Cheerleaders vs Coaches

Written by Elise Matthews

Cheerleader: noun:

  • a member of a team that performs organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team.
  • an enthusiastic and vocal supporter.

Coach: noun:

  • one who instructs or trains


In the world of gyms and fitness centers today, you can separate trainers into two categories, cheerleaders and coaches.  In your typical aerobics class or large follow along group exercise setting, your trainer would be a cheerleader.  Why do I say that? 

Case 1: The trainer for a follow along class plays great music, is at the head of the class doing the workout as you follow along. 

Case 2: A large group boot camp style class where the group is exercising together doing a variety of cardio and calesthenics exercises where the trainer runs around screaming words of encouragement, pushing clients to keep going through the pain.

There is very high energy and a fun-filled environment but not a lot of instruction and hardly any correction of technique.  Just like cheerleaders for a ball team, the goal is to give verbal support, create excitement, and build enthusiasm.  This makes for a wonderfully fun and intense training environment.

Then there are coaches.  If you walk into a coaching based gym, you will notice that the trainers don’t lead the classes in the traditional way.  The class is explained, then started leaving the trainer free to walk around observing technique and making changes on an individual level.  The goal in coach-based training is exactly like a coach of a sports team:  the trainer is there to support your growth as an athlete, provide technical instructions so you can execute technique a little bit better every session, and push you in the appropriate way taking into consideration your current abilities, limitations, and restrictions. 


Which way is better?

Well that depends on what you want out of your workout:

Look for a cheerleader if:

  1. You are the kind of person who wants to shut of your brain and just grind through the workout.
  2. You need a high energy trainer supporting you.
  3. You want to push yourself as hard as possible.
  4. You don’t really like getting corrections.

Look for a coach if:

  1. You don’t mind slowing down at the beginning to focus on technique.
  2. You don’t really need/want people screaming words of encouragement while you workout.
  3. You are looking for long term growth, not short term gains.
  4. You have been injured before or are afraid of injuring yourself with poor technique.

At KORE Wellness, you will find coaches.  We wrote this article simply to explain our teaching methods to those who have only ever experienced cheerleader-based training.  We aren't saying that cheerleader-based coaching is wrong.  Every individual is at a different stage in their training process, wellness journey, and motivation level. 

We understand that some people love / need the high energy cheerleading environment.  We want potential clients to understand that you won’t get that environment at KORE Wellness.  That’s not to say that we aren’t supportive.  We’re coaches, our goal is to maximize your potential as an athlete in this game called life.  And we have a game plan that expands beyond the 30-minute training period.  It just requires the patience to understand that there is a bigger picture, and that showing up to “practice” consistently is necessary to get there.

If you are seeking a coach, check us out at

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