Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 5th February 2023

Sunday 5th February 2023


The advice I give in my newsletters is not for everyone. It's not intended for those who really have their nutrition dialled in, such as competitive bodybuilders and other athletes who benefit from fairly dramatic changes in their nutrition, such as 'off season' and 'pre-contest' and so on.

These articles are not intended for those with medical issues who may be on a specific diet to treat or manage a specific medical condition.

These newsletter articles are intended for the average person who wants to get off the Yo-Yo diet merry-go-round once and for all. As that's probably 99% of the population, it will cover millions of people.

People should also not be scared off by my "you have to eat this way forever" advice. This does not mean you will be dieting for the rest of your life and have nothing but starvation to look forward to.

What it does mean, however, is you will have to learn to eat properly even after you reach your target weight and that way of eating should not be a huge departure from how you ate to lose the weight in the first place.

Once you get to your target weight - and or your target bodyfat levels - you will go onto a maintenance phase which generally has more calories and choices of food, even the occasional treat, like a slice of pizza or whatever.

Maintenance diets are a logical extension of the diet you used to lose the weight, but they are not based on the diet you followed that put the weight on in the first place! Regardless of which program you choose, please use a 'big picture' approach which will keep you on track for long term weight loss.

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



Whole Grains

Though cereal grains have received a bad reputation in recent years, some types are definitely healthy.

This includes some whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein.

Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.

Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health.

Both brown and white rice can contain significant amounts of resistant starch, particularly if cooked and then allowed to cool afterward.

Keep in mind that refined grains are not a healthy choice, and sometimes foods that have "whole grains" on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.

If you're on a very low-carb diet, you'll want to avoid grains, as they're high in carbs.

But there's otherwise nothing wrong with eating whole grains if you can tolerate them.

You should avoid refined grains if you're trying to lose weight. Choose whole grains instead — they're much higher in fibre and other nutrients.

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

The 2-Day Full Body Workout (Part 4)

This article carries on from last week.

Now we'll talk about the Pros and Cons of training Twice a Week:

To be clear, you are making compromises with just two workouts a week.

If you've got several years of serious training behind you, and want to carry on making gains, chances are you'll see better results with a training program that involves lifting weights 4-6 days a week, rather than twice.

There's an upper limit on the amount of stimulation your muscles can respond to in any given training session. Even if you could cram all your training for the week into a couple of workouts, you're not going to see the same gains had that training been spread across 4-6 sessions.

And the longer your workouts last, the more likely it is that you'll run out of steam towards the end of a session. The muscles being trained towards the end of the workout aren't going to receive the same level of effort as the ones trained at the start.

Those are the main downsides.

But what about the benefits?

1. The first is obvious. Lifting weights twice a week won't take up much more than a couple of hours, which is less than 2% of the time available to you over the course of a week.
That gives you plenty of time to get other stuff done.
2. If you're into a particular sport (e.g. cycling, running, or martial arts) and want to incorporate some strength work in your program, lifting weights twice a week will allow you to do so without interfering with your other training.
3. If you're in your 40's, 50's or beyond, you'll know that it takes longer for your body, especially your joints, to recover from a hard workout.

Cutting your training frequency back to twice a week is an ideal way to gain size and strength while still giving your body the recovery time it needs.

If you want more muscle than you have right now, but you're busy, and you don't have much time available to go to the gym and lift weights, a couple of full-body workouts twice a week is still enough to get the job done.

The length of time it takes to get a decent workout in will depend a lot on the lifter, what that workout consists of, and how much work they need to continue making progress.

In most cases, a 2-3 hour workout is going to be too much. If someone needs to be in the gym lifting weights for 2-3 hours to fit everything in, they'd be better off lifting weights more often. For most people, a workout lasting 45-60 minutes is plenty.

In conclusion, the biology of muscle isn't, in fact, rocket science. At its most basic level is the SAID principle, an acronym for "specific adaptation to imposed demand'. When a muscle contracts against a large amount of resistance, it adapts by getting bigger and stronger. Likewise, if a muscle is regularly forced to contract for long periods of time, it becomes more resistant to fatigue.

When you lift weights, you cause tiny tears in your muscle fibres. This accelerates a process called muscle-protein synthesis, which uses amino acids to repair and reinforce the fibres, making them resistant to future damage. Although this happens at a microscopic level, the effect becomes visible over time in the form of bigger arms, broader shoulders, and a thicker chest.

Understanding the hypertrophy process provides you with a logical rationale for how often you should train your muscles. In has been reported that muscle-protein synthesis is elevated for up to 48 hours after a resistance-training session.

If you work out on Monday at 7 p.m., your body is in muscle-growth mode until Wednesday at 7 p.m. After 48 hours, though, the biological stimulus for your body to build new muscle returns to normal.

Performing workouts with compound movements three times a week is the most effective way to gain muscle.

Unfortunately, that advice directly contradicts what most guys actually do. The idea is to divide the body into specific muscle groups, or body parts, and dedicate an entire session to working each individually. For example, you might perform exercises for your chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, shoulders on Thursday and so on. Even though you're training daily, each muscle group is targeted only once a week. So, in essence, those muscles grow for just 2 days out of every 7.

With total-body workouts, though, you work each muscle more often. When you train a muscle 2 -3 times a week, it spends more total time growing.

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: Bolognese Sauce


225g/8oz beef mince

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
125g/4oz smoked bacon lardons
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
400g tinned tomatoes
150ml/5fl oz red wine
Salt and pepper


Heat a non-stick frying pan and add half the mince.

Cook over a high heat to colour the meat, breaking up any lumps with the back of a fork.

Repeat with the rest of the mince and drain off any fat.

Heat the oil in another large pan and cook the onion, carrot and green pepper until they start to soften.

Stir in the garlic, bacon lardons and the herbs and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and the wine and season well.

Add the mince and simmer gently for 40-50 minutes until thick. Use to make lasagne or serve with pasta.


Exercise of the week: Straight-Arm Super Plank

This is a classic plank with a double twist. Doing this exercise with straight arms works your chest harder, while full tension keeps your heart pumping fast for a fat-loss bonus.

Focusing on squeezing every muscle during a move will engage more muscle fibres than just those targeted with the exercise, transforming a low-energy move into a full-body shock to melt away fat.

How to do it:

Get into a plank with your arms straight and your weight on your hands and toes.

Keep your body in line, feet together and upper arms straight down from shoulders.

Squeeze every muscle, from your chest and abs to your glutes and calves.

You should be shaking at the end of each set.

Do 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds.

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

Things to consider

Follow the 80/20 rule:

Most fitness wisdom says to eat healthy 80 percent of the time. Indulge occasionally, but make sure most of your choices are healthy.

Don't overcomplicate your workouts:

Focus on simple, compound movements.

If you're new to the gym, the best way to start seeing results is to master your basic compound exercises. Once you have these perfected, you can then begin with isolation and more advanced movements.

Perfect your posture:

Similarly, you want to make sure that you're performing each exercise safely and effectively.
Make sure you have mastered perfect posture before increasing the weight. It might seem boring, but it is a vital part of the process.

Get an accountability partner:

Working out in groups can offer more benefits than working out alone - science supports it! Find your go-to person for exercise and weight loss support. Enlist that friend that says "let's work out, we'll feel better if we do." Exercise together, share tips and swap encouragement.

Isolation Movements:

Don't overuse isolation exercises.

Isolation movements have their place in weight training. But with that said, it makes no sense to perform 5 sets of dumbbell flyes or tricep kickbacks if you are not working your chest and triceps hard with a battery of heavy pressing movements.

Shop the perimeter of your grocery store:

Food tends to be the healthiest and less processed on the outside edges of most grocery stores. Here you'll find fresh fruit and veggies, raw meat and fresh seafood.

Remember no one is judging you:

When you first start training, it's easy to feel like everyone is watching and judging your every move.

However, the reality is that no one really cares.

Each person is too busy focusing on smashing their own goals. If you're struggling with this, invest in some headphones and blast out some motivational music - trust us, it helps.

Eat More Often:

Are frequent meals your ticket to a better body?

Experts say so!

In a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study that sampled 2,385 adults, research participants who ate less than four times a day consumed more calories and had a higher BMI than those who sat down to eat at least six times.

The scientists noticed that those who ate fewer meals consumed most of their calories at night and were more apt to drink alcohol with their meals while their ever-grazing counterparts tended to eat healthier, less calorically dense foods.

To keep the weight flying off your frame, nosh on these high-protein snacks between meals.

Useless Facts

Sex burns 360 calories per hour.

Gav Hancock can cut a knife with butter.

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top.

Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it.

Nuts are allergic to Sue Highly.

The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words. More than 2 billion pencils are manufactured each year in the United States. If these were laid end to end they would circle the world nine times.

Jack "Loverboy" Pickford is working for the weekend.

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