I'm doing one-legged standing calf raises and crunches in my workout routine. A lot of people talk about training these two muscle groups (calfs and abs) specifically based on repetition, therefor with no weights. However, there are atleast equal the amount of people telling the oposite and using extra weights and doing less reps.

So for example on a bench press, I obviously put on the weights I can handle and do, like in my case, 10 reps. But for calfs and abs I'm pretty confused now.

Is it better to take some extra weights for these exercises and only do about 10 reps too? Or should one take no weights, only the weight of the body itself so to say, and do as many reps as you can?

1 Answer 1


Different muscles has different purposes. Having that in mind, one can expect that training should be different - depending on muscle purpose. Calfs, abs are posture muscles - we are using them a lot. So they have great stamina, you can do hundreds of reps.

On the other hand - people are different, they have different expectations, needs. Question is if that is in line with yours.

General rule is that bigger muscles are better trained with smaller number of reps, and higher weight. Also complex exercises gives more if you train with higher weight - that allows more fibers to be activated.

Abs, calfs are not considered as big muscles. One can say that it takes more time to get tired with no weight... If you have no time for abs - do plank. Body weight is enough. For calfs - go for 10 min on stepper, and do that on toes / heels up / outside the pads. Next days you will feel every step. Doing that every day can develop flat feet, but once a week, for ordinary person - should go just fine.

Sure, when needed - use weights, but be sure to have reason. For instance, with weights you will build bigger muscles, since that way you are addressing white fibers. So if you have big upper body, and need bigger calfs - weight can help. Not sure about reason for bigger abs, but it can be that it is about my perception.

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