Last night I worked out my calves for the first time in my Vibram toe shoes.  I was so excited because in the past I have felt like my toes were being unfairly constrained by my regular athletic shoes. (My shoes were the Guantanamo Bay of shoes, where my toes were innocent Iraqis unjustly accused of terrorism or something).   I assumed that with my toes un-stifled and unfettered, that I would be much stronger because I would finally be able to use all of my toes to press the weight.  What I wasn’t counting on was that the Vibram shoes have such a thin sole that when I press a large amount of weight, it becomes very noticeable that I’m missing some padding on the balls of my feet and “ouch!”

However, I must say, my glute work out this last Friday, wearing the Vibram shoes was stellar!  I was able to press more weight than ever and I got a killer work out (couldn’t walk right for days–it was wonderful)!  I have to wonder if the problem with the calf machines is partly because of the small little narrow platform that they provide on the machines for the feet (what’s up with that?)  It doesn’t allow you to use all of your toes very easily when pointing the feet out to the sides (to target the inner gastrocnemius), the big toe (the strongest one) doesn’t really fit on the narrow little platform from that angle and you end up pressing with your smaller toes and the ball of the foot (with no padding). However, when turning the feet inward and targeting the outer gastrocnemius, all the toes fit very well and you can lift much more weight from that angle! Regardless, I am sore in the calves today and that makes me happy!  I am not going to give up on the idea of toe shoes giving you a better calf work out.  I’m going to look into the Nike Skele-toes shoes because I have heard that they have a thicker sole.  Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve tried them.

Oh, and about these photos—the first one shows the best angle for showing off my new little calf muscle.  The second one shows you that I still have a ways to go.  I’m at that stage in bodybuilding where my calf muscles look great when I really flex, but in any kind of normal movement, they still look quite small (sigh).  This is definitely not the case with my butt (as you have seen). Oh well, I’m going to keep plugging along and be happy with my progress thus far.  After all, I have gained over an inch in my calves in just 3 months, which is a lot.  I recently read another blog by a bodybuilder who was happy to have put an inch on his calves in a year!  I expect to have the calves I’ve always wanted (big and curvaceous) by the time I’ve been working on them for a year.  Guess it must be all the vegan protein that gives me that edge!

Here’s my workout from last night:

Calves

  • seated calf raise: 6 reps/115 lbs SOI, 10 reps/105 lbs SOI, 8 reps/95 lbs SOI, 10 reps/95 lbs SOI
  • standing calf raise: 10 reps/160 lbs SOI X 3
  • seated calf press Roc It machine: 10 reps/274 lbs SOI, 10 reps/240 lbs SOI X 2
  • stair calf raises: 10 per leg X 4
  • 5 minutes cardio on toes with resistance at level 20 on Adaptive Motion Machine

Abs

  • crunches with medicine ball over head: 50 X 2
  • P 90-X Ab Ripper DVD

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast:

  • Breakfast (53 g protein): smoothie with bananas, frozen cherries, frozen blueberries, 2 oz wheat grass (2 g protein), 1 packet frozen acai with added protein (7 g protein), 1.5 cups soy milk (10 g protein), 1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (20 g protein), 1 scoop Spirutein (14 g protein) and 1 tsp L-glutamine
  • Lunch (25 g protein): about 2 cups Quinoa (20 g protein) with onions, peppers and 10 small tofu cubes (5 grams protein)
  • Dinner (49 g protein): 2 cups black beans (24 g protein) with 1 small potato, 2 cups corn (10 g protein), onions, 5 small pieces of seitan (15 g protein), pineapple, kalamata olives, tomatoes
  • Snack: Builder’s Bar (20 g protein)
  • Before/During Workout: 1 tsp “N.O. Xplode” (caffeine free version) and 1 tsp Creatine powder mixed with 1 liter water.
  • After Workout: 1 tsp L-glutamine powder mixed with 1 liter water
  • Before Bed (50 g protein): smoothie with bananas, frozen peaches, 2 oz wheat grass (2 g protein), 2 cups soy milk (14 g protein),  and 1 scoop of Vega Sport Performance Protein (20 g protein), 1 scoop Spirutein (14 g protein) and 1 tsp L-glutamine powder
  • Total  197 grams of protein for the day!!!
 

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