Sports Medicine

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 1751–1753 | Cite as

Comment on: “The General Adaptation Syndrome: A Foundation for the Concept of Periodization”

  • Samuel L. Buckner
  • Matthew B. Jessee
  • Scott J. Dankel
  • J. Grant Mouser
  • Kevin T. Mattocks
  • Jeremy P. LoennekeEmail author
Letter to the Editor


A recent paper [1] was written to clarify “how the GAS serves as an appropriate mechanistic model to conceptualize the periodization of training.” This review appears to have been inspired by recent papers from our research group which have criticized the application of the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) to periodized resistance exercise. Contrary to what we have recently posited [2], this paper [1] suggests that the GAS “has proven to be an instructive framework for understanding the mechanistic process of providing a training stimulus to induce specific adaptations that result in functional enhancements.” We were excited to read their paper, as this idea deserves a fair and thorough discussion from multiple research groups. However, after reviewing this paper’s [1] counter to ours, we don’t believe any new experimental data are discussed explaining how a “syndrome produced by various noxious agents” provides a logical rationale for the periodization of resistance...



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this letter.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Samuel Buckner, Matthew Jessee, Scott Dankel, J. Grant Mouser, Kevin Mattocks and Jeremy Loenneke declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this letter.


  1. 1.
    Cunanan AJ, DeWeese BH, Wagle JP, Carroll KM, Sausaman R, Hornsby GW, et al. The general adaptation syndrome: a foundation for the concept of periodization. Sports Med. 2018. (first online: 6 Jan 2018).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buckner SL, Mouser JG, Dankel SJ, Jessee MB, Mattocks KT, Loenneke JP. The general adaptation syndrome: potential misapplications to resistance exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2017;20(11):1015–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Selye H. The general adaptation syndrome and the diseases of adaptation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1946;6(2):117–230.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Selye H. Forty years of stress research: principal remaining problems and misconceptions. CMAJ. 1976;115(1):53–6.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Selye H. Stress and the general adaptation syndrome. BMJJ. 1950;1(4667):1383–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Selye H. Studies on adaptation. Endocrinology. 1937;21(2):169–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Selye H. The general-adaptation-syndrome. Annu Rev Med. 1951;2:327–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Selye H. The stress of life. Rev ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1978.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Selye H. Stress without distress. New York: Harper and Row; 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chen TC, Chen HL, Pearce AJ, Nosaka K. Attenuation of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage by preconditioning exercises. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(11):2090–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Selye H. Experimental evidence supporting the conception of “adaptation energy”. Am J Physiol. 1938;123(3):758–65.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mattocks KT, Dankel SJ, Buckner SL, Jessee MB, Counts BR, Mouser JG, et al. Periodization: what is it good for? J Trainol. 2016;5(1):6–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel L. Buckner
    • 1
  • Matthew B. Jessee
    • 1
  • Scott J. Dankel
    • 1
  • J. Grant Mouser
    • 1
  • Kevin T. Mattocks
    • 1
  • Jeremy P. Loenneke
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation ManagementThe University of MississippiUniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations