I agree, I believe DOMS can be an indicator, and might provide some insight to RBE. Most studies that look at RBE look at DOMS and 'damage', and how once RBE is in effect, DOMS doesn't occur. Yet, hypertrophy still can occur. In fact, I'd venture to say that DOMS might prevent hypertrophy as post PS is more about repair and alterations than it is about hypertrophy that leads to CSA gains. Increasing load while maintaining volume: That yes, for sure. When you do that, you are increasing work and the TTI of the work. Same number of contractions with a heavier load is more work. Now if load was key, by itself, then just using more load, even with less volume would increase the stimulus. ie, in reverse order of stimulation. 12 reps with 12RM least, 8 with 8 RM more stimulus, 6 with 6 RM even more stimulation, 1 rep with 1RM would be highest stimulation.