Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Monday 2nd November 2020

Saturday 31st October 2020


Understandably we have been receiving a huge amount of phone calls and emails seeking clarification regarding Lockdown 2: The Sequel.

It is our understanding that as of yet, nothing that was announced during last night's briefing has been voted on in Parliament or has been passed in law.

We have not yet been given any official communication whatsoever from central Government, local Government or our governing body and therefore we currently have no more information than anyone else.

Our plan from here is to watch what happens in Parliament tomorrow, find out what gets passed in law, wait for official communication, and then we can make some decisions on how best to move forward.

This isn't about us choosing to close; we would stay open if we could. This is a Government order.

The Government is not going to be giving us any substantial grants - so we will absolutely be relying on your support.

As a business everything we do is for you guys, this is about the gym, our gym, and our community.

Thank you all so much for your messages of support and as soon as we know more I will of course update you straight away.

The lockdown is for just 25 days: Thursday 6th November to 2nd December.

So here's the plan:

We will be running our groups, classes and personal training sessions online through Zoom.

We will also be offering online coaching, calorie target setting, nutrition guidance and workout plans to our members.

I will be emailing members on our mailing list each morning with home workout plans.

This is just for 25 days.

As before, we are giving our members the following options in regards to their direct debit:

1). Continue to pay your Direct Debit in the normal way, so that your club can retain key staff and continue to invest during this short time. If you are happy with this option, no further action is required by you.

2). Defer your DD for a 1 month period. If you choose this option we will respond with a separate email to confirm your next payment date.

3). Continue to pay your DD on the due date, but pay 50% of the monthly amount to support your club.

4). Continue to pay your DD on the due date and exchange membership payments for 1-2-1 personal training. For example, if you pay £25 per month and we're closed for 1 month, you would get 1 x 45 minute PT sessions. Drop me a message and we can arrange this.

Everybody who sustains their direct debit or standing order (even at 50% of the monthly amount) during this 25 day closure will be exempt from all future price increases and will retain any special offers (including our 2-4-1 offer) indefinitely.

So another 25 days of online classes and me putting random emojis over people's faces.

So here we are in November.

It's cold.

Bit drizzly.

Dark nights.

And this could pave the way for Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - a mood disorder in which people exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in winter.

Common symptoms include sleeping too much, having little to no energy, and overeating.

During the summer lockdown I wrote a lot about managing your mental health and I will provide further guidance over this 25 day lockdown.

A winter lockdown could hit us all so much harder. However, physical exercise has been proven to be an effective form of treatment for SAD.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows workout is often described as "euphoric."

This feeling of euphoria can be accompanied by a positive and energising outlook on life.

Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body's endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.

Regular exercise has been proven to:

✔Reduce stress
✔Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
✔Boost self-esteem
✔Improve sleep

Exercise also has these added health benefits:

✔Strengthens your heart.
✔Increases energy levels.
✔Lowers blood pressure.
✔Improves muscle tone and strength.
✔Strengthens and builds bones.
✔Helps reduce body fat.
✔Makes you look fit and healthy.

So please don't let intimidation hold you back!

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.

You can book in for personal training sessions by email - - or call in to see us.

Good luck and happy training!

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

Gym Only memberships:

JointStudent (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!

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:

Personal Training:

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.

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

The price in brackets is for non-members.

All of our PT packages include:

GROUP PT membership.
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.



Effective abdominal exercises

When you decide to add some abdominal exercises to your exercise program, be careful about which ones you choose.

A qualified fitness instructor can help you develop a safe, effective program. If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition, consult an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist.

Incorporate exercises to train your core muscle group, rather than standard crunches that target separate muscles. Some effective abdominal muscle training methods include:

The stability ball (or fitball, Swiss ball or exercise ball) is an extra-large, inflatable ball designed to improve balance while targeting specific muscle groups. You can use exercise balls in a variety of ways to challenge balance, stability and torso strength.

You can strain your abdominal muscles from overstretching or overuse. Prevention strategies include regular stretching, warming up prior to exercise and cooling down afterwards, and keeping good form while playing sport.

Things to remember:

The abdominal muscles support the trunk, allow movement and hold organs in place by regulating internal abdominal pressure.

The deep abdominal muscles, together with muscles in the back, make up your core muscles.

Your core muscles help keep your body stable and balanced, and protect your spine.

Muscle strains can be prevented by regular stretching, warming up prior to exercise and cooling down afterwards, and keeping good form while playing sport.

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

How can you lose fat?

This article continues on from last weeks article in which I began to explain how you can lose weight and build muscle simultaneously.

The simple answer: consume fewer calories than you expend or burn.

When your body needs more calories than the amount you are eating, you are in a "caloric deficit." Your body doesn't have enough calories to go around, so it'll start breaking down parts of itself for energy requirements.

How many calories do you need and burn every day?

Ask me to calculate your daily caloric needs if you're not sure.

The hope is that your body will mostly pull from fat stores, though depending on how you are training it will also break down muscle too.

So when you are eating a caloric deficit, your body will pull from both its fat stores AND existing muscle for energy.

Yes, if you're not careful you can lose fat AND muscle while losing weight.

From a physique and health standpoint, obviously we'd prefer that your body doesn't break down muscle when in a caloric deficit. It should use fat stores instead.

I make this point for a reason: your goal in fitness shouldn't only be "weight loss," despite the common vernacular used.

Who cares what the scale says, right?

A scale can be misleading when you're trying to lose fat and gain muscle.

The goal instead is to reduce body fat while also keeping the muscle you have (or even building more muscle).

That leads to a better physique and a healthier body.

This is the reason why there is a large industry around "tracking body fat percentage.

By reducing your total fat on your body -OR increasing muscle mass - you'll end up with a lower body fat percentage (it's just a simple ratio of fat to everything else).

And lower body fat percentages are where "toned arms" and "6-pack abs" hang out.

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

Exercise of the week: the Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted, and your arms crossed across your chest.

Raise your torso using your abs, then lower.

Your upper abs will already be close to fatigue but try to hold the top position of each rep for at least one second to make them work as hard as possible.

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

Roast Beef Dinner


3 pounds (1.4kg) beef rump or round roast , see note
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
6 to 8 yellow or gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups (709ml) beef broth


Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Coat the beef well with the oil. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary evenly all over.

Heat a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet on the stove top over medium high heat. Sear the beef on all sides. Transfer the beef in the pan to the oven and roast the beef 15 minutes per pound for rare and 20 per pound for medium.

When the beef is done, remove from the roasting pan onto a platter and cover with foil and allow to rest on a cutting board while you cook the potatoes and gravy.

Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with vegetable oil, salt and pepper and coat well.

Add the potatoes to the same roasting pan that you removed the beef from , cut-side down and roast in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and tender when a knife is inserted.
While the potatoes roast, to a pan over medium heat and melt the butter.

Add the onions and cook until they are softened. Stir in the flour and cook until it starts to turn a golden colour.

Whisk in the beef stock until the flour is incorporated and there are no lump. Simmer until thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can strain the gravy if you wish to remove the onions or any lumps of flour that you can't remove.
Slice the gravy and serve with the potatoes and your favourite vegetable.


Take the meat out of the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.


Useless Facts

The pop you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually a bubble of gas burning.

A literal translation of a standard traffic sign in China: "Give large space to the festive dog that makes sport in the roadway."

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.

Larry Lewis ran the 100-yard dash in 17.8 seconds in 1969, thereby setting a new world's record for runners in the 100-years-or-older class. He was 101.

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