Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 12th November 2023

Sunday 12th November 2023


Sporadic training = Slow progress

In the hustle and bustle of life, finding consistent time for a regular workout routine can be challenging.

Between work commitments, family obligations, and unforeseen events, sticking to a rigid training schedule may seem nearly impossible.

However, the good news is that sporadic training, specifically 1-2 resistance training sessions per week, can still yield significant results and contribute to a healthier, stronger you.

Life is unpredictable, and it's not uncommon for unexpected demands to disrupt even the most well-intentioned fitness plans. Rather than succumbing to the idea that an "all or nothing" approach is the only path to fitness success, embracing sporadic training can be a game-changer.

Research has shown that the frequency of resistance training sessions doesn't always have to adhere to a strict daily or bi-weekly schedule to be effective. While consistent training certainly has its benefits, fitting in 1-2 sessions per week can still lead to noticeable improvements in muscle strength, endurance, and overall fitness.

The key lies in the quality and intensity of those sessions. By incorporating compound movements and focusing on full-body workouts during each session, individuals can maximize the benefits of limited training time.

Compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making the most out of each session and promoting overall functional strength.

Adequate rest is crucial for muscle repair and growth, and spacing out workouts gives the body the time it needs to recover. This approach can help prevent burnout, reduce the risk of overtraining, and make the fitness journey more sustainable in the long run.

In the grand scheme of things, the consistency of effort over time often matters more than the frequency of workouts. Life is dynamic, and adapting to its demands requires flexibility in our fitness routines. Rather than feeling defeated by a missed workout or two, celebrate the victories of the sessions you do manage to complete.

So, if life's demands have you juggling multiple responsibilities, remember that 1-2 resistance training sessions per week can still pave the way to a stronger, healthier version of yourself. Embrace the sporadic nature of your schedule, focus on the quality of your workouts, and watch as fitness becomes an achievable goal, even amidst life's inevitable challenges.

That being said, sporadic training, or irregular and inconsistent exercise, often does not yield the desired results for several reasons:

1. Lack of Progression:

Consistency is key when it comes to making progress in fitness. Sporadic training makes it challenging to establish a routine and progress in terms of intensity, duration, or frequency of workouts. Without progression, the body does not adapt and improve over time, limiting the potential for achieving fitness goals.

2. Insufficient Stimulus:

Regular exercise provides a consistent stimulus to the body, which promotes adaptation and improvement in various aspects of fitness, such as strength, endurance, and flexibility. Sporadic training does not provide a consistent stimulus, making it difficult for the body to adapt and make significant progress.

3. Inconsistent Caloric Expenditure:

Weight loss and body composition changes require a sustained calorie deficit over time. Sporadic training may not consistently contribute to calorie expenditure, making it harder to create the necessary energy imbalance for weight loss.

4. Lack of Skill Development:

Many exercises and physical activities require practice to develop proper form, technique, and skill. Sporadic training does not allow for consistent practice and refinement of these skills, potentially limiting progress and increasing the risk of injury.

5. Reduced Motivation and Compliance:

Consistency in training helps establish a routine and build momentum. When exercise becomes sporadic, it can be more challenging to stay motivated and committed to a fitness regimen. This can lead to a lack of adherence and ultimately hinder progress.

To achieve optimal results, it is recommended to engage in regular and consistent exercise. This includes establishing a routine, setting realistic goals, and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of workouts.

Additionally, combining regular exercise with a balanced diet and adopting other healthy lifestyle habits can further enhance the likelihood of achieving desired fitness outcomes.

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: £24
3 months: £27
1 month: £29

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: £16.00
2 sessions per week: £17.00
1 sessions per week: £18.00

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £20.00
2 sessions per week: £21.00
1 sessions per week: £22.00

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £26.00
2 sessions per week: £27.00
1 sessions per week: £28.00

Please note

These PT packages do not include a Woodlands Fitness Centre membership.

Members (price per session):

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

30 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £12.00
2 sessions per week: £13.00
1 sessions per week: £14.00

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £17.00
2 sessions per week: £18.00
1 sessions per week: £19.00

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £23.00
2 sessions per week: £24.00
1 sessions per week: £25.00

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.



Why do people who ego lift experience more injuries and get worse results?

People who engage in ego lifting, which refers to lifting weights with the primary goal of showcasing strength rather than proper form or technique, are more prone to injuries and may experience suboptimal results for several reasons:

1. Sacrificing Form for Weight:

Ego lifters often prioritise lifting heavier weights over maintaining proper form and technique. This can lead to compromised movement patterns, placing excessive stress on joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Poor form increases the risk of acute injuries, such as strains, sprains, and muscle tears.

2. Lack of Progressive Overload:

Progressive overload is a fundamental principle in strength training, involving gradually increasing the demands placed on the body over time.

Ego lifters often focus on lifting maximal weights without progressively increasing the load in a structured manner. This can hinder muscle adaptation and strength gains, leading to suboptimal results.

3. Neglecting Muscular Imbalances:

Ego lifting often involves prioritizing certain muscle groups while neglecting others. This can lead to muscular imbalances, where some muscles become disproportionately stronger than their opposing muscles. Imbalances can increase the risk of injuries, affect posture, and impact overall performance.

4. Insufficient Focus on Technique and Stability:

To lift heavy weights safely and effectively, it is crucial to prioritize proper technique and develop stability in the muscles and joints involved. Ego lifters may overlook these aspects, leading to reduced control, stability, and overall performance. This lack of focus on technique can increase the likelihood of injuries.

5. Overtraining and Inadequate Recovery:

Ego lifters often push themselves to the limit during each workout, frequently neglecting the importance of rest and recovery. Overtraining can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and an increased risk of injuries. Adequate recovery, including rest days, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep, is essential for muscle repair and growth.

6. Psychological Factors:

The ego-driven mindset of lifting for external validation and comparison can lead to impulsive, reckless behaviour in the gym. This mindset may discourage ego lifters from seeking proper guidance, listening to their bodies, or focusing on long-term progress.

The desire to impress others or maintain a certain image can override safety and effectiveness in training.

To mitigate these risks and achieve better results, it is important to prioritize proper technique, focus on progressive overload, address muscular imbalances, ensure adequate recovery, and approach training with a balanced mindset.

Seeking guidance from the qualified professionals at Woodlands can also be beneficial in developing a safe and effective training program.

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

10 Facts You Didn't Know About Cucumbers

Turns out that cucumbers aren't just for placing over your eyes while you get a facial.

Who knew, right?!

Check out some fun and surprising facts about cucumbers and learn how to cure a headache, hangover, or even keep your breath in check!

The Facts:

1. The term "cool as a cucumber" is actually derived from the cucumber's ability to cool the temperature of the blood.

Also, when applied topically, cucumber really does cool the blood and ease facial swelling, which is why cucumbers are so popular in facial regimens.

2. Out on a date and realise that you forgot gum or breath mints?


Ask your waiter for some sliced cucumber with your meal. Take a slice and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria that are responsible for causing bad breath.

3. Cucumbers contain Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, folic acid, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Who needs a multivitamin?

4. Stressed? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma. How's that for a quick and easy stress-reliever?

5. Do you have a problem with your bathroom mirror fogging up after your morning shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror. It will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

6. Do you have a hard time drinking your eight glasses of water per day? Try munching on some cucumbers. They are made up of 95% water! Snacking on cucumbers can also help curb hunger.

7. Using a pen and made a mistake? Move over, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Take the outside waxy coating of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing.

8. Want to brighten up your bathroom without harsh chemicals and still have all of your surfaces streak free? Look no further: Take a slice of cucumber and wipe it on any surface that needs a little TLC — your faucets, sinks, stainless steel, etc. — and it will remove tarnish and built-up residue and leave it looking beautifully clean and shiny.

9. Had a few too many? We've been there. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in balance. Eat a couple slices before bed and wake up headache-free!

10. Need a burst of energy in the afternoon but no time for a nap? Stay away from sugar-loaded energy drinks! Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that afternoon pick-me-up that can be just the jolt that you need.

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

Exercise of the week: The chest-supported incline bench row

The chest-supported incline bench row primarily targets the muscles of the upper back, including the rhomboids, trapezius, and rear deltoids.

It also engages the biceps, forearms, and core muscles to a lesser extent.

Here's how you can perform a chest-supported incline bench row:

1. Set an incline bench at a 45-degree angle and place it in front of a cable machine or a low pulley row machine. Adjust the cable or pulley to a position that is slightly lower than your chest height.

2. Lie face down on the incline bench with your chest and stomach pressed against it. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground for stability.

3. Reach forward and grasp the handles or attachments of the cable or pulley machine with an overhand grip. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

4. Begin the exercise by retracting your shoulder blades and pulling the handles or attachments towards your chest. Keep your elbows close to your body and contract the muscles of your upper back as you pull.

5. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, squeezing your shoulder blades together to maximize the contraction.

6. Slowly return to the starting position, fully extending your arms and allowing your shoulder blades to protract.

7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


- Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise to maintain stability and prevent excessive arching of the lower back.
- Focus on pulling with your back muscles rather than relying on your arms to do the work.
- Maintain a controlled and smooth movement throughout the exercise, avoiding any jerking or swinging motions.

As with any exercise, it's important to use proper form and start with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with good technique.

Gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and stronger. If you are unsure about proper form or have any concerns, it's always a good idea to consult with a qualified fitness professional.

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

Recipe of the week: Sweet Chilli Chicken with Rice

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cook Sweet Chilli Chicken with Rice:

1. In a bowl, combine the diced chicken breast with cornflour, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken until it is evenly coated with the cornflour mixture.

2. Heat a little oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the coated chicken to the pan and cook until it is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the light soy sauce, light sweet chili sauce, sriracha (or low sugar ketchup), crushed garlic cloves, ginger paste (or fresh ginger), and honey. Stir well to combine all the ingredients and create the sauce.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, pour the prepared sauce over the chicken in the skillet. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the chicken.

5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to the package instructions or your preferred method. Divide the cooked rice into meal prep containers, with each container containing approximately 110g of cooked white rice.

6. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, portion the chicken into the meal prep containers, dividing it equally among the containers.

7. Sprinkle sesame seeds, diced chili, diced spring onion, and cooked capsicum/bell peppers over the chicken in each meal prep container. You can adjust the amounts to suit your taste and preference.

8. Allow the chicken and rice containers to cool before sealing and storing them in the refrigerator.

9. When ready to eat, simply reheat the meal prep container in the microwave or heat it on the stovetop until heated through.

Enjoy your homemade Sweet Chilli Chicken with Rice, packed with flavour and nutrition!

Things to consider

Snack on Stone Fruits

If you find yourself craving something sweet during the day, ignore the impulse to eat a cookie and snack on a stone fruit instead. In addition to being more nutritious than a cookie, some stone fruits—plums, peaches, and nectarines—have been shown to help ward off weight gain.

Studies suggest the aforementioned fruits may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a fancy name for the combination of belly fat, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Stretch more:

Fascial restrictions can hold back your muscle growth.

Use exercise to boost your mood:

Exercise is a great stress reliever and mood booster. When you've had a rough day, going for an outdoor run or throwing a few punches in a kickboxing workout may be just what you need!

Create a Meal Plan:

Planning your meals in advance can prevent impulsive, unhealthy choices. A well-structured meal plan ensures you have balanced, nutritious options readily available, reducing the temptation to grab convenience foods when hungry.

Keep it simple:

Advanced or special methods can be useful, but a great coach doesn't use a lot of these methods. A great coach knows a lot of these methods yet rarely uses them. He or she only uses them when they're necessary to progress.

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals:

Opting for smaller, more frequent meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels, curb hunger, and prevent overeating. It's a strategy that can work well for some people, but individual preferences vary, so find what works best for you.

Choose Whole Foods:

Whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, are minimally processed and packed with essential nutrients. They can keep you feeling full and satisfied while supporting your overall health and weight loss goals.

Vary your workouts:

You still want that cardiovascular exercise to stay in the schedule, but change the activity you are doing. Ask one of us to build you a training routine specific to you.

Useless Facts

'Obsession' is the most popular boat name.

Death once had a near-Amanda Blackshaw experience.

On average, Americans' favourite smell is banana.

If one spells out numbers, they would have to count to One Thousand before coming across the letter "A".

Roy Goodall can cut through a hot knife with butter.

Honey is the only food which does not spoil.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 5th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 29th October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 22nd October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 15th October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 8th October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 1st October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 24th September 2023

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