Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 8th October 2023

Sunday 8th October 2023


The Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss: Why Slow and Steady Wins the Race

In a society driven by instant gratification, the desire for quick results often extends to weight loss. Rapid weight loss diets and programs promise swift and dramatic changes in a short period.

However, behind the allure of shedding pounds quickly lies a host of potential dangers. In this article, we will explore why rapid weight loss is detrimental to your health and why adopting a slow and steady approach is the key to long-term success.

1. Muscle Loss:

When weight loss occurs too rapidly, a significant portion of the lost weight often comes from muscle mass rather than fat. This can have negative implications for overall health and metabolism.

Muscles are metabolically active tissues that help burn calories, so losing muscle mass can result in a slower metabolism and hinder weight management efforts in the long run.

2. Nutritional Deficiencies:

Rapid weight loss diets often involve severe calorie restriction and the exclusion of entire food groups. These extreme eating patterns can lead to nutritional deficiencies, depriving the body of essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.

Inadequate nutrient intake can weaken the immune system, impair organ function, and increase the risk of various health issues.

3. Gallstones:

Rapid weight loss, especially when accompanied by very low-calorie diets, can increase the risk of developing gallstones. This is due to the rapid breakdown of fat stores, leading to an imbalance in bile production and the formation of gallstones. These painful and potentially dangerous conditions may require medical intervention, including surgery.

4. Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance:

Many rapid weight loss methods rely on significant fluid loss, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Losing water weight may result in a temporary drop in the number on the scale, but it is not sustainable or healthy.

Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, play crucial roles in maintaining proper bodily functions. Imbalances can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, irregular heart rhythms, and other serious complications.

5. Metabolic Slowdown:

Rapid weight loss can trigger a metabolic slowdown as the body adapts to the sudden decrease in calorie intake. The body's survival mechanism kicks in, slowing down the metabolic rate to conserve energy.

This can make it more challenging to continue losing weight and easier to regain it once normal eating patterns resume. This cycle, known as "yo-yo dieting," can be detrimental to long-term weight management.

6. Psychological Impact:

The pursuit of rapid weight loss can lead to psychological stress and emotional turmoil. The pressure to achieve quick results can create unrealistic expectations and contribute to feelings of failure and disappointment.

Rapid weight loss diets often promote an unhealthy relationship with food, leading to disordered eating patterns, low self-esteem, and a negative body image.

In conclusion, the promise of rapid weight loss may be enticing, but it is essential to recognise the potential dangers associated with it. Muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, gallstones, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, metabolic slowdown, and psychological impact are some of the significant risks of rapid weight loss.

Instead of focusing on quick fixes, adopting a slow and steady approach to weight loss is crucial for long-term success.

This involves making sustainable lifestyle changes, prioritising balanced eating, regular physical activity, and overall well-being. Remember, consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised guidance on safe and effective weight loss strategies.

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-Member (price per session):

30 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £14.20
2 sessions per week: £14.70
1 sessions per week: £15.20

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £21.00
2 sessions per week: £21.50
1 sessions per week: £22.00

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £27.85
2 sessions per week: £28.35
1 sessions per week: £28.85

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 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £11.45
2 sessions per week: £11.95
1 sessions per week: £12.45

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £16.90
2 sessions per week: £17.40
1 sessions per week: £17.90

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £22.35
2 sessions per week: £22.85
1 sessions per week: £23.35

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.



Unilateral Leg Exercises: Unleash the Benefits of Single-Leg Training

When it comes to building strength, balance, and functional fitness, unilateral leg exercises have emerged as a game-changer in the world of fitness. These exercises involve working one leg at a time, and they offer a multitude of benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics.

Whether you're an athlete looking to enhance your performance or someone seeking to improve daily life, incorporating unilateral leg exercises into your fitness routine can be a transformative choice.

The Benefits of Unilateral Leg Exercises:

1. Balance and Stability:

Unilateral leg exercises demand more balance and coordination compared to their bilateral counterparts. They activate stabiliser muscles in your hips, knees, and ankles, helping you develop better overall balance. This is particularly valuable for older adults, as improved balance can reduce the risk of falls and injuries.

2. Strength Development:

Working one leg at a time allows you to focus on each leg's strength individually. This can help address strength imbalances between your legs, which is common and often overlooked. Strengthening each leg independently can lead to better overall leg strength and reduce the risk of overcompensation and injury.

3. Functional Fitness:

Everyday activities often require us to use one leg at a time, like climbing stairs, walking, or even standing up from a seated position. Unilateral leg exercises mimic these movements, making your workouts more functional and applicable to real-life situations.

4. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation:

If you've experienced an injury or are recovering from one, unilateral leg exercises can be a vital component of your rehabilitation program. They allow you to target the injured leg while gradually restoring strength and mobility, reducing the risk of re-injury.

5. Increased Muscle Activation:

Unilateral leg exercises can provide a greater muscle activation in the target leg compared to bilateral exercises. This enhanced muscle activation can lead to more efficient muscle growth and toning, making them a valuable addition to any aesthetic fitness regimen.

Popular Unilateral Leg Exercises:

1. Lunges:

Lunges are a classic unilateral leg exercise that can be done in various forms such as forward lunges, reverse lunges, and lateral lunges. They engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

2. Step-Ups:

Using a bench or platform, step-ups are excellent for strengthening the quadriceps and glutes. They mimic the action of climbing stairs and can be tailored to your fitness level by adjusting the height of the step.

3. Single-Leg Deadlifts:

This exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It also requires a great deal of balance and stability.

4. Bulgarian Split Squats:

Performed with one foot elevated behind you, this exercise intensely targets the quadriceps and glutes. It's an effective way to correct strength imbalances between legs.

5. Single-Leg Box Jumps:

This explosive exercise builds power, coordination, and agility. It's ideal for athletes but can be adapted to suit various fitness levels.

6. Single-Leg Calf Raises:

To strengthen the calf muscles and improve ankle stability, try single-leg calf raises. These are especially beneficial for runners and athletes.

7. Pistol Squats:

Pistol squats are a challenging unilateral leg exercise that requires a great deal of strength and balance. They work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes intensely.

8. Single-Leg Leg Press:

If you have access to a leg press machine, try doing single-leg leg presses. This exercise can help you target and correct strength imbalances in your legs.

Incorporating unilateral leg exercises into your fitness routine can provide a host of benefits that go beyond aesthetics. They enhance balance, improve functional fitness, and reduce the risk of injuries, making them a valuable addition to any fitness regimen.

Whether you're an athlete looking to enhance your performance or someone seeking to lead a healthier, more active life, the advantages of unilateral leg exercises are undeniable. So, lace up your sneakers, choose your favourite unilateral leg exercises, and take a step toward a stronger, more balanced you.

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


Lentils are one of our favourite ingredients. Cheap and nutritious, they hold up in many hearty dishes and can taste sensational when cooked the right way.

Many types don't need to be soaked before use, even the dried ones. Split red lentils are fairly inexpensive and best used for soups and sauces. Firm Puy lentils are a good addition to salads, although slightly more costly.

Amazingly, three tablespoons of cooked lentils constitutes one of your five-a-day, plus they're packed with fibre, protein and carbohydrate.

Lentils are a type of legume that are packed with nutrition and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are a great source of protein, fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some benefits of lentils:

1. Nutritious:

Lentils are a great source of protein, fibre, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Versatile:

Lentils are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes, added to soups and stews, or used as a base for salads.

3. Affordable:

Lentils are an affordable ingredient that can help stretch your food budget. They are often cheaper than meat and can be used in place of meat in many dishes.

4. Easy to prepare:

Lentils are easy to prepare and can be cooked on the stovetop in just 20-30 minutes. They can also be cooked in a slow cooker for added convenience.

5. Sustainable:

Lentils are a sustainable crop that requires less water and fertiliser than other crops. They are also a great source of plant-based protein, which can help reduce the environmental impact of meat production.

Here are some ideas for using lentils:

- Lentil soup: Use lentils as a base for a hearty and nutritious soup.
- Lentil salad: Add lentils to a salad for added protein and fiber.
- Lentil tacos: Use lentils as a meat substitute in tacos for a healthy and delicious alternative.
- Lentil pasta: Use lentil pasta for a gluten-free and protein-packed alternative to traditional pasta.
- Lentil curry: Add lentils to a curry for added nutrition and flavor.

In conclusion, lentils are a nutritious and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, and are easy to prepare. Incorporate lentils into your diet for added nutrition and sustainability.

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

Exercise of the week: The single-arm cable pull-down

The single-arm cable pull-down primarily targets the latissimus dorsi, commonly known as the lats. However, it also engages several other muscles, including the biceps, rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, and core stabilisers.

To perform the single-arm cable pull-down, follow these steps:

1. Stand facing a cable machine with a high pulley attachment. Adjust the weight stack according to your fitness level.
2. Attach a single handle or D-handle to the pulley.
3. Position yourself a few steps away from the machine, with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
4. Grab the handle with an overhand grip (palms facing down) using your right hand.
5. Step back to create tension in the cable, keeping your arm extended in front of you.
6. Engage your core and maintain a stable stance throughout the exercise.
7. Pull the handle down and towards your body, leading with your elbow. Keep your upper arm close to your side and your forearm parallel to the floor.
8. Squeeze your lat muscle at the bottom of the movement, then slowly and with control, return your arm to the starting position.
9. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides and perform the exercise with your left arm.

Key tips for proper form:

- Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back throughout the movement.
- Avoid using momentum or excessive body sway. Focus on isolating the targeted muscles.
- Exhale as you perform the pulling motion and inhale as you return to the starting position.
- Maintain a controlled and smooth tempo, avoiding any jerking or swinging motions.
- Adjust the weight and handle position to ensure you can complete the exercise with proper form and without straining your muscles or joints.

As with any exercise, it's essential to warm up properly. We can provide you with 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

Research your supplements:

Ignore the nonsense that all supplement companies are to be ignored. Some fringe products are certainly hyped, but that doesn't mean all supplements are without value.

Keep a log book:

Then always strive to beat the last workout's performance.

Eat when you're hungry:

This is simply good old fashioned common sense.

Snacks in between meals don't have to be complicated:

Fruit, protein shakes, whole milk, almonds and nuts, string cheese, protein bars and beef jerky are all simple but solid choices.

Limit calorie expenditure outside the gym if you struggle to gain muscle:

Playing three hours of tennis on your rest days isn't conducive to muscle building. That said, don't become out of shape.

Start with the basic supplements:

Consider a quality multivitamin, fish oil and whey protein. Once you are consistent with your training and making gains, then you can explore things like pre-workout formulas, BCAA drinks and creatine.

Take measurements and pictures:

Combining the scale, callipers and measuring tape will make sure you are making muscle, not fat gains.

Set clear, specific, measurable goals, and go after them:

Having constant goals to achieve will keep you progressing.

Useless Facts

The three most recognised Western names in China are Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, & Elvis Presley.

When Kate Furniss does a pushup, she isn't lifting herself up - she is pushing the Earth down.

There is a town in Newfoundland, Canada called Dildo.

The Boston University Bridge (on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts) is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.

Dan "The Darkness" Flint eats the core of an apple first.

All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 1st October 2023:

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