They're constantly active while walking, standing, running
To train them, you need to train both plantar flexion (pointing the foot)
And dorsiflexion (flexing the foot)
If your balance is particularly bad, also stabilization
The Gastroc is about 50/50 fast twitch & slow twich
The Soleus about 70/30 slow twitch & fast twitch
What does this mean?
The calves evolved for REPS/strength endurance
They rarely ever grow from low reps
Most people train calves by putting way to much weight on the machine and then bouncing all their reps
Do not be that chucklefuck putting 4 plates on the calf raise and doing 3cm reps
This does fuck all for calf growth
Don't be that guy.
If you have "natural" calf muscles, you might train them 2x weekly with low or moderate volume and they grow
You have bad genetics though, you might need to do 20-30 sets weekly
You'll need to experiment and see what works best
Like any other muscle, use progressive overload, especially with any machines you use
Oftentimes people only focus on pump work (doing lots of sets and reps until they fatigue)
Train the calves to get objectively stronger, using heavier weights
"veno-muscular pumps in the lower body apply upward pressure on the veins to keep it moving at an efficient pace and in the right direction.
These pumps include the ankle pump and the calf muscle pump"
2-4 sets standing calf raises, 10-20 reps
2-4 sets seated calf raises, 10-20 reps
2-4 sets anterior tibialis raises, 10-20 reps
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