If you browse the net, listen to a personal trainer, or flick through your favourite fitness magazine, the usual general consensus regarding exercise form is to perform each rep in a strict manner. We advise the same on SteroidsLive, not only is it a lot safer performing an exercise with perfect form and in a controlled manner, it is often a lot more beneficial due to greater load being placed on the target muscle. However, one training technique which can be highly effective, if implemented correctly, is the cheat reps training method.
Cheat reps on face value may sound a little counterproductive, why would you want to cheat yourself out of performing a perfect rep? For clarification, the purpose of cheat reps is to increase the intensity of a given set. If performing cheat reps, the ideal approach is to perform a suitable number of repetitions with perfect form, just like any other set, and only introduce the cheat reps at the end of the set to push the muscles to work past their usual workload. This training technique is intense and should be used sparingly.
The cheat reps themselves should also be performed with a high level of focus. Cheat reps should not be performed in a totally unproductive manner, the aim is to allow body English to aid the muscle past the sticking point of the exercise. A lot of exercises are not suitable for this training principal, as it could result in a very injurious situation, so lets take a look at some exercises with which we can perform cheat reps.
Military Press – Otherwise known as the standing barbell shoulder press, the military press can be aided by a leg drive to overcome the lower portion of the exercise, once repetitions become too difficult to perform as a whole. Some trainers may actually be familiar with the standing shoulder press aided by a leg drive, as it is commonly known as a push press!
Pull Up – This body weight exercise can be difficult, yet it is highly effective at building a wide back. The bottom portion of the exercise is commonly the most difficult to over come as you begin to fatigue, so using slight body momentum to aid the repetitions can be a successful way of getting past the bottom sticking point. Cheat reps will likely become harder to perform when adding additional resistance to the body as you progress.
Dumbbell Curls – This a relatively easy exercise to perform cheat reps with, trust me, many people in gyms are performing them without meaning too! If used correctly however, cheat reps can be a great way to get past a plateau in training and increase intensity.
So, cheaters some times do prosper, but if done sparingly and correctly. Cheat reps should not be seen as a way of sacrificing form, nor an excuse to train your ego with a weight which is too heavy. Performing cheat reps is simply another tool in your training arsenal which can be used in a limited manner to increase intensity, and overload the target muscles.
Have you ever performed cheat reps, or have an opinion on their effectiveness? Leave a comment below.