Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Monday 21st September 2020

Sunday 20th September 2020


Every week I write these newsletters to try to communicate the most effective ways for you guys to train.

There's a lot of nonsense in the fitness industry.

Try watching the daytime infomercials on tv - there's always some nasty, plasticy piece of tat that some absurdly defined model is claiming to have used to have developed said absurdly defined physique.

The reality is she's getting well paid to promote this nasty, plasticy piece of tat. To have developed her physique, she will have followed a certain type of diet and training structure.

Mostly with weights and a calorie deficit.

Not dicking about on a crosstrainer.

The only way you could get a good workout by using some nasty, plasticy piece of tat is by taking it into the garden and smashing it repeatedly against a wall.

You will drop bodyfat by following a low glycaemic diet and regular resistance training. At no point do you need to use Deirdre Barlow's Coronation Street home workout DVD.

A lot of people believe that cardio burns fat and weights build muscle.

That's the simplistic, misguided premise upon which countless people have built their exercise regimes.

In fact, weight training is an important - possibly even vital - element of any fat-loss fitness plan. Firstly, weight training itself can burn over 400 calories per hour and it also increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your RMR is basically the number of calories that your body burns when you're sat on your backside watching Family Fortunes. So, lift weights and you'll burn more calories for longer after you've stopped exercising.

On top of that, any weight-loss eating plan means you will lose muscle as well as fat. If you're lifting weights to gain muscle, a greater proportion of your weight loss will come from fat.

Weight training will also make you stronger and this will - in turn - improve your cardio performance. So if you are a runner, strengthening your legs by doing squats and lunges in the gym will help you run faster - and therefore burn more calories.

So....get the most out of your membership and get booked in for a workout that's specific to you and will actually help you get results.

I hope all of the above makes sense but if you have any questions please come and ask me.

Gym Only memberships:

Joint/Student (per month):

12 months: £20
3 months: £23
1 month: £26

Single (per month):

For single prices, please check our special offers:

Student prices are only for students in full time education.

Group Personal Training

The Woodlands Fitness Centre offers Unlimited Classes / Group training sessions:

* There are 43 group training sessions per week, including: Condition, Total, Upper, Lower, Core, Circuit and HIIT.

* We offer '30m' groups: these 30 minute Classes / Group training sessions are condensed versions of our normal groups, designed to pack in high intensity exercise to push you to the next level and really make the most of your time here!

Having spoken to a lot of our Group PT and classes members, a significant number are not yet ready to train inside. We understand the concern, particular if you have loved ones who are still shielding.

For this reason, the majority of our classes and group personal training sessions will take place outside.

As such, I have been busily reconfiguring our Group PT and HIIT sessions to work well outside.

We're very lucky to have a lot of outside space that's perfect for group exercise sessions.

Makes sense. If it's a lovely day why would you want to stay inside an industrial unit?

We have a 5.15pm Group on every weekday!

We have added a second Group class to Sunday morning to accommodate the increasing demand

Classes / Group training sessions are now strictly limited to 6 people! This is to ensure you get a higher quality of coaching and support.

We always prefer an informal approach - so we will be maintaining the booking forms in the gym.

All bookings can be made in the gym, by phone, e-mail or via social media.

How you book in isn't important; we just care that you attend regularly.

Here is a list of our group training sessions:

Group Training membership prices:

12 months: £30pm
3 months: £33pm
1 month: £36pm


For single prices, please check our special offers:

The 2 x 45membership

This membership includes:

✔2 x 45 minute PT sessions per month (worth £21 each)
✔Unlimited GROUP PT sessions
✔Unlimited gym use
✔Calorie target setting advice
✔Nutritional support
✔Discounted additional personal training sessions

12 month: £43pm
3 month: £47
1 month: £51

The benefits of personal training outweigh your fears by a long shot and we can really help you achieve your goals. At Woodlands, we want to maximise your fitness experience.

PT prices:

30 minutes: £13 (£17)
45 minutes: £18 (£22)
60 minutes: £21 (£25)

The price in brackets is for non-members.

PT offer of the week:

8 x 45 minute PT sessions only £144 (£112 for Woodlands members)

Normal price £176

SAVE £32


4 weeks GROUP PT membership.
4 weeks gym membership.
Calorie target setting advice.
Nutritional support.

All PT sessions must be used within 4 weeks.

We use time limits with our personal training packages to encourage frequent and consistent training. Packages can be designed to your individual needs.

At least 24 hours notice of cancellation is required for all appointments - just so we have sufficient time to rebook the slot. Notice of less than 24 hours will incur a full payment of the session fee. These are standard terms for all good PT's.

We can adjust the time limits in advance to take into account holidays, business trips, etc.

All of our PT packages include full gym, group personal training & classes membership.

Opening Hours:

Monday: 7.30am - 9.00pm
Tuesday: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Wednesday: 7.30am - 9.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Friday: 7.30am - 8.00pm
Saturday: 8.00am - 2.00pm
Sunday 8.00am - 2.00pm

We always want to know what you think of the Woodlands Fitness Centre - the gym, prices, personal training, group personal training, and anything else.

Please speak to us at the gym, email any feedback and suggestions to the email address at the end of this newsletter.




One thing I'm always eager to encourage our members do is breathe.

Common sense, really.

Side effects of not breathing can include death. So make sure you breathe. Both in and out. The breathing out part is just as important.

A proper breathing rhythm will make each set more effective. Focus on exhaling as you lift the weight or when you exert, and inhaling as you lower the weight.

Each time you inhale, you take in oxygen, which your body needs to function. The more that you move, the more oxygen you need.

Think of oxygen as a sort of fuel for your muscles. In order for you to do anything - talk, walk, exercise - you need to get oxygen to your muscles.

Assuming you are at sea level, the air that you breathe in is approximately 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen.

Once this air enters your mouth, it passes through the larynx (the organ commonly known as the "voice box"), and then the vocal cords, and then the trachea (the windpipe), then the right and left main bronchus (passageways that bring air to the lungs), then the bronchiole (smaller branches of the bronchi) and then to the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs in your lungs that separate the air into oxygen and carbon dioxide.

(now re-read the paragraph above using the voice of the "annnd then" woman from 'Dude, Where's My Car'..!).

The newly separated oxygen is then pumped to the heart, brain, and other muscles through the body, and the carbon dioxide is expelled through the mouth or nose.

The more activity you do, the more oxygen your body needs to sustain these activities. And the more efficiently that you can deliver said oxygen to your muscles, the harder and more efficiently you can work, which leads to better results.

For these reasons, proper breathing should be one of your main focuses during exercise.

Proper breathing can help you lift heavier; it can give you more muscular endurance in weight lifting and cardio-centric activities like running, swimming, and biking; and it can help you recover more quickly during high-intensity activitiess.

For strength training in general, breathing out on the concentric phase of the lift (when you're doing a bicep curl, the concentric portion is when you lift the weight toward your shoulder, and the eccentric portion is when you lower it back toward the ground) is the most commonly recommended technique.

When you exhale and squeeze the air out, you increase core engagement. In strength training, a tight core equals more power and more stability - and you want to have that extra help on the most challenging part, the lift.

The core is the base of tension with which the rest of your body gets strength. The more tightly your core is contracted, the less leakage of tension there is from the rest of your body.

But core engagement isn't the only benefit of a strategically timed exhale.

Breathing out also acts as a sort of pressure release valve to help prevent a significant drop in blood pressure during the movement - which could happen if you held your breath.

Exhaling on the concentric portion of a movement, in general, can help stabilize and power you during a lift and protect against light-headedness post-lift.

I hope all of the above makes sense but if you have any questions please come and ask me.

An example 5-day vegan training meal plan

While calorie and macronutrient intakes vary greatly by individual and specific goals, here is a sample 5-day vegan training diet meal plan.

Day 1:

Breakfast: protein oatmeal made with oats, vegan protein powder, soy milk, banana, and nut butter
Lunch: tofu stir-fry made with extra firm tofu, vegan pasta, beans, red lentils, celery, onion, and spinach
Dinner: teriyaki tempeh with broccoli and quinoa
Snack: strawberry-banana protein shake

Day 2:

Breakfast: breakfast burritos made with tofu scramble and vegetables on vegan tortillas
Lunch: lentil loaf made with lentils, kidney beans, veggies, and nutritional yeast
Dinner: black-bean veggie burger with sweet potato fries
Snack: peanut butter and oatmeal snack bars

Day 3:

Breakfast: hummus toast made with sprouted grain bread, hummus, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds
Lunch: vegan burrito bowl made with rice, beans, and homemade mock taco meat
Dinner: sweet-and-sour stir-fry made with tofu, rice noodles, and vegetables
Snack: mock tuna salad sandwich

Day 4:

Breakfast: chocolate-peanut-butter smoothie bowl made with bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, vegan protein powder, and cocoa powder
Lunch: black bean and quinoa "meat" balls over whole grain vegan pasta
Dinner: vegan chili with tofu mince, kidney beans, tomatoes, and red lentils
Snack: roasted chickpeas with red pepper flakes

Day 5:

Breakfast: protein pancakes made with whole grain flour and vegan protein powder with toppings of your choice
Lunch: coconut-tofu-curry stir-fry made with tofu, soba noodles, and edamame
Dinner: vegan sloppy joe made with lentils and veggies
Snack: chocolate-peanut-butter protein shake

With many creative recipes available, the vegan training diet doesn't have to be boring. There are several staple ingredients that many of the recipes are based upon. It's helpful to plan out several days of meals to make shopping easier.

I hope all of the above makes sense but if you have any questions please come and ask me.

Exercise of the week: The Poliquin Lat Raise

The Poliquin Lat Raise is effective for three reasons:

1.Engages shoulder muscles with special mechanics and a unique range of motion.
2.Provides static tension directly to shoulders.
3.Targets the middle deltoids and rear deltoids.

Grab a light dumbbell in each hand.

4-6kgs should be enough for most people. You don't need a lot of weight to feel these.

You want to make sure your shoulders can lift the weight. If it's too heavy your traps will take over and ruin the set.

Now, stand up straight with your arms to your sides.

Keep your upper arm straight against your rib cage and bend your elbows to 90 degrees, like you're halfway through a bicep curl.

Rotate your wrists so your palms face each other.

Now you are in the starting position.

Use your shoulders to lift your elbows up and straight out from your side.

Your upper arm and forearm should be perfectly parallel with the ground. If you put a level on your arm, the bubble would be cantered.

Your upper arms should also be straight out to your sides and in perfect alignment with each other. Not forward or backward at all. Your elbows should be in line with your arm pits.

You also want 90-degree angles at your shoulder and elbow joint.

There should be a 90-degree angle between your torso and upper arm.

You also want your elbow bent 90-degrees throughout the entire lateral raise phase.

Hold this position for a second or two whilst flexing your shoulders as hard as you can.

Keep your upper arm in position while you straighten your arms completely.

As you extend your forearm, keep your hands facing the ground the entire time.

Imagine reaching your arms out like you're trying to touch the walls. Try to stretch out your hands out as far apart from each other as possible.

Make your wingspan as wide as possible. Doing this keeps tension on the shoulders and off the traps.

Rotate your wrist so your thumb is angled toward the floor. You should feel this engage the middle and rear delts to a greater degree. It may help to imagine the dumbbells you're holding are pitchers and you are tilting them forward to pour our water.

Pull your shoulders back slightly to engage the rear delts further.

At this point you should feel your entire shoulder working hard to hold the weight.

Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and really squeeze your delts.

You may want to use very light weight and hold the positions longer until you get the hang of it.

Be sure to stand up nice and tall. Do not slouch as it takes tension off the shoulders. Keep your head up and chest out to maintain good posture.

Then lower your arms towards your waist.

Twist your arms so your thumb points toward the floor.

This slight twist keeps tension on the middle and rear delts. Right where we want it.

Use your shoulder muscles to slowly lower your arms to your sides.

Once your arms are straight by your side and bells touching your thighs, return to starting position.

Repeat the process for 9 more reps!

I hope all of the above makes sense but if you have any questions please come and ask me.

Sweet Potatoes with Smoky Yogurt and Chickpeas

What better way to follow a vegan diet plan than by including a recipe that isn't vegan? Sure, there's no meat, but this recipe includes yogurt.

Roast your sweet potatoes ahead of time to get this dish on the table superfast come dinner. Or, just pop them in the microwave for a few minutes while you sauté the chickpeas.


1 c plain low-fat yogurt
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divded
Salt and pepper
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ c toasted pine nuts
4 med baked sweet potatoes, split lengthwise
Chopped fresh dill


Combine yogurt, 2 cloves of the garlic, the cumin, paprika, 2 teaspoon of the olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Saute chickpeas and remaining 2 cloves of garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until fragrant and warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes.

Spoon a quarter of the yogurt mixture into one of the sweet potatoes.

Top with a quarter of the chickpeas and 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes.

Top with the dill. Serve warm.


Useless Facts

A rainbow can be seen only in the morning or late afternoon. It can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon.

It has NEVER rained in Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

It costs more to buy a new car today in the United States than it cost Christopher Columbus to equip and undertake three voyages to and from the New World.

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

An eighteenth-century German named Matthew Birchinger, known as "the little man of Nuremberg," played four musical instruments including the bagpipes, was an expert calligrapher, and was the most famous stage magician of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have never been explained. Yet Birchinger had no hands, legs, or thighs, and was less than 29 inches tall.

The Woodlands Fitness Centre Ltd
A: Unit 27, Molyneux Business Park, Darley Dale, Derbyshire, DE4 2HJ
T: (01629) 733 123