The calves are often overlooked when it comes to bodybuilding. If your arms are as big as your calves then your calves are a definite weak spot. I consider calves to be a strength of mine so I do not work them out as intensely as I once did. At the moment I only do 3 sets of one leg calf raises of 25 reps each leg at the end of every leg workout. But if your calves are a weak point then you should certainly work them out much more intensely.

There's a good news, bad news scenario when it comes to building your calves. The bad news is the muscle group requires a lot of work if you want them to grow. They are use to carrying your entire body weight every step you take. To make them grow beyond that you will really have to push them. They will probably be very sore after a workout if you worked them hard enough. The good news is that the calves can be worked out very intensely without taking a lot out of your body. That means you can add 20 minutes worth of calf exercises to all of your workout routines if necessary without overtraining. If you have access to a calf raise machine, you'll eventually realize you can do very heavy weights on them, which just by lifting and holding the bar will work on your deadlifts and gripping/forearm strength. Calves are also very easily worked outside of the gym. All you need access to is a stairway.

I'm quite tall and as a teenager I was afraid of becoming one of those types of 6'4 tall or over guys who had chicken legs and embarrassed themselves whenever they wore shorts. I worked out my calves everyday first thing in the morning for 20 minutes. With NO break. At first all I did was two-legged calf raises just off of my bottom stair in the basement. I usually did not count my reps but I assume they were several hundred up to 1000. As my calves got stronger I would go and do one-legged calf raises, switching each leg after 50 reps for as long as I could until my calves were burning and I'd have to do two-legged calf raises for the rest of the 20 minutes. I did that routine (probably around 300 times in a 365 day period of time) for two years. My calves grew tremendously to the point where it's over 10 years later and I STILL consider them to be one of my strong points despite having them as an afterthought in my workouts for several years now.

When I was 18-20 and going to university with access to the school gym, that's where my calf and leg workouts hit their peak intensities. By then I had stopped with the 20 minute a day calf workouts. I usually did around 6-10 sets of calf exercises after completing my squats, leg presses and such. The two exercises you should focus on in the gym are the calf raises off of the calf press machine and off of the leg press machine. Once you max out the weight on each of those machines you should start doing them with one leg each. Believe me, it will be possible.

While doing extremely heavy weights for your calves can be fun, you can't lose focus on good form and range of motion. Make sure you are stretching your calves beforehand so they are loose and during each rep go as low as possible on your heels then push up as high as possible. Tempo and speed make a big difference too. If you are doing a lot of reps you'll probably be doing them quite quickly. Occasionally slow down and really focus on range of motion and you will find that your calves burn quite hard after not that many reps this way.

When you do your calf raises, change the direction your toes are pointed. If they are pointed forward you will hit the entire muscles. Pointing them outward will hit the inner part of the calf muscles while pointing them inward will hit the outer part of the muscles. This will also allow you to go work them out longer and harder as a piece of the muscle rests while the other piece works. Another tip is to bend forward while doing them. That will give an extra stretch to the muscle and can decrease the weight you are putting on your calves as you get tired towards the end of your calf workout.

If you are interested in purchasing workout equipment for your home gym, Amazon has some great products available.

Refer to my other workout articles if you are interested in:

How to build big Biceps
How to build big Triceps
How to build big Forearms
How to build big Shoulders
How to build a big Chest
How to build a big Back
How to build big Legs
My Workout Routine

Dumbbell workouts:

Dumbbell Exercises for the Arm Muscles
Dumbbell Exercises for the Chest
Dumbbell Exercises for the Shoulders

More of my workout advice:

Are Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells suitable for you?
Should you buy Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells in a store or online?
Why you would want to use barbells for your workouts
Why you would want to use dumbbells for your workouts
How I lost over 40 pounds in 6 months with some simple diet changes
Upper body exercises with no equipment needed
Lower body exercises with no equipment needed
Cardio exercises with no equipment needed
The Different Ways of Doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Inflatable Exercise Ball Exercises for Men