What role does muscle damage play in the quest for muscle hypertrophy?
First, what exactly is it and how does it occur?
It was once thought that creating high amounts of tension within a muscle, especially through an eccentric movement (lengthening of the muscle under load), or any time we take a set very close to failure would result in some degree of microtrauma in the muscle tissue.
In light of more recent research, it appears that the damage that occurs is a result of an inflammatory response rather than mechanical tension itself. The two primary culprits seem to be the influx of calcium ions, which can be influenced by training lengthened positions for muscles, and oxidative stress. The degree to which we experience either one of these can be affected by the type of training program.