T Nation

Strict Form vs. Cheating

I used to lift with a guy who is currently an orthopedic surgeon resident. We were talking training, and he brought up his other residents. They hit the gym at least five times a week. Anyways he brings up their shotty form on dumbbell curls. In his view, too much shrugging of the shoulders and press with the legs.

I’ve thought that strict form and “cheating” form both have their place. But If I was just training to get big and strong and could only do one, I would always choose the “cheating” form. Yes you are incorporating other muscles, but you are maximizing the muscle fibers used because of the increased weight.

What do you guys think?

(Just an aside, it always cracks me up when a typical gym train tells someone to have strict form and then places them on a boso ball. The damn point of a boso ball is to activate other muscles while you are training the “target” muscle. Also, you get more core activation by moving a big weight unilaterally (e.g., single arm dumbbell curl) while not sacrificing load.)

There are 2 extremes my friend. Cheat curls have their place I agree, mostly at the end of sets for the extra stimulation.

As for stimulating muscle fibers more, you wouldn’t on the bottom portion of the rep.

Yeah i laugh at half rep dipshits, but here and there, when you hit a plateau, they have their place.

cheat curls are good for busting plateau’s. OF course the average dipshit at the gym doesn’t know any better.

[quote]Sarev0k wrote:

Yeah i laugh at half rep dipshits, but here and there, when you hit a plateau, they have their place.[/quote]

I don’t know man, one of the biggest guys at my gym does “half reps” on pretty much everything. Shit if you watch him do BB rows, you got to pay attention because his “row” is real subtle, lol. It’s like twitch holds…

Seems to work pretty good for him, because he is a big bastard.

EDIT: I’m not suggesting anything is better than anything else. Just making an observation.

If you are cheating but you still get the contraction and stimulation in the biceps i dont see the problem. If you feel it in your shoulder and you are cheating its time to lower the weight.

fuck it, just lift it

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
fuck it, just lift it[/quote]

that works too

Who cares? If it works, it works. Although, I do shudder when it comes shoddy deadlift and squat techniques.

I use strict form when I cheat.

[quote]elusive wrote:
I use strict form when I cheat.[/quote]

LOL.

As long as your not causing damage, or doing really dumb stuff that is not beneficial in anyway there is nothing wrong with ‘cheating’

75%-80% perfect form at least should be fine realistically. There is always going to be something your doing wrong.

of course 75% form on a deadlift or squat may get you seriously fucked, so that would fall into the ‘dumb stuff’ category :wink:

When I squat I drape my arms over the bar by my traps and rest my hands weight rather than grabbing the bar with my hands. Is that cheating?

[quote]adamxc12 wrote:
When I squat I drape my arms over the bar by my traps and rest my hands weight rather than grabbing the bar with my hands. Is that cheating?[/quote]

No just confusing mate!

The best form is using as much weight as possible to create maximum stimulation in the muscle being exercised…it will vary from person to person…The longer you lift the easier it will be to achieve this…

[quote]bams_101 wrote:
adamxc12 wrote:
When I squat I drape my arms over the bar by my traps and rest my hands weight rather than grabbing the bar with my hands. Is that cheating?

No just confusing mate![/quote]

Sorry, while I was typing that it made sense to me.

Ok, so I feel like the standard way to grab the bar(and this was the way I learned to squat to) was to grab the bard with your hands behind your neck as it rests on your shoulders. Over time I’ve lost a good amount of flexibility in my upper body and this became uncomfortable. So instead of grabbing the bar with my hands, I don’t grab it at all, extend my arms across the bar and rest my hands at the top of the plates so that the bar is resting on a larger area. It doesn’t seem to affect the technique with my legs, hips, and chest, but I’m fairly certain that the majority of the people here have much more knowledge with this stuff than I do and would appreciate some input?

Too many threads about this topic… Don’t feel like going over it again.

A few things to think about:

A beginner sees Ronnie Row/Curl and thinks “body English! He does it wrong! That won’t hit his back/biceps/whatever!”.
The thing is, that trainee is focusing on the wrong thing… Whether a row hits Ronnie’s backthickness musculature well depends not on whether Ronnie’s upper body is moving or not, but on scapular and shoulder motion (among other things)…

Or lets think pull-ups… You can do an “arm-up” and you can do a “pull-up”…

Same story when it comes to range of motion. Full ROM is rarely the healthiest/optimal way, despite what most smart-ass article-jockeys claim. But you can do partial ROM right and you can do it wrong, same as “cheating” via body English. Many factors coming into play there.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
Sarev0k wrote:

Yeah i laugh at half rep dipshits, but here and there, when you hit a plateau, they have their place.

I don’t know man, one of the biggest guys at my gym does “half reps” on pretty much everything. Shit if you watch him do BB rows, you got to pay attention because his “row” is real subtle, lol. It’s like twitch holds…

Seems to work pretty good for him, because he is a big bastard.

EDIT: I’m not suggesting anything is better than anything else. Just making an observation.
[/quote]

Yah ive seen some big mofo’s do half reps for almost everything too, but then the next week its back to full ROM.

Cheating is like partials to me, I wouldn’t want to do it every week.