First- I'm not recommending that people pump up lifters. But if you DO, it will not destroy the engine, nor should it cause a problem w/it starting.
Valve spring pressure bleeds down the lifters. Using the EO/IC method, by the time you've set the preload on all the lifters, all but the last one or two have already seen valve spring pressure and have bled back down. I suppose if you are the worrying type, the engine could be rotated to put those last valves under pressure so they can bleed down while the valve covers, etc. are put on before cranking the engine. That is if they aren't loaded by the springs/bled down while other
work is being done, like priming the oil system, setting the distributor, buttoning up the flexplate, etc.
A thread w/some opinions on the subject of "pumped up" lifters: Prep of Hyd Rollers help please