Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 10th September 2023

Sunday 10th September 2023


Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

Losing weight requires adopting a healthy lifestyle, which often includes changes in diet and exercise. One question that frequently arises is whether it is possible to enjoy alcoholic beverages while working towards weight loss goals.

In this article, we will explore the impact of alcohol on weight loss and provide some tips for incorporating alcohol into a balanced weight loss plan.

Understanding the Caloric Content:

Alcohol contains calories, and these calories can add up quickly. On average, a standard alcoholic drink can range from 90 to 200 calories or more, depending on the type of beverage and serving size.

These calories are considered empty calories as they provide little to no nutritional value. Consuming alcohol in excess can lead to weight gain and hinder weight loss efforts.

Effects on Metabolism:

When alcohol is consumed, the body prioritises metabolising it over other nutrients. This means that the body will burn off alcohol calories before utilising stored fat for energy.

Additionally, alcohol can impair metabolic processes, leading to decreased fat burning and increased fat storage. This can slow down weight loss progress.

Increased Appetite and Poor Food Choices:

Alcohol can also stimulate appetite and lead to poor food choices. It lowers inhibitions and can increase cravings for high-calorie, unhealthy foods. This can result in overeating and sabotaging weight loss efforts.

Additionally, alcohol impairs judgment, making it easier to give in to temptation and indulge in calorie-dense foods.

Tips for Incorporating Alcohol into a Weight Loss Plan:

1. Moderation is key:

Enjoy alcohol in moderation. Stick to recommended guidelines, such as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

2. Choose lower calorie options:

Opt for lower-calorie alcoholic beverages such as light beer, wine, or spirits mixed with calorie-free mixers like soda water or diet soda.

3. Be mindful of portion sizes:

Pay attention to serving sizes and avoid oversized cocktails or heavy pours. Use measuring devices to ensure accurate portions.

4. Plan ahead and budget calories:

If you know you will be enjoying a drink or two, plan your meals and snacks accordingly to accommodate the additional calories.

5. Stay hydrated:

Alcohol can dehydrate the body, so make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after consuming alcohol. This will help control appetite and minimise the negative effects of alcohol on metabolism.

6. Be mindful of mixers:

Many mixed drinks contain sugary mixers that can significantly increase calorie intake. Opt for sugar-free or low-calorie mixers, or choose drinks that are naturally lower in calories, such as vodka soda or a light beer.

In conclusion, while it is possible to include alcohol in a weight loss plan, it is essential to consume it in moderation and make mindful choices. Alcohol can hinder weight loss progress due to its empty calories, effects on metabolism, and potential to trigger poor food choices.

By being aware of the caloric content, choosing lower-calorie options, and practicing moderation, it is possible to enjoy alcoholic beverages while still making progress towards weight loss goals. Remember, a balanced and sustainable approach to weight loss is the key to long-term success.

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: £23
3 months: £26
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 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: £30pm
3 months: £33pm
1 month: £36pm


For single prices, please check our special offers:

2 x 45membership:

This membership includes:

1). 2 x 45 minute PT sessions per month (worth £21.25 each)
2). Small Group PT membership
3). Gym membership
4). Calorie target setting advice
5). Nutritional support
6). Discounted additional personal training sessions

Prices (per month):

12 month: £49
3 month: £51
1 month: £53

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.

Non-members (price per session):

These prices are for those who do not have a Woodlands gym membership:

30 mins:

1 per week: £14.75
2 per week: £14.15
3 per week: £13.55

45 mins:

1 per week: £21.25
2 per week: £20.65
3 per week: £20.00

60 mins:

1 per week: £27.70
2 per week: £27.10
3 per week: £26.50

All of these PT packages include:

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

Members (price per session):

These prices are for those who have a Woodlands gym membership:

30 mins:

1 per week: £11.85
2 per week: £11.25
3 per week: £10.65

45 mins:

1 per week: £16.85
2 per week: £16.25
3 per week: £15.65

60 mins:

1 per week: £21.85
2 per week: £21.25
3 per week: £20.65

All PT packages are sold in 4 week blocks. All PT sessions must be used within a pre-agreed time period.

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.

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.



Leg Training with Sore Knees: Exercises and Tips for Effective and Safe Workouts


Sore knees can be a common issue that many people face, making leg training challenging. However, it's still possible to have an effective and safe leg workout while taking care of your knees.

By understanding the underlying causes of knee pain and incorporating appropriate exercises and modifications, you can continue to strengthen your legs without exacerbating discomfort. In this article, we will explore leg training with sore knees, providing exercises and tips to help you maintain a well-rounded lower body workout routine.

Understanding Knee Pain:

Knee pain can have various causes, such as overuse, muscle imbalances, or underlying joint conditions. It's crucial to identify the root cause of your knee pain to determine the best course of action.

Consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to assess your specific condition and receive personalised advice.

Exercises for Leg Training with Sore Knees:

1. Partial Range of Motion Squats:

Perform squats by limiting the depth of your squat to a pain-free range. This reduces stress on the knee joint while still engaging the leg muscles effectively.

Focus on maintaining proper form, keeping your knees aligned with your toes and your weight evenly distributed through your feet.

2. Step-Ups:

Find a stable platform or step. Step onto the platform with one foot, pushing through your heel, and fully extend your leg. Step back down and repeat with the other leg. This exercise targets the quadriceps and glutes while minimizing impact on the knees.

3. Leg Press:

Use a leg press machine to target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Adjust the seat and foot placement to a position that feels comfortable for your knees. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as your knees become stronger.

4. Hamstring Curls:

Use a hamstring curl machine or resistance bands to target the back of your thighs. Adjust the machine or band tension to a comfortable level and perform controlled curls, focusing on engaging the hamstrings.

5. Glute Bridges:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes, and hold at the top for a few seconds. This exercise targets the glutes and hamstrings while minimising knee stress.

Tips for Leg Training with Sore Knees:

1. Warm-up: Before starting your leg workout, engage in a thorough warm-up that includes dynamic stretches and mobility exercises for the hips, knees, and ankles. This helps improve blood flow, joint mobility, and prepares your muscles for exercise.

2. Modify Intensity and Volume:

Adjust the intensity and volume of your leg workouts based on your knee pain level. Reduce weights, repetitions, or sets as needed to avoid overloading the knees. Focus on quality over quantity.

3. Listen to Your Body:

Pay attention to any discomfort or pain during exercise. If an exercise aggravates your knee pain, modify or substitute it with a pain-free alternative. Your body's feedback is crucial in preventing further damage or injury.

4. Strengthen Supporting Muscles:

Strengthening the muscles around the knees, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, can provide added support and stability. Incorporate exercises that target these muscles to help alleviate stress on the knees.

5. Incorporate Low-Impact Cardio:

Engage in low-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as swimming or cycling, to improve overall leg strength and endurance while minimising stress on the knees.

In conclusion, sore knees should not prevent you from maintaining a well-rounded leg training routine. By understanding the causes of knee pain, modifying exercises, and incorporating appropriate techniques, you can continue to strengthen your legs safely and effectively.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if you have chronic or severe knee pain. With proper care and attention, you can work towards stronger legs while protecting your knees in the process.

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

Add veg to smoothies

Mix up your morning routine and add a portion of greens to your smoothie. Both spinach and kale work well, although spinach has a more neutral flavour, and they both boast powerful health benefits as well as contributing to your five-a-day.

If you prefer a sweet start to the day, try adding banana, honey or rice milk as it has a naturally sweet flavour. For creaminess, give avocado a go. It's also bursting with healthy fats.

Smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrients and start your day off on the right foot. However, many people tend to load their smoothies up with fruit, which can lead to excess sugar intake. Adding veggies to smoothies is a great way to increase your nutrient intake and keep your sugar levels in check. Here are some tips for adding veggies to your smoothies:

1. Start small: If you're new to adding veggies to your smoothies, start small. Begin with a handful of spinach or kale and gradually increase the amount as you become more comfortable.

2. Choose mild-tasting veggies: Choose mild-tasting veggies like spinach, kale, cucumber, or zucchini. These veggies have a mild flavour that won't overpower the taste of your smoothie.

3. Pair with sweet fruits: Pair your veggies with sweet fruits like bananas, strawberries, or mangoes. This can help balance out the flavour and make your smoothie more palatable.

4. Use frozen veggies: Using frozen veggies can help give your smoothie a thicker, creamier texture. Plus, it's a great way to use up veggies that are about to go bad.

5. Experiment with flavours: Experiment with different flavour combinations to find your favourite veggie smoothie. Try adding ginger, cinnamon, or vanilla extract for added flavour.

Here are some ideas for adding veggies to your smoothies:

- Green smoothie: Blend together spinach, kale, cucumber, banana, and almond milk for a refreshing and nutritious drink.
- Carrot cake smoothie: Blend together carrots, banana, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract for a healthy version of your favourite dessert.
- Beet and berry smoothie: Blend together beets, mixed berries, Greek yogurt, and almond milk for a nutrient-packed drink.
- Avocado smoothie: Blend together avocado, spinach, banana, and almond milk for a creamy and delicious smoothie.
- Zucchini smoothie: Blend together zucchini, pineapple, coconut milk, and ginger for a tropical and refreshing drink.

By adding veggies to your smoothies, you can increase your nutrient intake and keep your sugar levels in check. Get creative and experiment with different flavour combinations to find your favourite veggie smoothies.

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

Exercise of the week: The underhand grip lat pull-down

The underhand grip lat pull-down primarily targets the latissimus dorsi, commonly known as the lats, which are the large muscles in your back.

However, it also engages several other muscles, including the biceps, rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, and core stabilisers.

To perform the underhand grip lat pull-down, follow these steps:

1. Sit on a lat pull-down machine with your knees positioned under the knee pads or on the seat, depending on the machine design. Adjust the thigh pad and seat height to ensure proper alignment.
2. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing towards you), slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
3. Sit upright with your chest lifted, shoulders back, and a slight arch in your lower back. Your feet should be planted firmly on the ground.
4. Keep your elbows slightly bent and close to your sides, engaging your biceps.
5. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and pull the bar down towards your chest, leading with your elbows.
6. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together and engaging your lats at the bottom of the movement.
7. Pause briefly, then slowly and with control, return the bar to the starting position, allowing your arms to fully extend.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Key tips for proper form:

Maintain good posture throughout the exercise, avoiding excessive leaning back or using momentum to pull the bar down.

Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back, avoiding shrugging or rounding your upper back.
Exhale as you perform the pulling motion and inhale as you return to the starting position.

Control the movement throughout, avoiding any jerking or swinging motions.

Adjust the weight to ensure you can complete the exercise with proper form and without straining your muscles or joints.

Remember to warm up properly before performing any exercise and consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness trainer if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

We can provide personalised guidance and ensure the exercise is suitable for your specific needs and abilities.

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

Recipe of the week: slow cooker beef stroganoff!

Here's a delicious recipe for slow cooker beef stroganoff:


2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Egg noodles or rice, for serving

1. In a slow cooker, combine the beef stew meat, chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced mushrooms, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir to mix well.
2. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the beef is tender.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and flour until smooth. Stir the sour cream mixture into the slow cooker, mixing well with the beef and sauce.
4. Continue cooking on low heat for an additional 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
5. Serve the beef stroganoff over cooked egg noodles or rice. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Enjoy your slow cooker beef stroganoff!

Things to consider

Important Training Factors:

The most important factors in a training program are:

1). Level of effort;
2). Getting enough rest in the week
3). Exercise execution
4). Exercise selection (the best exercises for your body type and goal).

Take your time:

Fast weight loss, such as losing 10 pounds in a week, is possible — but it's usually not worth it. In fact, it could be detrimental to your physical and mental health.

In reality, plans and programs that promise rapid weight loss or extreme results are best avoided.

If you're interested in losing weight, it's best to focus on improving your overall health through a sustainable and nourishing dietary and activity plan that involves getting enough calories from nutritious foods and participating in consistent physical activity.

We can help you adopt healthy habits so you can lose weight and keep it off. Your program will be customised to your goals and fitness needs. Get started today.

Think about weekly volume:

If you are currently working your chest once a week for 12 sets and want to work your chest twice a week for extra stimulation, do not perform 2 weekly workouts of 12 sets each (a total of 24 sets). Instead, work your chest with only 6 sets per workout, for the same weekly total of 12 sets.

Consider intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting alone isn't a magic tool for weight loss.

You still need to be aware of what you're putting into your body. If you're not losing weight while intermittent fasting, you may still be consuming too many calories when you are eating.

You could still be eating too much, foods that are poor in nutrients, or low-calorie foods that aren't filling you up and leaving you feeling hungry all the time.

Adapt to a new routine:

If you've never trained a muscle group more than once a week, and want to try a more frequent approach, don't rush into this approach with heavy weight.

Take a few weeks to allow your body to adapt to the demands of this new training style.

Pay attention to serving sizes on labels:

Even if the label says only 100 calories, if you're eating double the serving size, then you need to double the caloric number as well.

DIY Dressing:

A splash of olive oil and vinegar will also bring out the flavours of the dish and save you a few hundred calories along the way. For a healthy, belly-blasting dressing when you're eating salad at home, try incorporating some apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.

Heavier weights = low frequency training:

Keep in mind that the heavier weight you lift, the less likely you are to benefit from high-frequency training. Heavy weight taxes the CNS, joints and connective tissue to a much greater degree.

It's not that a higher training frequency won't work, but more so that it may take a much longer period for your body to condition itself to this style of training.

Many advanced lifters that utilise a more frequent training approach often cycle their workout intensity. Some workouts may focus on heavy weight for low reps, and some on moderate or a relatively lighter weight for 10-15 (or more) reps.


Ensure you drink plenty of water, before, during and after exercise, particularly if you are exercising in warm conditions or for long periods. Dehydration will result in a drop in performance and severe dehydration can be dangerous too.

Useless Facts

It is illegal to eat oranges while bathing in California.

Stuart Pearson can make a slinky go upstairs.

If done perfectly, a rubix cube combination can be solved in 17 turns.

The average American butt is 14.9 inches long.

When life gives Jo Blackham lemons, she returns them for a refund. Jo will not accept a gift voucher or store credit. She wants the cash.

More bullets were fired in 'Starship Troopers' than any other movie ever made.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 27th August 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 20th August 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 13th August 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 6th August 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 30th July 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 23rd July 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 16th July 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 9th July 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 2nd July 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 25th June 2023

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 18th June 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 11th June 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 4th June 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 28th May 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 21st May 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 14th May 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 7th May 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 30th April 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter Sunday 23rd April 2023:

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