How to get most benefit from exercise (part 2)


Do you exercise but are not getting the results that you would like? If so, keep reading. In my previous column I talked about intuitive training, and how being mindful about your exercise form can speed up your progress immensely. You could compare this to your work, or to anything that you want to achieve in your life — we make a commitment and then execute until we get there. There are two key words there that we need to unpack, “commitment” and “execute”. Without those we can not reach our goals, whatever they might be, and this really does apply for everything. 

Correct exercise form and technique are a must for reducing injury risk and increasing your speed of progress so that you can lose fat, gain muscle, or achieve whatever your goal may be. However, exercise efficiency also needs to be considered. Exercise efficiency refers to how effectively the body uses energy to perform physical activities. It is a measure of how much work you can do with a certain amount of energy, often related to oxygen consumption for aerobic activities. In other words, if you are highly efficient at a particular exercise, your body will use less energy to perform it compared to someone who is less efficient at the same exercise. Usually, individuals with higher exercise efficiency can perform the same amount of work as those with lower efficiency but use less energy doing so, leading to greater endurance and performance. This is particularly beneficial in sports and can of course be improved through training and optimizing exercise technique. Factors influencing exercise efficiency include muscle composition, fitness level, technique, and the body’s ability to utilize oxygen and convert fuel (like glucose and fat) into energy.

Studies show that the older adults who engage in regular structured physical activity show greater exercise efficiency compared to those who are more sedentary. This increased efficiency is linked to a greater volume of mitochondria in their muscles and a quicker ATP regeneration rate. Thus, continuous exercise in later life could potentially help avoid diseases associated with diminished mitochondrial function by boosting mitochondrial quantity, function, and overall body efficiency.

Efficient movement patterns help in reducing unnecessary stress on muscles, joints, and ligaments, potentially decreasing the risk of injuries. And when your body uses energy more efficiently you may find that you recover from workouts more quickly, enabling you to train more frequently or intensely without overtraining. For endurance athletes, efficiency in movements like running or cycling means they can maintain their pace for longer periods without expending excessive energy.

Maximizing the benefits from exercise involves a combination of strategies that involve choosing the correct type of activities, ensuring proper nutrition, incorporating rest and recovery, and maintaining consistency and progression in your workouts. 

So how can you get the most benefits from your exercise routine? You need to commit to clear goals, focus on form and technique, and balance your exercise routine with flexibility, strength and cardio exercises. Monitoring your intensity and progression helps you make sure that you are increasing and improving on either time, reps (repetitions) or intensity. Your exercise should be challenging but manageable. And lastly, eating a balanced diet with high protein, good quality fat and low-glycemic carbohydrates is crucial to support your training, and of course make sure that you are well hydrated too. And do not forget your rest days, as recovery is part of training. By keeping consistency and increasing your awareness during training, you will have longevity in your training and in your life. 


National Library of Medicine. “Exercise efficiency relates with mitochondrial content and function in older adults”.

A Healthier Michigan. “The Importance of Proper Technique and Form to Your Workout”.

Gitnux. “Must-Know Gym Injuries Statistics [Recent Analysis]”.

ExRx. “Exercise Directory”.

Human Kinetics. “Proper Form and Technique”.

Exercise(dot)com. “Improve your form and discover new exercises”.

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competition history

Ayda competes regularly in fitness competitions and is currently preparing for the 2023 North American championships.

NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
CPA Toronto, 2021

You’ve probably heard so many people say “I love what I do”, BUT in my case I can truly say it from my heart. I’ve competed in sports all my life, but it wasn’t so long ago that I really understood that actually I can only ever compete with myself.

“You are perfect, until compare yourself with someone else”

I started contest prep in 2011, and since then I didn’t stop competing. In some competitions I got first place, in some it went not so well, but every competition that I prepared for taught me something more about myself and helped me take the correct direction, which I believe has shaped my work and my life in such a positive way.

When I competed in my first bikini competition I had just moved from my home country Turkey to Canada, and was getting used to the Canadian lifestyle — and, of course, the language too, which was the hardest part for me. I always wanted to do a fitness or bikini competition, but when I was still in Turkey the work and cultural differences made it so hard to do.

So I was in Vancouver BC, working at Steve Nash Fitness Club, and one of my co-workers, who was a competitor herself, asked me “why you are not competing?” I started asking myself and questioning if I could do it? I’d never done anything like it before… Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions right now! Of course I told myself “absolutely, I can’’. And my competition journey began!

Each show that I competed in gave me more knowledge about my body, and how I can improve. Of course, it’s not easy to correctly identify what’s missing with training and nutrition, and this learning process and all of the experiences pushed me to learn more… I’ve been a personal trainer since 1993, but I wanted more and began my nutrition studies. I finished my Comprehensive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition degrees.

And yes, I am still competing! You can see a list of all of the competitions that I’ve competed in further down this page. And right now, AGAIN, I am getting ready for my next show…!

I’ll warn you right now, it wasn’t easy at all. The easiest part was the training, which was already part of my daily life. But posing, dieting, supplementation, getting a bikini, finding a trainer… This was much tougher, not the mention the cost for the registration, jewelry, tanning, hair and make-up, they cost a lot too. 

But I wouldn’t let anything stop me, and right after my first show — WBFF in May, 2011 — I immediately started looking for the next show to compete in. I was hooked!

I am so happy to be able to help other competitors who are willing to work and improve their mind and health at the same time. My goal is to create healthy and happy bikini competitors, who want to challenge themselves and put in the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. There is really no easy way to get there… But there is a smart way.

I look forward to working together and sharing my knowledge with YOU to get you in the best shape of your LIFE!!!!! 



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