Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Monday 9th November 2020

Monday 9th November 2020


The last lockdown played havoc with peoples' mental health.

Working from home.

Can't see your friends or family.

Can't go out for dinner or to the pub or to the cinema or to the gym.

It's just making people climb the walls.

And that was during the summer. When we could go outside an enjoy the weather. Nobody is excited about going outside and enjoying the rain.

The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented time for everyone. This is why we are offering all of our members complimentary 30 minute PT sessions.

Measures we must take to limit the spread of the virus lead to big changes to the way we live our lives.

We all react differently to situations, but it's important you look after your mental health as well as your physical health during this time.

The government published advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are some of the ways you can take care of your mind:

Consider how to connect with others:

Maintaining relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Take a look at some of our ideas about how you can connect with others.

Help and support others:

Helping others could make a big difference to them and make you feel better too. This is one of the reasons why we are offering all of our members complimentary 30 minute PT sessions.

Talk about your worries:

This is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help.

Look after your physical wellbeing:

Your physical health can have a big impact on how you're feeling.

Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise inside where possible or outside once a day.

Look after your sleep:

Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep good sleep practices - like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment.

Try to manage difficult feelings:

Focus on the things you can control, including where you get information from and actions to make yourself feel prepared. Every Mind Matters provides further information on how to manage anxiety.

Manage your media and information intake:

24/7 news and social media can make you more worried. If you find this is affecting you, try to limit the amount of time you spend keeping up with what's going on.

Use a credible source you can trust such as UK, or the NHS website, and fact check information that you get from newsfeeds, social media or from other people. Try not to share information without fact-checking against credible sources too.

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.

This week's workout times:

Monday: 9.30am, 5.15pm and 6.00pm
Tuesday: 9.30am, 5.30pm and 6.30pm
Wednesday: 9.30am, 5.15pm and 6.00pm
Thursday: 9.30am, 5.30pm and 6.30pm
Friday: 9.30am
Sunday: 9.30am

Please message me if you wish to be added to our Zoom classes mailing list.

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has continued with their membership payments to the club.

Your amazing support is greatly appreciated.

The income we have received has allowed us to make significant changes while we have been closed, these changes have really improved the club - and you'll see these when we reopen.

This is just for another 23 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 28 day closure will be exempt from all future price increases and will retain any special offers (including our 2-4-1 offer) indefinitely.

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.



How Can You Train Your Abs?

If you're looking to train your abs, the good news is that there are a huge variety of exercises that will help you achieve that goal.

Even if you're not doing moves that focus on them directly, the location of your abs means that they are worked hard by compound exercises that hit both the upper and lower body.

Your core is also key to any exercise in which you have to keep your body stable, such as static holds like the plank or tricky balancing acts like the single-leg Romanian deadlift.

Whether your goal is a six-pack or just a little more definition around your midsection, compound lifts like squats, overhead presses and deadlifts will help get you there - and they'll build strength all over your body at the same time.

That said, there's also room for more focused abs work too, especially if you have designs on achieving a cover model-style six-pack.

Don't forget that abs are made in the kitchen and the gym: you can target your abs and core with resistance training that help with the muscles in that area- but you also need to lose overall body fat to see the definition in those abdominal muscles. This requires a combination of diet (a calorie deficit!) and exercise.

Below are some simple, four-move circuits to provide both isolation exercises and compound moves, and the three options target different areas of your abs to ensure you're hitting them from every angle.

The first workout concentrates on your upper abs, the second focuses on the lower abs, and the final routine works the often neglected side abs - or obliques - along with your deeper core muscles.

Though each circuit works as quick stand-alone abs blast, you can also tack them on to the end of your main training session to ensure your abdominal muscles are getting the attention they need.

The really good news is that you don't need access to a gym to complete these workouts, so you can keep pursuing your six-pack dream during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The abdominals is an area of the body that you can absolutely whip into shape at home, with minimal equipment required to get you really feeling the burn in your midsection.

We say minimal, rather than no, equipment, because for the workouts below you will need a pull-up bar for moves like the hanging leg raise. Bars are affordable and usually easy to find, though during the lockdown demand has exceeded supply.

The dumbbell crunch calls for a dumbbell, but if you don't have one then any kind of weight you can hold by your chest will do - it doesn't have to be too heavy.

Do three circuits in total.

Each of these abs workouts is a mini-circuit you can do at the end of your main workout.

The circuits are designed to work the maximum number of muscle fibres as quickly and effectively as possible - so you'll do all four moves in order, sticking to the reps and rest periods detailed.

The first move of each circuit is the hardest, then they get progressively easier as the number of reps per move increases. This works your abs harder and places them under greater tension for longer, which is ultimately what stimulates muscle growth.

After the final move, rest for the allotted time, then repeat the circuit. Do three circuits in total.

Upper Abs Workout:

Dumbbell crunch x10
Tuck and crunch
Modified V-sit x 15
Crunch x 20

Lower Abs Workout:

Hanging leg raise x 10
Hanging knee raise twist x 12 each
Hanging knee raise x 15
Garhammer raise x 20

Obliques And Core Workout:

Decline plank with foot touch x 10 each side Rest 10sec
Seated Russian twist x 12 each side Rest 10sec
Bicycle crunches x 15 each side
Plank x Max

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

What is easier to do: Burn more calories or consume less?

Numbers will help tell the story: though this is a gross oversimplification.

Let's use the 'widely accepted' starting point of 3,500 calories equals roughly one pound of fat.

If you want to lose one pound - or half a kilogram - of body fat in a week (a worthy, sustainable goal for some), you would need to create a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day: either through

Consuming 500 fewer calories
Burning 500 more calories
A combination of the two

Which half is easier to affect?

Here are both halves of that equation. 500 calories equals:

The number of calories found in a 88% of a Big Mac (which is typically 219g and 562 calories).

An estimate of the calories required to run five miles.

Yes, you will have to run for a long time to burn 500 calories.


When it comes to maintaining a caloric deficit, it really comes down to diet.

It's significantly more effective and time-efficient to consume 500 fewer calories than it is to burn 500 additional calories.

Exercise alone won't make you thin. It's too easy to add more calories in, and requires too much work to effectively influence "calories out."

Which brings us to our slightly less simple answer on how to lose body fat: you need to watch what you eat, and do so in a sustainable way.

This is one idea we focus on: 80-90% of the fat loss equation comes down to diet.

Here's another idea we focus on: EAT MOSTLY REAL FOOD.

Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts are all great examples of real food.

These foods are very nutrient dense and often low in calories compared to their processed counterparts. Which means you get filled up without overeating.

Have you ever seen the difference between 200 calories of broccoli and 200 calories of a bagel?

That's why REAL food is the answer to creating a sustainable caloric deficit.

Most people can eat an entire bagel no problem. Plates of broccoli, with all of the fibre, are much tougher to overeat.

We advise you to take it slow - so new habits of healthy eating become permanent. Something you can stick to for the rest of your life.

What you eat will be 80%-90% of the equation to lose body fat.

The other 10-20%? Yeah, that's Exercise.

Of course it's exercise. Next week I will talk about how you can gain muscle.

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

Exercise of the week: Hands Elevated Push up

During this 25 day lockdown you could set yourself some challenges. For some of you, that could be a 100 push ups in one go. For others, that could be just a handful of full push ups.

If you struggle to do a full push up, try the Hands Elevated Push up.

This exercise targets the chest, shoulders and triceps.

All you need is a bench, a box or a sturdy flat surface.

Place your hands on an elevated surface your arms straight and your hands directly below your shoulders.

The higher the surface the easier the push up will be. Progress the exercise by finding lower surfaces until you can do them on the floor.

Walk your legs out behind you until you're in a push up position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Brace your abdominals - as if you were about to be punched in the stomach - and squeeze your glutes. Maintain these contractions for the duration of the exercise.

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the box of bench. Don't let your hips sag at any point. Pause at the bottom, and then push yourself back to the stating position as quickly as possible.

That's 1 rep.

Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.

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

Tortilla Pizzas


1 whole wheat tortilla (or whole wheat pita bread)
¼ cup sauce (marinara, pesto, olive oil and garlic, barbecue sauce)
⅓ cup or less shredded/crumbled cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, goat, feta)
Toppings (go wild!)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the tortilla in a 12-inch cast iron pan or baking sheet (max crispiness option


Place the tortilla on a stainless steel, oven-safe cooling rack, and place that on the baking sheet).

Spread sauce evenly across the tortilla, leaving ½ inch around the edges. Sprinkle with cheese and toppings.

Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbling (no sooner!) and the edges of the tortilla are lightly browned, about 10 to 14 minutes.

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.


Useless Facts

The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words. More than 2 billion pencils are manufactured each year in the United States. If these were laid end to end they would circle the world nine times.

In a lifetime the average human produces enough quarts of spit to fill 2 swimming pools.

It's against the law to doze off under a hair dryer in Florida/against the law to slap an old friend on the back in Georgia/against the law to Play hopscotch on a Sunday in Missouri.

Barbie's measurements, if she were life-size, would be 39-29-33.

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