Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Wednesday 2nd December 2020

Thursday 3rd December 2020


A member once asked if they should just stop eating if they wanted to lose weight. Well, erm, yeah I guess that'd work. But so would botchulism, and I wouldn't recommend that either.

Some people want to lose weight as quickly as possible. However, if you severely restrict your calories you will end up in trouble.

To lose weight you have to consume fewer calories than your body actually needs. But if you do this by eating very little and starving yourself in the process, your body will start to work against you and do everything in its power to survive. And the less you eat, the worse it gets.

That is why we recommend using a calorie deficit of no more than 20% of your daily calories. This will not only benefit your sleep and your energy levels - but it also lowers the stress of dieting and reduces the risk of food craving and binge eating.

Losing weight through calories consumed alone is not recommended as it will trigger the fight or flight mechanism within the body, encouraging a reduction in the metabolic rate as well as an increase in cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for fat storage.

However, the combination of a healthy diet and exercise plan will prevent a drop in the metabolic rate, which will also mean that not only weight loss is achieved at a greater rate - but also that it is easier to sustain the weight loss.

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.

Supervised Gym Sessions

As conventional classes are temporarily on ice, we are offering supervised gym sessions instead. Turn up at the usual times, get a workout and one of us will be around to help you.

There will be 43 supervised gym sessions each week. Let me know in advance if you want to train a specific body part.

We can offer 30m workouts: these are condensed versions of our normal sessions, designed to pack in high intensity exercise to push you to the next level and really make the most of your time here!

Here is a list of our supervised gym sessions:

Supervised Gym Sessions membership prices:

This membership includes unlimited gym use.

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.



Eat a diet based on your goals.

Eating appropriately will become very important when balancing both losing body fat and gaining muscle.

Every day your body receives new calories (when you eat), and it needs to decide what to do with them!

For example:

You eat a hamburger with fries and a large Coke. Your body then has to know where to route all those calories.

To keep things simple, it has three choices. It'll sort those calories into one of three houses:

A. Burn for Fuel.
B. Rebuild Muscle.
C. Store as Fat.

Right now, when you eat food, your body sorts most of those calories into "Burn for Fuel."

There's a number of calories your body needs each day just existing: to keep your liver functioning, your heart pumping, your brain operating, to regulate your body temperature, and so on - it burns a good chunk of calories just keeping the lights on.

A beating heart requires calories, which factors into your calorie needs.

This is your "total daily energy expenditure" which you can ask me to calculate for you.

There's also "B. Rebuild as Muscle" and "C. Store as Fat," which I devoted entire sections to above.

This is where the problems arise: When you overeat calories and your body doesn't need anymore to fuel itself, it takes those extra calories and stores them as fat.

However, our goal is the OPPOSITE of this.

We want to keep the muscle we have (or grow it) while getting rid of the fat!

So let's imagine a scenario where we pull all this together by strength training heavy AND reducing our caloric intake:

You strength train regularly, and your muscles break down and need to be rebuilt.

You don't consume enough calories to both rebuild muscle and fuel itself. There's not enough to go into the "Burn for Fuel" and "Rebuild Muscle" houses.

Does your body just shut down?


Yep, if you have fat on you your body will pull from it to take care of its needs.

Your body has been preparing for this, by storing any excess calories over the years in the "Store as Fat" house.

This means your body can pull from "Store as Fat" to make sure all the work still gets done, including your daily functions as a human and rebuilding the muscle you tore apart.

Said another way: if you have fat stores (and we all do), you do not need to be in a "caloric surplus" to rebuild muscle. The calories stored in your fat cells act as this required energy.

There is also evidence that muscle can even be grown while in a caloric deficit.

Meaning bigger muscles with a lower belt size.

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

Not all machines are created equal

Exercise machines were invented to provide a safe alternative to free weights, but sometimes they're anything but. As a matter of fact, they can put your body into unnatural positions and take your joints through dangerous ranges of motion. Over time, this can lead to muscle strain and even serious injuries.

So to make the most of your next sweat session, avoid these nine machines, and instead use the alternative exercises shown in each slide for safer, more effective training.

Even though we have one at Woodlands, I despise the Smith machine

Avoid any exercise on the Smith machine, especially squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. Although its main benefit is that you can stop the bar whenever a set gets too heavy, the Smith's bar moves in a fixed path, and that forces your shoulders and elbows into awkward positions.

The Smith machine also balances the weight for you, which reduces the tension in your muscles and robs you of strength, stability, and size gains.

Squatting in a Smith Machine is bit like learning to ride a bike but then deciding to leave the stabilisers on. Just why? WHY?

In separate studies in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that squats and bench presses done with free weights activated far more muscle than their Smith machine counterparts did. If safety is your concern, use safer variations of the squat, bench press, and deadlift that don't require a barbell or a spotter.

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

Exercise of the week: Decline plank with foot touch

Get into a decline plank position, supporting yourself on your forearms with your feet raised on a bench.

Your body should form a straight line from heels to head and the aim is to maintain that position throughout the exercise.

Lift one foot off the bench and move it to the side to touch the floor, then return it to the bench. Continue, alternating sides.

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.

All-the-trimmings Christmas traybake


1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
1kg small potatoes, halved
4 parsnips, cut into chunky pieces
4 carrots, cut into chunky pieces
200g sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 small red onions, cut into wedges
12 cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon
2 bay leaves
4 rosemary sprigs, ripped


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the oil and chutney together and season well. Divide everything except the sausages and herbs between two large roasting tins, pour over the oil and chutney mixture and toss together. Put both trays in the oven for 25 mins.

Add the sausages and herbs to the trays and bake, stirring halfway through, for 30-35 mins more or until the vegetables are soft and the sausages are cooked through. If one tray is browning more than the other, swap them round.


Useless Facts

1 in 8 Americans has worked at a McDonalds restaurant.

70% of all boats sold are used for fishing.

Studies have shown that children laugh an average of 300 times/day and adults 17 times/day, making the average child more optimistic, curious, and creative than the adult.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

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