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How Lee Pickering went from 22 stone to personal trainer

April 06 2022 6 min read

When we see personal trainers merrily beasting their clients in the gym, many of us think that they’re superhuman beings who have dedicated their entire lives to developing their impeccably-sculpted figures.

In reality, they’re very much like the rest of us, and we shouldn’t immediately assume that we’ll never get to their level. The inspirational story of Lee Pickering, a personal trainer at Fitness First Clubs’ Wigan gym, shows that anything is possible.


If you look at him now, there’s no way on earth you’d believe that Lee weighed 22 stone as recently as 2009. The fact of the matter is that Lee’s diet back then would have been enough to give your average personal trainer nightmares.

“I was eating two takeaways a day, whilst doing absolutely no exercise. I was in a 3XL top and 48-inch waist, but that was normal to me, I didn’t see any problem with what I was doing to my body,” Lee very honestly admitted.

“It sounds cheesy, but I had an epiphany one day whilst eating a large Domino's pizza. I had gotten half way through before I looked at it, and for some reason just thought, ‘what am I doing?’ before getting up and throwing the rest away. I immediately hopped on to my dad's treadmill (which we never used!) and managed only 30 minutes of walking before I almost fainted. I was dripping in sweat and panting for breath, but literally from that day on I have never stopped [working towards getting fit and healthy].”


Once Lee (on the right in the image above) had decided to change his ways, nothing was going to derail his progress. His dedication to the cause never wavered.

“I basically decided to sort my life out and lose weight. I managed to lose a massive eight stone in a year doing just cardio on my dad's treadmill. I didn’t go to the gym or hire a personal trainer at that time,” Lee added.

“I then joined the gym in July 2010 to start lifting weights to try and fix all the flab that the weight loss had left behind. I spent two years from 2010 to 2012 getting into weight training, whilst continuing to get fitter through playing football, squash and ensuring I kept progressing. At the beginning of 2013 I decided to become a personal trainer. I completed my course, and it has been the best decision of my life so far, as I get to help people do what I did.”


Lee’s quest to become a fully-fledged personal trainer has been a resounding success and he has a multitude of qualifications to show for his efforts.

“I’ve studied at Level 2 Fitness Instruction, Level 3 Personal Training, and have completed add-on courses in Spin, Gym-Based Boxing and Circuits,” he added.

The fact that Lee has undergone such an incredible transformation will hopefully encourage others to follow suit. As he has demonstrated over the last six years, it doesn’t matter what base level of fitness you come in with, it is possible to completely change your appearance and way of life. You just need to be dedicated.

To begin your own fitness journey, why not sign up for a Fitness First Club membership today?