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Thread: Calf strength & power production

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyper View Post
    Ok, well, my thought is that calf raises mimic the movement the calves does when one executes a for example a vertical jump; you push off with the calves and the muscles are more or less fully extended during the movement. As such, the question is if calf raises can help (and if so to what extent) to produce more power. During movements such as drop jumps (or 'dead landing') where the landing is performed by landing on the ball of the feet first, that movement mimics the eccentric portion of the calf raise. So, the question is, if being stronger in calf raises can help with power production in verticals and improve the ability to perform drop jumps.
    An excellent analysis. Because the way we get stronger has to mimic the way we actually use our strength. You're qualified to coach strength at the Division 1 and Pro levels right now.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyper View Post
    Ok, well, my thought is that calf raises mimic the movement the calves does when one executes a for example a vertical jump; you push off with the calves and the muscles are more or less fully extended during the movement. As such, the question is if calf raises can help (and if so to what extent) to produce more power. During movements such as drop jumps (or 'dead landing') where the landing is performed by landing on the ball of the feet first, that movement mimics the eccentric portion of the calf raise. So, the question is, if being stronger in calf raises can help with power production in verticals and improve the ability to perform drop jumps.
    Read these:

    The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance | Mark Rippetoe

    Strength Training, CrossFit, and “Functional Training” | Mark Rippetoe

    Diversity is NOT our Strength | Mark Rippetoe

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Calves -- both gastrocs and soleus -- apply rearward tension to the superior tibia. They stabilize the knee, so they are under tension in both squat and deadlift, and the press. Why do you think the ROM matters in training when it is short during function?
    So Iím not crazy. I always felt like my calves were working very hard during a heavy press.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    An excellent analysis. Because the way we get stronger has to mimic the way we actually use our strength. You're qualified to coach strength at the Division 1 and Pro levels right now.
    Like by using a golf club with weights attached to it to get a more powerful drive because you ''mimic'' the movement or something like that... I get it, I've read through practical programming, Rip.

    But if you can exert more force through the full range of motion in calf raises, I thought it might help with jumps. If not, please just tell me why it isn't the case in this particular example.

  5. #15
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    Because the vast VAST majority of the force production in a jump comes from the knee and hip extensors.

  6. #16
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    Hey Rip,

    I was wondering about this when it comes to SVJ, power production, and gaining strength in the squat. If you triple F in the P=Fxd/t equation, wouldn't power output be tripled, all else equal?

    Why then wouldn't that significantly increase SVJ? In reality I know it may only go up an inch or two, but I would have thought getting stronger would have been more effective for increasing power and/or vertical given the math on the equation.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_B View Post
    So I’m not crazy. I always felt like my calves were working very hard during a heavy press.
    You will feel serious strain in all sorts of strange places under a heavy standing press. Especially a single.

  8. #18
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    My calfs NEVER grew as big as when I started doing deep, heavy squats three times a week. And, just in case, I had a time where I was only interested in increasing my body mass (I wanted to join a rugby team and I was VERY skinny) and did those typical silly bodybuilding workouts and my calfs were always almost the same , I even started training them with the McDonald method (which seemed to be the most "logical" of all the crap that bodybuilders can say) and i started doing this: Training the calves with the Lyle McDonald method: Day 1: Explosive strength, for the gastrocnemius, Day 2: Maximum strength at slow tempo, for the soleus. Let me tell you, those is BULLSHIT. Never will a twin grow bigger than doing heavy squats and heavy deadlifts. I can sign it wherever you want and prove it to anyone.

  9. #19
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    You know what Santana says about calves: get a job as a mailman with an on-foot route. In three months they'll blow up.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GioFerrante View Post
    Hey Rip,

    I was wondering about this when it comes to SVJ, power production, and gaining strength in the squat. If you triple F in the P=Fxd/t equation, wouldn't power output be tripled, all else equal?

    Why then wouldn't that significantly increase SVJ? In reality I know it may only go up an inch or two, but I would have thought getting stronger would have been more effective for increasing power and/or vertical given the math on the equation.
    Probably has something to do with:

    1 - When your body leaves the floor, you are at the mercy of gravity, which is an "Exponential" force you are fighting against. ( the whole x 9.8m^2). It takes a whole shitton more Force units to bump the needle there.

    2 - And most of the time, the improved ability to generate force (say squatting strength) comes with the penalty of the added body weight (muscle) to plug in the ballistic formula when jumping. If a guy went from 200#BW squatting 135x5x3 (fluffy couch potato), to 200#BW squatting 405x5x3 (quasi-athlete) .... well, this is rather obvious that he should be able to jump significantly higher than 1" to 2". Maybe a whole 3" to 5" higher. oh goodie and yay!

    What usually happens in reality is a 200#BW guy squatting 205x5x3, goes to 220#BW squatting 365x5x3.
    That extra 20# of BW to throw up in the air is a real deal breaker, maybe he jumps a whole/s 2" higher.

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