Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 28th January 2024

Sunday 28th January 2024


Navigating the Balance: My Struggle as a Gym Owner Choosing Between Fun and Results-Driven Classes

Running a gym isn't just about providing top-notch equipment; it involves curating a class schedule that caters to a diverse range of clients.

I often find myself in a dilemma when deciding which types of classes to offer—weighing the appeal of fun and popular classes against those that promise exceptional results, even if they are less entertaining.

On one hand, there are the lively and engaging classes that create a vibrant atmosphere and foster a sense of community among participants. Classes like Zumba, spin, and dance-based workouts draw in a broad demographic seeking enjoyable and interactive fitness experiences. The high attendance rates indicate their popularity, making them a tempting choice.

Yet, the realisation hits hard that popularity doesn't necessarily translate to tangible results.

Fun classes may burn calories and offer a cardiovascular workout, but they may fall short in delivering the transformative outcomes some clients are seeking, such as muscle building or significant weight loss. Finding that balance between enjoyment and effectiveness becomes my challenge.

On the flip side, there are the less glamorous but results-driven classes like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, or boot camps.

These classes have the potential to yield remarkable fitness outcomes in a shorter time frame. The trade-off, however, is that they may not attract the same widespread audience as their more entertaining counterparts.

As the gym owner, my struggle lies in striking a delicate equilibrium—offering classes that attract a large audience while ensuring they genuinely deliver results.

My aim has always been to create a diverse class schedule that caters to different fitness goals and preferences, all while avoiding the scenario where clients sacrifice effectiveness for entertainment.

One approach involves blending the best of both worlds—infusing elements of fun into classes designed for optimal results. For instance, a strength training class can incorporate dynamic and engaging exercises, making the workout both challenging and enjoyable. This strategy allows me to keep clients motivated while still helping them achieve their fitness objectives.

In conclusion, my dilemma as a gym owner revolves around the challenge of choosing between fun and results-driven classes, reflecting the broader goal of meeting the varied needs of a diverse clientele.

Finding the right balance ensures that my gym remains a vibrant and welcoming space, where clients not only enjoy their workouts but also achieve the desired results on their fitness journey. It's a delicate dance, but one that, when mastered, leads to a thriving and satisfied community of gym-goers.

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 membership:

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.

Gym & Classes Membership:

Unlock your fitness journey with our gym and classes membership.

Experience expert trainers and a diverse range of classes tailored to every fitness level.

Elevate your workouts and join a community committed to achieving wellness together.

Attending regular group exercise classes goes beyond the physical aspects of fitness. It provides a holistic approach that encompasses motivation, variety, social connection, and expert guidance.

Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, these classes offer a supportive environment to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

With over 150 classes monthly, the Woodlands Gym & Classes Membership provides comprehensive support at an affordable price. The Gym & Classes Membership includes:

✔Access to 31 weekly sessions.
✔Classes limited to 8 participants for focused attention.
✔Unlimited gym access.
✔Expert advice on setting calorie targets.
✔Nutritional support to enhance your fitness journey.

Classes include:


Classes are typically 45 minutes. However, we also offer 30 minute classes. These 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!

WFC classes are strictly limited to 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: £15.00
2 sessions per week: £16.50
1 sessions per week: £20.50

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £19.75
2 sessions per week: £21.25
1 sessions per week: £25.25

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £25.50
2 sessions per week: £26.75
1 sessions per week: £31.00

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: £12.75
2 sessions per week: £13.00
1 sessions per week: £13.25

45 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £17.50
2 sessions per week: £17.75
1 sessions per week: £18.00

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £23.00
2 sessions per week: £23.25
1 sessions per week: £23.50

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.



Simplifying Fitness: The 30-Minute Workout Solution

In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, many individuals find themselves hesitant to step into the gym, often due to misconceptions about the time and complexity required for effective workouts.

This article aims to debunk the myth that long and intricate exercise routines are necessary for fitness success. Instead, we propose a streamlined approach: a 30-minute workout, twice a week, focusing on key movement patterns for a balanced and efficient fitness regimen.

The Basics of Movement Patterns:

To simplify the workout, we'll break it down into six fundamental movement patterns, ensuring a comprehensive full-body engagement:

1. Horizontal Push:

Dumbbell Bench Press: A classic dumbbell exercise targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Dumbbell Chest Fly: Utilising dumbbells for an effective chest workout.

2. Horizontal Pull:
Bent-Over Rows: Engaging the upper back and biceps with a simple rowing motion.
TRX Row: A bodyweight alternative that emphasises back muscles.

3. Vertical Push:
Overhead Press: Targeting shoulders and triceps, this exercise involves pushing weight overhead.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press: A seated or standing option for shoulder development.

4. Vertical Pull:
Single arm cable pull-down: An excellent unilateral exercise for the upper back and biceps.
Lat Pulldown: Mimicking the pull-up motion with the assistance of a cable machine.

5. Quad Dominant:

Reverse Lunges: A fundamental lunge variation for working the quadriceps.

Goblet Squats: An excellent squat variation for with a dumbbell, targeting quads and core.

6. Hip/Hamstring Dominant:

Romanian Deadlift: Focusing on hamstrings and glutes with a hip hinge movement.

Stork deadlifts: A fundamental deadlift variation for working the hamstrings.

The 30-Minute Workout Plan:

Warm-Up (5 minutes):

Dynamic stretches and light cardio to prepare the body.

Main Workout (20 minutes):

Choose one exercise from each movement pattern and perform 2 sets of 10-12 reps. Assuming 3 seconds per rep and 45 second rest periods, 2 sets of each exercise should take less than 3 minutes. As such, 6 exercises will take 18 minutes.

Cool Down (5 minutes): Stretching and deep breathing to promote flexibility and recovery.

In conclusion, breaking free from the misconception that effective workouts require hours at the gym, the 30-minute routine outlined above offers a time-efficient and straightforward solution.

By focusing on fundamental movement patterns and incorporating compound exercises, individuals can achieve significant fitness results with minimal time commitment. It's time to embrace the simplicity of efficient workouts and make fitness accessible to everyone.

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

Dive into Deliciousness with Nutrient-Packed Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls have become a popular and aesthetically pleasing way to enjoy a nutritious and satisfying meal.

These delightful bowls offer a perfect blend of flavours, textures, and essential nutrients, making them a favourite among health-conscious individuals.

Let's explore what smoothie bowls are and how you can create your own with a balance of fats, carbs, and proteins.

What are Smoothie Bowls?

A smoothie bowl is a thicker version of the traditional smoothie, served in a bowl and topped with a variety of nutritious ingredients.

The base typically consists of blended fruits, vegetables, and a liquid, creating a smooth and creamy texture that can be Customised to your liking. What sets smoothie bowls apart is the artful arrangement of toppings, adding both visual appeal and a mix of textures.

Building Blocks: Fats, Carbs, and Proteins

To create a well-rounded smoothie bowl, it's essential to incorporate a balance of macronutrients fats, carbs, and proteins.

Avocado: Creamy and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.
Nuts (almonds, walnuts): Provide a satisfying crunch and additional healthy fats.
Chia seeds or flaxseeds: Boost omega-3 fatty acids and add a thickening effect.

Fruits (berries, banana, mango): Natural sweetness and a plethora of vitamins.
Oats or granola: Complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
Honey or maple syrup: Natural sweeteners that enhance flavour.

Greek yogurt or plant-based yogurt: Creaminess and a protein boost.
Protein powder (whey, plant-based): Ideal for those looking to increase protein intake.
Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter): Adds protein and a savoury kick.

5 Delectable Smoothie Bowl Recipes:

1. Berry Bliss Bowl:
Base: Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), banana, almond milk.
Toppings: Granola, chia seeds, sliced almonds, a drizzle of honey.

2. Green Goddess Delight:
Base: Spinach, pineapple, mango, coconut water.
Toppings: Kiwi slices, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

3. Tropical Paradise Bowl:
Base: Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut milk.
Toppings: Toasted coconut flakes, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, and a sprinkle of granola.

4. Peanut Butter Power Bowl:
Base: Banana, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, almond milk.
Toppings: Sliced banana, granola, crushed peanuts, a swirl of peanut butter.

5. Chocolate Banana Bliss:
Base: Banana, cocoa powder, protein powder, milk of choice.
Toppings: Sliced strawberries, cacao nibs, pistachios, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Experiment with these recipes, adjusting ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Smoothie bowls offer a canvas for creativity and a nutritious way to kick start your day or refuel after a workout.

Enjoy the vibrant colours, diverse textures, and nourishing goodness that smoothie bowls bring to your table!

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

Toe-raised sumo deadlift

The toe-raised sumo deadlift primarily targets the muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and adductors. Lifting with toes raised can enhance engagement of these muscles and shift emphasis towards the quads.

Benefits of toe-raised sumo deadlift:

1. Increased Quadriceps Activation: Raising the toes places more demand on the quadriceps, promoting greater activation and development.
2. Altered Body Mechanics: It can modify the biomechanics of the lift, potentially reducing stress on the lower back for some individuals.
3. Improved Sumo Stance: Lifting with toes elevated may help those with limited ankle mobility to achieve a more optimal sumo deadlift stance.

To perform it:

1. Set up in a wide stance with toes slightly turned outward.
2. Elevate your heels by placing them on weight plates or a small platform.
3. Grip the bar with hands inside your knees.
4. Maintain a neutral spine and lift the bar by extending your hips and knees simultaneously.

Remember to start with a lighter weight to ensure proper form and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the movement.

As with any exercise variation, it's important to consider individual fitness levels and consult with a fitness professional if needed.

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

Recipe of the week: Peter Luger Steak Sandwich

Here's a simple recipe for a Peter Luger Steak Sandwich:


1 pound (about 450g) sirloin or ribeye steak
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 slices of crusty bread or a baguette
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 slices of Swiss or cheddar cheese (optional)
Peter Luger Steak Sauce (available for purchase or you can make a homemade version with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings)


1. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

2. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Grill the steak for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare or longer if you prefer a different doneness. Allow the steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly.

4. While the steak is resting, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they are soft and caramelized.

5. Slice the bread or baguette into sandwich-sized portions. Spread a tablespoon of softened butter on one side of each slice.

6. Assemble the sandwiches by placing a layer of grilled steak on the buttered side of half the slices. Top with caramelized onions and cheese if desired.

7. Drizzle Peter Luger Steak Sauce over the steak and onion layer. Place the remaining slices of bread on top, buttered side facing out.

8. Heat a pan over medium heat and grill the sandwiches on each side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese (if using) is melted.

9. Remove from the pan, slice in half, and serve immediately.

Enjoy your delicious Peter Luger Steak Sandwich!

Things to consider

Control Mealtime Distractions:

Avoid distractions like watching TV or working during meals. Eating mindfully, focusing on your food, and savouring each bite can help control portion sizes.

Implement reverse pyramid training for variety:

Break the monotony of traditional workout routines by incorporating reverse pyramid training. This method involves starting with the heaviest weights and lower repetitions, gradually decreasing the weight while increasing the repetitions.

This technique challenges your muscles in a different way, promoting both strength and muscle endurance. Reverse pyramid training adds a refreshing twist to your regimen, keeping your workouts engaging and effective.

Experimenting with diverse training approaches helps prevent plateaus and ensures continued progress in your fitness journey.

Be Mindful of Alcohol Calories:

Alcohol contains calories that can add up quickly. Keep track of your alcohol intake and choose lower-calorie options when possible.

Include resistance training for smaller muscle groups:

While compound exercises target large muscle groups, don't overlook the importance of resistance training for smaller muscles. Isolation exercises, such as bicep curls or tricep extensions, help enhance definition and balance in your physique.

Strengthening these smaller muscle groups not only contributes to aesthetic appeal but also aids in overall functional fitness.

Ensure a well-rounded training program by incorporating targeted exercises for smaller muscle groups, promoting symmetry and preventing muscular imbalances.

Get a Good Night's Sleep:

Quality sleep is essential for weight loss. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to help regulate hormones and control appetite.

Be mindful of your posture during exercises:

Maintaining proper posture is fundamental to preventing injuries and optimising the effectiveness of your workouts.

Whether lifting weights, performing bodyweight exercises, or engaging in cardio activities, focus on aligning your body correctly.

A mindful approach to posture ensures that you target the intended muscles, reduce strain on joints, and support overall biomechanical efficiency.

Consistently practicing good posture contributes to long-term joint health, injury prevention, and improved exercise performance.

Experiment with Healthy Recipes:

Explore new, healthy recipes to keep your meals exciting and enjoyable. Trying different foods can prevent diet boredom.

Adjust your workout routine based on seasonal changes:

Adapting your workout routine to seasonal changes is a strategic way to align your fitness goals with environmental factors. Consider adjusting the types of exercises, workout durations, and intensity levels according to the weather.

Embrace outdoor activities during warmer months and transition to indoor workouts during colder seasons. This flexible approach not only accommodates changes in temperature but also adds variety to your routine, keeping you motivated and engaged throughout the year.

Useless Facts

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

There is no such thing as global warming. Tim Leslie was cold so he turned up the sun.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

Gary Blackham abducts aliens.

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 21st January 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 14th January 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 6th January 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 Fitness Centre Ltd
A: Unit 27, Molyneux Business Park, Darley Dale, Derbyshire, DE4 2HJ
T: (01629) 733 123