I know, I know.."both". I don't have a workout partner and can't always get a good spotter at the gym; I figure there must be others of you in the same situation.
Reading on this site the consensus is that to gain mass you've got to lift heavy. However, we all know that for certain exercises, lifting heavy for 8-10 reps means not being able to use perfect form, ie...rows, curls, etc...
So I guess my question is do you guys stay heavy and use "cheat" reps or not so great form, or do you lighten the load and maybe not go to failure or even close to failure in order to really squeeze the muscle at peak contraction.
I realize this is kind of an ambiguous question.
Its really kind of tough to answer your question. A lot of people would say lift as heavy as possible while still maintaining the best possible form you can. Honestly, I've made better progress lifting a bit heavier and cheating a bit. If I'm doing bent over rows, I'll pick a weight that I could get probably 4 or 5 solid reps with and work towards 6 or 7. I do focus on form and won't sacrifice that much form for the sake of weight but I do let the form falter a bit towards the end to squeeze out a few more reps.
Maybe after going heavy I'll drop the weight a bit and pump out a few more reps at a lower weight with more precise form. If I'm doing drop sets or supersets, the form does stay tight because you can increase the reps as you drop weight or which exercises so no point in things getting ugly.
If I'm doing an exercise where I don't have a spotter, the power rack is your best friend. You can set the pins to where you need them to be incase you do fail. If I'm doing squats, I can just fall back to the safety pins and not have to worry about breaking my back or anything.
Don't totally blow form off completely in trying to go heavy. Don't make your curls look like power cleans but towards the end of the set its okay to let a bit of swing help bring the bar up.
At the end of the day, its all about how you like to train. Trying to train without enjoying it won't bring nearly the gains as if you love training how you do.
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"Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Always have perfect form in the initial reps. If you have to cheat on rep 1 or 2 you're not really doing anything productive other than looking like another idiot trying to show off.
Cheating effectively lowers the weight, so there's no point in cheating every time. Although it can simulate drop sets or forced reps, like going past failure. I'd prefer to drop set (drop the weight and keep going) though.
Cheat when you have to get out a few more reps, after you're progressed the weight. Then fix up your form before you add weight again.
Age 29 | Height: 5'11 | Weight: 176 lbs (a while ago) | Weight: 180 lbs (2-Nov-05) | Weight: 181 lbs (8-Nov-05)
form is most important cuase when you lose the curve in your back you send the pressure to diffrent parts of your body. particularly your lower back and lose emphysis on the muscle being worked. your also cheating.. like lets say u do a lat-pulldown. when you lean back it becomes easier and the the work being involved on your lats is less. Do it right even if its light weight. you will have better results and less pain!!
Never Giving In.