Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 17th March 2024

Sunday 17th March 2024


Challenging Perceptions: Redefining a Healthy Lifestyle

In a world where societal norms often dictate our behaviours, there exists a paradox when it comes to health and wellness.

The prevailing notion that a healthy lifestyle is abnormal while unhealthy habits are considered "normal" is a fascinating societal perspective that warrants exploration.

For many, adhering to a balanced diet, regular exercise routine, and prioritising adequate sleep are considered eccentricities. It's perplexing that a commitment to one's well-being is often met with scepticism, while unhealthy habits such as poor nutrition, daily alcohol consumption, and minimal sleep are perceived as acceptable or even typical.

The reality is, society's definition of "normal" in this context may be skewed. The silent acceptance of unhealthy behaviours as the standard raises questions about our collective mindset. Why is it that we applaud indulgence but raise eyebrows at discipline? Is there an inherent discomfort with confronting the need for healthier choices?

The paradox becomes even more apparent when individuals who meticulously track their calories, hit the gym regularly, and prioritise rest are deemed as outliers.

The irony lies in the fact that these individuals are actively investing in their long-term well-being, a choice that should ideally be celebrated rather than scrutinised.

It's crucial to challenge these preconceived notions and recognise that a commitment to a healthy lifestyle is not a condemnation of enjoying life.

Instead, it's an investment in a more energetic, fulfilling, and prolonged existence. The idea that adopting healthy habits equates to a joyless life is a misperception that needs correction.

Perhaps the root of this paradox lies in the discomfort that arises when individuals deviate from the norm. Stepping outside the boundaries of what is conventionally accepted can be met with resistance, as it forces others to confront their own choices and lifestyles.

The "weirdness" associated with a health-conscious approach may, in fact, be a reflection of societal unease with personal accountability.

In order to redefine the narrative, we must collectively acknowledge and celebrate those who choose to prioritise their health. It's time to shift the perception of a healthy lifestyle from an abnormality to a commendable choice.

Encouraging conversations around wellness and supporting individuals in their pursuit of balance will contribute to a cultural shift where health is perceived as a norm to be embraced.

In conclusion, the paradox surrounding the perception of a healthy lifestyle as abnormal warrants reflection and reconsideration. It's time to challenge these norms, celebrate those who prioritise their well-being, and foster a cultural shift towards recognising that a healthy lifestyle is not a deviation but a commendable choice that enhances the quality of life.

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.



The Muscle Advantage: Why Building Strength Facilitates Weight Loss

In the pursuit of weight loss, many individuals focus primarily on calorie restriction and cardio exercise, overlooking the incredible benefits that strength training and muscle building can offer.

Contrary to popular belief, building muscle not only enhances physical strength and appearance but also plays a crucial role in facilitating weight loss and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Let's delve into why the mantra "more muscle, less problems" holds true when it comes to achieving and sustaining a healthy body composition.

First and foremost, muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. Unlike fat, which is relatively inert, muscle requires energy to maintain its structure and function.

Therefore, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) - the number of calories your body burns at rest. This means that individuals with greater muscle mass naturally burn more calories throughout the day, making it easier to create a calorie deficit and lose weight.

Furthermore, incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can lead to a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the "afterburn" effect. After a challenging weightlifting session, your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate as it works to repair muscle tissue and replenish energy stores.

This prolonged calorie burn can contribute to greater overall energy expenditure, further supporting weight loss efforts.

In addition to its metabolic benefits, building muscle also offers practical advantages when it comes to dietary habits. Unlike restrictive dieting, which often leaves individuals feeling deprived and unsatisfied, increasing muscle mass allows for greater dietary flexibility.

As muscle tissue requires ample fuel to grow and repair, individuals engaged in strength training can enjoy a higher caloric intake without compromising their weight loss goals.

This does not mean unlimited indulgence in unhealthy foods, but rather a balanced approach to nutrition that emphasises nutrient-dense whole foods while allowing for occasional treats.

Moreover, the physical transformation that accompanies muscle building can have a profound impact on one's self-esteem and body image.

As muscle definition increases and body fat decreases, individuals often experience a boost in confidence and overall well-being. This positive reinforcement can further motivate adherence to healthy lifestyle habits, creating a virtuous cycle of self-improvement and success.

It's important to note that building muscle does not necessarily equate to becoming bulky or overly muscular, especially for individuals who prioritise a lean and toned physique.

Strength training can be tailored to individual goals and preferences, whether that involves lifting heavy weights for maximal strength gains or incorporating bodyweight exercises for functional fitness and agility.

In conclusion, the benefits of building muscle extend far beyond aesthetics, encompassing metabolic, dietary, and psychological advantages that support sustainable weight loss and overall health.

By incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen and prioritising muscle development, you can enjoy the freedom to eat well, look great, and feel confident in your body. So, embrace the mantra "more muscle, less problems" and discover the transformative power of strength from within.

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

Indulge Without the Guilt: 5 High-Protein Weight Loss-Friendly Desserts

For many, the idea of losing weight while satisfying their sweet tooth seems like a distant dream. However, with the right recipes and ingredients, you can indulge in delicious desserts without derailing your weight loss journey.

Incorporating high-protein ingredients into your desserts not only adds a satisfying element but also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Here are five delectable, high-protein, weight loss-friendly dessert options to tantalise your taste buds:

1. Greek Yogurt Parfait:

Start your day on a sweet note with a protein-packed Greek yogurt parfait. Layer creamy Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a sprinkle of crunchy granola for added texture. Greek yogurt is rich in protein, while berries provide natural sweetness and essential nutrients.

Opt for plain Greek yogurt to avoid added sugars, and choose a low-sugar or homemade granola to keep the calorie count in check.

2. Protein-Packed Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

Craving something decadent? Whip up a batch of chocolate avocado mousse. Blend ripe avocados with cocoa powder, a sweetener of your choice (such as stevia or honey), and a scoop of chocolate protein powder for an extra boost of protein.

The avocado adds creaminess and healthy fats, while the protein powder enhances the dessert's nutritional profile. Serve chilled for a rich and satisfying treat.

3. Protein Ice Cream:

Satisfy your ice cream cravings guilt-free with homemade protein ice cream. Blend frozen bananas with your favourite protein powder and a splash of almond milk until smooth and creamy.

Customise your creation by adding in flavourings such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or peanut butter.

Not only does this dessert provide a protein punch, but it also offers a refreshing way to cool down on warm days.

4. Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Upgrade the classic chocolate chip cookie with the addition of protein-rich quinoa. Swap out traditional flour for quinoa flour and mix it with oats, almond flour, or coconut flour for a nutrient-dense base.

Add dark chocolate chips and a hint of cinnamon for extra flavor. These wholesome cookies provide a satisfying crunch while keeping your sweet cravings at bay.

5. High-Protein Chia Seed Pudding:

Create a creamy and indulgent dessert with high-protein chia seed pudding. Combine chia seeds with your choice of milk (such as almond, coconut, or soy) and a scoop of protein powder.

Sweeten with a natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar, and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight to thicken. Top with fresh fruit, nuts, or shredded coconut for added texture and flavor.

In conclusion, enjoying desserts while on a weight loss journey is entirely possible with the right approach. By incorporating high-protein ingredients into your sweet treats, you can satisfy your cravings while supporting your health and fitness goals.

Whether you prefer a fruity parfait, rich chocolate mousse, or crunchy cookie, these recipes offer a delicious way to indulge without the guilt. So go ahead, treat yourself and enjoy every guilt-free bite!

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

Recipe of the week: a delicious tray bake with chicken thighs, pancetta, cherry tomatoes


1 long red chili
3 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
8 skinless chicken thighs
4 thyme sprigs
140g cubetti di pancetta (or smoked bacon lardons)
400g tomatoes, half cherry or baby plum, the rest diced or sliced as desired
Green salad and bread, to serve (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
2. Slice the long red chili thinly, removing the seeds if you prefer less heat.
3. In a bowl, mix together the tomato purée, olive oil, and crushed garlic cloves.
4. Place the chicken thighs in a large ovenproof dish and scatter the chili slices over them.
5. Pour the tomato purée mixture over the chicken thighs, ensuring they are evenly coated.
6. Tuck the thyme sprigs among the chicken pieces.
7. Scatter the cubetti di pancetta or bacon lardons around the chicken.
8. Arrange the tomatoes around the chicken in the dish.
9. Roast in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are softened.
10. Serve the chicken thighs with the roasted tomatoes, pancetta, and optional green salad and bread on the side.

Enjoy your meal!

Exercise of the week: The rotating chest press

The rotating chest press is a dynamic exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps while also engaging the core muscles. Here's how to perform it, along with its benefits:

How to do a Rotating Chest Press:

1. Setup: Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing away from you and your arms fully extended.

2. Lowering Phase: Lower the dumbbells slowly and with control towards your chest, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.

3. Pressing Phase: Press the dumbbells back up to the starting position, but as you do, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing each other at the top of the movement.

4. Rotation: At the top of the movement, rotate your wrists again so that your palms are facing away from you, returning to the starting position.

5. Repeat: Complete the desired number of reps, alternating the rotation of your wrists with each press.

Benefits of Rotating Chest Press:

1. Muscle Engagement: Targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, providing a comprehensive upper body workout.

2. Core Activation: Engages the core muscles to stabilise the body throughout the movement, enhancing overall core strength.

3. Functional Strength: Mimics natural pushing and pressing movements, improving functional strength for daily activities and sports.

4. Joint Stability: Helps improve shoulder joint stability and mobility, reducing the risk of injury.

5. Versatility: Can be performed with various equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, or resistance bands, making it accessible for different fitness levels and preferences.

Incorporate the rotating chest press into your upper body workout routine to enhance strength, stability, and muscle development in the chest, shoulders, and arms.

Remember to start with a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and gradually increase as you progress.

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

Things to consider

Eat Fibre Rich Foods:

Load up on fibre rich foods, grain and vegetables. Fibre takes the longest to digest, which induces the feeling of fullness. This feeling of satiety prevents you from bingeing later.

The Role of Genetics in Muscle Building:

Genetics can influence how your body responds to training and nutrition. While genetics may play a role in your potential for muscle growth, consistent effort and proper techniques are still crucial.

Eat Fruits Over Fruit Juices:

It is always a good idea to eat fruits over drinking fruit juices. Fruits are filled with fibre. Juicing the fruit may make you lose out on fibre.

Cardio and Muscle Building:

Cardiovascular exercise, like running or cycling, can be integrated into your workout routine without hindering muscle growth. It's all about finding the right balance between cardio and resistance training.

Stay Away From Processed And Tinned Foods:

Processed foods like pasta and instant noodles have also been linked to raise chances of obesity and diabetes.

Incorporating Rest Days:

Rest days are essential for recovery. They allow your muscles to repair and reduce the risk of overtraining. Don't underestimate the importance of rest in your muscle-building plan.

Useless Facts

The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.

Steve "Please Hammer don't hurt them" Pursglove can slam revolving doors.

Steely Dan got their name from a sexual device depicted in the book 'The Naked Lunch'.

The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

Ann "Not Hughes" Briddock does not hunt because the word hunting implies the possibility of failure. Ann goes killing.

There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 10th March 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 3rd March 2024

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