Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 24th September 2023

Sunday 24th September 2023


What is the most sensible weight loss calorie deficit?

The most sensible weight loss calorie deficit varies depending on individual factors such as age, gender, weight, height, activity level, and overall health.

However, a generally recommended approach is to aim for a calorie deficit of 500-1,000 calories per day to achieve a healthy and sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.

It is important to note that extreme calorie deficits or very low-calorie diets can be detrimental to your health and may result in muscle loss, nutrient deficiencies, metabolic slowdown, and other negative effects.

In addition to creating a calorie deficit, it is crucial to focus on the quality of the calories consumed. Prioritise nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs while losing weight.

Regular physical activity, including both cardiovascular exercise and strength training, is also essential for overall health and to support weight loss efforts.

We can provide personalised guidance based on your specific needs and goals.

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:

✔ 2 x 45 minute PT sessions per month (worth £21.25 each)
✔ Small Group PT membership
✔ Gym membership
✔ Calorie target setting advice
✔ Nutritional support
✔ 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.



Can you build muscle with high reps?

While high-rep training can have its benefits, it may not be the most effective method for building muscle. Building muscle typically involves a combination of resistance training, progressive overload, and adequate nutrition. Let's explore the relationship between reps and muscle growth.

Muscle Hypertrophy and Rep Range:

Muscle hypertrophy, or muscle growth, is primarily stimulated by resistance training. The two main factors that influence muscle growth are mechanical tension and metabolic stress.

Mechanical tension refers to the load or weight placed on the muscles during exercise, while metabolic stress refers to the metabolic by-products generated during high-rep or high-volume training.

Traditionally, lower rep ranges (around 6-12 reps) with heavier weights have been favoured for muscle hypertrophy. This is because lifting heavier weights creates higher mechanical tension, which can stimulate muscle fibres to grow and adapt. This type of training is often associated with strength training.

High-rep training, on the other hand, typically involves lighter weights and higher repetitions (around 12-20+ reps).

While high reps can still provide some muscle growth stimulus, it primarily focuses on metabolic stress and endurance. High-rep training may be more suitable for muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, or as a supplemental training method.

Considerations for Muscle Growth:

To maximise muscle growth, a combination of both heavy, lower-rep training and moderate to higher rep ranges can be beneficial. This approach allows for a variety of stimuli and ensures all muscle fibres are targeted.

Additionally, progressive overload is essential for muscle growth. This means gradually increasing the intensity, volume, or difficulty of your workouts over time. It can be achieved by adding weight, increasing reps, reducing rest periods, or incorporating more challenging exercises.

Nutrition is another crucial aspect of muscle growth. Consuming a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats supports muscle repair and growth.

In Conclusion, high-rep training can have its place in a well-rounded exercise routine. However, it may not be the most effective method for building muscle on its own. Incorporating a combination of rep ranges, focusing on progressive overload, and maintaining proper nutrition will provide a more comprehensive approach to muscle growth.

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

Frozen berries

It's a common misconception that frozen fruit isn't as healthy as fresh. Commercially frozen fruit is flash-frozen within just a few hours of picking, helping it to retain most of its nutrients and colour.

We're huge fans of using frozen berries - like strawberries and raspberries - all year round to make smoothies, compotes or frozen yogurt. It saves on the cost and environmental implications of eating out-of-season imported produce.

Frozen berries are a convenient and nutritious addition to your diet. They are a great way to add flavour, colour, and nutrition to a variety of dishes. Here are some benefits of frozen berries:

1. Nutritious: Frozen berries are packed with nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are a great source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and promote healthy skin.

2. Convenient: Frozen berries are a convenient ingredient to have on hand. They can be used in smoothies, baked goods, or as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal. Plus, they have a long shelf life and can be stored in the freezer for months.

3. Affordable: Frozen berries are an affordable way to add fruit to your diet. They are often cheaper than fresh berries, especially during the off-season.

4. Versatile: Frozen berries are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be blended into smoothies, added to baked goods, or used as a topping for pancakes or waffles.

5. Easy to prepare: Frozen berries are easy to prepare. Simply thaw them in the refrigerator or microwave before using them in your favourite recipes.

Here are some ideas for using frozen berries:

- Smoothies: Blend frozen berries with yogurt, almond milk, and honey for a nutritious and delicious smoothie.
- Baked goods: Add frozen berries to muffins, scones, or pancakes for added flavor and nutrition.
- Toppings: Use frozen berries as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or ice cream.
- Sauces: Use frozen berries to make a fruity sauce for pork or chicken.
- Snacks: Eat frozen berries as a healthy and refreshing snack.

In conclusion, frozen berries are a convenient and nutritious addition to your diet. They are a great source of nutrients, affordable, and versatile. Incorporate frozen berries into your daily routine for a boost of flavor and nutrition.

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

Exercise of the week: Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

This exercise can be performed with either a cable machine or a resistance band, but the premise is the same. You'll grab either implement with your arms straight (as the name implies), and then flex your lats to pull your arms down to your sides.

The straight arm lat pulldown is a great exercise if you have trouble 'feeling' your lats during any pulling movement and is a great deadlift accessory exercise too.

Benefits of the Straight Arm Lat Pulldown:

• If you have trouble feeling your lats, this exercise will cure you of this problem.
• Places constant tension on the lats due to minimal involvement of the biceps.
• Joint-friendly if you have shoulder or elbow pain.

How to Do the Straight Arm Lat Pulldown:

Choose your equipment (bands or cable machine) and attachment of choice, either straight bar, handles, or rope.

Grip the attachment, take a step back and lean your torso forward slightly, keeping your hand above shoulder height.

Then pull, keeping your arms straight until you reach your hips and pause for a second. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

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.

It is important to maintain proper form during the lateral raise leaning on an incline bench to avoid injury.

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

Recipe of the week: chicken tray bake!

Here's a delicious recipe for a chicken tray bake:


4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
4 chicken drumsticks, bone-in and skin-on
1 lb baby potatoes, halved
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme, dried rosemary, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
3. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks to the bowl and toss to coat them evenly with the marinade.
4. In a large baking tray or sheet pan, arrange the halved baby potatoes, sliced carrots, sliced bell peppers, and red onion wedges.
5. Place the marinated chicken thighs and drumsticks on top of the vegetables in the tray.
6. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the chicken and vegetables.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
8. Remove the tray from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
9. Sprinkle the tray bake with freshly chopped parsley for garnish.
10. Serve the chicken tray bake hot, straight from the tray.

Enjoy your delicious chicken tray bake!

Things to consider

For desserts:

For desserts, opt for fruit-based healthy ones rather than the decadent and sugary rasgullas or chocolate truffle cake.

Focus on the big muscles:

When using a three times per week training system, you may choose to avoid working smaller and minor muscle groups each day. Because of the weekly set volume restrictions, it might be more convenient to train biceps and calves 1-2 times per week.

You certainly can train these muscle groups three times a week. Minor muscle groups should be worked only once a week unless they are a weak body part in need of extra work.

Certain split routines have unique limitations, such as a 2-day split, and therefore will deviate slightly from set per day recommendations.

Calorie surplus:

If the body takes in too many calories or burns too few, weight gain occurs. This is because the body stores calories it does not use as body fat. Organs including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys account for roughly 80% of total daily energy use.

Using your hand to gauge portion size:

Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands. As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands.

If you're using your hand to gauge portion size..

1-2 palm-sized servings of High-protein foods (meat, fish, poultry and beans) is about right.

1-2 fist-sized portions of Vegetables and salads is about right.

1-2 cupped-hand portion high-carb foods (whole grains and starchy vegetables) is about right.

1-2 thumb-sized portions of High-fat foods (butter, oils and nuts) is about right.

Ask questions:

Nobody expects you to walk into the gym and know everything straight away so, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it (most people will probably be flattered that you asked).

If you're shy, book in for an induction session with a personal trainer at the gym. Remember to make a list of all the questions that you have so that you can put your mind at ease before going at it alone.

When Ordering:

Order whole wheat pizzas or healthier alternatives like buckwheat or amaranth tikkis and sandwiches. You get to have your favourite treat, but with a healthier base.

Sound like a fair deal, doesn't it?

When Out For A Movie:

If you are out for a movie, one can always skip butter popcorns or other fattening and greasy snacks that are available at the counter. Also, beware of the portion sizes here. Larger the bucket of popcorn, the more of noshing!

While Buying Coffee:

If you are out for your coffee, customise it in a way that it is not too fattening. Cut back on sugar, milk, cream and chocolate sauces.

Useless Facts

The buzz from an electric razor in America plays in the key of B flat; Key of G in England.

When Sarah "Cheese & Onion sandwich" Walker throws you into a bottomless pit, you hit the bottom.

There are 1,575 steps from the ground floor to the top of the Empire State building.

The world's record for keeping a Lifesaver in the mouth with the hole intact is 7 hrs 10 min.

Sue "Hopefully" Tinkler finished the Never Ending Story.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 17th September 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 10th September 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 3rd September 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 27th August 2023

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