Updated: May 26
The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) was first proposed by Hans Selye, a pioneering researcher in the field of stress physiology. According to GAS, the human body goes through a series of responses when exposed to stress or stimuli.
The three stages of the GAS principle are:
𝗔𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲: This is the initial stage of the GAS principle, where the body recognizes a stressor and activates its defense mechanisms. The body prepares itself to respond to the stressor by releasing stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. In the context of training, this stage corresponds to the initial shock and soreness felt by the body in response to new exercise or workout routines.
𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲: This stage occurs when the body adapts to the stressor and becomes more resistant to it. The body makes physiological changes to cope with the stressor and prevent further damage. In the context of training, this stage corresponds to the phase where the body begins to build muscle, strength, and endurance in response to regular exercise.
𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗮𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲: This is the final stage of the GAS principle, where the body's adaptation mechanisms become exhausted and cannot cope with the stressor anymore. The body may experience fatigue, injury, illness, or burnout. In the context of training, this stage corresponds to the phase where the body experiences overtraining, plateauing, or injury due to excessive stress or inadequate recovery.
Understanding the GAS principle is crucial for designing effective training programs that balance stress and recovery. Training programs that are too easy may not trigger adaptation, while those that are too hard may lead to exhaustion or injury. The GAS principle reminds us that the body needs a progressive overload of stress to adapt and improve, but also sufficient rest and recovery to avoid burnout and injury.