Whenever I'm really pushing myself with my strength progression, I will do whatever it takes to get it done. If that means I will have to cheat a little, I will. Of course, it must still always remain under control. The important thing is to get the weight up to reach your goals, no matter what.
I believe that if you are always super strict on form, you're never really pushing 100%. I believe that it's better to train with heavier weight with less-than-perfect form than to do lighter weights with strict form. I don't mean cheating as in actively performing shallow squats, bouncing the bar off the chest on the bench press etc. Rather I mean that if the form degrades a little, it doesn't matter as long as it's coming up.
That's what I have found the most effective with my own training so far. When I'm not close to my ultimate limits I will perform the lifts as perfectly as I can. When I am close to them, then the focus shifts to just getting it done at all costs. Instead of being like "oh, my form wasn't textbook perfect, now I must reduce weight" I'm like "great, I got it done, add weight!". When the body is used to higher loads, then the sub-maximal weights will be much easier to perform with excellent form.
A lot of guys in the gym insist on always striving for the perfect form before they dare to increase the weight, and that's why they make very slow progress. In my opinion form can never be perfect, so as long as it's "okay" one should strive to add weight on the bar. Besides, increased weight means a different center of gravity, and the form will change so it's an ever-evolving process.
On some exercises it's easier to cheat than others (barbell rows, curls, etc.) and I will add momentum. On others it's almost impossible to cheat (deadlifts). On lifts such as the bench press, overhead press, squat etc. I also don't cheat.
What is your opinion on the optimum amount of cheating versus strictness?
Last edited by mohiz; 10-29-2013 at 03:53 AM.