EUstress and DIstress – Why Lifting is Stressful

Mastering the basics can afford you to not study the complex in depth since you can expound onto the basics several complex principles. In contrast studying the complex principles first will allow nothing else but understanding that complex principle alone.

Thus today we will cover one of the most basic principles of lifting and aesthetic physical conditioning (i.e. bodybuilding): The principle of stress.


now that must’ve been too much stress

You see, in the beginning there was darkness – which made it impossible to see, obviously! And then came the light and then everything else – thus the World was formed before you know it. I cut it a little short, yes.

Now, your body is also like that; Its usually in a minimal energy state or basically “stasis” if you may. Now that’s the boring part of course. A life lived at constant stasis is called sedentary, no improvement whatsoever. You would probably die of obesity by 30.

Now here comes the interesting part; once in a while something comes by to kick you out of your “stasis” slumber and force you to expend energy. Now that thing is called a “stressor” and the stress that it brings is the stimulus that forces you out of your minimal energy state. Now it’s either you adapt or you fold.

There are 2 types of stress:

Eustress (you adapt)


Distress (you fold)

Eustress (good stress) is one’s response when the stressor brings about adaptive response that allows him to effectively deal with the same type of stressor shall it come around in the future using minimal energy.

Applied to a lifter: if this week you deadlifted 100 lbs then two months pass and you can deadlift 300 lbs with the same number of reps as you did with the hundred pounds two months ago – thus the deadlift is a eustress; or basically the method of which you do your deadlifts turn out as eustress.

If a bodybuilder uses a certain training protocol and ends up gaining 10 lbs in 3 months all while getting 0% more skinfold bodyfat, then we can say that his bodybuilding training is a eustress indeed for him.

DI-stress is the exact opposite of EU-stress. Distress is a stress an individual is unable to adapt to thus overwhelming him; causing illnesses, fatigue, and later death. Distress is an aversive state and inflicts damage to the organism.

If you are doing a certain regimen for quite some time but instead of increasing your lifts or gaining muscle, you feel like you are rotting away, you always have colds, and you always feel depressed – then your training can be considered as a Distress.

If your regimen becomes a distress it must mean that there is something wrong with it. Perhaps it is not specialized for your needs; for example you want to increases athletic performance but instead you train like a bodybuilder or the other way around.

Could it be that you are doing way too much every session and fail to balance your training volume, frequency and intensity? An easy way to do that would be to do redundant moves in one session for example barbell bench pressing for 4 sets then dumbbell bench pressing for 4 sets using the same reps and intensity scheme as the first (because that can become effective if perhaps the first workout is different even though they are almost alike for instance they are heavy-light counterparts)?

But take note that the same training that can act as a EUstress can act as a Distress if the trainee does not supplement himself properly or give his body enough rest. A bodybuilder must eat a LOT. Honestly I eat like a pig when trying to bulk up and most of my meals consist of rice, meat and lots of eggs; I like vegetables too especially the green ones and mushrooms.

BTW if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to take in quality nutrients on a daily basis, don’t expect to gain any sort of improvement. If that is the case you must use supplements to supply what is missing. I don’t suggest going with supplements very early into your life as a lifter. I suggest you supplement proteins with eggs first but once you get your sups I recommend Gold Standard Whey Protein – which contains all the stuff you need from top class whey protein supplement but only cheaper. Check out Gold Standard from Amazon

So it’s that simple: your lifting regimens are indeed stressors – but what you must do is to design them and your lifestyle so that these stressors will turn out as EU-stress instead of DI-stress. EUstress is when you are able to make improvements and adapt, and Distress is when you cannot adapt and end up digging a hole that is too deep for you to fill up.

Remember that when you dig a hole; you must be able to fill it up back again plus put an extra soil at top

And that’s the bottom line! Eat your eggs, A-lifters!!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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