It is true that hard, effective, progressive weight training may result in muscle damage. But that doesn’t mean that achieving muscle damage by any means makes what you did effective and progressive ‘training’. Unfortunately, some academics have invented this flawed, ignorant theory, resulting in more misdirection of weight trainers.
Hard, effective training also results in raised blood pressure and heart rate. That doesn’t mean that raising your blood pressure and heart rate automatically means you will grow muscle either.
If there was a positive backward relationship between muscle damage and muscle growth, why not just peel your skin back and shred all of your muscles with a cheese grater? You’d be HUGE! Except, as you know, you won’t.
Regardless, arguing about any academic theory is a total waste of time because it only ever results in the pointless, irrelevant, circular, dick-swinging contest that is all academic debate.
Successful TRAINING – in any activity – results in measurably improved performance at that ‘thing’ you were doing. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.
HOW the body achieves its adaptation to training is utterly irrelevant. Who cares? Either you got better, and your training worked, or you didn’t. The only solution when your training doesn’t work – in any sport – is to fix your training.
The problem with thinking about hypothetical, unmeasurable, internal biochemical processes – like the quantity of muscle damage achieved – is you need to IGNORE every relevant, measurable and logical training variable that determines success. You literally swap knowledge for ignorance.
And then, after you’ve done your illogical ‘training’ to achieve your invisible, unmeasurable, hypothetical biochemical process, you are really left with no clue whether you were right or wrong because you can’t actually measure anything about the ‘thing’ (eg muscle damage) you tried to achieve. You still have no clue what happened or how it happened because you couldn’t measure anything in your made-up story.
And this is how ALL training these days goes. Its people talking a bunch of bull about a bunch of things they cannot measure and know absolutely nothing about (eg hormones, enzymes, genes etc); all while ignoring everything they can know and can measure. That is, they ignore measuring the weights they lift and the performance gains they are not getting, because they are too busy making up nonsense about biochemical processes they know nothing about.
SO, the real danger with thinking about muscle damage (or hormones etc) is that you aren’t thinking about what you are physically training for anymore. And, because you cannot measure muscle damage, or how that related to your training progress, you just head down a path of ignorant, bad decisions based on bad conclusions to bad data. When all you needed to do was lift the weight and measure whether it was better than last time.
Training is SO simple. You just gotta measure it and make progress. NOTHING else matters.