Cheating is okay sometimesPosted on Mar 25th 2008 9:01AM by Chris Sparling
When it comes to relationships, cheating is something I think everyone pretty much agrees is a no-no. For the most part, the same applies for resistance training exercises.
When you "cheat," it basically means that you have passed the point of technical failure and are now calling upon other muscles to help the muscles that are being trained. For example, if you're banging out a set of bench press and you start arching your back to push the weight up for a few more reps, that's cheating.
But, unlike relationships, cheating isn't always a bad thing. Forcing out a few more reps can tax the muscle beyond its comfort zone, resulting in an increased "pump." This, over time, will lead to sustained muscle growth. The trick with cheating is to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk of injury. This is why forcing out those extra reps is okay to do once and a while, but for the most part your goal should be to reach, and stop at, the point of technical failure.