Why Don’t My Biceps Get Sore After a Workout?

So, you’ve been working out, eating clean with enough protein for muscle building, and probably lost some belly fat. Unfortunately, you don’t see any progress with your biceps, not once have they felt sore. 

Therefore, you find yourself asking, “Why don’t my biceps get sore after a workout?”

Could it be that you’re doing your bicep routine wrong? Or maybe you just don’t have good bicep genetics?  We’re going to find all these in today’s article. 

But before giving you the reasons, let’s understand first:

Why Do You Get Sore After a Workout?

Muscle soreness is a side effect of the stress you put on muscles when working out. It is also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which usually starts within six to eight hours after a change in activity or a new activity and may last up to 24 to 48 hours after the workout.

Workout causes micro-tears within the muscle fibers.

All people are at risk of muscle soreness, even professional athletes and bodybuilders. The good news is that it is completely normal and signifies that your body is getting stronger.

As you work out, you stress your muscles, and the muscle fibers break down. Eventually, these fibers repair themselves, becoming more assertive and more significant than before. This indicates that your muscles are better prepared to handle the stress the next time you engage in the same workout.

Read: Best GNC Supplements for Muscle Building

How Much Muscle Soreness Is Too Much?

Although it is normal and generally harmless for your muscles to feel sore, things can get complicated. Severe muscle soreness can be dangerous and damaging. 

So, how much muscle soreness is too much?

  • If the discomfort lasts more than 72 hours, your workout was too much.
  • If the pain prevents you from doing daily activities with working and living, your exercise is too much.

How will you know if the muscle soreness is just the typical kind of soreness?

  • If the pain occurs immediately after the workout, the muscle soreness is normal. This kind of pain is a signal from your body that you should stop the activity for now before severe muscle or joint damage occurs.

Now, here comes the question: what happens when you don’t feel sore enough after a great workout? Does it still mean your exercise is effective?

Reasons Why Your Biceps Don’t Get Sore After a Workout

Your Body Is Rebuilding and Recovering Quickly

One of the many reasons your biceps don’t get sore after a workout is that your body is tuned to rebuild and recover quickly.

Indeed, every injury is different. However, some people such as pro athletes, recover faster than others. This means that genetics, the significant factor, is out of your control. 

Moreover, some people have hyper-ready access to high-end care that enables them to rehab and treatment at much more regular intervals.

There are some things that people can do to speed their recovery and bounce back the quickest. Doing regular exercise will help your body recognize when you push too hard.

Sleep is also a massive factor in the recovery equation. During sleep, the body produces hormones and growth factors that aid in muscle repair and recovery.

You Have a Strong Core

Your core is made up of not just the abdominal muscles or abs. The obliques (along the sides of the body), quadratus lumborum (deepest back muscle), spine, pelvic floor, and glutes are also included in muscle groups of the core.

It has been shown that a healthy core is essential for injury prevention and prevents excessive injury and stress throughout the body. 

As such, weakness in more substantial, larger core muscles can cause altered biomechanics, damage, and pain in the smaller muscles further down the legs and arms.

You’re Not Working the Muscles Hard Enough

Another apparent reason your biceps don’t get sore after a workout is that you simply aren’t challenging it enough. Lack of soreness is your body’s green light that you can still progress your training or gradually go heavier.

You can add weight, time, or reps to your workout while maintaining a good form. However, know your limits to avoid stress and burnout when exercising.

Read: Best Peptide for Building Muscle

Improper Form

When it comes to working out your biceps or any muscle group in your body, quality is far more critical than quantity. This just means that how you stroke, jump, or lift can spell a difference between getting sidelined or going harder. 

Maintaining an improper form during a workout is also why you’re not feeling sore in your biceps area. If you are a beginner, you should learn the proper form. Doing so will boost your performance and reduce your injuries over time and convert your energy too.

A good workout for the bicep, such as barbell curls, requires bending your elbow until your lower arms contact your upper arms. By maintaining a proper form, you can target the intended muscle group or muscle groups, achieving better results.

Moreover, the excellent form helps you breathe more fully, which means extra wind beneath your workout wings.

You Don’t Progressively Increase the Weights You Lift

If none of the reasons we’ve mentioned rings true, it could be time to lift your weight progressively.  Progressively lifting heavier weights than usual will help regenerate muscle tissue, increase performance, and improve muscle mass.

Sure, some people are content to lift the same amount of weights for months or years, but they are doing their body a disservice because they are not challenging their biceps and 

other muscle groups to become stronger and continually work harder.

If you want to increase the weights progressively as you lift, our suggestion is to start small and gradually work your way up to perform a few reps until you find a weight that challenges your body to slow down to complete the reps with good form.

It’s even a good idea to keep a log or journal of your workout to get a better picture of your improvement and the development of muscle growth even if you experience DOMS.

You’re Working the Same Muscle Over and Over

One of the main reasons your biceps don’t get sore is that you’ve hit a plateau. You are at a point where your body may have already adapted to your workout, especially if you’re performing the same exercise repeatedly. 

This isn’t a bad thing, but it provides an opportunity to up your exercise regime.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) Doesn’t Always Indicate Effectiveness

Getting sore muscles is not a requirement to increase muscle mass and is certainly not an indication of an effective workout.

You should not gauge how good your workout is based only on how sore you feel the next day. One way to determine whether your biceps workout was productive is if you think your biceps are being simulated or contracting during your exercises

If they are, then they are being worked adequately. So, why not make an effort to focus more on feeling the target muscle being worked.

Moreover, are you giving your biceps a good squeeze? If yes, then it also indicates the effectiveness of your training. Remember that such a bicep squeeze engages the muscle you want to build.

A good thing when you don’t feel sore

If you’re an avid gym-goer or a fitness enthusiast, it’s good that you don’t feel sore because it means that your body has adopted or built up to what you do to it. That’s why your body doesn’t necessarily feel sore all the time.

How to Stay Just Sore Enough

There is no denying that muscles feeling sore is a marker of exercise intensity and is a natural part of the recovery process.

So, your workout goal should be just sore enough to be effective. Don’t go overboard. Instead, alternate the type of intensity or stress to allow adequate recovery.

Doing gentle range-of-motion movements will likewise increase blood flow to an affected area in your muscle and quickly aid in recovery. 

Try the following: triceps extensions, biceps curls, arm circles, Y raises, and shoulder presses.

Use Your Judgement in Determining the Degree of Soreness

Here are some tips to determine the degree of soreness when it comes to working out through the pain:

  • If you are very sore – If it hurts to participate in everyday activities, brush your hair, or lift your arms, you may need a rest for two to three days. The soreness of the muscles may even be worse during the second day.

After resting, try a lighter version of your original workout or do light cardio. Use no weight or lighter weights. You can also do fewer sets as well as work with less intensity. 

  • If you are noticeably sore – take a walk, try stretching or a light cardio workout, or take a rest day. Stretching and warm-up can help bring healing blood to your muscles.
  • If you are a little stiff – Warm-up moves, like arm circles, lunges, side steps, and marching in place followed by light stretches, can create an increased blood flow in the body. 

Stretching can also relieve muscle tightness, but don’t overstretch because it may do more harm than good. Avoid stretching to a point where you feel pain.

Read: Dumbbell Forearm Exercises

The Bottom Line

Muscles don’t get visibly grow overnight, so you shouldn’t worry if your biceps don’t feel sore a day after your workout. If you pushed yourself and have maintained proper form when working out, that matters the most.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of quitting your biceps workout because of muscle soreness, try to work through the first few days without getting discouraged. Soon, things will get better because exercising smart with consistency will undoubtedly lead to gains. 

Good luck with your training!

If you like this article, you might want to read our other reviews at ExpertFitness.org.

Nathan Lloyd, MSc

I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.

If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.