The muscle-training community has long created a rating of stubborn muscle groups. The calf muscles, which consist of the calf and soleus muscles, rightfully occupy the first place, and the phrase – “if there are no calves by nature, then they will never grow” is commonplace. ⠀
The problem of tiny calves
Indeed, if you ask athletes or ordinary people who have huge calves – how they trained them, the first ones will answer that they do several unsystematic sets and exercises per week and the latter that they inherited from the parent.
For example, I have a tibia length of about 50 cm, and the calf muscle, consisting of the external and internal heads at approximately the same level, at the height of 37 cm from the sole of the foot passes into the Achilles tendon. And this means that these same 37 empty cm without muscles will not increase in size, no matter what and how I would do.
In genetically lucky ones, calves go into the tendon part in the middle of the lower leg, or even lower, and an increase in its volume by 20% will give them and me, to put it mildly, a different visual effect.
For example, a small pug heated by 20% and a huge mastiff will demonstrate these percentages in different ways, and in one case, it will be almost not noticeable, and in the other, it will catch the eye.
Genetics is the main cause
It is this circumstance, in our opinion, that will be of the greatest importance, and then comes the individual muscle composition, i.e., percentage of fast muscle fibers.
Those who have a large percentage of FMF, ceteris paribus from training will receive a larger increase in mass because the growth potential of this type of fiber is significantly higher than that of slow, and this is also genetics, with which nothing can be done.
Moreover, even when using pharmacology, the response to the training load in these muscles is lower than in the rest, because it is gastrocnemius that has a lower accumulation of androgen receptors, which was shown in one study. ⠀
Conclusion. The mechanisms of protein synthesis in all muscle groups are the same, and recommendations to train the stubborn muscle more often, also applied to the muscles of the leg.
As for the number of repetitions in the set, the rest time between them, stretching, and peak reduction – this is nothing more than tips from experienced athletes.
Additionally, see how many sets per workout for different muscles to have.
What is more, why not read about the causes of muscle asymmetry?