"I think the calf is the most beautiful muscle in the body," Arnold writes in "The Education of a Bodybuilder." This might seem surprising, since Arnold's own calves were a sore subject when he was an up-and-coming bodybuilder. "I even went so far as to cut off the pant legs on my training sweats so that my calves were constantly visible and under scrutiny—a constant reminder to me that my weaknesses deserved greater attention," he famously recalls in "The Encyclopedia."
But shame alone wasn't enough to make a change. Arnold needed a plan. He got one from his early idol Reg Park, when he went to train with Park in South Africa in 1967. Arnold felt that Park had the best calves he had ever seen, but was surprised when his mentor explained that he was once like Arnold. "He said he'd had the same problem, but he had overcome it," Arnold recalls in "The Education." "I soon learned why. I watched him do his calf workouts, and he put me to shame. I was putting small weights on the machine. He stepped over, ran it up to 800 pounds, and did 12 reps. I knew then that as relentlessly as I'd trained, I needed to work even harder if I wanted to reach the plateau he was on."
The calf is a notoriously difficult muscle group to make grow, but by training it heavy and often, Arnold made his a point of pride. "It is stubborn and slow to respond," he wrote. "You should be just as stubborn." If yours haven't taken a step up in the last six weeks, consider stepping up the weight.