If you want to get fit, build muscle or lose weight but you’ve never been to a gym or exercised much in your life, you might not know which exercises to do, how much of them to do, when to do them, or even what your diet should look like. By hiring a personal trainer, a complete beginner never has to think about any of the above! At Nxtep we train absolute beginners and athletes alike. We provide complete instruction and close guidance from your trainer, 24/7 support and motivation, and a bespoke meal plan especially for you and your personal goals. Choose from 1, 2 or 3 training sessions per week.


Written by

Chris Nicklin is a certified Personal Trainer with over 7 years' experience, and the owner of Nxtep Personal Training. Chris qualified from Edge Hill University with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Sports Coaching and Performance Development, and has delivered over ten thousand one-to-one Personal Training sessions.

Updated 16/11/2022

What is Personal Training For Beginners?

Personal training for beginners is a great way to get started with fitness. A personal trainer has all the knowledge and experience to guide you towards achieving your goals. They know exactly what exercises are best suited to your body and how to progress them safely. Your trainer will work closely with you to achieve your desired outcome or goals, will provide guidance and motivation during workouts, monitor your progress and adjust your exercise routine accordingly.

We provide one-to-one personal training, two-on-one or small group personal training sessions to teach you new skills and techniques, and motivate you to stick to your exercise routine.


Check out our great Google reviews!

Patrick SmithPatrick Smith
06:47 05 Jun 24
Joined Nxtep under the 6 week transformation plan and had great results. Chris is a great PT with plenty of experience and skill.
Sarah RaoSarah Rao
07:30 30 May 24
20:41 07 May 24
The “personal trainer” at this establishment is very unprofessional and will fat shame people. I do not recommend you will be judged.Edit: No email was left to contact. Leave an email so we can discuss further thank you.
Paul CorriganPaul Corrigan
12:26 10 Mar 24
Sadly I'm leaving the area and would love to take Nxtep with me. I attend the small classes. Chris has created a unique venue that would be hard to match anywhere. The environment is warm and friendly. The sports science work that Chris does behind the scenes to prepare the classes is immense, so that we don't have to worry about it. Just plug and go. Though education is always at hand if required. The classes can be hard work (results driven) but always fun. The equipment is of the highest standard. I've always been around sports but have never experienced anything so positive and rewarding. At 57 there is no way I would ever have thought I'd lift such heavy weights or complete these vigorous exercises. Chris gets you there incrementally and safely but always with great humour. He uses a truly interactive App that plots your progress. A fitness App that actually works, who knew!!Also the clients are lovely and incredibly supportive of each other. Well bloody done Chris!
Aidan McGearyAidan McGeary
07:50 27 Feb 24
Over the past alomost 3 years, Nxtep has been central to my personal growth. Chris and his clients make up a fantastic community of people who have helped me develop in many ways. No one lifts a single kg on my behalf or runs a step for me, but as part of a positive and nurturing environment I have been able to consistently, week in, week out, exceed my expactations of what I am capable of. The Physical and mental benefits I have experienced since being a part of this community have been game changing and I owe them a great deal. Aidan.
Alana McgladeAlana Mcglade
17:44 20 Feb 24
Chris has been absolutely amazing at supporting me on my fitness journey. Everything is tailored to the individual so it suits everyone no matter what stage you're at. There's a really supportive environment that I haven't experienced elsewhere and the flexibility Chris has shown to me when needed has been amazing. Would never go anywhere else now!
Ashleigh PattersonAshleigh Patterson
20:07 18 Feb 24
CHRIS AND LUCA YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO.At one point i couldnt walk up the stairs... after been hospitalized and locked in a room for nearly a month at pinderfields I was diagnosed with severe asthma to been under observation for COPD at 30 years old and still living everyday with it now, I decided to make a change. I moved to Cheshire I joined @nxtepknutsford and in a matter of months I was competing at @turfgames with the gym familyI cannot thank everyone enough who has been on my journeyNow at 32 I can lift 110kg on a deadliftI can run .... some sort of distance and always improving as much as my lungs will carry me.Never give up and push to be betterWe saw. We came. I conquered! 🏆
Steven ThompsonSteven Thompson
07:40 15 Feb 24
The model works for me , small group of less than 6 with a dedicated trainer . Have used gyms for many years but this model works for me . Complete professional instruction at all times . All about correct technique and protecting back etc . Plus there is no escape - maximising every session and getting maximum benefits . A real community approach .
deborah walkerdeborah walker
10:08 12 Feb 24
Always a great session with Chris .Come away feeling fab
Iain FountainIain Fountain
12:04 06 Feb 24
Have been training regularly each week since October at Nxtep and just wanted to give some feedback on my experience which has been nothing short than excellent. Chris, Luca and the team have provided one and one expertise, techniques, dietary plans to help with weight loss, build lean muscle and improve fitness. Can’t shout their praises enough. Good job Nxtep.
Hannah ThrelfallHannah Threlfall
14:10 10 Nov 23
I signed up for the 6 week body transformation initially to help me get my pre baby body back after gaining a lot of weight through pregnancy. I lost 8.6kgs in the 6 weeks and have since renewed my membership to continue with my progress and I’m almost down 10kgs in total only 2kgs away from my pre pregnancy weight. I have always hated going to the gym and would dread going initially but now I am 8 weeks in, training 3x per week and feeling fitter and much happier in myself it is something I definitely want to continue. I feel it has really changed my lifestyle and I am making healthier choices everyday with a much more positive outlook, my family have commented that the old Hannah is back as before I felt I’d lost myself since becoming a mum for the first time. Chris and Luca are incredibly knowledgeable about anatomy which was very important to me after having a C-section and I have seen huge improvements in my core and lower back stability. I am also enjoying the new friends I am making from the sessions and never thought I’d say it but I’m looking forward to continuing the training long term and being in the best shape of my life!!
Katie MorrisKatie Morris
08:05 15 Sep 23
I've really enjoyed the community at Nxtep. I've never been this thrilled get up before 7am to attend the gym. Chris and Luca are brilliant and I feel I've come so far in the year since I started coming. Looking forward to more progress and the pride that comes with working hard
Lesley SneesbyLesley Sneesby
08:04 15 Sep 23
Thank you Chris and Luca for your amazing help, guidance and support in such a welcoming environment at Nxtep
15:47 03 May 23
I initially joined Nxtep to get a better grip on my fitness levels after yo-yoing for years with sporadic classes and runs. It was an excellent decision as the sessions are three times a week which quickly got me in a good rhythm. Chris and Luca are both fantastic and very patient with a newbie like myself who had never lifted weights before. They have really helped me understand fitness and weight lifting a lot better. They also adjusted any exercises based on my capabilities as I had an injured shoulder for a while, and with the rehab exercises they gave me that’s now back to normal. I can’t recommend Nxtep enough!
15:38 04 Aug 22
I've been working with the guys at Nxtep for about a year now; I originally joined thinking it would be a short-term thing to lose weight for my wedding.A year later and I'm married, 12kg lighter than when I first started, lifting much heavier weights and am in much better shape in general. Chris and Luca have been amazing with my training; they always challenge me to try new things and to push further, which is really helpful for someone who's training has always seemed to plateau in the past.They've also taught me about health and fitness as a lifestyle; there's so much more to it than lifting some weights or constantly being on a diet, and they always keep things new, fun and flexible. They're also really helpful and approachable guys; I've messaged them lots of times to ask for training tips and advice when I'm going to the gym outside of training hours, and they're always more than happy to help.
Jackie KingJackie King
19:38 17 May 22
I first met Chris in January 2020. I was 12 weeks pregnant with my first child. As a trained dancer, and teacher I was hoping to maintain my levels of fitness whilst minimising the risks of my pregnancy. My early dance training concentrated on training my limbs, while often neglecting my ‘centre’ or ‘core’. It wasn’t until a back injury in 2012 due to weak lower back muscles that my approach to training changed. When I first found out about my pregnancy, I worried about my back and how to keep it strong.Chris helped me through my pregnancy teaching me safe ways of keeping my core strong, helping with my postural alignment as well as addressing some muscular imbalances that I wasn’t aware I had. Most importantly, Chris gave me the confidence to continue training through pregnancy. I knew I was in safe hands. Chris is phenomenally knowledgeable in how our bodies work.May 2022, I am currently pregnant with my second child and still continuing to train with Chris at Nxtep. Luca has also joined the team and is a fantastic addition. They are a great team, and I am very lucky to be trained by them both. I would highly recommend anyone thinking about pre or post natal pregnancy training to consider Nxtep.
Sean WSean W
12:09 02 Apr 22
Before starting at Nxtep I would go through a cycle of starting to get fit, injuring my back, then avoiding exercise for fear of making it worse. The same happened when I started here, with my over eagerness to improve leading to the same old injury. Chris and Luca kept me motivated and coached me through the recovery process, allowing me to strengthen the areas susceptible to injury and enabling me to carry on where I’d previously have given up. Now I’m lifting ~100kg more than when I first started and the past few years of persistent back injury seem a distant memory. The guys have helped me with my nutrition, my outlook and overcoming what I previously thought I couldn’t. I can’t thank them both enough!
Paul KennedyPaul Kennedy
22:59 05 Nov 21
I’ve been working with Chris and the team at Nxtep, and the initially just wanted to get stronger and fitter somewhere local when the gym near work was no longer an option due to the pandemic. I know feel really confident handling weights and my diet. I recently saw myself in a film from before I started at Nxtep and other people couldn’t recognise me from me who didn’t know me well so, it definitely works! Highly recommended.
Jordan CraigJordan Craig
20:45 05 Aug 21
Training at Nxtep during Covid was tricky but Chris and Luca made it work! Started with training outdoors in the carpark before we were allowed to move indoors, it was always fun and I feel I made real progress.It never felt just like a business and always felt more caring, I was also doing it as part of my DofE to which Luca/Chris were very helpful with.I've had to stop due to other focuses in life but I've got some real fond memories of the time and am hoping to go back later if I can!
ryan unwinryan unwin
20:29 28 Jul 21
Great personal trainer, his sessions are great and really push you into great mindset to achieve your goals, great knowledge of the body aswell! Would definitely recommend!!
David VDavid V
17:54 22 Oct 20
Wanted to improve all round fitness especially strength and conditioning so contacted & met with Chris.....was very impressed with his approach and was motivated to getting started & looking forward to the challengeChris was fundamental to me in making the nutrition and exercise changes required to achieve goals.... inspiring, motivational, encouraging & supportive he is great to work with......regular tracking & updates help me to stay focused..... Chris is easy to get along with and the sessions are challenging but enjoyable.....

How does Personal Training work?

You will be given a custom personal training programme that includes workouts that are carefully selected to match your present abilities, goals, and ambitions, as well as a meal and nutrition plan that will supplement your exercise routine with the correct nutritional balance. In addition, we offer industry-leading 24/7 assistance via text messaging and phone calls. We will contact you every day to see how you are feeling, how motivated you are, and what we can do to assist you. In brief, we will maintain constant communication with you and will never spend days without connecting with you.

This is because we feel that the most difficult obstacle people experience while working toward their fitness objectives is sustaining motivation, especially if you’re a beginner.

However, if you have hired someone to help you and have formed a strong relationship with them, you are statistically significantly more likely to show up.

It is human nature for people to strive harder when they know someone is watching them, therefore a personal trainer will also help you stay motivated during your sessions. Training with friends can be more motivating than training alone, but a personal trainer will not let you miss a rep if they are watching, whereas your friend may be more lenient!

Even if you lack confidence or are feeling down, your trainer will always be available to assist you. Because your achievement is the most essential thing to your trainer, you will receive frequent feedback and unwavering support.


Your Consultation

The first step, however, is to set up a meeting with one of our personal trainers, who will conduct a free Initial Consultation (which may be done online, over the phone, or in person) to assess your basic training objectives, requirements, and anything else we need to know.

The next step is to come in for a more comprehensive physical consultation, during which we will ask you to perform some basic movements and exercises to assess your fitness levels and whether you have any physical restrictions or injuries, as well as discuss your lifestyle, diet, and goals, among other things. If you come in person for your initial visit, you may be able to complete your Comprehensive Consultation the same day.

The Comprehensive Consultation will assist your trainer in understanding where you are now, where you want to go, and how we can best assist you in getting there, so that we can design your Personal Training Plan for you. This extensive consultation will cover the following topics:

  • Your Personal Goals
  • Current Lifestyle
  • Exercise History
  • Body Composition Analysis
  • Functional Movement Screen
  • Postural Assessment
  • Nutritional Analysis
  • Identification of Barriers

How Often Should I Workout as a Beginner?

To be successful, a workout plan should be followed on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean you have to workout every single day – in fact, recovering from exercise is just as vital as exercise itself. Overtraining occurs when our bodies cannot recuperate from activity, and can happen when we don’t receive enough rest between training sessions, when we don’t get enough sleep, or when our nutrition is insufficient to provide our bodies with the nutrients they need to restore themselves.

We recommend 150-300 minutes of moderate to strenuous intensity exercise each week for the average adult. Most individuals exercise three days per week, with a day off in between each session, but as a beginner this may be too demanding, so starting with one or two days per week may be more appropriate for you. This completely depends on your

It’s up to you to decide which days of the week are ideal. Weekdays may be easier for some, with weekends to relax, but the ideal option is the one that matches your schedule!

personal trainer for obese

How Long Should A Beginner Workout For?

Training for 2-3 hours each session is unnecessary for beginners and may result in burnout. 30-60 minutes of exercise should be more than enough time to get your heart rate up and improve your fitness if you keep it up over time.

The trick is to plan ahead of time for your workout. What are you working on that day? Is it aerobic or weight training? Is there a specific body area you wish to work on? Choose the exercises ahead of time and complete them. Hiring a personal trainer of course takes all of this thinking and planning off your hands, as we will tell you exactly when to work out, how long to work out, and which exercises you will be doing during your workout.

How Many Exercises Should I do in a Workout?

There is no magic number here, but 4 to 8 exercises in a training session should be more than enough to get the job done! This is usually split across muscle groups though. So generally, we advise that you should do approximately 2 exercises per muscle group, and train each muscle group at least two times a week.

Again however, you won’t have to think about this if you hire a personal trainer, as we will tell you exactly what to do in every session, leaving you to just focus on the effort.

how much should a beginner lift

How Much Weight Should I Lift?

If you are just starting out lifting weights, it can be tricky to know which weights to pick up in the first place.

The best thing you can do as a beginner is start at the lower range of the weight spectrum and gradually build up towards your maximum capacity. If you try to lift something that is too heavy, you could injure yourself or even break equipment. So always make sure that whatever exercise you choose is safe enough for your current fitness level.

One of the easiest ways to find out what type of weight you should start lifting is to use a formula. For example, for a beginner starting out with a Barbell Bench Press, we’d recommend this formula:

Weight x 0.6

For example, if you weigh 80kg, you would multiply that number by 0.6 to get 48kg. This gives you a basic starting weight that you can add to as you progress. After 3 – 4 months you could raise this ratio to 0.9, and perhaps once you’re considered an intermediate weight lifter (around 1 – 2 years in) you can lift up to 1.2.

Working with a personal trainer at Nxtep means you don’t have to worry about how much to lift – your personal training plan will be set out in advance, and the exact weights you lift each day already predetermined.

What are Reps and Sets?

Reps and sets are terms used in strength training. They refer to how often you perform each repetition of an exercise.

A rep is how many times a particular movement is performed – like doing one pushup, then another, then another.

A set is how many repetitions you do of a certain move – like performing ten pushups.

The number of reps you do determines whether you’re building up muscle or improving your endurance.

More reps at a lower weight will help you develop greater muscle endurance, whereas fewer reps at a heavier weight will make you stronger overall.  How many reps and sets you do depends on what you want to achieve. For example, someone looking to gain size might work out with fewer reps and sets, while someone wanting to increase endurance could train with more reps and sets.

what to eat before working out

What’s the best thing to eat before working out?

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, there are plenty of diets out there that claim to help you do just that. But before we dive into what you should eat before a workout, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might already know that cutting out fats and carbs can go a long way toward helping you reach your goal. So how does that work exactly? Well, fat slows down your metabolism, while carbs trigger insulin release, which causes your body to store calories as fat. This is why many dieters turn to low-fat foods like yogurt and lean meats, which are high in protein. Protein helps keep your blood sugar steady, preventing cravings for sugary snacks. In addition, proteins contain amino acids that actually promote muscle growth. And finally, proteins increase satiety, making you less likely to overeat.

But here’s where things start to get tricky. While eating protein and carbs before exercise will give you the fuel you need to perform well, it won’t necessarily make you feel full. To avoid hunger pangs, try consuming protein and carbs 30 minutes before working out. Then, consume another meal within one hour of finishing your session. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’ve had enough nutrients to replenish those lost during your workout.

Workout Tips For Beginners

Find the right balance of cardio and weights

When it comes to muscle and strength growth, it’s best to start with weightlifting exercises while you have the most energy, and then switch to cardio for general fitness and stamina. It is critical to incorporate both into your workouts for improved quality of life and health.

However, consistency is essential for enjoying the advantages of a fitness regimen, and if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to continue exercising.

If you dislike jogging, you may receive the advantages of cardio by employing less rest and a high-rep, low-weight workout.

Something like rowing or kettlebell exercises might let you achieve both if you enjoy cardio yet want to gain muscle.

Focus on compound exercises

Exercises that combine several muscle groups are great since each exercise exercises more than one group at a time. Think of it as a 2 for 1 deal!

Consider the muscles involved as well as the number of repetitions you intend to perform when deciding which sort of exercise to perform initially. Squats are excellent for developing lower-body strength and leg size, whereas bench presses focus on upper-body strength and chest size. If you work out with a partner, be sure you both understand your goals.

Always make sure to warm up and cool down

The warm up and cool down are essential elements of every physical activity. They prepare you physically for the work ahead.

Warm ups consist of light stretching exercises, such as arm swings, leg lifts, shoulder rolls, and calf raises. These help loosen tight muscles and joints, making it easier to move into the next phase.

Cool downs are similar to warming ups, except you perform them after exercising. This helps the body recover faster and reduces soreness after working out.

Use equipment correctly

To build muscle, you need three things: food, rest and exercise. But there’s another key component that goes hand-in-hand with those three things: proper form. If you don’t use the correct tools, you won’t see the desired results.

For starters, look for a machine that allows you to adjust the resistance level. This way, you can control exactly how hard you push against the machine. For example, some machines allow you to set the resistance to 10 pounds while others go up to 50.

The best way to learn how to lift correctly is to use a personal trainer. A good trainer will take the time to explain why certain movements work and what muscles are being targeted. They’ll make sure you know how to properly execute each move, and how to use each piece of equipment properly.

Eat more of the right food

Muscle building demands a lot of work at the gym, but it also requires fuel. The best strategy to gain muscle is to eat more calories than you burn off, leaving energy for growth.

Under-eating can make you weary during workouts, raise your risk of injury, and prevent you from gaining weight, so you need to make sure there’s enough fuel going in.

Aim for a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats for the greatest effects. A common misperception is that carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for muscular growth. In fact, they do more than just fuel your body; they also assist your body become stronger.

Get good sleep

Sleep is important for our health and happiness. But did you know it can actually impact your exercise? When you don’t get enough quality sleep, you might experience fatigue, decreased concentration, memory loss, and even mood swings. This lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels and poor decision making, and can affect your ability to exercise safely, and the amount of motivation you have to keep going.

Make it challenging

If you want to improve your physical health, strength, and endurance, you must challenge yourself. You don’t just exercise because it feels good; you do it because it makes you better. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, increase stamina, and boost overall performance, you need to push just a little beyond what feels comfortable in terms of the number of reps you’re doing, or the weight you’re lifting, or the distance or time you are going for. There is a fine line however – if you feel pain, always stop.

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