Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 3rd March 2024

Sunday 3rd March 2024


Parents set the tone for their children

The most common excuse we get for people cancelling their memberships if "I haven't got time". Or words to that effect.

Your schedule isn't going to magically open up someday to make tons of space for exercising and eating healthy.

Waiting to be "less busy" is really just waiting to gain more weight, stay in pain, and lose muscle, bone density, and mobility.

Stop waiting. Do what you can with what you have.

You have to make time.

If you're a mum or dad, spending time on YOUR FITNESS is NOT selfish. It's SELF-LESS. You can't help others if you're sick and unhealthy. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.
Your family & future self will thank you.

Parents set the tone for their children.
You eat healthy, your kids eat healthy.

If you exercise, your kids will exercise.

If you behave appropriately, your kids are more likely to behave well.

Don't just tell them how to live.

Show them.

My son's mother has 4 children. 2 of those are under 4. According to my son, his mother goes to the gym twice per week and goes running with a friend once a week.

This is great to hear.

My son's mother's partner looks after the children whilst she is at the gym or out running.

We've all got seven days in a week, so here's an idea: If you and your partner trade off workout days, one of you can workout every day, and you'll still get in three workouts a week.

Brilliant, right?

When both parents have equal responsibility for the time and logistics of caring for their kids, that means both parents will have equal time away from their children.

These hours can be used to attend the gym and work towards their fitness and body transformation goals.

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it's easy to prioritise everything but our own health. We juggle work, family, social commitments, and countless other responsibilities, often neglecting the one thing that truly matters - our well-being.

But as the saying goes, those who do not find time for exercise will inevitably have to find time for illness.

When illness strikes, everything else pales in comparison. Suddenly, the urgent tasks on our to-do lists lose their significance, and we're forced to confront the harsh reality that without our health, nothing else truly matters.

This is a stark reminder that our bodies are not invincible, and neglecting them comes with consequences.

Strangely, life often becomes harder when we try to make it easier. While exercising may seem like a daunting task, the alternative - a sedentary lifestyle - only leads to greater challenges down the road.

The choice to prioritise exercise is a choice to invest in our long-term well-being, setting the stage for a healthier and happier future.

Change begins with a single, bold choice. Whether it's opting to hit the gym, choosing to eat better, or committing to drink less alcohol, each decision carries the potential to catalyse transformation. In the simplicity of one choice lies the power to reshape our lives, igniting a series of actions that lead to profound change.

Every day presents a choice: go to the gym or skip it? While seemingly insignificant in the moment, this decision has the power to shape our days and ultimately, our lives.

Daily exercise serves as a profound teacher, offering insights into our capabilities and resilience that no self-help book could ever provide.

By embracing the discomfort of pushing ourselves day after day, we undergo a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth.

Discipline emerges as the cornerstone of this journey, serving as the strongest form of self-love. It's the willingness to forgo immediate pleasure for the promise of greater rewards in the future, a testament to our commitment to ourselves and our goals.

When life throws challenges our way, focusing on fitness provides a much-needed anchor, offering solace and clarity amidst chaos.

In six months' time, we'll either have a list of excuses or a record of progress - the choice is ours.

While visible results may take time to manifest, the journey towards health and fitness is not defined by short-term challenges or temporary fixes. It's a lifelong commitment, characterised by the gradual accumulation of healthy habits that compound over time, transforming us into the best versions of ourselves.

Ultimately, success in our fitness journey hinges not on motivation, but on discipline.

While motivation may fluctuate, discipline remains unwavering, guiding us through the highs and lows with steadfast resolve.

So, let's embrace the power of choice, prioritise our health, and embark on a journey of transformation that transcends the confines of time and circumstance.

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 (WFC Members):

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

Price per session (Non-WFC 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.

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.



Understanding the Role of Lats Muscles in Neck and Lower Back Pain

Do you often find yourself struggling with neck pain or discomfort in your lower back?

Surprisingly, the culprit might not be where you expect. While it's easy to blame poor posture or a sedentary lifestyle, the root cause could lie in the overworking of a powerful but often overlooked muscle group - the latissimus dorsi, commonly known as the "lats."

The latissimus dorsi muscle, located in the back, is one of the largest and most potent muscles in the body. Responsible for extending and pulling the arms closer to the body, it also plays a crucial role in shoulder joint rotation.

However, when this muscle becomes overworked, it tends to shorten, leading to a cascade of issues, including lower back pain and discomfort at the base of the neck.

Understanding the Anatomy:

The latissimus dorsi muscle originates from various points, including the lumbar fascia, lower thoracic spine, and pelvic bone. Its extensive reach and significant role in arm movement make it susceptible to strain and overuse, especially during activities that involve rowing, throwing, or pulling objects down over the head, such as pull-ups.

The Impact on Neck and Lower Back:

The overworking and subsequent shortening of the latissimus dorsi muscle can have far-reaching consequences. As it connects the lower back to the neck, any imbalance or tension in this muscle can lead to pain and discomfort in these areas. Moreover, its role as a stabilizer further underscores its importance in maintaining overall spinal health.

Treatment and Management:

Addressing issues related to the latissimus dorsi muscle requires a comprehensive approach. Simply focusing on the affected area may not suffice, as the interconnected nature of the body means that related regions, including the middle and lower back, also need attention.

Physical therapy, targeted exercises, and stretching routines aimed at restoring balance and flexibility to the latissimus dorsi muscle can be beneficial.

Furthermore, it's essential to approach weight training with caution, particularly exercises that heavily engage the latissimus dorsi muscle. Careful control and proper form are imperative to prevent overuse and strain, which can exacerbate existing issues.

In conclusion, the latissimus dorsi muscle, often underestimated in its significance, plays a crucial role in maintaining spinal health and overall mobility. Understanding its function and potential impact on neck and lower back pain can empower individuals to take proactive steps in managing and preventing discomfort.

By incorporating targeted exercises, seeking professional guidance, and practicing mindfulness in physical activities, it's possible to alleviate pain and promote long-term musculoskeletal wellness.

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

Can you simultaneously lose fat and build muscle?

Achieving the simultaneous goals of losing fat and building muscle requires a strategic approach that balances nutrition and exercise. Here's a comprehensive strategy to help you reach your goals effectively:

1. Calorie Deficit:
- To lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than your body expends.
- Aim for a moderate calorie deficit of around 300-500 calories per day. This allows for steady fat loss while preserving muscle mass.
- Track your daily calorie intake using a food diary or mobile app to ensure you're staying within your target range.

2. Macronutrient Balance:

- Focus on consuming adequate protein to support muscle growth and repair. Aim for around 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
- Include healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your diet to provide energy and support overall health.
- Prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

3. Foods to Include:
- Lean Protein Sources: Chicken breast, turkey, fish, tofu, tempeh, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese.
- Healthy Fats: Avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel).
- Complex Carbohydrates: Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, legumes, whole-grain bread and pasta.
- Plenty of Vegetables: Incorporate a variety of colourful vegetables to ensure you're getting essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

4. Foods to Eat in Moderation:

Processed Foods:

Limit intake of processed and refined foods high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and empty calories.

Sugary Snacks and Beverages:

Minimise consumption of sugary snacks, sodas, juices, and desserts.

High-Calorie Foods:

Be mindful of portion sizes for calorie-dense foods like nuts, nut butter, cheese, and dried fruits.

5. Hydration:

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support optimal metabolic function.

6. Workout Plan:

Perform full-body resistance training workouts twice a week, with at least one day of rest between sessions.
- Incorporate both dumbbell and resistance machine exercises to target major muscle groups.

Sample Workout Plan:

Day 1: Dumbbell Workout

Dumbbell Bench Press
Bent-over Rows
Shoulder Press
Bicep Curls
Tricep Dips

Day 2: Resistance Machine Workout

Leg Press
Leg Curl
Chest Press
Lat Pulldown
Shoulder Press Machine
Cable Rows
Tricep Pushdown
Leg Raises

7. Progressive Overload:

Gradually increase the weight or resistance used in your workouts to continually challenge your muscles and promote muscle growth.

8. Rest and Recovery:

Ensure adequate rest and recovery between workouts to allow your muscles to repair and grow.

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal recovery and overall health.

By following this strategy consistently, you can effectively lose fat while simultaneously building muscle, leading to a leaner, stronger physique over time. Remember to listen to your body, stay patient, and celebrate your progress along the way.

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

Recipe of the week: Steak Fajitas

Here's a simple and delicious recipe for steak fajitas along with the ingredients you'll need:


For the Steak Marinade:

1 pound (450g) flank steak, skirt steak, or sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Fajitas:

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (any colour), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
8-10 small flour or corn tortillas

Optional toppings:

shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped cilantro, lime wedges


1. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to make the marinade.

2. Place the sliced steak in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure the steak is well coated in the marinade. Cover or seal the dish/bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours for maximum flavor.

3. While the steak is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Thinly slice the onion and bell peppers.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and bell peppers to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelised, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the cooked vegetables from the skillet and set aside.

5. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the steak from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Add the sliced steak to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the steak is cooked to your desired doneness.

6. Once the steak is cooked, return the cooked vegetables to the skillet with the steak. Toss everything together to combine and heat through for another minute or so.

7. Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave according to package instructions.

8. Serve the steak and vegetable mixture warm, wrapped in warm tortillas. Serve with optional toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

Enjoy your delicious homemade steak fajitas!

Exercise of the week: A squat, curl, and press

A squat, curl, and press is a compound exercise that combines three individual movements into one fluid motion. It involves a squat, followed by a bicep curl, and then a shoulder press.

This exercise targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a comprehensive full-body workout.

Here's how to perform a squat, curl, and press along with its benefits:

1. Squat:


Strengthens the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Improves overall lower body stability and mobility.

2. Curl:


Targets the biceps muscles, helping to increase arm strength and definition.

3. Press:


Targets the shoulder muscles, including the deltoids and trapezius, as well as the triceps.

Helps improve shoulder stability and overhead strength.

To perform a squat, curl, and press:

Hold a pair of dumbbells or a barbell at your sides with your palms facing forward.

Perform a squat by lowering your body down into a squat position.

As you stand up from the squat, simultaneously perform a bicep curl by curling the weights towards your shoulders.

Once you're standing upright, immediately press the weights overhead into a shoulder press.

Lower the weights back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

This exercise provides a comprehensive workout for the lower body, arms, and shoulders, making it an efficient choice for building strength and muscle mass.

Start with lighter weights to master the form, and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with the movement.

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

Things to consider

Compound vs. Isolation Exercises:

Compound exercises, like squats and deadlifts, work multiple muscle groups at once and are highly effective for building muscle.

Isolation exercises, such as bicep curls, target specific muscles and can be used to complement compound movements.

Decrease small quantities from your regular meals gradually:

Let your body adapt. Don't shock your system. Let it gradually adapt to the change in the diet.

Don't sit at your table for too long, else you would feel like eating more. Once you are done, it is better to get up and leave.

Eating Slowly/Chew Your Food:

While eating your meals, make a habit of chewing the food slowly, as it takes a while for the brain to register that you've had enough to eat. Eating slowly eventually leads to consumption of fewer calories.

Protein Timing and Muscle Synthesis:

Consuming protein before and after your workouts can support muscle protein synthesis, the process by which muscles repair and grow. Consider a protein-rich snack or shake for better results.

The Role of Hormones:

Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone play a significant role in muscle growth. Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and regular strength training can help optimise hormone levels.

Adequate Hydration:

Staying properly hydrated is essential for muscle function and recovery. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and hinder your performance.

Get Others Involved In Your Weight Loss Activity:

Get your friends to hit the gym with you. Go to healthy eating joints together. Don't surround yourself with people who are not a healthy influence.

Useless Facts

A snail can sleep for three years.

All polar bears are left-handed.

Will Tabbernor drinks napalm to fight his heartburn.

China has more English speakers than the United States.

Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.

Sue Tinkler has never blinked in her entire life. Never.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 25th February 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 18th February 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 11th February 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 4th February 2024

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 newsletter: Sunday 26th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 19th November 2023:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 12th November 2023:

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