If you are something serious about calf training you likely know about calf raises. Find out how many repetitions you should do to see results.
Something to note first is that you want to change your calf raise sets and reps depending on what your fitness goals are.
To build calf muscle you should do around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 weighted calf raises with resistance where you are barely able to complete these ranges.
If you want to improve muscle power for purposes like improving vertical jump height and dunks, you want to do around 4 to 8 or more sets of 5 or fewer calf raises with resistance that is around 40% to 70% of your 1 RM.
Next, to improve calf muscle endurance, you want to do around 3 to 6 sets of 25+ calf raises with resistance where you don’t push to failure.
Lastly, because calf muscles are relatively small, many people will be able to do the ranges above every day. Especially the power and endurance ranges.
At the same time, this much calf training is often not necessary.
How many calf raises should you do to build muscle?
Calf raises may always be the same movement but how many repetitions you do with what weights does influence what area of your fitness you focus on.
To build muscle you should do around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 weighted calf raises with a resistance where you are just able to complete these ranges.
That being said, if you don’t have much or any resistance available, you could potentially also get bigger calves with higher-repetition sets of up to 50 and possibly more calf raises.
It is typically better to really push to failure in these high-repetition sets.
Besides that, doing your calf raises on a calf raise block or platform allows your muscles to go through a larger range of motion.
This is generally beneficial for muscle growth (and progress in other fitness components).
How many calf raises should you do to dunk aka improve power?
There are also people who consider doing more calf raises to improve their vertical jump height for purposes like dunking in basketball.
The first thing to note is that typically most of your jump power will come from your quadricep muscles. Secondly, more calf muscle mass also often helps with power.
That being said, you may really want to work on anything that can improve your dunks. Additionally, training with a focus on muscle power can still offer separate benefits on top of muscle growth training.
To improve calf muscle power for purposes like improving vertical jump height, you should do 4 to 8 or more sets of 5 or fewer calf raises with resistance that is around 40% to 70% of your 1 RM.
You should do the upward motions in these repetitions relatively fast.
Because your body tends to recover quickly from power training, you can do more than 8 sets too. Even if you do explosive weighted calf raises.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind no matter how many sets of calf raises you do. Especially if you use a calf raise block or similar platform.
At the bottom of your calf raise movement where your heel is at its lowest point, you want to take a 1-second break. This helps you avoid using the bounce of your tendons instead of your calf muscles to move the weight.
How many sets and reps of calf raises to improve endurance
Having good endurance in your calf muscles can be helpful for certain activities like long-distance running and hiking.
It is possible to adapt your calf workout sets and reps for this specific purpose.
More specifically, you want to do around 3 to 6 sets of 25+ calf raises with a weight where you don’t go to failure to build muscle endurance.
Many people will find standing bodyweight calf raises challenging enough for this purpose.
Is it OK to do calf raises every day?
When you do resistance training exercises like calf raises you damage the main muscles you work.
This may not sound good but it actually starts a variety of internal processes that can repair the muscles and make them bigger and stronger.
However, your body still needs time to complete these processes. For this reason, it is typically recommended to give your calf muscles at least one extra day of rest before doing a calf raise workout again.
You can also see good results by doing calf raises every other day with the ranges above.
At the same time, smaller muscles like your calves do tend to recover more quickly than big muscles like for example your glutes.
Additionally, your muscles tend to recover more quickly from low-repetition sets like the ones you do to train calf strength and power.
Because of these things, it will be OK for many people to do calf raises every day.
Even though it is not always necessary or recommended.
Are calf raises enough to build muscle?
Calf raises can be enough to build calf muscle if you do the right amounts of sets and reps and use the right amount of weight.