Ive been training seriously now for 11 weeks and Im finally beginning to see some good gains. Im also beginning to figure out my strengths and weaknesses and Im looking for some advice now to dump useless exercises and focus on the best ones...I have some questions if anyone cares to throw some opinions/advice my way:

I love squats. My legs are strong and surprise me. Im currently doing hack squats simply becasue the gym i use dosnt have a smithy machine and so I know no other way of safely squatting weight and unloading it afterwards. Any advice? Are there other methods of squatting I could use with only a bar and weights to help?

My calves are a total mystery to me. I trained them like any other muscle once a week (im following WBB1 routine basically at the moment) and so they got trained on wednesdays with the rest of legs. I have been repping massive (for me) weights on them, 2 warmup sets and two heavy as i can sets. Ive watches my thighs growing and defining...my calfs have not changed a bit. They never even so much as hurt after. They fail like normal muscles but 30 mins later its like i never trained em. Next day my thighs are killing...calfs are as happy as...well....happy things. So i decided to hit them 2x per week on my arm and then on my back/chest days. Same story. no growth....no recovery pain....training them as heavy as i can. any advice? i want to get big calfs. I also suspect i should have been saying calves

I also do hamstring curls on a machine. Do i really need to do them? The machine is pretty grim and uncomfortable. Feels like im fighting the machine...can never get it to adjust to my body properly and i dont really feel im getting much out of it. is there a free weights method of training hams?

Lastly on leg days i finish off the session with lunges whilst carrying dumbells. Its a killer...i hate doing them and if anyone can tell me im wasting my time with them i will be a happy chappy. However of they are usefull and compliment squats etc then ill stick with them.

Thanks in advance for any replies. Sorry the post was so damn long.