Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 14th January 2024

Saturday 13th January 2024


The Power of Input: How Your Choices Shape Your Well-being

In the fast-paced world we navigate today, it's easy to overlook the profound impact our choices can have on our overall well-being.

The age-old adage "You are what you eat" extends beyond mere dietary considerations to encompass a broader spectrum of our daily choices.

It turns out that the principle of "Garbage in, garbage out" is not confined to the realm of computers; it aptly describes the profound connection between our inputs and outputs in life.

Consider, for instance, the food we consume. Opting for a diet laden with processed, unhealthy choices can leave us feeling lethargic, irritable, and overall, well, like crap.

Conversely, fuelling our bodies with nourishing, wholesome foods provides the energy and vitality needed to tackle life's challenges head-on. The lesson here is clear: eat crap food, feel like crap.

The same principle applies to the information we expose ourselves to. In an era of constant connectivity, tuning in to the news cycle can be a double-edged sword. While staying informed is crucial, the relentless barrage of negative news can contribute to heightened anxiety and stress.

Just as junk food can weigh down our bodies, a constant diet of negativity can weigh heavily on our minds. Watch the news, feel anxious; it's a cause-and-effect relationship that underscores the importance of mindful media consumption.

Now, let's shift our focus to a more positive perspective. The mantra "Lift heavy weights, feel strong" encapsulates the transformative power of physical activity.

Engaging in exercise, particularly strength training, not only enhances our physical strength but also has a profound impact on our mental resilience. The act of overcoming physical challenges translates into a heightened sense of empowerment and strength, both physically and mentally.

Similarly, a simple stroll through nature can yield remarkable benefits for our well-being. Going for a walk, especially in natural surroundings, promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and clears the mind. It's a reminder that sometimes the simplest activities can have the most profound impact on our state of being.

In the realm of mental inputs, the power of positivity cannot be overstated. Listening to uplifting, constructive content fosters a positive mind set. Choosing to surround ourselves with optimism and encouragement can reshape our outlook on life, creating a ripple effect that extends to our thoughts, actions, and overall well-being.

In essence, the choices we make—whether in terms of nutrition, information consumption, physical activity, or mental inputs—directly influence how we feel. "Garbage in, garbage out" serves as a poignant reminder that the quality of our inputs shapes the quality of our outputs.

By consciously opting for uplifting, positive choices, we pave the way for a life characterised by strength, relaxation, and an overall sense of well-being.

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: £30

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 £24 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.

Price per session (Non-Members):

30 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £15
2 sessions per week: £16
1 sessions per week: £20

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £20
2 sessions per week: £21
1 sessions per week: £24

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £25
2 sessions per week: £26
1 sessions per week: £30

Please note

All of these PT packages include:

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

Price per session (Members):

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

30 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £13
2 sessions per week: £14
1 sessions per week: £15

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £17
2 sessions per week: £18
1 sessions per week: £19

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £23
2 sessions per week: £24
1 sessions per week: £25

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.



A Comprehensive Guide to Achieving Strength and Size

Building muscle is a goal shared by many fitness enthusiasts. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced lifter, the process of building muscle requires dedication, consistency, and a well-rounded approach. In this article, we will explore key principles and strategies to help you maximise your muscle-building potential.

1. Resistance Training:

The foundation of muscle building lies in resistance training. Engage in a variety of compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.

These exercises target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, stimulating significant muscle growth. Aim for progressive overload by gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets over time to continually challenge your muscles.

2. Proper Nutrition:

To fuel muscle growth, a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential. Consume an adequate amount of protein, as it provides the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Include lean sources such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes in your meals.

Additionally, complex carbohydrates like whole grains and fruits provide energy for intense workouts, while healthy fats like avocados and nuts support hormone production.

3. Caloric Surplus:

To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Aim for a slight caloric surplus of 250-500 calories per day. This surplus provides the extra energy needed for muscle growth. Monitor your progress by tracking your weight and adjust your caloric intake accordingly.

4. Rest and Recovery:

Muscle growth occurs during periods of rest, not just in the gym. Allow your muscles to recover by incorporating rest days into your training schedule. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to optimise recovery.

Additionally, consider implementing techniques such as foam rolling, stretching, and massage to alleviate muscle soreness and promote faster recovery.

5. Consistency:

Consistency is key when it comes to building muscle. Stick to a regular training schedule and maintain a disciplined approach to nutrition. Building muscle takes time, so be patient and stay committed to your fitness journey. Celebrate small victories along the way and focus on gradual progress.

6. Variation and Progression:

To continue challenging your muscles and stimulate growth, introduce variation into your workouts. Change exercises, rep ranges, or training techniques every few weeks.

Additionally, focus on progressive overload by gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts. This could involve adding more weight, performing more reps, or reducing rest periods.

7. Supplement Wisely:

While not essential, certain supplements can support muscle building efforts. Protein powder can be a convenient way to meet your protein requirements.

Creatine monohydrate has been shown to enhance strength and muscle mass gains. However, always consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your regimen.

In Conclusion, building muscle is a multifaceted process that requires a combination of resistance training, proper nutrition, rest, and consistency. By following these principles and strategies, you can create an environment conducive to muscle growth.

Remember to listen to your body, stay patient, and enjoy the journey towards achieving your desired strength and size.

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

What is the Lion Diet?

The "Lion Diet" is a term that refers to a specific type of diet followed by some individuals, inspired by the eating habits of lions in the wild. It is essentially a carnivorous diet that primarily consists of consuming meat, particularly from ruminant animals like beef, lamb, and venison.

The Lion Diet typically excludes most plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and processed foods. Advocates of this diet believe that humans are better adapted to a diet primarily composed of animal products, claiming that it can improve digestive health, energy levels, and overall well-being.

Advantages of the Lion Diet:

1. High protein intake: Animal products are rich in protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance.

2. Nutrient-dense: Animal foods contain important nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Potential weight loss: Some individuals may experience weight loss due to reduced carbohydrate intake and increased satiety from the high protein content.

Disadvantages of the Lion Diet:

1. Nutrient deficiencies: By excluding plant-based foods, there is a risk of missing out on essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.

2. Limited fibre intake: A lack of dietary fibre can lead to digestive issues like constipation and may increase the risk of certain diseases such as colon cancer.

3. Increased saturated fat intake: Depending on the types and cuts of meat consumed, a high intake of saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.

4. Sustainability concerns: The environmental impact of a meat-heavy diet is significant due to the resources required for animal agriculture.

It is important to note that the Lion Diet is highly restrictive and may not be suitable for everyone. Before making any significant changes to your diet, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure nutritional adequacy and to address any individual health considerations.

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

Exercise of the week: A rear foot elevated Romanian deadlift

A rear foot elevated Romanian deadlift (RDL) primarily targets the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It also engages the core muscles for stability.

To perform a rear foot elevated RDL, follow these steps:

1. Set up a raised platform, such as an aerobic step or weight plates, behind you.
2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward, and place the ball of one foot on the raised platform. The other foot should be firmly planted on the ground.
3. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand, allowing it to hang in front of your thigh.
4. Maintain a slight bend in your knee and keep a neutral spine position throughout the movement.
5. Initiate the movement by hinging at your hips, pushing your glutes backward while maintaining a flat back.
6. Lower the weight towards the ground while simultaneously lifting your rear leg, keeping it in line with your body.
7. Lower the weight until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, then reverse the movement by driving through your front foot and extending your hips to return to the starting position.
8. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides and perform the exercise with the other leg.

Remember to focus on maintaining proper form and control throughout the exercise.

Engage your core muscles for stability, keep your spine neutral, and avoid rounding your back.

Start with a lighter weight to ensure you can perform the movement correctly and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and stronger.

As always, it's a good idea to consult with a Woodlands personal trainer to ensure proper form and technique when performing exercises, especially if you're new to them or have any specific concerns or limitations.

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

Recipe of the week: Birria Tacos

Here's a recipe for delicious Birria Tacos:


For the Birria:
3 lbs (1.4 kg) of beef (such as chuck roast or brisket)
5 dried guajillo chilies
3 dried ancho chilies
1 onion, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Consommé (Dipping Sauce):
2 cups of the Birria cooking liquid
Chopped fresh cilantro and onion for garnish

For the Tacos:
Corn tortillas
Grated Oaxaca cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro and onion for garnish


1. Start by cleaning the dried chilies. Remove the stems and seeds, then toast them in a dry skillet for a few seconds on each side until fragrant. Place them in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for about 15 minutes.

2. While the chilies soak, season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, sear the beef on all sides until it's nicely browned. Remove the beef and set it aside.

3. In the same pot, add the quartered onion and garlic cloves. Cook them for a few minutes until they start to soften and become aromatic.

4. Drain the soaked chilies and place them in a blender along with the cumin seeds, dried oregano, ground cinnamon, and a cup of beef broth. Blend until you have a smooth paste.

5. Pour the chili paste into the pot with the onions and garlic. Cook it for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

6. Return the seared beef to the pot and pour in the remaining beef broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and easily shreds.

7. Once the beef is tender, remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks. You can also chop it finely if you prefer.

8. To make the consommé (dipping sauce), skim the fat off the cooking liquid in the pot and bring it to a simmer. Season with salt to taste.

9. Heat the corn tortillas on a hot griddle or skillet until they are warm and pliable.

10. To assemble the tacos, place some shredded beef on a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and fold it in half.

11. Serve the tacos with a side of the consommé for dipping. Garnish with chopped cilantro and onion.

Enjoy your homemade Birria Tacos!

Things to consider

Make a List:

Think writing a grocery list before heading to the store is a waste of time? As it turns out, it may be the key to finally losing weight.

A Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour study of more than more than 1,300 people discovered that shoppers who regularly wrote grocery lists also purchased healthier foods and had lower BMI's than those who didn't put pen to paper before heading to the store.

Researchers hypothesise that shopping lists keep us organised, which in turn helps us fend off diet-derailing impulse buys (hello, candy aisle).

Before heading to the supermarket to stock up, spend a few minutes taking inventory of your kitchen, and then write a list.

Be sure to organise it by category to prevent zigzagging all over the place; that ups the odds you'll walk by—and purchase—tempting treats that could derail your weight loss success.

Tracking Progress:

Measurements and Photos: Tracking your progress through measurements and photos can be motivating. Taking pictures and measuring body parts can help you see the changes in your physique over time.

Chapattis over white rice:

We Indians love our carbs. But, with carbs too one can be judicious. It is always a good idea to swap white rice with brown rice (lower in simple carb, high in complex carbs).

It is also advised by several nutritionists to ditch white rice during dinner and go for chapattis. Chapattis are high in fibre and take longer to digest.

Age and Muscle Building:

As you age, maintaining and building muscle becomes increasingly important for overall health. It's never too late to start resistance training and promote muscle growth, even in later years.

Plan your meal timings well:

Note your peak craving time and plan your meal around that time. This is a good way to optimise your body clock according to your nutrition demand.

Avoiding Plateaus:

Muscle-building progress can stall due to plateaus. To overcome this, consider changing your workout routine, increasing weights, or adjusting your diet to keep your muscles growing.

Useless Facts

The earth weighs around 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

Steve Bennett hit 11 out of 10 targets with 9 bullets.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

Porcupines can float in water.

When James Palfreyman slices onions, the onions cry.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 6th January 2024 December 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 31st December 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 24th December 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 17th December 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 10th December 2023

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 3rd December 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 26th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 19th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 12th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 5th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 29th October 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 22nd October 2023:

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