Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Monday 19th April 2021

Sunday 18th April 2021


Well, the gym has been back open for a week, and it has been a very good week.

Following on from what I wrote last week, the classes will be outside, either in the car park or we now have a lovely stretch of grass. Please also speak to me about the supervised gym sessions and/or personal training.

The first article in this week's newsletter is about whether there is a right way to lose fat?

The next article is about 5 Minute Burn Workouts. These are simple to explain but not so simple to do: do 15 reps, take a 5-10 second rest, then do another 15 reps, take another 5-10 second rest, and keep going until 5 minutes are up.

This week's recipe of the week is a Vegan Thai Peanut Ramen.

The exercise of the week: Behind-the-back bicep curl.

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


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.



Is there a right way to lose fat?

Let's set the record straight from the outset: the goal of any weight loss, pound-shedding, "trimming," or whatever-you-label-it program is body FAT loss, not necessarily scale-weight loss.

So, bubble-wrap your weight scale and put it in the basement or attic and focus on your body composition: the fat to muscle ratio.

There are just so many diets out there and everybody seems to have an opinion.

No wonder many of you are confused.

Which one is the easiest to follow?

Which one is financially affordable?

Which one is the most effective?

Ultimately, which one will help me lose fat?

I am not a Registered Dietician so I cannot offer you specific advice on what you should be consuming. I will, however, lay out bits and pieces of some of the most recent issues and arguments in the fat loss world, such as:

Is it simply creating a calorie deficit, so your body is forced to tap into adipose fat?

Is a calorie a calorie regardless if it comes from protein, carbohydrate, or fat?

Regarding the last question, what is better: a high carb/low fat or a low carb/high protein diet?

What about the glycaemic content of carbs and blood sugar levels?

Calorie Deficit:

There is no question that a reduction of calorie intake coupled with high-level energy expenditure results in weight loss (all other factors being equal). But what guarantees the weight loss to be fat only? Consider these facts:

It is a long-standing fact that a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories.

A pound of muscle renders around 600 calories.

People with a higher percent of body fat will lose more fat and retain more muscle with a significant calorie deficit. People with a lower percent of body fat will lose more muscle and retain more fat with a significant calorie deficit.

Let's do some mathematics, shall we?

A 500 calorie deficit per day over one week could result in two outcomes: a loss of one pound of fat (3,500/3,500 calories = 1) or a loss of nearly six pounds of muscle (3,500/600 calories = 5.8).

Obviously, the loss of muscle is not desirable. This is why attention must be paid to the correct calorie deficit based on your existing percentage of fat and your activity level. If you possess a significant amount of body fat, you can probably get away with a larger deficit in the early stages.

As you become leaner - or if you are relatively lean to begin with - the calorie deficit needs to be adjusted to preserve lean tissue. This also explains why it is so difficult to shed those elusive few pounds to get completely "ripped."

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

5 Minute Burn Workouts

For each body part you will perform a 5 minute burn out set.

These sets are brutal.

Pick a weight that allows you to perform about 12-15 reps. Over a 5 minute period you perform as many reps as possible with that weight, starting and stopping sets as needed.

Rest only long enough to catch your bearings and breathe, and then start knocking out more reps.

Typically a rep will take, depending on your preferred temp, 2-3 seconds, so you'll be able to do in the range of 7-8 sets. However, these 5 minute burn workouts are not about sets and reps. No, these 5 minute burn workouts are about finishing off an already fatigued muscle. You don't obsess (or even count) over how many total sets you do - just work as hard as you can for 5 minutes. Try to do as many reps as possible in 5 minutes using whatever rest periods you need to survive.

There's no wandering off during your rest periods, no getting distracted by a text message or an extended trip to the drinking fountain. There is accountability to the clock, which pushes the intensity for the cardiovascular system. You can manipulate a few different variables to give you just the right amount of practice and intensity. Bump the reps up or down, or change the load/scale.

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

Exercise of the week: Behind-the-back bicep curl

Attach a D-handle to the low pulley of a cable machine, grasp the handle in your right hand, and step forward (away from the machine) until there is tension on the cable and your arm is drawn slightly behind your body.

Stagger your feet so that your left leg is in front, and squeeze your shoulder blades together to lock your arm in place.

Squeeze your biceps and then curl the handle up toward your shoulder, not allowing your elbow to point forward.

Hold the contraction for 1 to 2 seconds, then lower the weight slowly back down for another 1-3 seconds.

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

Seitan & black bean stir-fry recipe

Yes Rachel, this is another vegan recipe just for you....


For the sauce:

400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
75g dark brown soft sugar
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 red chilli, finely chopped

For the stir-fry:

350g marinated seitan pieces
1 tbsp cornflour
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red pepper , sliced
300g pak choi , chopped
2 spring onions , sliced
cooked rice noodles or rice, to serve


Start by making the sauce, tip half the beans into the bowl of a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and add 50ml water.

Season, then blend until smooth.

Pour into a saucepan and heat gently for about 5 mins or until thick and glossy.

Drain the seitan and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss the seitan pieces in a bowl with the cornflour and set aside.

Heat your wok to a high temperature, add a little oil, then the seitan - you might need to do this in batches.

Stir-fry for around 5 mins until golden brown at the edges. Remove the seitan from the wok using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

If the wok is dry at this stage, add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Throw in the chopped peppers, the rest of the beans, pak choi and spring onion.

Cook for 3-4 mins, then return the seitan to the pan, stir in the sauce and bring to the boil for 1 min. Serve with cooked rice or noodles.


Useless Facts

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

PEZ candy even comes in a Coffee flavour.

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