Patriots WR Julian Edelman’s Ridiculous Calves Show Why You Should Never Skip Leg Day
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is one of the most important pieces of the defending Super Bowl champion team’s well-oiled machine, and in a recent Instagram post, the 11-year NFL vet acknowledged that his status is largely due to his intense work ethic. His fans, however, took notice of one aspect of the photo in particular: Edelman’s perfectly-sculpted calves.
“Creature of habit. #RoutineMaintenance,” Edelman wrote in the photo’s caption. “You could see those calves from outer space,” the top comment reads, and most of the others follow along those lines, alternating between awe and envy.
After their 43-0 Week 2 shellacking of the lowly Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Edelman, Tom Brady, and the rest of the Patriots are off to a not-so-unusual 2-0 start. Still, though, with a pair of (relatively) new star WRs to pair with Edelman in Josh Gordon (returning from suspension) and the always-controversial Antonio Brown, along with a defense that has yet to allow a touchdown this season, it looks like this could be one of the strongest seasons for the Patriots in years.
Which is saying something, considering they won the Super Bowl last year (and Edelman was the game’s MVP).
If you want to pump up your calves to Edelman-esque levels, you have your work cut out for you. The calf muscles are sometimes overlooked during leg day workouts, even though many guys dream of adding some size. That said, there are ways to focus in on your lower legs, which you can actually get away with training at a higher frequency than most other body parts—think about how much work they’re getting just by supporting your body all day long.
There are multiple exercises you can use to build up your calves like Edelman’s, but standing calf raises (using a Smith machine for a load) could possibly be your best bet. Keep your knees straight and your core and glutes tightened, then flex your calf muscles to press yourself up. That’s one rep—and you can pump out 10 to 25 reps per set. Aim for 3 total sets, depending on the day.
If you want to keep in Edelman’s mindset, another good option could be running stadium steps, or even just sprinting. It’s also important to remember in your training, though, that building up your calves takes time. Slower reps, higher volume, and longer duration is the key for your workouts.