Are my calves fat or muscle?
This question comes up once every couple of months and usually is asked by females. Let’s take a deeper dive into this question as every situation is different. Sometimes it is the size of your muscle and sometimes it’s your fat. However, in majority of situations it is both.
So the question is how can you determine if your calves are fat or if you just have big muscles?
Let’s begin by standing with your back towards a mirror. Stand up on your toes as high as you can.
Do you see the fibres and striations from your calf muscles? Do you see the popping veins? If yes, you have big muscles. If not, you have muscles covered with fat.
Let’s start with the easy one. Your muscles are covered with fat. Nothing complicated here. All you need to do is to lose fat. You cannot lose it just on your calves! Don’t even think about trying that, it will not work! There is no such thing as localized weight loss.
You will have to change what you eat and start an exercise program that is designed for weight loss.
In terms of nutrition for weight loss, any diet that creates low insulin levels for majority of your 24 hours should work. As long as you have no insulin in your blood, you’ll be losing weight. In terms of training, do everything. Cardio, resistance training, high intensity interval training, low intensity steady training, the more, the merrier!
The most important part is to be in pain as much as possible.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
I know it doesn’t sound too appealing but trust me we all feel the same when we exercise. You will only see the results you want if it is uncomfortable and painful.
There is good news though, once you accept it, it becomes fun and does not feel uncomfortable at all. It is the best feeling in the world when you do something you did not want to do.
Now on the other hand, If you are very lean and just have big calve muscles, this becomes a little harder. It is a very rare occasion though and happens only with competitive athletes or people with certain occupation that demands lots of physical heavy use of those muscles. Additionally, this case is male dominant and majority of males do not care about calve size that much.
However, if you are the exception and would like to slim your calves down, here are a couple of suggestions for you. First, avoid any heavy anaerobic use of your calves. That includes exercises with weights or any other resistance type of exercises that cause muscle breakdown or cramping. No hiking up the mountains. If your calve muscles hurt after any physical activities they will grow or at least maintain their current size.
You need to do long cardio training that is easier on your muscles. Get on a stationary bike, set low to medium resistance and go for 60-90 minutes. You can do the same with swimming or any other similar type of training that does not put too much physical stress on your calves.