T Nation

Sick of Not Being Sore in My Biceps


Ok my biceps are growing, but sometimes I wish I could feel sore in my biceps like I do in my legs. I can hit the biceps from every angle possible and they never get sore. I lift heavy and focus on volume even instead of high reps and they never get sore. Ive lifted lighter and more reps and they never got sore from that either. Ive tried rep and a halves along with extremely slow negatives. Ive pushed myself to the limit and I am out of ideas. Ive tried drag curls. Never got sore from those! I honestly don't know what else to do.

Only time they ever got sore was in the first week of doing bicep exercises. Ever since then they don't get sore anymore. No matter how intense the workout.

Legs always get sore still.



barbell curls, ten sets to failure, 5 second eccentric each rep, minute rest between sets

There ya go! Should give you some soreness.


To clarify, your training goal is to be sore, not to progress, correct?


Can I just stop you here... if you're seeing results now and change things just so you can feel sore, you run the very real risk of not seeing much actual progress. But hey, you'll feel like you did something. :wink:

If heavy low rep didn't "work", and light high rep didn't "work", have you tried heavy for high reps? Or high intensity with plain old ball-busting bodybuilding techniques like rest-pause, drop sets, trisets for the same muscle group, burns (going past failure with short ROM movements), etc.

Without knowing exactly how you're training everything (volume, frequency, etc.) I'd probably chalk it up to your individual muscle fiber makeup. It's not exactly a bad thing to see results without DOMS.


No, but I miss the feeling. If I grow without being sore that is fine. I am currently. But sometimes I would just like to wake up the next day and feel sore in my arms. I have noticed that I do get sore when I follow up bicep day with chest. One morning I did bench and when we went to breakfast for post workout meals I was actually in pain. But it was good pain not bad pain.


I do not see any universe where these two sentences can logically coexist.

Either it is fine for you to grow without being sore, or you would like to wake up sore the next day. If the former is true, you are doing what it takes to meet your goals. If the latter is true, you are not doing what it takes to meet your goals.

I have found that my biceps get sore when I hold a moderate weight for a long duration of time. Might be something to consider if you want to be sore.


So you are telling me that soreness can prevent a person from progressing?


Not to speak for Punisher, but I'd say yes, designing a training program to achieve soreness does not at all guarantee increased strength or size. In the slightly-bigger picture, the argument could be made that excessive soreness requires a reduced or modified training frequency/volume/intensity which could certainly hinder long-term progress.

Long story short: If you're happy with your current progress and just have an urge to feel sore, and you understand that changing your training may change your results, then go for it. Something as simple as adding Poundstone curls (1x100 with an unloaded bar, resting as necessary without dropping the bar) as a finisher would be a first step.

What does your training week currently look like (days, exercises, sets, and reps)?


I am saying the pursuit of soreness can prevent a person from progressing, and that the pursuit of progression can prevent a person from experiencing soreness. This is why it is vital for you to know what your goal is and then pursue THAT goal.

Once you start making the pursuit of your goal conditional (ie: I want to achieve X but only if I can also achieve Y while doing it), you limit your ability to reach your goal.


Ok since you asked, I will break it down for you on what I did today. Today was Back and Bi day.

Started off with 3 sets of overhand lat pull downs. 120 x 12
Then I did 3 sets of underhand lat pull downs. 140 x 12

Then I moved to the double pulley seated cable row. Set it to 70 pounds for each arm. I did not use a bar but instead just used handles that you would use for cable crossovers. 3 sets of 15.

Then I moved onto Incline Dumbbell Rows. 4 sets of 12. 40 pounds each arm keeping my arms and elbows close to my sides. I like this exercise because it prevents cheating.

After that I did Deadlifts. 3 sets of 10 @ 250 pounds.

Then I moved onto Drag curls for Biceps with 50 pound barbell. 5 sets and a halves of 8 with very slow negatives.

Then after that did cable Preacher Curls. 7 sets of 8 at 75 pounds. Negatives of 5-6 seconds each.

Finished my workout with barbell wrist curls for forearms. I used the 45 pound bar. Along with leg raises and planks for abs.


As others have stated, the goal shouldn't be soreness, the goal should be progress. However if you want soreness, do multiple sets of lying dumbbell curls. Lay down on a bench on your back and let the weight pull your arms down as far as possible, and do bicep curls in that stretched position. Do a bunch of them, like 4-5 sets of 10. Then get back on here and let me know in a couple days how sore you feel. There are a few keys to soreness, mainly the eccentric action, working the muscle in a stretched position, and more volume than you are used to.


Frig, I'm happy I no longer work out like this.


Double underhand max 1RM Deadlifts. Make sure to have a bit of bend in your arm when you do them. That will TEAR your biceps up, bro!


Chia and I once did all of Smolov in a single day, except with biceps. You could try that to cure your soreness boner.


You guys are fucking crazy lol. I like that.


I will do that, thank you.


^^ he seriously believes this, just so you know lmao.


Unless I'm missing something, you did 2 exercises, 12 total sets for your biceps, all with 8 reps. Try doing:

  1. More exercises (4-5 sets each) with a wider variety of angles, like:
    -Barbell curls
    -DB hammer curls, add a hold at the top if you want (cross body hammer curls are good too, John Meadows is a big fan of these)
    -Seated incline DB curls
    -EZ bar curls
    -Cable curls w/ EZ bar for variety of hand positions
    -Neutral grip chins

  2. As you get further into your session, raise the reps. 8 reps would be good for your first couple exercises, but move into the 10-12, and even the 12-15 rep range as well, more TUT.

  3. Vary your negatives and be sure of your time. "Very slow" negatives, as you say, or 5-6 second negatives, is a pretty long time. Nothing wrong with that, but if you always do that, your body will get used to it. What's next, 8, 10 second negatives? Try some 2-3 seconds every now and then.

  4. Are you pausing, even briefly, between reps? If so, don't. Keep a smooth tempo throughout for more constant tension (you'll probably need to lighten the load.)

  5. Check your form with all your work. If you're getting too much body english in there, you're not recruiting enough bicep.


Naw it looks like he likes trolling now again looking at what he just commented in the "how to Bench with my chest' thread.


Have you just tried hitting them?? OR having a buddy do it? Go find the biggest guy in the gym, let him punch the shit out of both your arms a few times, then keep working out the way you have been because you are progressing doing that. Two birds....