💪 3 Olympia-Worthy Calf Exercises

Your fantasy football team may have dropped the ball this weekend, but we’re here to give you a much-needed morale boost.

Here’s how to get it:

  • Derek Lunsford reveals the three exercises he’s using to build rock-hard calves for this year’s Mr. Olympia.

  • Learn five essential lower lat exercises for a denser and more defined back.

  • Five-time WBFF world champion Wole Adesemoye pulls back the curtain on the three crucial steps for a perfect peak week.


Calf Strain

Credit: Derek Lunsford / YouTube

Derek Lunsford was a hair’s breadth away from winning his first Mr. Olympia title last year. Though being the runner-up to Hadi Choopan is nothing to be embarrassed about, Lunsford knows there are some improvements he needs to make for the 2023 Olympia. And one of his strategies involves a renewed focus on calf training.

The calves consist of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is the inverted heart-shaped outline on the back of the lower leg. The soleus muscle sits beneath the gastrocnemius, starting just below the knee and extending to the Achilles tendon above the heel. When working out the calves, it's essential to know that the soleus muscle mainly contracts when the knees are bent. While activities performed with the knee extended are more beneficial to target the gastrocnemius.

Lunsford took that knowledge and crafted a three-move routine that he believes will get him the well-rounded calves he needs for the Olympia. And you can copy this Olympia hopeful’s homework and build your own pair of beastly calves by checking out his workout below.


Lat Spread Activation

Credit: martvisionlk / Shutterstock

The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle group in the upper body and is essential for performing heavy lifts like pull-ups and deadlifts. However, many lifters only focus on a fraction of this muscle group, neglecting to train the lats comprehensively.

One area that is commonly neglected in training regimens is the lower lats. This oversight can be attributed to exercise selection, which typically fails to target this region directly. Many lifters also suffer from an incomplete range of motion during exercises like the lat pulldown.

To address this gap and facilitate complete muscle development, we share the five best exercises for targeting the lower lats. We’ve also got detailed instructions on performing each move correctly, recommend appropriate repetitions and sets, and even suggest variations to ensure every aspect of lat development is explored. In short, this is the only lower lat exercise article you’ll ever need.


Peak Week Prep

Credit: Generation Iron Fitness & Bodybuilding Network / YouTube

“Peak week" is a crucial period in any bodybuilding contest prep. During this time, athletes make meticulous adjustments to their diet and training routines to achieve a highly vascular appearance so they look as sharp as possible on stage. Making even the slightest misstep can be the difference between triumph and a humbling defeat.

This is something five-time WBFF world champion Wole Adesemoye knows inside and out, and he shared his invaluable insights on perfecting the peak week during a recent appearance on The Mike O'Hearn Show. This included tips on altering his cardio routine, adjusting his rest time between sets, and adopting a different mindset that affected his overall performance. Keep reading to see what exactly he’s doing to show up to competitions podium-ready.


Cold Comfort

Credit: Giphy

  • It’s been shown that cold therapy may be able to enhance post-workout recovery. But should you opt for an invigorating ice bath or an old-fashioned cold shower? We’ve got your answers.

  • Not many horizontal rows match the effectiveness of the cable seated row for building a dense back. Here’s how to do them correctly to keep your lower back and hammies intact.

  • Choosing the right weight plates is paramount when setting up your home gym. With options ranging from rubber, iron, steel, and urethane, making an informed decision is essential. Discover our top weight plate recommendations for 2023.


Lunsford’s Chances

Credit: @DerekLunsford_ / Instagram

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