How to use your thoughts and words to decrease pain and improve muscle growth

By: Dr. Payton Busker, PT, DPT

Hi y'all! Welcome to the Evlo Fitness blog.

My name is Dr. Payton and I’ll be bringing you a new blog each week spanning topics from why our thoughts and words matter as it relates to fitness to how to better recruit your glutes. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy, fitness professional, and Evlo’s new Head of Content.

Here at Evlo, we are all about building our bodies up, not tearing them down.

Because of this, we find ourselves in a unique space within the fitness industry. So much of the messaging within the fitness industry reads as follows:

  • No pain, no gain
  • If you could just burn more calories in your workouts, you could lose that extra 5 pounds
  • If an exercise hurts, that probably means that your body needs it!

At least one or multiple of these probably sounds familiar to you if you’ve been a member of any sort of group fitness or had a personal trainer in the last 20 years....

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How often to work your abs

Should we do abs every day? 


I'd argue that you shouldn't. 


I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but working your abs every day can actually cause weakness in your core. Hear me out. 


This is for one reason: overuse. Overuse can not only cause injuries in your body, but it can reduce results from your exercise program, and the abs are no exception. If you did bicep curls every day, your elbow probably wouldn't feel very good. You would probably develop an inflammatory injury like tendonitis, which would set you back from continuing to exercise and increase strength.



When you work a muscle, whether you are exercising or doing a physically demanding activity in daily life, tiny tears happen in the muscles. These tears are good, as they signal your body to begin the inflammation process. This inflammation process swoops in to heal torn/damaged tissue, and the result is stronger muscles. 


This inflammatory process can...

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7 "Core Norms" Debunked

There are many "givens" in the fitness and physical therapy world, and as someone who is seeking to help others, it's important to continually challenge those norms. I do this with my own philosophies constantly - I'm always looking for different angles, and I often prove myself wrong. That's the beauty of this industry. It's changing as we learn more about science, the body, and the brain. 


To that end, I want to apply an analytical lens to norms about the "core." I always challenge my clients that if they aren't getting the results they want - either because they are in pain or because they do not see progress, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your routine and beliefs. `


What is the "core?"


The "core" is a common term used in the fitness world, but it has various definitions and isn't very specific. In this post, I'll often use the word "trunk," which refers to all the muscles in 360 degrees surrounding your spine. 



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