Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 19th February 2023

Sunday 19th February 2023


After deciding to transform your body, you have to clearly evaluate your current physical state and envision the goal which you will try to achieve.

Keep in mind that we perceive our own body image differently than others perceive us, so the definition of your body transformation has to be decided by you.

And this is the thing that you most probably won't hear from a personal trainer.

Hundreds of people on TV, social media, magazine covers and even personal trainers can make you believe that there is one ideal physique for everyone.

Don't rely on such information - even if you are able to achieve this 'ideal physique', it will be enormously hard to maintain.

Many people are struggling with strict nutrition plans and heavy exercise sessions which make them look and feel drained.

Eventually - at some point - they give up. Don't allow this happening to you and choose your goals wisely!

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.




Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy. Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don't.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, so these studies don't prove anything. However, fruits do have properties that make them weight-loss-friendly.

Even though they contain natural sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, their fibre content helps prevent sugar from being released too quickly into your bloodstream.

The only people who may want to avoid or minimize fruit are those on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet or have an intolerance.

For most, fruits can be an effective and delicious addition to a weight loss diet.

Though fruits contain some sugar, you can easily include them on a weight loss diet. They're high in fibre, antioxidants and various nutrients that slow the rise of blood sugar after meals.

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

Time Under Tension Leg Workout

We have all been taught that the best way to develop massive legs is to train them with heavy weights. Squats, leg presses and hack squats are the most basic and effective exercises for building strength and muscle mass.

The Barbell Squat is the granddaddy of all leg exercises. This is one of the most basic power moves in the world and it is one of the three exercises used in powerlifting competitions. The squat utilizes the powerful muscles in the legs, back, glutes and hips to perform the movement so substantial weights can be used.

The Leg Press is another movement in which very heavy weights can be utilized. Using only the power of the hips and thighs will eliminating the potential weak point of the lower back, it's not uncommon to see advanced trainers using almost 1000 pounds on the leg press machine.

However years of heavy training will take its toll on the joints and connective tissues. The lower back, knees and hips take a lot of punishment when heavy weights are used in leg workouts for years and even decades.

Here is a leg workout that uses the Time Under Tension technique. TUT (time under tension) is a training technique in which the muscles are forced to work for a longer period of time during a working set.

By increasing the tension time, less resistance can be used and the muscles are forced to work harder causing greater growth without additional load.

Exercise 1:

Reverse Lunges

Begin with the reverse lunges exercise to warm up the knees and the quadriceps before moving onto the basic exercises.

For the first set, use a moderately light weight and do 20 reps to warm up the knees and get the blood into the quadriceps. For the second set, increase the weight and do 15 reps. For the third and final set, increase the weight again and perform 10-12 reps.

At the conclusion of this exercise, the quads should be fully pumped and the knees warmed up and ready to go.

Exercise 2:

Pause Squats

The Barbell Squat is still the most basic and best size-building exercise ever. Using the powerful muscles of the legs, glutes, back and hips, lots of weight can be used in the Squat.

To emphasize the quadriceps more and place less pressure on the lower back, I recommend Pause Squats.

To perform a Pause Squat, stop at the bottom of the exercise for a 2-3 second pause before pushing back to the starting position.

By coming out of the bottom of the movement from a dead stop, the quadriceps must work much harder and the lower back cannot take over the momentum of the exercise.

The pause will also cause the muscles of the legs to spend more time under tension compared to performing the exercise with normal repetitions.

Exercise 3:

Leg Press (1 1/2 reps)

The 1 1/2 reps technique is one of the best training methods for increasing muscular time under tension. Using a leg exercise in which balance is not a factor is the best resource for this training method.

To perform the 1 1/2 reps technique using the leg press, bend the knees until you are in a full squat position. From the bottom, go up only half way and stop when the legs are parallel to the foot platform.

Go back down to the bottom and then push all the way up to the top. This is 1 1/2 reps. So, you go down all the way, come up only half way and stop, go back down to the bottom and then come all the way up to the top.

By doing 1 1/2 reps instead of just one full rep, you are keeping the muscles under tension for a greater period of time. This will elicit more of a response from both the white and red muscle fibres.

In summary, this leg workout uses the TUT technique to make the workout even harder and it allows me to use less weight which puts less stress on the knees and lower back whilst placing the targeted muscle group under continuous tension and delivering the paramaters required for new growth.

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: Pork & parsnip traybake


4 large parsnips (about 500g/1lb 3oz), peeled and cut lengthways into 6
2 red onions , each cut into 8 wedges through the root
2 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 pork chops , fat trimmed
1 ½ tbsp clear honey
Small handful sage leaves


Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the vegetables in a roasting tin, season and toss with 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp mustard. Roast for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a high heat.

Season the pork chops and rub with the remaining oil.

Fry the chops for 30 secs-1 min each side until just browned - turn on their sides to brown any fat.

Stir the veg, then place the chops on top and rub them with the remaining mustard. Roast for a further 15 mins.

Drizzle with honey and scatter over the sage, then return to the oven for 5 mins or until the pork is cooked through. Serve with the juices from the tin.


Exercise of the week: the Bridge Press

Do this the next time all the benches are taken up in your gym. Or do it when they're not.

The bridge press is kind of like the floor press, but it stretches the pecs into their full range of motion, which means more opportunity to maximally develop them.

How to do it:

To do the bridge press from a bridged position get your hips up, your back on the floor, and your feet on floor. It will hit pecs, front delts, and triceps.

This is 1 rep.

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

Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 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

Cleanse Your Palate:

Are your portion control issues making it hard for you to drop those unwanted pounds? Stop yourself from going back for seconds by grabbing a box of mints.

People often yearn for that second cookie or helping of mac and cheese because the taste of the first still lingers. To cleanse your palate, keep mints or breath strips on hand and pop them when it's time to quit noshing.

Not only will this rid the alluring taste from your tongue, it will also keep your mouth busy and act as a distraction. Drinking water or tea are also helpful tactics.

Eat Meat:

Meat is high in protein and very filling. Beef scored the second highest among the protein-rich foods on the satiety index.

Cut Back on Junk Volume:

If you're working hard in the gym without making gains, you might need to cut back on junk volume.

Junk volume includes any exercise beyond what you need to improve strength and muscle. Instead, less work may lead to better results by making every rep count.

What is effective volume?

Effective volume is the amount of training that maximally stimulates the anabolic processes. In research, muscle protein synthesis (MPS), is used as a proxy for muscle growth. So, effective volume is the minimum amount of work required to maximize MPS.

What is junk volume?

Junk volume, or waste volume, is any extra training done for a muscle group that has already been stimulated sufficiently to maximize the anabolic pathways. Sets done after this point have little to no additive effect to your gains and simply eat into your ability to recover.

Anybody for Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a popular, high protein breakfast and snack. It may increase the feeling of fullness and help you feel less hungry until your next meal.

Don't neglect good nutrition:

Your fitness journey does not end when you leave the gym. What you are fuelling your body with is also important and should not be neglected.

Make sure you are giving your body enough to get through your sessions, while also eating a healthy, balanced diet that you can maintain.

Make Sure You Rest:

If you train hard, focus on progression, eat enough, include sufficient rest days, and remain patient, you will achieve your full potential regardless of the program. What you do in the gym is mostly a matter of personal preference and enjoyment.
Try Tahini:

Although some advise against eating the spread because of its high omega 3:6 ratio, the super high intake of omega-6s in the average diet isn't due to things like tahini - it's mostly from not eating a variety of fats or consuming the majority of fats from fried foods and packaged snacks.

As long as you're also eating foods rich in omega-3s, your end-of-day ratio should be nothing to worry about. Plus, tahini is loaded with tons of healthy nutrients like copper, which helps maintain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses in the body.

Tahini also provides six percent of the day's calcium in just one tablespoon.

Tahini delivers major creaminess to sauces and smoothies and packs a powerful flavour punch.

Avoid Trans Fats:

Trans fats, which are typically found in processed foods with partially hydrogenated oils, should be avoided when buying, cooking, or ordering food because of the role they play in weight gain.

Trans fats cause inflammation in the body leading to insulin resistance and impairing the body's ability to use glucose properly, resulting in excess fat storage around the belly.

Trans fats may be lurking in any processed or fried food such as chips, baked goods, and even butter spreads. To avoid them, check the ingredients for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

Useless Facts

In a lifetime the average human produces enough quarts of spit to fill 2 swimming pools.

Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Dave Harper pajamas.

It is against the law to doze off under a hair dryer in Florida

It is against the law to slap an old friend on the back in Georgia.

It is against the law to play hopscotch on a Sunday in Missouri.

Barbie's measurements, if she were life-size, would be 39-29-33.

Sam Woodward couldn't go to school because he was considered a weapon.

The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30ft.

Sue "LION BAR" Tinkler once dozed off under a hair dryer in Florida, slapped an old friend on the back in Georgia and played hopscotch on a Sunday in Missouri all at the same time and all while eating a family sized packet of Lion bars, which came as a crushing disappointment to the family she stole them from.

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