T Nation

Cheated T-bar Rows

Hey guys,

I remember in a specific scene in Pumping Iron, Arnold is shown doing the old school Tbar rows (a personal favorite, especially the looks you get in the gym) with A LOT of body English. If you watch the clip he drives the weight up with his legs a bit and uses a lot of bicep to really get a good eccentric.

I tried these today on a load I can usually strict row for about 6 reps, and got about 11. Needless to say, my lats are unbelievably sore.

This got me thinking: besides cheat curls, what other exercises do you find that cheating really helps you to bust a plateau, use extra weight, yet still hammer the target muscle?

I use some body english for those too with heavier weights, I do about 5.5 plates for 3-4 reps.

Thinking about it, I don’t “cheat” with anything other than some back&bi exercises, as well as losing some form on CG tricep pushdowns towards the end of heavier sets.

[quote]hexx wrote:
Hey guys,

I remember in a specific scene in Pumping Iron, Arnold is shown doing the old school Tbar rows (a personal favorite, especially the looks you get in the gym) with A LOT of body English. If you watch the clip he drives the weight up with his legs a bit and uses a lot of bicep to really get a good eccentric.

I tried these today on a load I can usually strict row for about 6 reps, and got about 11. Needless to say, my lats are unbelievably sore.

This got me thinking: besides cheat curls, what other exercises do you find that cheating really helps you to bust a plateau, use extra weight, yet still hammer the target muscle?[/quote]

One-Arm DB Rows (more recently called Kroc rows) are one obvious choice.
In fact, I find them far superior to standard DB rows without cheating.

Rows in general are good for this, a standard row with some lower back in it can a) hit the lower back as well (since most people do little heavy hamstring work ala SLDL’s, that can be quite an advantage as long as you don’t lose your arch during the exercise).

Other than Rows and some bicep exercises (within reason! just swinging it all over the place does jackshit… We’ve recently had that kind of debate so I won’t explain the difference between loose form/proper cheating and bad form again…), I don’t see much use for body-English.

Maybe Shrugs to some extent.

If you want to include half-reps and such in this topic, then all sorts of chest pressing exercises and overhead presses work well done that way (done from the bottom to half or three-quarters up). Pulldowns and such work well when done from the bottom to half way or three quarters down…

Provided that your goal is improving lat width…

#Edit: Before some form-nazi jumps in: I do not advocate using your lower back on rows unless that somehow fits your training goal. I myself don’t do it (as far as that can be avoided on heavy bent-over rows) and only cheat on Kroc Rows (obviously), the positive of Drag Curls and slightly on other free-weight curls. So sew me.

Cheating is great. I wish it was easier to cheat on the bench. I force reps through cheating on any exercise that allows it.

[quote]Artem wrote:
Cheating is great. I wish it was easier to cheat on the bench. I force reps through cheating on any exercise that allows it.[/quote]

I wouldn’t cheat on the powerlifts… except for using partial rom(rack pulls, half rep presses from bottom to half-way up). But squirming under the bar or pushing your shoulders forward is asking for trouble.

I sort of agree with your statement in general, though. I just hope we won’t end up having to explain that with “cheating” we don’t mean rounding your lower back on deadlifts or some such :wink:

I can’t cheat on pulldowns for some reason. I don’t know why but I just can’t comfortable swing my body back to force a rep.

Cheating on lat raises to force reps is pretty beneficial.