Become a Personal Trainer

How To Avoid Cheating During Your Workout

How to Avoid Cheating During Your Workout

How to avoid cheating during your workout. Beginners unintentionally use deflection during training, because they are often not yet able to perform the exercise perfectly. Either they haven’t mastered the correct technique yet or they have taken on too much weight. Both prevent them from being able to perform the exercise correctly. The term cheating comes from bodybuilding and fitness parlance.

When deflecting, the athlete unconsciously or intentionally incorporates momentum and impact when performing the fitness exercise. This means that he does not perform the exercise over the full range of motion. Sometimes this is also referred to as a partial rep. However, other muscle groups are used than those that are actually supposed to be trained.

But professionals also consciously use deflection to train other muscle groups. However, you should be among the advanced players, because the risk of injury when deflecting is relatively high. For beginners and everyone in between, it’s a good idea to always do the exercises correctly while engaging the target muscles.

Does Cheating In Training Only Lead To Failure?

Very often you see young people rushing into the gym full of vigor. The group goes through all the devices one by one and everyone wants to show that they are the strongest. The repetitions get a lot of momentum and weight is usually used too much. After all, nobody wants to be embarrassed in front of their friends. Expensive supplements are then taken together.

Training in this way violates the three most important principles of any training: isolation, intensity, and focus. When you train, you want to stimulate your muscles to grow. In order to achieve the growth stimulus of the muscle, you also have to properly exhaust it (intensity). You have to concentrate on the exact movement (concentration) because you only want to move the muscle that is supposed to grow and not other muscles as well (isolation).

However, if you use cheating while training, that is, gaining momentum with each repetition, you are also using other muscles in the movement. This often brings a different effect and makes expensive supplements superfluous.

However, many young athletes do not come up with the idea of ​​doing the training incorrectly. Often they see other professional athletes or professional bodybuilders performing their exercises incorrectly in the training videos. But a professional athlete trains very differently because he is a professional athlete. 

If your muscles still have natural growth potential, then you should focus on using them. However, this is only enough if you do your exercises correctly and see the deflection during training as an additional intensification technique at most. Of course, there are other techniques that you can try to intensify.

Why Do Pros Use Cheating When Training?

Cheating is a highly effective method, and it makes it possible to train the muscle past failure. The aim of this principle is to put much more strain on the muscle than normal and thereby promote its growth. Deflected reps are not intended to relieve muscle strain, in fact, the opposite is true. These repetitions burden him more and more.

How Exactly Does Cheating Work?

How Exactly Does Cheating Work

If you want to use cheating properly, you must first do your training correctly. Start with a normal set and your normal training technique. If you then notice that your muscles are failing, you can use cheating to intensify the training to get the most out of your muscles. You need to tone down the reps just enough to get more. So, cheating should only help the muscles enough to keep them going. The target muscles should always do the majority of the training work.

A classic exercise where you can try deflecting while training is the barbell curl. If you’re performing this exercise and your muscles start to fail, you can add an extra deflection rep or two. To do this, you use your upper body to swing the dumbbells past the stagnation point.

Another exercise that’s good for deflecting is the lat pulldown. You can also swing with your upper body and thus support the pulling movement. With this exercise, you can only make your muscles work a little easier. No matter how exhausted the muscles are, they always have to do the main part of the work. Even with the deflected reps, you should always be able to feel that the target muscle is engaged.

What Are The Risks Of Deflecting While Training?

Training deflection is an intense technique that only experienced athletes tend to use. A beginner must first learn how to use it correctly, otherwise, the risk of injury is quite high.

If you don’t have a lot of training experience and therefore don’t have the body awareness of an experienced athlete, you shouldn’t try this technique alone and without guidance. On the one hand, you shouldn’t do this because the risk of injury is very high, and on the other hand the normal training load should be enough to let your muscles grow properly.

If you want to integrate the deflection principle into your training, you can use it instinctively, but also according to plan. It is important to use the technique in a targeted manner in order to properly promote muscle growth and the regeneration capacity of the muscles. You can only build muscle in the long term if there is a good balance between loading and unloading.

You Have To Pay Attention To The Form

If you always train correctly, you sometimes miss the opportunity to train your target muscles in other ways. You can do almost any strength exercise in a tighter or looser form. Some also refer to the loose form as cheating. Both forms have their respective advantages and disadvantages.

If you still want to do good isolation work at the end of your workout, you should do the exercise more strictly. If you prefer to build up some mass, you can also work with a little momentum or with deflections when training. You can also use free weights instead of the machine.

What Do I Gain From Doing The Exercise Differently?

What Do I Gain From Doing The Exercise Differently?

For example, if you’re training overhead presses, you have a variety of options to choose from: You can train sitting or standing with long dumbbells or dumbbells. While the movement remains relatively the same in all versions, the main changes are the body position and also the device that is used. The strict version works with the barbell while standing.

Here you can bend both your hips and your knees and thereby lift really heavyweights. On the other hand, you can also sit down at the machine where you work with less weight. Machine training is a perfect isolation exercise because it puts a lot of emphasis on target muscles and very little on supporting muscles.

So you see, almost every exercise can be done either tightly or loosely. If you’re using the strict form, it may be a conscious effort or simply a result of the machine’s training form. The easy variation can happen due to deflections while training, or simply because you are training to stand. Of course, each method has its advantages. Stressing your muscles the same way throughout the exercise also limits the potential for growth and the stress on the target muscles. But if you do something different every now and then, you can stimulate your body to grow much more.

Strict And Correct Training Is Important

As useful as different training methods may be, you should really only use cheating if you have mastered it well. Performing your exercises strictly and correctly naturally has the advantage that you also train more safely. In the strict form, you always use less weight. Excessive weights can quickly lead to injuries or problems with muscles and joints and, in the worst case, permanent damage.

So the harder and lighter you train, the lower the risk of injury. The better you can isolate your target muscles, the more likely you are to discover weaknesses and imbalances in the muscles. These are also much easier to find if you do your practice calmly and correctly. Once you know your weaknesses, you can always improve and revise your training approach. It doesn’t matter whether you consciously perform the exercise technically correctly or whether it is simply done correctly because you are training on a machine.

Working with a machine or stable surface always makes the exercise more rigorous than standing with free weights. Properly executed exercises are important so that your target muscles get enough work and can grow properly.

Should I Incorporate Cheating Into My Training?

By cheating, it is possible to lift more weight. This causes more damage to the muscle, which also makes it bigger and fuller during the recovery phase. That’s a big advantage. Disadvantages are the higher risk of injury and the higher wear and tear on joints and stabilizing muscles.

Nevertheless, it can be said that the loose form or deflection allows more freedom of movement and ultimately leads to higher weight and thus greater muscle growth. It’s definitely okay to incorporate a bit of cheating into your practice, especially if you would otherwise have to finish the exercise set. If you also train a little loosely in between, you will also immediately see more growth.


As in so many other cases, variety is the magic word when it comes to deflection. It’s best to do your exercises correctly for a week and let the target muscles do all the work. The following week you can then incorporate a few deflection exercises. With this combined training approach, you can achieve more mass and greater strength gains. Be careful with cheating and don’t overdo it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *