Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 1st October 2023

Sunday 1st October 2023


The Power of Slow and Consistent Weight Loss: Sustainable Results for a Healthier You

In a world of instant gratification and quick fixes, the concept of slow and consistent weight loss may seem counterintuitive. However, when it comes to achieving lasting results and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the tortoise truly beats the hare.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why slow and consistent weight loss is the best approach for long-term success and overall well-being.

1. Sustainable Habits:

One of the key advantages of slow and consistent weight loss is the opportunity to develop sustainable habits.

Rapid weight loss often involves extreme measures that are difficult to maintain over time. On the other hand, focusing on gradual changes allows for the development of healthier eating patterns, regular physical activity, and sustainable lifestyle modifications. By adopting small, manageable changes, you can build a foundation for long-lasting success.

2. Preservation of Muscle Mass:

Unlike rapid weight loss, which often leads to muscle loss, slow and consistent weight loss allows for the preservation of lean muscle mass. This is crucial for several reasons.

Firstly, muscles contribute to a higher metabolic rate, helping to burn more calories even at rest. Secondly, maintaining muscle mass promotes a toned and defined physique. Lastly, muscles support overall strength, mobility, and functionality, enhancing your quality of life.

3. Nutritional Balance:

By focusing on slow and consistent weight loss, you can prioritize a balanced and nutritious diet. Crash diets or extreme weight loss methods often eliminate entire food groups or severely restrict calorie intake. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, cravings, and an unhealthy relationship with food.

By taking a more gradual approach, you can ensure that your body receives all the essential nutrients it needs for optimal health and well-being.

4. Improved Metabolic Function:

Rapid weight loss can negatively impact your metabolism, causing it to slow down as a survival mechanism. In contrast, slow and consistent weight loss allows your body to adjust gradually, minimizing the risk of metabolic slowdown. By nourishing your body with adequate calories and nutrients, you can maintain a healthy metabolic rate and support efficient energy utilization.

5. Psychological Well-being:

Weight loss is not just about physical health; it also has a significant impact on mental and emotional well-being. Rapid weight loss often creates a cycle of deprivation, followed by feelings of guilt and failure when weight is regained. This can lead to a negative body image, disordered eating patterns, and a decline in self-esteem.

In contrast, slow and consistent weight loss fosters a positive mindset, self-acceptance, and a healthy relationship with food. It allows you to celebrate small victories along the way and appreciate the journey towards a healthier you.

6. Long-Term Maintenance:

The ultimate goal of weight loss should be to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle in the long run. Slow and consistent weight loss promotes sustainable habits that can be maintained over time. By focusing on gradual changes, you are more likely to adopt a lifestyle that supports weight maintenance and overall well-being, reducing the risk of regaining lost weight.

In conclusion, the allure of quick weight loss may be tempting, but the benefits of slow and consistent weight loss cannot be overstated.

Sustainable habits, preservation of muscle mass, nutritional balance, improved metabolic function, psychological well-being, and long-term maintenance are some of the key advantages of this approach. Remember, weight loss is a journey, not a race.

By embracing gradual changes and focusing on overall health and well-being, you can achieve sustainable results and enjoy a healthier, happier life.

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.



Enhancing Squat Depth: Effective Mobility Stretches for Improved Performance

The squat is a fundamental movement pattern that engages multiple muscle groups and plays a significant role in various exercises and sports. However, many individuals struggle with achieving proper squat depth due to mobility restrictions.

Fortunately, incorporating targeted mobility stretches into your routine can help improve your squat depth and enhance overall performance. In this article, we will explore some effective mobility stretches that can assist in achieving optimal squat depth.

1. Hip Flexor Stretch:

Tight hip flexors can limit the range of motion in your hips, hindering your ability to squat deeply. To stretch the hip flexors:

a. Kneel on one knee, with the other leg positioned in front, forming a 90-degree angle.
b. Keeping your torso upright, gently push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
c. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side, repeating 2-3 times.

2. Deep Squat Hold:

Performing deep squat holds helps increase the flexibility and mobility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints. To execute this stretch:

a. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out.
b. Slowly lower yourself into a deep squat, ensuring your heels stay on the ground.
c. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, focusing on maintaining an upright torso and proper form.
d. Repeat the deep squat hold 2-3 times, gradually increasing the duration as you progress.

3. Ankle Mobility Stretch:

Limited ankle mobility can hinder squat depth by affecting your ability to maintain a stable and balanced position. To improve ankle mobility:

a. Stand facing a wall with your feet flat on the ground, about a foot away from the wall.
b. Keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward, and gently touch your knees to the wall while maintaining proper posture.
c. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then step back and repeat the stretch 2-3 times.

4. Thoracic Spine Rotation:

A lack of mobility in the thoracic spine can impact your ability to maintain an upright torso during squats. To increase thoracic spine mobility:

a. Begin in a seated position with your legs crossed or kneeling.
b. Place one hand behind your head and the other hand on the ground in front of you for support.
c. Slowly rotate your upper body towards the hand behind your head, aiming to look over your shoulder.
d. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Perform 2-3 sets on each side.

5. Adductor Stretch:

Tight adductor muscles can restrict your ability to open your hips fully during a squat. To stretch the adductors:

a. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
b. Slowly lower your body into a squat position, allowing your knees to track over your toes.
c. Place your elbows on the inside of your knees, gently pressing outward to deepen the stretch in your inner thighs.
d. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then return to a standing position. Repeat 2-3 times.

In conclusion, improving mobility is essential for achieving proper squat depth and maximizing performance. By incorporating these targeted mobility stretches into your routine, you can enhance the flexibility and range of motion in key areas such as the hips, ankles, spine, and adductors.

Remember to perform these stretches regularly, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as your mobility improves. Alongside proper warm-up and technique, these mobility stretches will help you unlock greater squat depth, leading to improved strength, stability, and overall athletic performance.

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

Frozen vegetables

The same benefits apply to frozen vegetables as frozen fruit, which I discussed last week. Supermarket basic ranges offer brilliant value for money here. Frozen cauliflower, spinach, sweetcorn and green beans are ideal for cooking with.

Be aware that some of the original texture can be lost in the defrosting process, but they work well added by the handful to curries, casseroles and sauces for a guaranteed nutrient boost.

You can also freeze your own veg to minimise food waste. Frozen vegetables are a healthy and convenient addition to your diet. They are a great way to add nutrition to your meals without sacrificing convenience. Here are some benefits of frozen vegetables:

1. Nutritious:

Frozen vegetables are often just as nutritious as fresh vegetables. They are picked at their peak ripeness and then quickly frozen, which helps to preserve their nutrients. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of vegetables year-round, even when they are out of season.

2. Convenient:

Frozen vegetables are a convenient ingredient to have on hand. They have a long shelf life and can be stored in the freezer for months. Plus, they are already washed and chopped, which can save you time in the kitchen.

3. Affordable:

Frozen vegetables are an affordable way to add nutrition to your meals. They are often cheaper than fresh vegetables, especially during the off-season.

4. Versatile:

Frozen vegetables are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be added to soups and stews, stir-fries, or roasted in the oven.

5. Easy to prepare:

Frozen vegetables 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 vegetables:

- Stir-fries: Use frozen vegetables in stir-fries for a quick and easy meal.
- Soups and stews: Add frozen vegetables to soups and stews for added nutrition and flavour.
- Roasted vegetables: Roast frozen vegetables in the oven for a tasty side dish.
- Smoothies: Add frozen vegetables like spinach or kale to smoothies for added nutrition.
- Pasta dishes: Add frozen vegetables to pasta dishes like lasagna or spaghetti for added nutrition and flavour.

In conclusion, frozen vegetables are a healthy and convenient addition to your diet. They are a great source of nutrition, affordable, and versatile. Incorporate frozen vegetables into your daily routine for a boost of nutrition and convenience.

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

Exercise of the week: The crush grip dumbbell preacher curl

The crush grip dumbbell preacher curl primarily targets the muscles of the biceps, specifically the brachialis and brachioradialis. It also engages the muscles of the forearms. Here's how to perform it:

1. Adjust the preacher curl bench so that the pad is positioned just above your elbows when seated. Place a dumbbell on the floor in front of the bench.

2. Sit on the preacher curl bench with your chest pressed against the pad and your arms extended over the pad, palms facing each other. Grip the dumbbell with a crush grip. A crush grip is when you hold the dumbbell with your palms facing each other and the dumbbell is perpendicular to your body.

3. Keep your upper arms firmly pressed against the pad and your feet flat on the floor for stability.
4. Slowly curl the dumbbell upward, focusing on squeezing your biceps and keeping your wrists straight.
5. Continue curling until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is near your shoulders.
6. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position, ensuring you maintain control and tension in your biceps.
7. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

As with any exercise, it's important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, such as keeping your back straight, chest pressed against the pad, and avoiding any swinging or momentum.

Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become more comfortable and confident with the movement.

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 chicken casserole!

Here's a tasty recipe for slow cooker chicken casserole:


1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked rice or egg noodles, for serving


1. Place the chicken pieces, diced onion, minced garlic, sliced carrots, sliced celery, diced bell pepper, and frozen peas in the slow cooker.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried sage, salt, and black pepper. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine.
3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
4. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
5. Serve the chicken casserole over cooked rice or egg noodles.

Enjoy your slow cooker chicken casserole!

Things to consider

Pick the Right Dining Partners:

It's always great to catch up with old pals or join your co-workers for a celebratory happy hour, but if you're watching your weight it's important to take note of who you choose to break bread with.

According to an Eastern Illinois University study, you're in danger of consuming 65 percent more calories if you're eating with someone who gets seconds.

In other words, while the old friend visiting from health-conscious LA may make a great dining partner, you should steer clear of the co-workers who keep ordering rounds of drinks and nachos.

Have Fun:

If you're not having fun with your fitness, it's easy to lose interest. If the idea of walking on the treadmill bores you to tears, don't do it! Find an activity you enjoy doing: join a Group PT session at WFC or start weight training. As long as you have fun with your fitness, you're more apt to stay consistent.


Laughter may not be the best medicine for everything, but if you're trying to slim down, feel free to let out a chuckle or two. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, laughing can increase your basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate by up to 20 percent, so go ahead and pull up an amusing YouTube video.


Pay attention to your breathing during your workouts. Exhale as you work against resistance by lifting, pushing, or pulling; inhale as you release.

Find the Right Fish:

We've been clear on the benefits of wild salmon, but those pink creatures are quite literally not the only fish in the sea. Generally speaking, fish provide one of the best sources of fatty acids known as omega-3s, which will help fend off waist-widening inflammation and are an excellent source of high-quality, lean protein.

This allows them to help you maintain muscle mass, thus reducing excess fat accumulation. Some of our favourite healthy seafood include mussels, Atlantic mackerel, and bluefish.

Focus on form, not weight:

Align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise. Poor form can prompt injuries and slow gains.

When learning a strength training routine, many experts suggest starting with no weight, or very light weight. Concentrate on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents while isolating a muscle group.

Pass the Pomegranate and Passion Fruit:

Not only is pomegranate packed with fibre (which is found in its edible seeds) but it also contains anthocyanins, tannins, and high levels of antioxidants, which research published in the International Journal of Obesity says can help fight weight gain.

A half-cup of the colourful fruit gives you 12 grams of fibre and more than half a day's vitamin C.

Snack on these fruits raw or toss them into a smoothie and you're good to go!

Warm up and cool down:

Warm up and cool down for five to 10 minutes. Walking is a fine way to warm up; stretching is an excellent way to cool down.

Useless Facts

The world record for spitting a watermelon seed is 65 feet 4 inches.

When Amanda Brook swims in the ocean, the sharks are in a steel cage.

In the Philippine jungle, the yo-yo was first used as a weapon.

Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

When Stuart Pearson was born, he drove his mum home from the hospital.

Texas is also the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 24th September 2023

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