The Calf Conundrum: Building calf size is difficult for many, yet easier for others. Why? To answer this, I'm going to pair my genetics interest and background with my bodybuilding passion...let's geek out for a moment. Calf shape and size development potential have a strong genetic influence. A person can either have a high-inserting or low-inserting gastroc. A high insertion means the muscle belly is shorter and sits higher up (long Achilles tendon); a low insertion means the muscle belly is longer and thus sits lower (shorter Achilles tendon). You've probably observed these differences. Insertion is purely due to genetics and cannot be changed through training. A person with a high insertion will find it more difficult to develop the calf as compared to a person with a low insertion. This does not mean that the calves cannot be well developed and improved with proper training. Regardless of insertion points and genetics, with hard work and consistency, I believe that calf growth and balanced lower leg development can be achieved. Arnold Schwarzenegger transformed his calves from being his weak point into a strong point. The keys are: volume-intensity-frequency-consistency.
I train my calves twice per week, and I've noticed a big difference since I started training them twice a week. I have a day of lower reps/heavy weight and a day of higher reps/moderate weight. I do both standing and seated calf raises to hit both the gastroc and soleus. Use full range of motion.