Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 1st January 2023

Sunday 1st January 2023


Here we go, the first Woodlands newsletter of 2023.

First off, I'd like to start by wishing all of our members - past, present and future - a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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.

Because it's January and a percentage of people will thinking about weight loss.

New Year, New Me, right?

When I talk about weight loss, I actually mean fat loss. They are not the same thing. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories whereas a pound of muscle equals only 600 calories - so a large calorie deficit and rapid weight loss will result in more muscle loss.

This is not an ideal outcome. So if I use the term 'weight loss', I do so only because it is a familiar term most people understand.

The true focus and goal of a properly set up nutrition and exercise plan should be on fat loss, not weight loss.

A focus on losing weight, which may include a loss essential muscle, water, and even bone, as well as fat, is the wrong approach.

Losing the fat and keeping the all important lean body mass, is the goal. The type of exercise, intensity of that exercise, length of time doing that exercise, etc., are essential variables here when attempting to lose FAT while retaining lean body mass.

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.




Meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories. Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.

But you can also just add water to your food, making a soup.

Eating the exact same food turned into a soup rather than as solid food will make people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories.

Just make sure not to add too much fat to your soup, such as cream or coconut milk, as this can significantly increase its calorie content.

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

AMRAP for Bodybuilding (part 1)

Too many of you adhere unquestioningly to the generic sets and reps schemes that appear week in, week out in the muscle comics or on the Instagram accounts of Daryl McFancypants or whoever it is you idolise.

So maybe you should forget the rigours fixed rep and set and challenge yourself with a new workout variation. Involving a time limit. Because every loves a deadline!

This workout is simple: your goal is to do as many reps of one exercise as possible within a set time limit.

You want to get leaner, fitter and stronger? Then you're ready for a new challenge.

Most training programs have fixed sets, reps and rest periods. Not this time. You determine the reps and number of sets for each exercise. You can even figure out how long you're going to rest. You'll be using a timer. But not to track your rest. Instead, you'll track your time to perform an exercise.

You're going to pick a predetermined weight based on your strength level and try to perform as many reps as you can within a specific time. Once you reach failure, you get to rest - but the clock keeps ticking. That means you'll want to keep the rest periods short -10 to 20 seconds - so you can continue with the exercise.

The goal is to do as many reps as you can before time runs out. Let's use the barbell curl as an example. Because everyone loves a bicep curl.

You load a weight that you can do for 8 reps and you have three minutes. Start the clock and perform as many reps, with proper form, as you can.

Once you reach failure, put the weight down but keep an eye on the clock. When you feel you can do more reps, continue but pick up counting where you left off. So if you did 9 reps, start with 10.

You keep taking these brief rest-pauses and resume lifting until the three minutes is up. Make note of the weight you used and how many reps you did. Next time you train this way, the goal is to either do more weight for the same reps or more reps with the same weight.

Using a challenging weight like this will help you work on getting stronger. Shocking the muscles by doing something they're not accustomed to will help create an environment for hypertrophy so you'll grow. The shorter rest periods will improve your endurance and challenge your cardiovascular system to help you burn more calories. Burning calories is what it's all about.

This routine will enable you to be in and out of the gym pretty quick. You can be done in less than 45 minutes.

Each exercise listed below will have a recommended weight to use based on your strength. If you feel the weight you chose was too light or too heavy, adjust next time you perform that exercise. As long as you're within one or two reps of the target, you're good.

There will be no individual side exercises for the purpose of saving time. If you have to work each arm or leg individually, then you would double your work time.

There are only two exercises for the biceps and the triceps because that's going to be all you need. Keep in mind that your biceps and triceps are heavily involved in most of your back, shoulders and chest exercises - so they have already done work. This specific training will be plenty to see growth.

More next week...

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: Chickpea and chorizo casserole

Slow-cooking this Med-style dish releases all the tasty paprika flavours of the chorizo and the toasted pitta side is ready in just minutes


200g pack Spanish Chorizo Sausage
400g can Chickpeas in Water, drained and rinsed
500g frozen Scratch Cook Mediterranean Veg Mix
400g chopped tomatoes
180g Baby Spinach
3 wholemeal pitta breads, toasted


Preheat the slow cooker to high if the manufacturer recommends it.

Heat a frying pan to medium, add the chorizo and fry for 4-5 mins or until browned evenly all over. Slice into 2cm chunks and put in the slow cooker.

Add the chickpeas, veg mix, tomatoes and baby spinach to the cooker. Stir to combine, cover with the lid and cook for 1 hr.

Reduce the slow cooker heat to low and continue to cook for 2-4 hrs.
Serve the casserole with the toasted pitta bread.


Burpee to chin-up

Position yourself under a pull-up bar.

Lower your hands to the floor and jump your feet back into the top of a press-up position.

Hop your feet back, then drive up to jump up explosively and grab the bar with palms facing you while pulling yourself up into a chin-up.

Lower slowly under control, then drop to the floor.

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

This is 1 rep.

Make sure you maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.

Do 3-4 sets of 5-10 repetitions.

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

Things to consider

Use your bodyweight:

Remember, Bruce Lee was ripped and his muscles certainly weren't small. He always touted the importance of body-weight exercises.

Protein synthesis:

Protein synthesis is elevated for 24 to 36 hours after a workout. If you create so much damage that, after that period, you have not repaired the damage and added new protein to the muscle, your growth from a workout will be limited.

Take creatine:

Creatine, when taken responsibly, has been linked to muscle gain in almost every study that has been performed on it. Don't believe us? We've got plenty of great reading material on the benefits of creatine.

Never Do a Sit-Up:

I discovered was 10 years ago when I found out how damaging sit-ups are to the discs in my spine. I prefer to train the entire body in a way that is activating the core muscles in every exercise you do.

A squat may look like a leg exercise, but did you know you are also working your core muscles when done properly? Compound exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, work muscle groups while challenging the core -giving you the rock hard abs you dream of.

Useless Facts

It costs more to buy a new car today in the United States than it cost Christopher Columbus to equip and undertake three voyages to and from the New World.

Will Colledge won X Factor using sign language.

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

An eighteenth-century German named Matthew Birchinger, known as "the little man of Nuremberg," played four musical instruments including the bagpipes, was an expert calligrapher, and was the most famous stage magician of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have never been explained. Yet Birchinger had no hands, legs, or thighs, and was less than 29 inches tall.

Steve "John Malkovich" Pursglove grew a beard at the age of 18. Not years. Seconds.

Count the number of cricket chirps in a 15-second period, add 37 to the total, and your result will be very close to the actual outdoor Fahrenheit temperature.

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