When I workout my arms and shoulders, I can almost always get my triceps and shoulders sore, but I can hardly ever get my biceps sore (or as sore as my shoulders and triceps). Any idea why? Is soreness important for muscle damage and repair?
No. That's a myth. While you do want to lift a heavy enough weight to elicit growth, you don't want to overtrain as that will only delay the needed repair of your muscles and your progress. I'd be more concerned about always having sore triceps and shoulders than I would about not having sore biceps.
There are times when you do not feel soreness and your muscle is still going to grow. If you are worried that you are not working your muscles enough, decrease reps and increase weight. This will help target the muscle more and create those tiny tears that elicit growth.
What kingusama said. Drop down to about 6-8 reps, increase the weight and look to increase the weight by 10-15% at least every other session. That should help you grow and feel a little of the soreness that you are looking for, without overtraining.
DOMS aka delayed onset muscle soreness, is NOT a prerequisite for growth. To give you an example to prove this. Do 200 bicep curls with a tin of beans, you will probably experience muscle soreness but it will not result in muscle growth.
Don't worry about muscle soreness, you can grow without it. As you become more advanced you will rarely experience DOMS.
btatro wrote:I have always been under the impression that muscles do not neccesarily have to be sore in order to build. Muscle break down and regrowth does not always involve pain.
Beginners experience DOMS because they are new to training. Experienced and advanced lifters will not suffer from DOMS as much. You would suffer chronic DOMS if you ran a marathon, your whole body would be sore for days after, but you certainly wouldn't build any muscle.
As others have said, soreness does not always equal growth. There are times when I go to workout and I don't get a large pump in my biceps and sometimes I do, but I still notice growth. People have gotten it stuck in their brain that soreness=growth, but it's not always true. As long as you are making progress weight-wise, don't worry about it.