Cheating Reps

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Benefits of Cheat Reps

You need to know the rules before you start to even think of cheating. When training with weights to increase muscle size you need to know how to perform the movement correctly without even thinking about it. Cheating reps are not for beginners; it can just as easily be called eccentric training instead of cheating.

Many different studies have now conclusively proven that your muscles are stronger when lengthening against gravity compared to contracting concentrically. A study showed that power-lifters training eccentrically using 105% of their 1RM increased their strength dramatically.

Although this study had nothing to do with cheating it certainly shows the advantages of training eccentrically, which is exactly what cheating is all about when done correctly. Like most training techniques it will apply better to some movements than others.

A good example is the standing overhead press, which can be done with a barbell or dumbbells. If you take a heavier weight than you would normally lift doing this movement you then need to use your legs in order to help push/jump the weight above your shoulders.

The eccentric action you are looking for starts when you lower the weight down slowly to the starting position. But there are other movements where cheating also works well like doing lateral raises with dumbbells. One can use your legs to help with the momentum to lift the weight before you spend 4 to 6 seconds coming back to the start position.

The obvious cheating movement is barbell or dumbbell curls where you get to use your legs, your butt and your shoulders to get the weight up before you start the slow return to the starting position. One can also use a training partner or a spotter when doing this type of training.

Most bodybuilders will agree that adding cheating to your workout every so often can help but if you add the cheat to every last movement on every exercise you will not get the benefit of this kind of training. Cheating should be randomly sprinkled in any workout whether doing upper or lower body.

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