Tom Platz, a renowned figure in the world of bodybuilding, was celebrated for several of his unparalleled body parts, apart from his iconic quad/hamstrings/adductor combination. Among these, one standout feature was his extraordinary development of the soleus muscle. It’s important to distinguish here that we are referring specifically to the soleus muscle, not calves as a whole. In a revealing video, Platz divulges his seated calf static-rep finishing workout, which predominantly targets the soleus. It is essential to note that when engaging in exercises involving heavy weights and static contractions, there exists a certain level of risk associated with the possibility of muscle-tendon detachment.
Tom Platz’s own experiences serve as a cautionary tale in this regard. He encountered a bicep injury, a significant setback that effectively halted his meteoric progress in the early 1980s. This isn’t to suggest that static reps are inherently perilous. Instead, it underscores the potential risks of performing extremely heavy static repetitions. To mitigate these risks, it is advisable to opt for lighter weights, focusing on prolonging the duration of the tension applied to the muscles. In doing so, even lighter resistance can be made to feel significantly heavier, ensuring a safer and more controlled approach to training and muscle development.
I’m going to tell you some stuff that I never really tell most people. Back in my day everybody did calves like six days a week but I had most success training calves twice a week. With my body type, really intense calf training twice a week proved to be most effective. I did normal calf raises, standing calf raises, seated calf raises primarily, those two major exercises. The one thing I did on the standing calf raise on certain days, and on the seated calf raise, at the end of my workout, I would put slowly and progressively, as many plates as possible. Joe Gold made a special seated calf machine, extended the bar so I could put ten 100 pound plates or fifteen 100 pound plates. My goal was to just hold the weight at the end of my workout. Many workouts I would just hold the weight, not up high. not real low,but in the middle. I would just hold it. Imagine just holding 1000 or 2000 pounds at the end of your routine, just holding it still until I could barely hold it. I’d have some of the monster guys in the gym push on it barely, watch me, stay close to me. As soon as I felt like it was getting too much and my tendons and ligaments couldn’t handle the tension, I would say “Take it now!” and they took it.
My message to you is that the static rep, the partial static rep, maybe once a week, maybe twice a week at the most, proved to be unbelievable, magic for my calves. I never wanted to get implants. Between getting implants or doing heavy static partial work, the heavy training , hard work, old school training methodology worked best. That’s the actual fact. I don’t think I every said that to a writer in a magazine, I may have, that’ works best for calves for me. One day I would do higher reps prior to that, of course, one day I did real low reps, and I alternated that. But, always, static reps proved to be most effective.