Dennis Wolf’s Calves – Why Aren’t They Huge?

Dennis Wolf is a gifted bodybuilder. He is wide, tall and has the so-called X-frame. His biggest weakness are his calves. Many people wonder why Wolf’s calves are not as big as the rest of him. Today, I will tell you.

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1.Genetics

If you don’t have the right genes, you are not going to have well-developed lower legs. People like Dennis Wolf have the so-called high calves (long Achilles tendons + short muscle bellies). This limits the potential for growth.

2.Androgen receptors

In general, there is a higher concentration of androgen receptors in the upper body. This explains to an extent why Dennis Wolf can have a monstrous upper body and weak calves. The lower you go, the fewer androgens receptors there are.


3.Nerve damage

Another factor that may be contributing to Dennis Wolf’s calf size is nerve damage.

When a nerve is hurt, it’s hard to activate the muscle completely when it’s under tension. A good example would be Ronnie Coleman who according to the rumors has a damaged nerve in his left lat.

ronnie-coleman-left-lat-nerve-damage

4.Poor training

Another factor that can contribute to poor calf development is inefficient training. Back in the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger had weak lower legs and took river shots to hide his weakness.

However, after super heavy calf training with Reg Park, he improved his calves to the point where they became one of his strengths.

This does not mean that there is a secret routine that would transform Dennis Wolf’s calves into monsters. One would expect that a bodybuilder from his level has tried everything under the Sun to improve his lower leg development.

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arnold-big-calves

5.Calves are not among the ‘marketable muscle groups

There have been many bodybuilding champions with weak calves. Even Ronnie Coleman didn’t have the best set of calves. However, that did not stop him from winning 8 Mr. Olympias. The judges just don’t care about calves that much.

2 comments

  1. joe santus

    A popular misconception about Arnold’s calves is that how he managed to build them from mediocre to world-class demonstrates that “anybody can build calves if he works hard, heavy, and intensely long enough”.

    Nope.

    While other national and world level bodybuilders often have good or better calves after little training or even before they begin bodybuilding (Chris Dickerson and Sergio Oliva, contemporaries of Schwarzenegger, are two examples), Arnold had what might be termed “hidden calf potential”. Arnold had great calf genetic potential, but, in his case, he had to work heavy and hard to unlock that genetic potential. His latent potential was so great that, once he began to work them hard, with as much as 1,000 lb calf raises, he claims, “In one year my calves grew two inches. They grew so quickly that some people began to say that I had gotten calf implants.”

    Meaning, Arnold had exceptional calf genetics, but his did require concentrated effort to realize them.

    Regrettably, his experience does not represent what the average person can expect if the average guy trains as hard and heavy as Arnold did. If Arnold didn’t possess the great latent calf potential he did, then he could have done calf raises with 1,000 pounds for ten years yet still had mediocre calves. His training worked, not because it was so heavy and hard, but because he had great calf genes to respond to that training. Most of us do not, including Dennis Wolf.

    1. joe santus

      …as a post script…
      The fact that training as hard and heavy for as Arnold did won’t get you great calves unless you too have great calf genetics doesn’t mean you can’t maximize whatever potential you do have by training your hard and heavy for at least two years. But it does mean that, unless your calf genetics give you superb potential, there are no “secrets to getting calves like Arnold’s”. Put in at least two solid years of progressive intelligent training on your calves, and then accept whatever results your genes allow.

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