Q: I've got calves that look like Tara Lipinski's. Once and for all, high reps or low reps?Standing calf raises or seated calf raises? A bullet to my head or a good dose of anthrax?A: Perhaps you should stop watching the lithe, supple bodies of young women floatingalong the ice as their tiny skirts are buoyed upwards by gentle drafts, their budding youngbreasts delineated by?oh, sorry. I digress. My point is, working calves involves all thebrain work you can muster. Calves, physiologically speaking, are problematic. A lot of trainees are frustrated with their calf training because the optimum loading parameters forlower leg development are a lot more restricted than they are, for say, arm training.Contrary to something like biceps work, your calf exercise repertoire is limited. Tocounter this, you have to be more diligent about manipulating reps, sets, and even restintervals to give yourself more exercise routine permutations.Another problem is the limited range of motion afforded by calf movements. Let's sayyou were doing squats. The range of motion in a squat is considerable and it's easy tovary the tempo. For example, it might take you 3,4,5 or more seconds to complete theeccentric portion of the movement. However, during calf exercises, you have a limitedrange of motion and you can't vary your tempo as easily as you can in the squat or otherexercises.During the last Olympics in Nagano, a bunch of my athletes from different sports wereriding the bus after an event. For some reason, they started discussing the merits of thecalf routines I had given them, and in particular, the one I had given to Luke Sauder, oneof my alpine skiers. One skier recalled the fact that Luke had come into training campsporting a new pair of calves, and the ski company rep was freaking out because he hadto remold him a new set of boots. I recalled that Luke had wanted a calf routine becausebig calves prevent knee injuries in alpine skiing (they actually provide a cushion toprevent the skier's knees from reaching too acute an angle as they jet down a mountain).Anyhow, when I got home, I dug out the routine that I had given Luke from my computerarchives. It's one that would serve anyone well. Here it is:The Luke Sauder Calf RoutineDay 1: High-VolumeExercise A: Calf Superset*A1) Seated Calf Raises3 x 10-5-5 (one set of 10 reps, followed by two of 5 reps) at a 101 tempo (1 second tolower the weight, no pause, and 1 second to raise the weight)A2) Donkey Calf Raises3 x 30-50 at a 101 tempo*After finishing a set of the A1 exercise, proceed immediately to exercise A2. Thenrest two minutes before repeating the super set.