Training and nutrition advice
Upon reading Arnold's Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, I began doing what so many gym dopes do - I started doing cheat curls because you can lift more weight this way.
Now, perhaps I took what Mr. Schwarzenegger said incorrectly. But, I would swing the shit out of that curl bar to focus on the negative portion of my reps anyway. And... well... it didn't work.
Cheat curls did NOT help me grow giant arms. Perhaps I should have just, oh... I don't know... used my arms to lift the weight? Ya know, the muscles I wanted to grow?
Something I work on with training clients is to practice perfect form as much as possible. True, perfect form is kind of a myth in its own right, but it's still what we should all be striving for to get the most from our workouts. Practicing the best form we can produce is also going to help prevent injuries. Injuries suck. Let's all try to not get injured. Cheat reps are going to get you closer to injury.
My rule of thumb for myself, and my clients, is that as SOON as your form breaks down and you begin using other muscles to help move the load, the set is over. I don't count cheap reps. I don't think you should either.
Counting QUALITY reps is what matters. Why would you count sloppy, shit looking, dangerous reps? To make yourself feel better?
Hitting rep goals is how you know it's time to increase the weight to keep with progressive overload. If you add weight to your squat, even though half of your reps involve your knees buckling and more of a good morning on the concentric portion than an actual squat, your are just asking for trouble. Don't do that.
Dr. Mike Isratel with Juggernaut Training Systems did a great video on why cheat reps really aren't a good thing to do for most our training. Check it out!
Got a question or comment on this stuff? Leave it in the comments section!