Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Monday 22nd February 2021

Sunday 21st February 2021


The gym will be back open on Monday 12th April 2021. Only 49 days.

Work has continued at the gym. Last week we took delivery of a new toy, a Life Fitness Adductor machine. If you're looking to build a strong backside, chances are you focus on your gluteus maximus by doing lots of hip thrusts, squats and lunges. However, strengthening glute muscles that perform hip abduction, or movement of your thighs out to the side, will also build your buttocks.


Abductor muscles also stabilise your pelvis when you walk or stand on one foot. Among other things, your hip abductor muscles help you walk, run, play sports, dance, get into and out of a car and get onto and off of a bicycle. Abductor muscle exercises help co=ordinate movements, improve functional fitness, enhance core stability and prevent injuries.

When your abductor muscles are weak, you're more likely to suffer from injuries, especially in your legs. Weak hip abductors put more pressure on your knees, ankles and feet. Some common injuries that runners and athletes experience are patellofemoral pain syndrome, which causes pain around your kneecap, and iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, which originates along the outside of your knee and the hip.

There is some more tread plate on the walls. After tread plating everywhere downstairs I've started upstairs.

By the time we re-open I'm sure the place will look like the inside of a safety deposit box.

This week's recipe - Sticky orange chicken with parsnips, maple & pecans - is really good. I do love a tray bake.

Cases have dropped by nearly 20% to under 10,000 cases a day (from 60,000+ a few weeks ago), deaths have dropped by nearly 30% and hospital admissions have dropped by over 20%. As at the 20th February, more than 17.5 million people have been vaccinated.

I'm not sure if I've emailed out the recent newsletters so if you're interested, here are the links to them:

The Woodlands newsletter Monday 15th February 2021:

The Woodlands newsletter Monday 8th February 2021:

The Woodlands newsletter Monday 27th January 2021:

The Woodlands newsletter Wednesday 20th January 2021:

As there is a definite end to this pandemic in sight, here are some special offers to look forward to:

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.

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.



Signs of Genetic Weight Problems

Your genes may have a significant influence on your weight if you've been overweight for most of your life and haven't been successful with weight management with consistent diet and exercise. If you have a blood relative or parent that is also overweight, there's a good chance that your weight is a genetic problem — and this likelihood multiplies if both of your parents are overweight.

Signs of a Lifestyle Weight Problem

Your genetics probably aren't the biggest contributor to your weight gain if you're able to get it under control with a conscious effort. People who are heavily influenced by food and who lose weight easily after changing their habits through diet and exercise are probably gaining weight due to lifestyle factors. Lifestyle weight gain can be due to inactivity, poor diet, and other habits.

Genes That Have Been Linked to Weight

While hundreds of genes are linked to various aspects of obesity, researchers have been able to pinpoint some of the specific ones that influence the way we feel after eating, our appetite levels, our ability to burn calories and use energy, our body composition, and more. There isn't a single gene responsible, but rather hundreds that are linked to appetite, glucose absorption, and metabolism.

The identification of these genes in an individual makes it easy to create a custom weight-loss regimen that works for your genetic makeup and increases your chances of losing weight and maintaining your weight loss over time. Some of these genes are identified below.

FTO Gene

The FTO gene, a protein associated with fat mass and obesity, is found on chromosome 16. The presence of this gene has shown to have a direct connection to obese individuals, as those with this gene have a 30% higher chance of being overweight.


The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene is a known contributor to human metabolism. This gene controls how much energy we use from what we eat and contributes to our feelings of hunger. Some people have a rare variant of this gene and are slightly more likely to be overweight.


Ankyrin-B is a gene known for causing obesity in its variant form. It causes fat cells to absorb glucose at an increased rate, which significantly increases the size of the cell.


Panx 1, or Pannexin 1, is the gene that regulates obesity and the accumulation of fat. The presence of this gene is correlated with a higher risk of obesity.


The iroquois homeobox gene 3 (IRX3) is a gene that may cause difficulty losing weight. Studies have found that individuals with deficient expressions of this gene showed a 30% loss in weight.

Even if you express these genes, they should not be viewed as a lifetime obesity sentence or final destination. They're merely risk factors, and health professionals urge people to never be discouraged by family histories or genetic makeup. Rather, they encourage at-risk individuals to embrace healthy living to overcome obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health complications.

Your genes and your lifestyle both play a part in your weight, but your lifestyle is controllable while your genes are not. As such, you should focus on what you can control, which is the development of healthy habits. This will give you peace of mind knowing you're doing everything you can to be your healthiest self.

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

What is the optimal training volume?

There are very few things in the world of fitness, more specifically bodybuilding, which are more hotly debated than that of training programs.

It seems like every time I pick up a magazine it says that there is something new and better to do, and to add to the confusion, this "new and better" training regimen is usually in direct conflict with the prior months training fad.

Training regimens are a dime a dozen, all seemingly impressive in their own respect. But you have to be able to listen to your body and pick the one that works for you.



What works for some will not work for others. Some programs might be entirely too much or too little volume or intensity for one person, but perfect for another.

Once again, this comes down to just trying different programs and finding one you like, or altering an existing one to better suit yourself. It comes down to optimizing your "intensity equation" for lack of a better term.

Your intensity through a workout is going to equal your volume (reps and sets), times your weight used, divided by your rest time. Below is an illustration of what I am trying to relate to you:

Intensity = (Volume x Weight used)/Rest time

What is the optimal training volume per muscle group? Well it depends on the muscle group. Legs, back and chest require more volume than shoulders, biceps and triceps.

The optimal volume range for most people is:

For each bigger muscle group (legs, chest, back and shoulders): about 60 to 120 total reps PER WEEK.

For each smaller muscle group (biceps and triceps): about 30 to 60 total reps PER WEEK.

I prefer to think of it in terms of sets, so if I range between 5 to 10 reps per set, I would do 8 to 16 sets for a bigger muscle group and 4 to 8 sets for a smaller muscle group per week. This is your total weekly volume irrespective of how many times you train each muscle. For example (based on the average volume for a bigger muscle group):

1 x per week: 12 sets per workout
2 x per week: 6 sets per workout
3 x per week: 4 sets per workout

More next week...

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

Exercise of the week: Romanian (Stiff-Leg) Deadlift

Before getting fancy, master a basic deadlift like this one. Proper form here will make the other versions easier to nail and let you reap the muscle-building benefits without accidentally injuring yourself.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your thighs.

Hinge at your hips, bending slightly at your knees. Push your butt way back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, and the weights should reach your shins.

Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull.

Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. This is 1 rep.

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

Sticky orange chicken with parsnips, maple & pecans


2 blood oranges, 1 juiced, 1 thickly sliced
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly , melted
2 parsnips , quartered, peeled and the core cut out and discarded
4 chicken thighs , skin on
140g small shallots , left whole but peeled
2 thyme sprigs , broken up a bit
25g pecans , barely chopped
mixed leaf salad or wilted spinach, to serve (optional)
cooked rice , to serve (optional)


Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Juice 1 of the oranges and whisk together with the maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and cranberry jelly. Cut the parsnips into chunky lengths. Put the parnips, chicken thighs and shallots in a roasting tin - make sure everything can sit in a single layer but quite snug.

Drizzle over half the orange sauce with some seasoning and toss to coat everything. Roast for 35 mins.

Remove the tin from the oven and poke the orange slices in among everything. Scatter over the thyme and drizzle over the rest of the orange sauce.

Roast for another 15 mins until the chicken is tender and cooked through, and everything is sticky and golden.

Mix in the pecans and cook for another 5 mins. Serve straight away, remembering to scrape out all the sticky juices from the tin, and eat with a mixed leaf salad or some wilted spinach, plus a little rice to soak up the sauce, if you like.


Useless Facts

In the early 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile services (like two-way radios in taxis) but did not re-number the other channel assignments.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Firehouses have circular stairways originating from the old days when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

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