Matlock / Bakewell gym - Blog

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 31st March 2024

Saturday 30th March 2024


Consistent Gym Attendance For a Regret-Free Future

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, finding time for the gym can seem like a daunting task. However, countless individuals who have committed to regular gym attendance find themselves echoing the sentiment: "I've never regretted going to the gym."

This seemingly simple commitment to physical activity is, in fact, an investment in one's own body and longevity.

The journey to a healthier lifestyle often begins with the decision to incorporate consistent gym sessions into one's routine. While the initial steps may be challenging, the long-term benefits far outweigh any temporary inconveniences.

Physical exercise has been proven to enhance both physical and mental well-being, contributing to a healthier, more fulfilled life.

One of the most compelling aspects of regular gym attendance is the positive impact on overall health and longevity.

Exercise is a powerful tool in preventing a myriad of health issues, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. The consistent effort put into workouts not only improves cardiovascular health but also strengthens the immune system, reducing the risk of illness.

Moreover, engaging in regular physical activity has been linked to improved mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, often referred to as the "feel-good" hormones, which can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.

The gym becomes not only a place to sculpt your body but also a sanctuary for mental well-being.

As we age, the importance of maintaining muscle mass and bone density becomes increasingly evident.

Regular gym attendance, encompassing both strength training and weight-bearing exercises, is instrumental in preserving and even enhancing these vital components of physical health. Investing time in the gym today can lead to a more robust and resilient body in the future.

Beyond the physical and mental benefits, the gym also provides a unique environment for personal growth and discipline.

Consistency in attending the gym fosters a sense of commitment and dedication, qualities that extend beyond the workout space into various aspects of life.

The discipline developed through regular exercise becomes a powerful asset in achieving goals and overcoming challenges.

In a world where time is a precious commodity, dedicating a portion of it to the gym might seem like a sacrifice. However, the countless individuals who have embraced this commitment will tell you that it's a wise investment with returns that extend far beyond the visible physical transformations.

The gym becomes a sanctuary, a place where individuals invest in themselves, nurturing not only their bodies but also their overall well-being.

In conclusion, the sentiment "I've never regretted going to the gym" is a testament to the enduring value of consistent physical activity. The benefits go beyond the aesthetic changes; they encompass improved health, longevity, mental well-being, and personal growth.

So, the next time you contemplate skipping the gym, remember that each session is an investment in a regret-free, healthier, and more fulfilling future.

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-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.

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

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.



Rethinking "3 Sets of 12" in Your Workouts: A Roadblock to Muscle Growth

Are you stuck in the rut of mindlessly following the "3 sets of 12" mantra in your workouts? It's time to reassess your approach before your next training session.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with this rep scheme, its effectiveness hinges on more than just reaching a numerical goal. Let's delve into why simply aiming for 3 sets of 12 could be hindering your muscle-building potential.

In a recent video, we observed Jesse performing dumbbell incline bench presses for 12 reps. While many might scrutinize his form, the real issue lies in the speed of each rep's eccentric phase—the lowering part.

Rushing through this crucial phase deprives your muscles of significant hypertrophy stimuli. Instead, aim for a slower eccentric phase lasting around 3 seconds per rep, coupled with a 1-second explosive concentric phase. This meticulous approach accumulates vital time under tension, fostering muscle growth.

Remember, muscles respond to tension. Mastery of this principle is paramount for sustainable muscle gains, especially when heavy weights aren't in the picture. Rather than fixating on reaching 12 reps per set, prioritise making each rep count.

Research suggests that muscle growth can occur with up to 30 reps per set, provided sets are taken to absolute failure. Embrace the burn and push through to maximize growth potential, irrespective of rep count.

Additionally, the notion of performing 3 sets raises questions. Is there a magical significance to the number three? Not necessarily. Instead of blindly adhering to a predetermined number of sets, focus on quality over quantity.

Start with the heaviest weight you can handle for 10-12 reps in your first set, adjusting as needed based on fatigue levels for subsequent sets.

Ultimately, rigid adherence to set and rep numbers stifles muscle growth potential. While "3 sets of 12" may seem like a convenient guideline, treating it as gospel undermines your progress.

Break free from this mindset and embrace a more nuanced approach to training—one that prioritizes effort, intensity, and adaptability over arbitrary numbers. Your muscles will thank you for it with newfound growth and strength.

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

Understanding the Mechanisms Behind Popular Diets

In the ever-evolving landscape of nutrition and weight management, various diets have emerged as popular choices for individuals seeking to achieve their health and fitness goals.

From the ketogenic diet to intermittent fasting and everything in between, each diet operates on a distinct set of principles aimed at promoting weight loss and overall well-being. In this article, we'll delve into how these diets work and why they can be effective in helping individuals achieve their desired outcomes.

1. Keto Diet:

How it works:

The ketogenic diet is characterized by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing consumption of fats and maintaining a moderate protein intake. By doing so, the body enters a state of ketosis, where it primarily burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.

Why it works:

The keto diet puts individuals in a caloric deficit, leading to weight loss. Additionally, the high-fat content helps promote satiety, reducing overall calorie consumption.

2. Intermittent Fasting:

How it works:

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, typically within a designated eating window. Common approaches include the 16/8 method or alternate-day fasting.

Why it works:

By restricting the time window for eating, intermittent fasting naturally reduces calorie intake, facilitating weight loss. It also promotes beneficial metabolic adaptations and hormone regulation.

3. Paleo Diet:

How it works:

The Paleo diet focuses on consuming foods that our ancestors would have eaten, such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding processed foods, grains, and dairy.

Why it works:

By emphasizing whole, nutrient-dense foods and eliminating processed items, the Paleo diet inherently reduces calorie intake, contributing to weight loss.

4. Low-Fat Diet:

How it works:

Low-fat diets prioritise reducing fat intake while emphasizing consumption of protein and carbohydrates.

Why it works:

By limiting the consumption of high-calorie fats, individuals naturally consume fewer calories, resulting in weight loss. Additionally, high-protein and high-fiber foods promote satiety and aid in weight management.

5. Weight Watchers:

How it works:

Weight Watchers utilizes a points-based system that assigns values to foods based on their nutritional content. Participants are allotted a certain number of points per day and are encouraged to make food choices within their allocated points.
Why it works:

By providing structure and accountability, Weight Watchers helps individuals control portion sizes and make healthier food choices, ultimately leading to a caloric deficit and weight loss.

6. Sugar-Free Diet:

How it works:

Sugar-free diets involve avoiding foods with added sugars and limiting intake of naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and some vegetables.

Why it works:

By reducing sugar intake, individuals decrease overall calorie consumption and minimize fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can contribute to cravings and overeating.

7. Whole30:

How it works:

The Whole30 diet focuses on consuming whole foods while eliminating sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy for 30 days.

Why it works:

By eliminating potentially inflammatory and calorie-dense foods, Whole30 encourages a reduction in overall calorie intake and promotes healthier eating habits.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of popular diets lies in their ability to create a caloric deficit, whether through restricting certain food groups, controlling portion sizes, or regulating meal timing.

However, it's essential to choose a diet that aligns with individual preferences, lifestyle, and nutritional needs for long-term success and sustainable results.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes to ensure they are appropriate for your unique circumstances.

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

Recipe of the week: Slow cooker honey mustard chicken thighs


1 tbsp butter
8 chicken thighs (or fillets)
8 spring onions, cut into lengths
150ml chicken stock
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
100g frozen peas


1. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
3. Transfer the chicken thighs to the slow cooker.
4. In the same skillet, add the spring onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened.
5. Add the sautéed spring onions to the slow cooker.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken stock, Dijon mustard, and honey until well combined.
7. Pour the mixture over the chicken thighs in the slow cooker.
8. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
9. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the double cream or crème fraîche and frozen peas.
10. Cover and continue cooking for the remaining time until the peas are heated through.
11. Serve the slow cooker honey mustard chicken thighs hot, garnished with additional chopped spring onions if desired.


Exercise of the week: Staggered Stance Goblet Squats

Staggered Stance Goblet Squats offer a unique twist to traditional squat exercises. With one foot forward and the other backward, this variation provides enhanced stability and targets specific muscle groups.

Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest, follow these steps for an effective workout:

1. Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, one foot in front of the other.
2. Grip Weight: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell vertically against your chest, securing it with both hands.
3. Core Engagement: Activate your core muscles to maintain stability throughout the exercise.
4. Squat Down: Bend both knees, lowering your body into a squat position. Keep your back straight and chest up.
5. Front Knee Alignment: Ensure the front knee stays directly above the corresponding foot, preventing inward collapse.
6. Back Knee Position: Allow the back knee to hover just above the floor without making contact.
7. Heel Drive: Push through the heels to ascend back to the starting position.
8. Switch Stance: Alternate the position of your feet, placing the opposite foot forward, and repeat the squat.

Benefits of Staggered Stance Goblet Squats include increased stability, targeted muscle activation in the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, reduced stress on the lower back, and improved hip mobility.

Incorporate this exercise into your routine for a well-rounded lower body workout with added focus on balance and muscle engagement.

Things to consider

Muscle Imbalances and Injury Prevention:

Addressing muscle imbalances and maintaining proper form during exercises is essential for injury prevention. Regular assessments and corrective exercises can help.

Drink Water:

Starting your day with a glass of warm water cleanses the digestive system and improves your metabolism. Drinking water helps one to avoid eating and drinking extra calories in the form of other high calorie beverages too.

Keep Hydrated:

While one should have eight glasses of water every day. There are other ways to be hydrated too. A glass of fresh nimbu-paani, coconut water and aam-panna are nutritious options you can try.

Periodisation for Muscle Growth:

Periodisation involves varying your workout routine by changing factors like sets, reps, and intensity. It can help prevent plateaus and keep muscle growth progressing.

Carry your water bottle, drink through the day:

Drink water instead of coffee, soda and save calories. Many a times, you think you are hungry, but you are not. Thirst signals and hunger signals are intermixed.

Professional Guidance:

If you're new to muscle building, seeking advice from a certified personal trainer or fitness professional can ensure you're on the right track and using proper techniques.

Useless Facts

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Steve "Stop, Collaborate and Listen" Pursglove once won a game of Connect Four in three moves.

Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.

Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Darren Crowder.

Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.

Previous newsletters:

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 24th March 2024

The Woodlands newsletter: Sunday 17th March 2024

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