Calves are genetically a weak point for most men, why? This is because the insertion point of the muscle is located higher up on the leg. It’s simple, the higher the insertion of the muscle, the less mass you have to work with thus making them harder to grow. Since legs happen to be the most used muscle group, most people do not find the need to train them as much as they should. If you think about it- every time you walk, step, jump or stand on your toes you are engaging your calf muscles and putting them under tension. Most people would think, great that means I am always working my calf muscles and they will grow..but that’s wrong. Because the muscle is under constant tension, that actually makes them harder to grow and requires more reps, sets or both than you normally would perform.
The first thing you want to focus on when trying to grow your calves (or any body part for that matter) is increasing the weight. Performing body weight sets of 100 reps are not going to do the job. Ideally you want to work with a weight that is challenging and heavy enough for you to be hitting muscle failure by reps 10-12. However, if you cannot perform the exercise slowly and controlled with full range of motion, than the weight needs to be dropped. It is super important to make sure you really focus on squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement, this can be done by pointing your toe as far down as it will go. NO SQUEEZE= NO CALVES!
Secondly, your calves need a lot more attention than once a week for 10 mins. The smaller the muscle group is, the less time it needs for recovery. Therefore performing your calves at least 2-3 times a week will benefit you greatly. Also, you do not only need to hit calves when you train legs. That is a common misconception and you can hit them after doing any major muscle group. So increase the volume, the time spent on them and really focus on that squeeze at the top. Get that mind- muscle connection & watch those babies grow!
Also, small tip- try turning your toes in different directions so you can hit different parts of your calf muscle. 21’s are a great exercise to try when doing calf raises. That means performing 7 reps with your toes slightly inward, 7 reps with your toes neutral and 7 reps with your toes slightly outward (just make sure to always watch your knee alignment.) Hope this is helpful!