Got GAS?

The principle of General Adaptation Syndrome explains the adaptation that occurs as a result of physical training. There are 3 stages of G.A.S.: Alarm/Shock, Resistance and Exhaustion. Initial contact with a new stressor/stimulus such as starting a new weight training program causes a shock to the body which reacts with possible soreness and decreased performance lasting days to weeks. Then the body’s adaptation kicks in as the Resistance stage also known as supercompensation occurs. Within this time return to normal function and gains in fitness are achieved as the body adapts to the stimulus. This time frame varies depending on initial fitness levels and genetics recovery practices etc. If the stress continues for a prolonged time (individually varied) or increases too quickly staleness can occur and performance is hindered in the Exhaustion phase leading to injury, overreaching or overtraining.   Therefore adequate rest and recovery should occur before reaching the exhaustion stage. Planning rest/recovery days and cycles into training is essential to avoiding the pitfall of overtraining and maximizing gains in performance. Listen to your body and plan accordingly!




Baechle T.R., Earle R.W. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 3rd Ed. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008

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