Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 25th December 2022

Sunday 25th December 2022


First off, I'd like to start by wishing all of our members - past, present and future - a very Happy Christmas.

Next, let me repeat the Christmas Opening times:

23rd (Friday): 7.30am-7pm
Christmas Eve (Saturday): 8am-12 noon
Xmas Day (Sunday): Closed
Boxing Day (Monday): Closed
27th (Tuesday): 8.30am-2pm
28th (Wednesday): 8.30am-2pm
29th (Thursday): 8.30am-2pm
30th (Friday): 8.30am-2pm
New Years Eve (Saturday): 8am-12 noon
New Years Day (Sunday): Closed
2nd (Monday): 8.30am-2pm
3rd (Tuesday): Back to normal.

There will be a group PT session at 9.30am on each day that we're open.

If anybody would like a 12.30pm Group PT session, please let me know.

Right, now let's get back to more weight loss chat. Which - considering it's Christmas Day - seems unhelpful. Perhaps read this on the 27th Dec, perhaps with a pint of Baileys and a large handful of Quality Street.

So anyway, I digress. Exercise. Let's talk about exercise. On Christmas Day.

Any exercise is better than no exercise. However, like diet plans, not all exercise is created equal. I've talked / ranted about this extensively over the years.

However, many people often choose the wrong form of exercise to maximise their efforts to lose weight. For example, they will do cardio exclusively and ignore resistance training.

Resistance training is an essential component of fat loss, as it builds muscle essential to your metabolism, increases 24 hour energy expenditure, and has health benefits beyond just doing cardio.

Think about it; if you do any form of exercise whilst watching the latest episode of Stranger Things then you're really doing much.

For more guidance, tips and information, please read the rest of our newsletter.

But first, here are our opening times, links to our website, some prices and more...

Gym Only memberships:

Joint/Student (per month):

12 months: £22
3 months: £24
1 month: £28

Single (per month):

For single prices, please check our special offers:

Student prices are only for students in full time education.

Small Group Personal Training:

How would you like to have personal training every single time you attend Woodlands?

Well now you can!

Our Small Group PT membership offers an appointment controlled personal training system where a personal trainer will train up to 6 members at any one time.

We offer a variety of group exercise sessions throughout the day to help you achieve you build fitness, strength, co-ordination and flexibility whilst burning fat.

Group sessions are strictly limited to 6-8 people:

There are 36 group training sessions per week, including:


We also offer '30m' groups: these 30 minute Classes Group training sessions are condensed versions of our normal 45 minute groups, designed to pack in high intensity exercise to push you to the next level and really make the most of your time here!

These shared personal training sessions are strictly limited to 6 (sometimes 8) 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:

Small Group PT membership prices:


12 months: £32pm
3 months: £34pm
1 month: £38pm


For single prices, please check our special offers:

2 x 45membership:

This membership includes:

✔2 x 45 minute PT sessions per month (worth £23 each)
✔Small Group PT membership
✔Gym membership
✔Calorie target setting advice
✔Nutritional support
✔Discounted additional personal training sessions

12 month: £43pm
3 month: £46
1 month: £49

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.

Personal Training Packages:

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 mins:

4 weeks x 2 per week
6 x 30 mins: £72 (£89)

5 weeks x 2 per week
10 x 30 mins: £108 (£135)

45 mins:

3 weeks x 2 per week
6 x 45 mins: £98 (£1202

4 weeks x 2 per week
8 x 45 mins: £128 (£161)

60 mins:

4 weeks x 1 per week
4 x 60 mins: £88 (£109)

4 weeks x 2 per week
8 x 60 mins: £169 (£213)

The price in brackets is for non-members.

All of our PT packages include:

Small Group PT membership.
Gym membership.
Calorie target setting advice.
Nutritional support.

All PT sessions must be used within time periods listed above.

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 - 8.45pm
Tuesday: 8.30am - 8.45pm
Wednesday: 7.30am - 8.45pm
Thursday: 8.30am - 8.45pm
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.



Beans and Legumes

I wonder how many of you are gorging on beans and legumes today?

Some beans and other legumes can be beneficial for weight loss. This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others. These foods tend to be high in protein and fibre, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety. They also tend to contain some resistant starch.

The main problem is that a lot of people have difficulties tolerating legumes. For this reason, it's important to prepare them properly. Beans and legumes are a good addition to your weight loss diet.

Beans and legumes are both high in protein and fibre, contributing to feelings of fullness and a lower calorie intake.

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

Total Reps Method

This is - by far - one of my favourite training methods.

Over the last few years I have been a fanatical researcher and tester. I have thoroughly tried ideas on myself and - in my capacity as a trainer - have tried them on many of my clients and members.

To develop a strong, balanced, lean and aesthetically pleasing physique freeweight exercises are the most effective option for most people. You don't always have to lift heavy. Three sets to failure with 30% of your one rep max resulted in equal hypertrophy gains as three sets to failure with 80% of your one rep max.

Virtually all training protocols - including that one that follows - are created by manipulating the Acute Variables, which are the most fundamental components of designing a training program. They determine the amount of stress placed on the body and - ultimately - what adaptations (strength, hypertrophy or stamina) the body will incur. Acute variables include repetitions, sets, intensity (% of 1 rep max), tempo, rest, volume and exercise selection.

When most people think of sets and reps, their fallback scheme is 3 sets of 10 reps (3 x 10). Here's something different that will break you out of a training rut: forget about the number of sets.

Stop thinking in sets. Instead, think about hitting a certain amount of total reps for the exercise. A good number to shoot for is 40 reps. So your goal is to accumulate 40 reps for a particular exercise. The number of sets is - up to a point - meaningless.

The secret is in choosing the weight you use on the exercise. Load the bar or machine with a weight you can lift for 10 reps - your 10 rep max. That's the load you'll use for the whole exercise. If you can get over 10 reps on the first set, it's too light. If you can't get 10 reps on the first set, it's too heavy. You'll figure it out.

With your load selected, you'll now shoot for 40 total reps for the exercise, regardless of how many sets it takes. You won't even try to count sets, only reps. As you fatigue, you won't be able to get the same number of reps per round - and that's fine because we're primarily concerned with total reps.

Compare that to 3 sets of 10 reps. You will complete more reps using a heavier weight while at the same time increasing work capacity. Not bad.

Remember, you will only be resting for 20 to 30 seconds between sets and you will start with your 8RM, so every set will be taken to failure. If you can get 10 reps on every set, then you either started too light, you didn't try hard enough in the first few sets, or you rested for too long between sets.

A training program with 30 second rest periods will elevate growth hormone levels to produce significantly larger muscle size. Greater growth hormone levels triggered from shorter rest periods boost muscle size.

You may be able to finish off all 40 reps in 6 or 7 sets. Or it could take you 10 sets where you're down to doing singles at the end. It all works as long as you're following the load and rest guidelines. However, you have to complete all of the reps within a 5 minute timeframe.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and functional fitness will continue to be at the heart of my 1-to-1 personal training, group Personal training and my own training. They work.

Weight training is a form of HIIT - you do a set with all-out effort. Rest, Do another set. Rest. Repeat. The original protocol for HIIT is a 2:1 ratio for work to recovery periods. You will only be resting for 20 or 30 seconds between sets. Resting two to three minutes between sets is not an effective form of HIIT. But all you have to do is shorten rest periods and you're doing a kind of HIIT that burns fat.

If you need any further information or advice on how to implement these into your training, please come and talk to me.

Recipe of the week: Beef casserole with cheesy herbed crust

Slow-cooked tender beef in red wine is wonderful with a cheesy crumble topping


3tbsp rapeseed oil
700g Extra Special Diced British Beef
3 large onions, roughly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
200ml red wine
1 reduced-salt beef stock cube, made up to 300ml
75g unsalted butter, cubed
125g plain flour
100g 30% Less Fat Mature British Cheese, grated
10g parsley, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.

Heat half the oil in a frying pan and brown the beef in batches for 3-4 mins each side.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a casserole dish or ovenproof pan. Add the onions, garlic and rosemary, stir, then cover and cook for 10 mins until softened. Transfer the browned beef from the frying pan to the casserole.

Pour the red wine into the frying pan, heat and let it bubble for 1 min, using a wooden spoon to scrape the pan.

Tip the wine into the casserole dish, add the beef stock, season with 2tsp black pepper, then bring to the boil. Cover and put in the oven to cook for 1 hr 45 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by mixing the butter, flour, cheese and parsley to form a rough crumble, then store in the fridge until needed.

Remove the beef from the oven, then increase the temperature to 220C/ 200C Fan/Gas 7. Sprinkle the crumble over the meat, and return to the oven for a further 15-20 mins, until the topping is crisp and golden brown.


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.

Pause briefly and reset your position before beginning the next repetition.

Choose a weight that allows you to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.

This is 1 rep.

Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.

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

Things to consider

Change things up:

Although we follow workout "routines," there's always a need for variety. A workout shouldn't just be a weightlifting challenge—there should also be a level of complexity and variation to each move. Alternatively, try to work in a little bit of high-intensity interval training or cardio moves into each workout to make sure your body is constantly adjusting. Here are 11 reasons you're not breaking training plateaus.

Work your legs:

Big powerlifting moves like squats and deadlifts stimulate your body to release high levels of testosterone, resulting in total-body growth. These two moves alone will add muscle everywhere.

Try a fitness tracker:

Fitness trackers range from pricey to less expensive, but one that can track your steps and your workouts can add increased motivation to your fitness journey.

Snack-prep for busy schedules:

It's always good to have healthy snacks on you—especially if your schedule is extra busy.

Treat your injuries correctly:

Got an injury? Treat it with ice/cold therapy if it's less than six weeks old. If it's more than six weeks old, heat therapy is your best bet.

Increase the INTENSITY:

Intensity is one of the most misunderstood concepts among bodybuilders. Most people refer it to effort meaning how hard you train, whereas it stands for weight.

This is one of the most important training variables, because in order to stimulate muscle growth, you need to overload the muscle tissue.

Intensity is a measure of weight; therefor it can be expressed as a percentage of your single best lift (or one-rep max, aka 1RM). 1RM stands for the maximum weight you can safely lift for one rep.

Let`s do some bodybuilding math, then: if your 1RM on the bench press is 185 pounds, 70 percent of your 1RM is about 130 pounds. So, if your weight lifting loads are less than 65 percent of your 1RM you`re not pushing it enough to promote hypertrophy (or less than 120 pounds if you want to gain size).

For example in order to train for maximal hypertrophy, do a moderate number of reps (6-12) at intensities that correspond to 65-85% of your 1RM. This is the most effective way for maximising muscle growth.

Squats and Deadlifts:

Don't train squats and deadlifts on back to back days. Both squats and deadlifts utilise many of the same muscle groups. These lifts are considered posterior chain movements, meaning they both target the lower back, spinae erectors, glutes, hamstrings, etc. It's best to have a few rest days in between these lifts.

Think of workouts like appointments:

Schedule your workouts just like you would any other appointment and stick to it. You wouldn't no-show a meeting at work or a doctor's appointment; don't no-show your workouts either.

Steer Clear of Take-Out:

Even if you don't typically order take-out, research suggests that just the mere presence of take-out food increases your risk of being overweight. One study printed in the British Medical Journal found that just having a lot of take-out options near your work or along your commute to work makes you twice as likely to be obese.

Though you obviously have little control over what kind of establishments populate where you live and work, this is just another reason to practice healthy eating as often as you can.

Useless Facts

Each of us generates about 3.5 pounds of rubbish a day, most of it paper.

When Nikky Cooper throws you into a bottomless pit, you hit the bottom.

Women manage the money and pay the bills in 75% of all Americans households.

A rainbow can be seen only in the morning or late afternoon. It can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon.

When Sue "Lion Bar" Tinkler plays pac-man the ghosts stay in their box.

It has NEVER rained in Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

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