Improve muscular strength and endurance, whether to make climbing the stairs easier, improve your ‘one repetition max’ or establish and maintain team selection.

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

Team sports require players to have a multitude of skills. You need to be flexible and agile, powerful and have the stamina to maintain performance throughout the match. Whether it’s football, hockey or netball, off-pitch training is just as important as team practice.

Muscular strength and conditioning has often been neglected by health and exercise experts in favour of cardio-vascular fitness. However, it is now well recognised that muscular strength is vital to good health and overall quality of life. Muscles make up more than 40% of your body mass and strong, well-developed muscles help you perform daily activities with greater ease, protect you from injury and enhance your health in numerous other ways.


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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.....

Muscular strength contributes to good health

Taking personal training at a strength and conditioning gym has the following benefits:

  • Improved body composition and self-image
  • Reduced risk of chronic disease
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Prevents muscle and nerve degeneration
  • Improves balance reducing risk of falls
  • Increased bone density helping to prevent osteoporosis and associated bone fractures
  • Higher rate of metabolism leading to increased lean muscle mass and reduced body fat
  • Decreased stress
  • Promotes good posture and improves body mechanics
IMG_3209 (002)

Beneficial whatever your age

Therefore, improving muscular strength and endurance is beneficial for everybody, whatever your age, gender, or level of experience. At Nxtep, you will follow your personally designed programme, using the very best equipment and your trainer will make sure that exercises are performed safely and with the correct technique.

These factors are key in ensuring great results. You will find real enjoyment in measuring your progress in the studio and reaping the rewards of increased energy and strength. Strength and conditioning training is an important part of any athlete’s training program, but it is also a great way to for any person to improve both their strength and endurance, as it helps to improve muscle power, size, and condition.


What Is Strength Training?

Strength training is the use of resistance to improve muscle strength, size, and condition. Resistance can be applied through weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or machines. Weightlifting uses a variety of weights to perform exercises such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, and curl. Bodyweight exercises use only the body’s own weight to produce resistance. Examples are push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups. Machines use cables or pulleys to create resistance. They include the Smith machine for squatting and rows for pulling muscles.

What Are The Benefits Of Strength Training?

Strength training has numerous benefits for individuals of all ages. These benefits include improved bone health, stronger muscles and bones, better balance and coordination, increased endurance and stamina, better moods, and reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Strength training also has mental health benefits such as increased self-esteem and decreased anxiety. Additionally, strength and resistance training can help individuals lose weight and improve their overall fitness.

What Is Conditioning Training?

Conditioning training is a type of physical conditioning that helps improve physical performance by improving the body’s ability to produce energy. Conditioning workouts often consist of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), resistance training, and plyometric exercises. The goal of conditioning is to make the body stronger and more resistant to fatigue, so that you can perform at your best for longer periods of time.

What Are The Benefits Of Conditioning Training?

As conditioning training helps improve overall physical fitness by improving the body’s ability to use energy, there are endless benefits. For example, conditioning can help improve your endurance, your strength and even flexibility and mobility. It can also help reduce your risk of injury as your muscles can go longer before becoming fatigued, which can lead to injury.

What Is Strength And Conditioning Training?

As it sounds, strength *and* conditioning training is simply carrying out both types of exercise within one programme or training schedule. The benefits of strength and conditioning training carried out as part of one programme are countless. Strength training can help to improve overall muscle strength, endurance, and balance, while conditioning can help to increase cardiorespiratory endurance, improve flexibility and mobility, and reduce risk of injuries. In addition, strength and conditioning exercise has been shown to have positive effects on psychological well-being.



Benefits Of Strength And Conditioning Training

Improve your performance

A strength and conditioning programme will be designed to help you enhance your overall performance over time. Your personal trainer will be able to pinpoint significant areas for development while also measuring progress precisely. Starting a strength and conditioning programme may have a positive impact on your technical, physical and mental abilities, all of which can contribute to enhanced performance.

Increase bone density & strength

Strength training doesn’t just increase the strength of our muscles. In fact, there are numerous articles and research papers on the benefits of strength training improving bone mineral density (BMD). One piece of research published on even calls Resistance Training “Medicine” and on the subject of bone density, states:

“Exercise interventions that promote muscle gain also may be expected to increase BMD, and the majority of studies support this relationship. Several longitudinal studies have shown significant increases in BMD after 4 to 24 months of resistance training. A meta-analysis by Wolfe et al indicated that exercise programs prevented or reversed approximately 1% bone loss per year in adult and older adult women. A more recent review by Going and Laudermilk revealed that resistance training increased BMD between 1% and 3% (femoral neck and lumbar spine) in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.”

Increase muscle mass and metabolism

The benefits of strength and conditioning exercise include the building of muscle, which in turn stimulates the metabolism by allowing the body to burn more calories at rest. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, muscle growth provides more metabolic advantages than previously thought. An increase in lean muscle mass lowers the risk of insulin resistance, which is a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as well as other factors that can lead to ill health, such as increased fasting glucose and triglyceride levels, obesity, hypertension, and low cholesterol, among other things.

Prevent injuries

The ability to prevent injuries is extremely valuable to both professionals and non-athletes alike, which is why a critical component of strength and conditioning training from a PT’s point of view is to thoroughly examine your movement patterns, in order to train you to iron-out any less than ideal movements which could be detrimental and potentially cause injury in the short or long term. Specific exercises might help you improve your balance too, which also contributes to reducing the chance of injury when training or competing.

Improve your posture

Better movement mechanics usually brings an improved posture, which is something most people will benefit from, given our increasingly less active lives. It has also been shown that the respiratory system and circulation can be improved and strengthened just by improving posture. Thus, posture analysis is included as part of your initial evaluation so that we can spot any issues and then develop a programme for you which will help to rectify them.

Make exercise more pleasurable 

Exercise becomes much more enjoyable when you move properly and see improvements in your technique as a result. As mentioned above, strength and conditioning also helps reduce anxiety about the possibility of injury, therefore enabling you to enjoy training that bit more. In addition, making progress gives you great positive feelings and encourages you to keep going and keep progressing.

Improve your mood & mental health

Exercise in all shapes and forms (including strength and conditioning training) releases serotonin in the brain which can boost your mood and even increase your perceived strength and endurance levels. And as mentioned above, seeing the positive results of your training programme is hugely rewarding and increases self-esteem, confidence and general mental wellbeing.

What Types Of Resistance Training Are There?

There are three main types of resistance training:

What Types Of Conditioning Training Are There?

There are many types of conditioning training, but the most common are aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. Aerobic conditioning involves using large amounts of oxygen to help the body produce energy. Anaerobic conditioning is when the body uses energy from carbohydrates without using oxygen. Our strength and conditioning personal trainers use a variety of different methods to condition both athletes and non-professionals alike. These exercises can include weightlifting, running, biking, rowing, swimming, and other types of activities that require muscle strength and endurance.

Should You Do Strength Or Conditioning First?

Whether your main objectives are strength improvements, muscle growth, or weight loss, your resistance training should be your first priority. This is simply due to the fact that resistance training has the greatest influence on body structure so you’ll be able to devote all of your focus to this aim if you do it first and first. You will also be able to profit from a complete supply of glycogen in your muscles since your central nervous system will have been primed at the start of your workout.  It is also suggested that resistance training can deplete your glycogen stores, increasing the likelihood that fat will be utilised as an energy source for any subsequent exercise.

If you do strength training following conditioning training then you’ll probably be pre-fatigued, which will impair your ability to lift as much during your strength training session. Aside from that, when we engage in prolonged cardiovascular activity, an enzyme known as AMPK is produced, which might have a detrimental impact on our muscle-building capability.

What Types Of Resistance & Conditioning Equipment Are Available?

There is a variety of resistance equipment available to help with strength and conditioning training, all of which is available at Nxtep. This includes weight machines, cardio equipment, and even resistance bands. Weight machines typically offer a variety of options such as Weight, Reps, Sets, and Tempo. Cardio equipment includes treadmills, elliptical trainers, and bikes. Resistance bands come in a variety of resistances such as light resistance (for beginners), medium resistance (for intermediates), or heavy resistance (for advanced exercisers). A programme can also include bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, and crunches – all without any type of equipment.

When you’re not at the gym, the use of bodyweight exercises is a popular way to stay fit and active. Many people find that this type of training is more challenging and provides a better overall workout than using equipment. This type of exercise can be done anywhere, which makes it a great option for quick workouts in between personal training days.


conditioning training equipment



How Often Should You Do Resistance Training?

There is no one answer to this question as everyone’s body responds differently to resistance training. However, general guidelines suggest that you should do resistance training at least twice per week in order to see good results depending on your starting weight, strength level, and intensity of the workouts.

Is conditioning the same as cardio?

No – they are related, but not the same thing. Conditioning is the act of improving the body’s ability to respond to physical demands. Cardio is the term most often used to describe activities that improve heart function and blood flow, but conditioning can also improve muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. Conditioning can be done in a variety of ways, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training and aerobic exercise. We also offer dedicated personal training for cardio programmes for those looking to specifically improve their cardiovascular fitness levels.

Does strength and conditioning help you lose weight?

Weight loss is a common side effect of strength and conditioning training, but it’s not the only one. Strength and conditioning can also improve your overall fitness level, which can help you lose weight if you’re already overweight. It can also help prevent weight gain in the future. However, we also offer specific personal training for weight loss programmes to help people lose weight fast.

Does conditioning build muscle?

Conditioning is a type of training that is used to improve the body’s overall fitness. It can be used to build muscle, but there is some debate over whether conditioning actually builds muscle. Some scientists believe that conditioning works by improving the body’s ability to use energy, which in turn can help build muscle. Others believe that conditioning doesn’t actually build muscle, but instead helps the body become more efficient at using energy. The truth likely lies somewhere in between these two theories. If building muscle is your main aim, you may be interested in our dedicated personal training to build muscle programme.

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