A bespoke, personal training program designed especially for swimmers of any ability, whether you’re an amateur swimmer looking to improve your strength or endurance in the pool, or a competitive swimmer looking to extract more performance and take yourself to the next level.


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 28/9/2022

Swimming is a sport that requires a lot of strength, endurance and technique. If you want to improve your swimming performance, and feel like you may have hit a wall with your development, hiring a personal trainer to improve your physical ability is the answer. In addition to a bespoke training plan, you’ll also get 24/7 support and a personalised nutrition plan for your specific goals.


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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.....

Why Work With a Personal Trainer for Swimming?

If you’re a swimmer, then you know how important it is to have the right form – you need to be able to move your body in a way that allows for maximum efficiency and power while also ensuring that you don’t injure yourself. However, many people who are new to swimming find this difficult because they lack the strength and stamina in the muscle groups particular to swimming. Personal training for swimming focuses on these very muscle groups, and together with cardio work, result in much improved swimming performance.

For more advanced swimmers, there are many reasons why you might want to hire a personal trainer to improve. Some people simply need someone to motivate them and keep them focused on their goals, whereas some people are just not sure how to take their performance to the next level and have perhaps hit a wall with conventional pool-based swimming training. Others may not feel comfortable working out alone, while some may not have time to go to the gym. Below are the key benefits from hiring a personal trainer to improve your swimming performance:

Increase your power

According to research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, a group of swimmers trained with a complete dryland programme improved significantly in strength, power, and flexibility when compared to a control group. Despite doing comparable levels of upper body activity, the dryland group improved in speed, agility, and endurance. They also did better in the 50-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley.

Increase your stamina in the pool

Swimmers who train with a personal trainer can improve their swimming by focusing on improving their stamina and endurance through the cardio and strength workouts prescribed by the PT. Personal Trainers help swimmers improve their swimming by focusing primarily on strengthening muscles and improving propulsion, but another big part of the program includes building stamina too.

Avoid injury

One of the most important things you can do to avoid injury is build strong, flexible muscles throughout your body. A good trainer will help you develop proper form, technique, and build muscle and flexibility in the right places which will reduce the risk of injury both when training and when in the pool.

Strength training requires a lot of focus and attention, especially if you want to avoid injuries. A personal trainer can help you learn how to lift correctly, what exercises are best for your body composition, and how to perform each exercise safely.

Help you spot problems

Personal trainers understand how the human body functions, how it moves, why it moves, and where it moves. This enables personal trainers to discover aspects of a swimmer’s performance that may be problematic or poor. They may assist in the development of initiatives to address such weaknesses.

Swimming training prioritises areas of concern and swimmers’ requirements. A personal trainer may utilise his expertise of anatomy and biomechanics to examine a swimmer’s strengths and limitations and recommend strategies to strengthen those strengths while addressing the flaws.

Maximise your time

Personal trainers understand how important workout time is to athletes and they make sure that every single workout is highly effective and efficient. A personal trainer knows what works best for each client, whether that’s a strength workout or a cardio routine. In addition, they work closely with clients to ensure that they are performing exercises correctly and safely.

Assist with injury rehabilitation

Personal training complements medical, treatment, coaching, and rehabilitation procedures well. A well-balanced high level personal training session addresses physical problems, limits, injuries, and rehabilitation. A personal trainer may assist you in improving your performance, preventing injury, and dealing with typical concerns such as muscular imbalances, poor movement patterns, and exhaustion.


Building A Bespoke Training Plan For You

At Nxtep, we will create a training plan that is unique to you, your fitness level, and your swimming objectives.

A customised personal training programme, as opposed to a generic workout programme you can get online, takes into consideration your individual physical skills as well as your personal lifestyle. It consists of particular workouts designed to increase your general fitness and muscular balance. It may also be changed as required over the course of the programme.

If you live a hectic lifestyle or find yourself not getting to the pool as often as you’d like, having an experienced coach who can advise you on whether you should skip a day of training entirely or how to make up for missed time is reassuring.

Additionally, your personal trainer will ensure that your training plan will be organised so that your body may progress and recuperate from exercise safely and without danger of injury.


Which Kinds of Exercise are Good for Swimming?

Swimming requires both strength and stamina. Therefore, we will focus your workouts on both strength training (such as weights and resistance training), and building up your aerobic capacity (through cardio work such as running and cycling).

Should Swimmers do Strength Training?

The answer is yes, absolutely! Swimming on its own is good for conditioning, but it doesn’t build much muscle mass. Strength training on the other hand directly builds muscle and is one of the best ways to improve your overall fitness level, as well as increasing your metabolism, boosting your energy levels, and even reducing stress.

So it’s not surprising to learn that strength training is one of the most effective ways to improve swimming performance. In fact, it’s often referred to as the “Swimmer’s Workout.” Strength and resistance training helps to strengthen muscles used during the stroke cycle, especially those used for kicking and pushing off the wall. Strength training helps increase endurance, speed, and overall fitness levels.

Weight lifting and resistance training are great for many swimmers since they are the best way to add power to your swimming. They are not without risk though, so if you choose to incorporate strength training into your workout regimen, make sure to do it safely. Here are three key points to keep in mind:

Know Your Limits – Always listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard. You don’t want to injure yourself while doing something that you enjoy.

Warm Up Properly – Before working out, warm up properly. Start slowly, gradually increasing the intensity of your exercises.

Cool Down Properly – Once you’re done, cool down properly. Stretch, loosen up, and relax.


Should Swimmers do Cardio Training?

The answer is yes. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, and swimming are great for burning fat and increasing stamina.

So cardio is great for developing stamina, but not all cardio training is the same. There are different types of cardio and each type has its own benefits, risks, and drawbacks. For example, you can do interval training or steady state cardio to burn fat, increase endurance, and improve cardiovascular health.

Interval training involves alternating between high intensity exercise (such as sprinting) and low-intensity exercise (walking).

Steady state cardio is things such as running, cycling or rowing where the effort input is fairly consistent. For swimmers, steady state cardio should mean you are getting your heart rate up to 60% while still having enough breath to be able to hold a conversation. Both forms of cardio have their pros and cons.

Interval Training vs. Steady State Cardio: Which Is Better?

There is no definitive answer to this, as it depends entirely on the exercise in question and the duration you are doing it for. For a swimmer, it is best to utilise both in a workout plan.

Long duration steady-state workouts such as rowing or cycling will help to increase aerobic capacity, meaning you should make you feel better the more you do, as your body will be able to go further while using less oxygen. This means you will put less demand on the other energy systems such as the Glycolytic and ATP system, as you’ll be able to use your aerobic energy system for longer.

Interval training is better for improving the ATP and Glycolytic systems however, which is perhaps more beneficial to sprint swimmers where explosive, high-energy power is needed throughout. Long distance and open-water swimmers may need some power left in the tank for a sprint finish too, therefore a balance between interval and steady-state cardio is probably best.

Both methods of training are good for burning calories, but once you’re finished some steady-state exercise, your body has burnt the calories and that’s the end of the benefit from the workout. However, with interval training, there is something called EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption – but often known as ‘afterburn’) which means calories continue to be burned for a little while after you’ve worked out, although the effect is thought to be fairly minimal.


Are Core Exercises Good for Swimmers?

Swimmers benefit from a strong core, so any exercise that works this is great. Core exercises include the following:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Plank
  • Crunches
  • Side Planks
  • Deadlifts
  • Reverse Crunches

There are many other core exercises, but these are great ones to focus on.


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