Calves are one of the most neglected body parts by most weightlifters and bodybuilders. Arnold Schwarzenegger when a competing bodybuilder used to be photographed in rivers just to avoid his calves being shown in photos as he thought they let the rest of his body down. When asked about calf training he commented it had taken hundreds of hours of calf training to finally get his calves to a shape he liked. Calves take a lot of weight and an immense amount of reps to shape into what you would be proud of. Genetics play a huge part, many huge bodybuilders have tiny calves due to genetics where as some skinny built people have huge calves genetically.
Calf training exercises
The most common calf exercise if the donkey calf raise which can be performed either with someone on your back raising your self standing on a step with straight legs up on to your tip test and down with your heels lowered to the lowest they will go. Your back is positioned horizontally where someone will be sitting. Now in most modern gyms this difficult to arrange exercise can be performed on a machine that does away without a person sitting on your back to get the best calf raise. Perform high rep sets of around 20-23 reps for 5-6 sets.
Calf exercises are grouped in two, straight leg and bent knee. Straight leg does the gastrocnemius and bent does the soleus. Seated calf raises similar to the exercise above but just performed seated would build the soleus and the standing version the gastrocnemius.
The key to calf training is the intensity, calves recover faster than most body parts so can be trained more often. So train them hard and regularly.