Expert Tip

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Of all the muscle groups, calves may be the trickiest to bring up. Fortunately, Erik Pence, MS, CSCS, PES, a top trainer in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a solution. It has nothing to do with Strength Shoes or changing foot angles — which can only lead to injury — and everything to do with quantity. “Because calves are full of slow-twitch muscle fibers, their recovery period is quicker,” he explains. “You can hit them more often than most people normally do.” Pence recommends exercising them three times a week when they are totally fresh — meaning on non-leg days and at the start of a workout. “I do them as part of my warm-up,” Pence says. “You don’t want to have that waiting at the end.” The best exercises are the seated calf raise, which stresses the lower, thinner soleus, and the leg-press calf raise, which stresses the higher, bulkier gastrocnemius. Do each movement for three to four heavy sets of 15 to 20 reps, and don’t be afraid to isolate the muscles by lifting with one leg at a time. What else shouldn’t you fear? Watching your new-and-improved calves turn heads.