 20 seconds and drink entire amount twice daily or more in addition to regular meals.
Alpha Zone Training Tip from Vince Gironda
Q) Vince is better known as the Iron Guru and celebrity trainer of the stars. Anyway, a person wrote to him years ago in a Muscle Mag issue and said that he could normally do a 10 rep maximum in the barbell squat with 250 pounds but in a recent workout he did 18 reps.
He went on to say that he was able to only do it for one workout and then he was back to the same old 250 pounds for 10 reps.
He was curious as to why his squats were so exceptional for one workout only. Gironda answered and said it had something to do with going into an Alpha Zone, where the mental and physical powers merged to optimize normal strength levels once in a lifetime.
Can You Explain in More Detail Exactly What Gironda was Talking About?
A) The Alpha Zone theory that Vince mentioned represents to me a number of conclusive factors.
First, the muscles involved in the squatting process must be fully recovered from say a previous workout. Without maximum rest and recovery, you’re never going to get everything your muscles have to offer.
Second, the motor nerve pathways to the muscles are heightened or very well established through a tremendous mind-muscle link. You are not merely the muscle; you have become the muscle. We’ve talked about this relationship in part articles. The Mind-Muscle or Mind-Body connection must be so strong that the two actually become one.
And third, there is a very strong psychological motivation to perform (perhaps you are functioning in an environment where friends you want to impress are around that normally aren’t) and as a result you are either “enjoying the pain” or have “turned it off” as you go far beyond your previous best maximum repetition set ever.
It’s the culmination of these three factors that gives a lifter or powerbuilder that supreme effect when hoisting the heavy iron. Suffice it to say, I don’t have a firm understanding of Alpha Zone training yet and I doubt many others do either. Vince was way ahead of his time and we are still learning from him years after his death.