Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 4th February 2024

Sunday 4th February 2024


Choosing Your Hard: The Path to a Healthier You

In the journey toward a healthier lifestyle, we are often faced with choices that challenge us both physically and mentally.

Going to the gym, resisting the temptation of fast food, and lifting weights can all be strenuous tasks.

Yet, amidst these challenges, there exists a deeper truth - the consequences of neglecting our health can be far more demanding.

1. The Challenge of Exercise:

Going to the gym to train is undeniably hard. The sweat, the effort, and the persistence required can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, the physical strain of regular exercise pales in comparison to the toll that a sedentary lifestyle can take on our bodies.

Joint pain, limited mobility, and increased susceptibility to various health issues are potential outcomes of neglecting physical activity.

2. Resisting Temptation:

Saying no to fast food is undoubtedly a battle against cravings and convenience. Fast food is often designed to be irresistible, but the momentary pleasure it brings is outweighed by the long-term consequences.

Opting for a balanced diet over the immediate gratification of unhealthy meals is choosing the challenge of discipline over the hardships of poor nutrition.

3. The Weight of Strength:

Lifting weights is a demanding endeavor that requires dedication and perseverance. However, the alternative - being frail and weak - is a heavier burden to bear. Muscular strength not only enhances physical performance but also contributes significantly to overall well-being.

The difficulty of weightlifting becomes a worthwhile investment in a healthier, more robust future.

4. Aging Gracefully:

Perhaps one of the most formidable challenges is the realisation that neglecting one's health can accelerate the aging process. Premature aging, both internally and externally, is often a consequence of unhealthy habits.

The difficulty of making positive choices in diet and exercise is a small price to pay when compared to the hardships associated with aging more rapidly.

In essence, the mantra "Choose your hard" is a powerful reminder that every decision we make regarding our health comes with its own set of challenges.

The difficulty of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a proactive choice that, in the long run, alleviates the potential hardships associated with poor health.

Whether it's the strain of exercise, the discipline of nutrition, or the commitment to strength training, each challenge contributes to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

So, as you navigate the complexities of a healthier lifestyle, remember that the difficulty of positive choices is a worthwhile investment in a future free from the burdens of joint pain, health issues, and premature aging.

Choose the path that leads to a healthier you, for that, in the end, is the most rewarding "hard" of all.

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 our class timetable:

Gym & Classes 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):

These prices are for those who do not have an active WFC membership.

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 an active WFC membership.

30 minutes:

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

45 minutes:

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

60 minutes:

3 sessions per week: £23.00
2 sessions per week: £23.25
1 session 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.



You DO have time to train if you follow the right program

Many individuals who frequent the gym often find themselves strapped for time due to their busy schedules. In such cases, focusing on the quality of each set can be more effective than doing multiple sets per exercise.

This article will explore why doing hard sets, particularly for casual gym-goers, can yield better results in a shorter time frame.

I will also provide a workout plan for both the upper and lower body, including example exercises for each movement pattern, and discuss the benefits of training every other day, the effectiveness of a 2-day-per-week workout, and how resistance training aids in retaining muscle during a calorie deficit.

1. Upper Body Workout:

Choose 1 exercise per Upper Body category:

Horizontal Push:

1. Barbell Bench Press
2. Push-Ups
3. Dumbbell Bench Press
4. Incline Barbell Bench Press
5. Push-Up Variations
6. Chest Press Machine
7. Single-Arm Dumbbell Press
8. Incline dumbbell Bench Press
9. Pec Deck Machine
10. Incline alternating dumbbell Bench Press

Horizontal Pull

1. Bent-Over Barbell Rows
2. Seated Cable Rows
3. Face Pulls
4. Renegade Rows
5. T-Bar Rows
6. Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
7. Inverted Rows
8. Chest Supported Rows
9. Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows
10. Standing single arm cable rows

Vertical Push

1. Overhead Press
2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3. Military Press
4. Push Press
5. Handstand Push-Ups
6. Landmine Press
7. Standing single arm Dumbbell Press
8. Arnold Press
9. Standing alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press
10. Machine Shoulder Press

Vertical Pull

1. Pull-Ups
2. Chin-Ups
3. Lat Pulldowns (wide)
4. Wide-Grip Pull-Ups
5. Assisted Pull-Ups
6. Single arm cable Pulldowns
7. Close-Grip Pull-Ups
8. Kneeling Pull-Downs
9. Lat Pulldowns (underhand)
10. Lat Pulldowns (narrow)

Elbow Flexion:

1. Bicep Curls
2. Hammer Curls
3. Preacher Curls
4. Concentration Curls
5. EZ-Bar Curls
6. Zottman Curls
7. Cable Curls
8. Reverse Curls
9. Spider Curls
10. 21s

Elbow Extension:

1. Tricep Dips
2. Skull Crushers
3. Tricep Pushdowns
4. Diamond Push-Ups
5. Overhead Tricep Extensions
6. Close-Grip Bench Press
7. Tricep Kickbacks
8. Lying Tricep Extensions
9. Rope Pushdowns
10. Tricep Bench Dips

2. Lower Body Workout:

Choose 2 exercises per lower Body category:

Quad Dominant:

1. Barbell Squats
2. Leg Press
3. Bulgarian Split Squats
4. Reverse Lunges
5. Front Squats
6. Hack Squats
7. Step-Ups
8. Forward Lunges
9. Static Lunges
10. Goblet Squats

Hip/Hamstring Dominant

1. Deadlifts:
2. Romanian Deadlifts
3. Staggered Stance Deadlifts
4. Glute Bridges
5. Good Mornings
6. Cable Pull-Throughs
7. Sumo Deadlifts
8. Stork Deadlifts
9. Hip Thrusts
10. Hamstring Curls


1. Smith machine Calf Raises
2. Seated Calf Raises
3. Calf Press on Hack Squat Machine
4. Calf Press on Leg Press Machine
5. Single leg standing calf raises


1. Planks
2. Russian Twists
3. Hanging Leg Raises
4. Bicycle Crunches
5. Cable Crunches
6. Woodchoppers
7. Swiss Ball Rollouts
8. Sit ups
9. Straight leg Raises
10. Ab Wheel Rollouts

Training Frequency:

Training Every Other Day:

Training every other day allows for proper recovery between workouts and is an effective way to maximise muscle growth and strength gains. It also prevents overtraining and reduces the risk of injury.

Results from Training 2x Per Week:

While training 2 days a week may not be ideal for rapid progress, it is still possible to achieve significant results. Focus on compound exercises, lift with intensity, and ensure you are progressively overloading your muscles.

Resistance Training in a Calorie Deficit:

Resistance training helps retain muscle while in a calorie deficit by stimulating muscle protein synthesis. It signals the body to preserve lean muscle mass even when you're consuming fewer calories. This is crucial for maintaining strength and aesthetics during fat loss phases.

In conclusion, for those with limited time, focusing on hard sets in their workouts can yield excellent results. The provided upper and lower body workout plans offer variety and efficiency. Training every other day and even with just 2 days a week can still lead to progress.

Combining resistance training with a calorie deficit is an effective strategy for retaining muscle during weight loss. Remember to consult a fitness professional for a personalised approach to your fitness goals.

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

Smart Savings: A Guide to Budget-Friendly Food Shopping and Cooking

In an era where every penny counts, adopting savvy strategies for food shopping and meal preparation can significantly contribute to saving money without compromising on nutrition or taste.

Here's a guide on how you can make the most of your budget without sacrificing the joy of good food.

1. Plan Your Meals in Advance:

Planning your meals for the week allows you to create a shopping list with specific ingredients, minimising impulse buys. This strategy not only saves money but also reduces food waste.

2. Buy in Bulk:

Purchasing staple items in bulk can lead to substantial savings over time. Look for discounts on larger quantities of rice, pasta, beans, and other non-perishables. Properly stored, these items can last for extended periods.

3. Embrace Seasonal Produce:

Opting for seasonal fruits and vegetables not only ensures freshness and flavor but also tends to be more affordable. Local farmers' markets can be a great place to find budget-friendly produce.

4. Choose Generic Brands:

While name-brand products often carry higher price tags, generic or store-brand alternatives can be equally satisfying. Compare ingredient lists and nutritional information to make informed decisions.

5. Utilise Frozen and Canned Goods:

Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are often more cost-effective than fresh, with a longer shelf life. These can be just as nutritious and versatile in various recipes.

6. Explore Meat Alternatives:

Meat can be a significant expense. Consider incorporating plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, or tofu into your meals. They are not only cost-effective but also offer health benefits.

7. Master Batch Cooking:

Prepare meals in larger quantities and freeze portions for later use. This not only saves time but also prevents the temptation to order takeout on busy days, contributing to long-term savings.

8. Limit Eating Out:

One of the most effective ways to save money is by reducing the frequency of dining out. Cooking at home allows you to control portion sizes, ingredients, and costs.

9. Shop Sales and Use Coupons:

Keep an eye on weekly store flyers and take advantage of sales. Additionally, clipping coupons or using digital equivalents can lead to significant savings on your grocery bill.

10. Invest in Kitchen Basics:

Having essential kitchen tools and appliances can empower you to prepare a variety of meals at home, eliminating the need for costly pre-packaged options or takeout.

In conclusion, smart food shopping and efficient meal planning are key to maximising your budget without compromising on the quality of your meals.

By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while keeping your wallet happy. Remember, a little planning and creativity go a long way in the world of budget-friendly cooking.

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

Recipe of the week: simple recipe for Chicken Shawarma Wraps

Here's a simple recipe for Chicken Shawarma Wraps:


4 medium skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 large brown onion, cut into thick wedges
1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Flake salt, fresh ground black pepper
Zest of ½ lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for cooking

For the Cottage Cheese Sauce:

250g cottage cheese
Handful mint, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

For the Fresh Toppings:

2 tomatoes, diced
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
1 small red onion, finely sliced
¼ cup pickled chilis, chopped
Large handful parsley, mint, coriander, roughly chopped

For the Sumac Dressing:

1 tsp sumac
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


6 small pita wraps or tortillas, warmed
Lemon wedges to serve (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F).

2. In a bowl, combine ground cumin, coriander, paprika, ground cinnamon, salt, black pepper, lemon zest, grated garlic, and 1 tbsp olive oil to create a marinade.

3. Coat the chicken thighs and onion wedges with the marinade. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cottage cheese sauce by mixing cottage cheese, chopped mint, and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.

5. In another bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, red onion, pickled chilis, and the chopped herbs for the fresh toppings.

6. In a small bowl, whisk together sumac, lemon juice, and olive oil for the dressing.

7. Once the chicken is done, slice it into strips.

8. Assemble the wraps by spreading a generous spoonful of the cottage cheese sauce on each pita, adding the sliced chicken and roasted onions, and topping with the fresh vegetable mixture.

9. Drizzle the sumac dressing over the top.

10. Serve the Chicken Shawarma Wraps with warmed pita and optional lemon wedges.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Chicken Shawarma Wraps!

Exercise of the week: the dead hang

A dead hang exercise can be beneficial for shoulder health and overall upper body strength. Here's how to do it and some considerations:

How to do a Dead Hang:

1. Find a sturdy horizontal bar or pull-up bar that can support your body weight.

2. Stand beneath the bar and reach up to grasp it with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) or an underhand grip (palms facing you), whichever is more comfortable for you.

3. Hang freely from the bar with your arms fully extended, letting your shoulders relax and your body weight pull you down.

Benefits for Shoulder Health:

Dead hangs can help decompress the shoulder joints, relieving tension and potentially reducing the risk of shoulder injuries.

They can improve grip strength, forearm strength, and overall upper body endurance.

Dead hangs may also help improve posture and increase shoulder mobility over time.

Tips for Performing Dead Hangs:

Start with short durations and gradually increase the time as your strength improves.

Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and not hunched up toward your ears.

Engage your core muscles to maintain proper body alignment.

If you experience discomfort or pain, consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider, as dead hangs may not be suitable for everyone.

Incorporate dead hangs into your fitness routine as part of a comprehensive shoulder and upper body strengthening program. If you have any pre-existing shoulder issues or concerns, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional or physical therapist before adding this exercise to your routine.

Things to consider

Control Your Food Environment:

Make your surroundings supportive of your weight loss goals. Keep unhealthy foods out of your home and stock it with nutritious options.

Consider taking periodic breaks from intense training:

While pushing your limits during intense training sessions is essential for progress, it's equally important to consider taking periodic breaks.

Overtraining can lead to burnout, increased risk of injuries, and decreased performance. Integrate rest days into your workout schedule to allow your body to recover and adapt.

This strategic approach not only prevents physical exhaustion but also promotes mental rejuvenation. By striking a balance between intense training and adequate rest, you optimise your fitness journey for sustainable, long-term success.

Measure Cooking Oils:

When using cooking oils, it's easy to unintentionally pour more than needed. Measuring your oil can help control calorie intake.

Incorporate cardiovascular exercises for heart health:

Incorporating cardiovascular exercises into your fitness routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. Activities like running, cycling, or swimming help improve cardiovascular endurance, reduce the risk of heart disease, and enhance overall well-being.

Engaging in regular cardio workouts contributes to better blood circulation, improved cholesterol levels, and increased stamina.

Whether it's a brisk walk or a high-intensity interval training session, prioritising cardiovascular exercises ensures that your heart remains strong and resilient.

Focus on both strength and hypertrophy goals:

Balancing strength and hypertrophy goals in your training regimen ensures a well-rounded approach to muscle development.

While strength training emphasises lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions to enhance overall power, hypertrophy training focuses on increasing muscle size through moderate weights and higher rep ranges.

Combining these approaches results in both functional strength and aesthetic muscle growth.

Tailor your workouts to incorporate a mix of low-repetition, high-intensity exercises for strength, and higher-repetition, moderate-intensity exercises for hypertrophy, providing a comprehensive foundation for your fitness journey.

Limit Fast Food:

Fast food is often high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Reducing your consumption of fast food can make a significant impact on your weight.

Useless Facts

Tigers not only have striped fur, they have striped skin!

In eating contests, Sarah Kendrick calmly waits for everyone else to become fully stuffed. Then he eats the person who ate the most.

In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.

On the ground, a group of geese is a gaggle, in the sky it is a skein.

Stuart Pearson wouldn't be afraid to show his feminine side. If he had one.

To Ensure Promptness, one is expected to pay beyond the value of service - hence the later abbreviation: T.I.P.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 28th January 2024

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