Most bodybuilders find calf training arduous, frustrating, and unproductive. These bodybuilders find it more productive to build their thighs, pecs, lats, delts, and arms. As a result, calf training and development often suffers. However, you do not have to suffer.
When you go to a well-equipped gym, they will have a standing calf raise machine and donkey calf raise machine. Most bodybuilders use both of these machines to train their calves. Some will even use the leg press for the toe press exercise for their calves. While some bodybuilders will spend some time using the seated calf machine, the majority of calf work is done on the standing calf, calf donkey, or toe press exercises. This is the reason why most bodybuilders lack calf development. Too much emphasis is being placed on the Standing Calf, Calf Donkey or Toe Press exercises and not enough emphasis is being placed on the Seated Calf Raise exercise.
The calf muscle group is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is best exercised when the leg is straight. Therefore, for this muscle, you need to train the gastrocnemius in the standing calf raise, donkey calf raise, and toe press on the leg press machines. However, the soleus is best trained when the leg is bent and should be trained on the seated calf raise machine. The soleus is the larger of the two muscles with 60% of the total mass of the calf.
The soleus is primarily a slow twitch fiber muscle designed for high resistance. Soleus fibers will also bounce back very quickly as they have a high mitochondrial density and are very strong. Since the soleus is capable of sustaining contractions for prolonged periods (resistance), then higher repetitions in the range of 20 to 100 should be used to fatigue the type I slow-twitch fibers to stimulate growth. Obviously, this will require more time and energy than most bodybuilders have been spending on their calf work in the past.
So, instead of devoting most of your training to standing calf, calf donkey, or toe press exercises, spend a little more time using the seated calf raise machine to build more muscle. calf muscle, the soleus. At least half of your calf work should be devoted to training the soleus.
Achieving growth in the calf area is difficult. However, if you focus more on the soleus and train this muscle with more repetitions and more sets, you will see progress.
To learn more about effective calf training techniques, visit this site.