How bad is a cheat training?

Meyken Houppermans, PhD. CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
Founder and Head Coach
Cheat training means compromising on the execution and technique of an exercise to get a certain score. A rounded back to still lift the heavy load, or a limited range of motion to still make the timecap. How bad is cheat training?

Several sides to the story

The opinions are divided on this subject and also the research results are not always matching up. Some say that cheating those last few repetitions of a workout set would increase the intensity of the training and thus can contribute to target training results. Although in practice most will cheat because they are tired and those last reps will be a lower instead of higher intensity.

A proper training technique is essential. Cheating increases the risk of injury and decreases the risk of results. However, it is sometimes argued that this would be less of a risk if you always workout in that cheating- way, because your body is accustomed to move that way.

Cheating your training is certainly not recommended. Not only because of the risk of injuries, but also becausea sound training technique lead to better performance and more results. It contributes to learning how to train your body in a responsible manner, how to be aware of your body and of how movements and load of muscles feel. In training it is relevant to learn and feel the capabilities and limitations of your body and not to get affected by what others around you are doing. For good reasons do we say in CrossFit: meeting the movement standards and giving 100% effort every single time keeps the CrossFit integrity high.

Cheating for progression

There are other techniques sometimes used in traditional gyms, which are seen as cheating by some, that can contribute to training progression. Like drop sets when performing a pushup, where you do the first few repetitions on your toes until you can no longer perform the exercise and continue on your knees. Each workout you’re trying to carry out a few more repetitions on your toes, until you succeed doing the whole exercise like that. In that way, this technique can help you!

Key is to listen carefully to your body, learn your limits, motivate yourself to go the extra mile, but always prioritize safety and a sound technique!

Create your own health!©