What is GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome)?

I have always been fascinated by the human body and its ability to adapt to its environment. When it comes to bodybuilding and working out sometimes it is very easier to over train or just keep training without making any changes. Without causing a debate about over training as I know there are multiple schools of thought out there when it comes to athlete’s this is totally possible. 

In short General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) is a 3 stage process that the human body goes through to evolve to stressors we put on the body. Here I am specifically speaking about stressors caused from exercise and training. Here is a basic image to give you an idea of what happens and what it takes for the body to adapt to changes.

IMHO I think that this concept is really critical for trainers to understand when it comes to helping clients succeed with their short and their long term goals safely.

If you are interested in reading the 1950 British Medical Journal by M.D. Ph.D Hans Selye click here. I also posted a non-scientific video. It is fun to watch and very easy to follow for those that are new to the fitness world.  I believe that educating people on how they can improve physically without sustaining an injury is key.


Medical References from: U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Image from: Practical Programming Strength Training 3rd Edition

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