Cheating, pumping, etc: the basics of fitness slang for beginners

The most budgetary fitness club or premium establishment with state-of-the-art equipment; a giant sports complex or a small basement “rocking chair” – it doesn’t matter where you go to practice. There will definitely be good old barbells and dumbbells, which are also called “free weights”. And this is not surprising, because it has been proven that the most effective workouts (especially for those who want to gain muscle mass) are working with free weights.

Nearly fifty percent of all fitness club subscription buyers make sure to drop in to the gym to “sip” the barbell. But to do it right, it is not enough to have the right technique. It is also important to understand the specialized terminology that people constantly use in gyms. The columnist for the Moscow 24 portal, fitness expert and TV presenter Eduard Kanevsky reveals the basic concepts that are used by “pitching”.

Any industry has its own terms, and when one of them speaks to another specialist, he immediately understands what it is about and performs the necessary action. It’s the same in the gym: when the coach says, “Don’t cheat!” – a competent ward immediately understands what exactly he did wrong. And the trainer does not need to spend a dozen words in order to quickly correct the technique of performing the exercise or make adjustments to the rhythm of the training.


A method that is used by all practitioners without exception, and often incorrectly, since they do it intuitively, which, in fact, is not beneficial and can cause injury. So what is it? Cheating (from English – cheating) in bodybuilding is the deliberate distortion of technique in order to perform more reps.

For example, when the practitioner performs “lifting the bar for biceps”. In the initial position, the back is straight, the bar must be held with a grip slightly wider than the shoulders, in the initial position, the arms are straight, but tense. You just need to bend them at the elbows and slowly straighten them to their original position. But when a person gets tired or takes too much weight, he leans forward and, with a sharp movement with the help of the body, throws the bar up, and then just as quickly lowers it down. It turns out that the exercise is performed not by muscles, but by inertial movement. Yes, there is a small load, but when you force your muscles to work with a weight that they cannot handle, the effectiveness of the workout will be very low, but the risk of injury is high!

Cheating is needed in order to “finish off” the muscle in one or two repetitions – just after you have performed eight to twelve repetitions qualitatively. Your muscles are tired, you feel a strong burning sensation, but you want to load them even more so that the result is better – this is where cheating is used. However, in the following way: you really help to raise the bar with an inertial movement with the help of the body, but you fix it in the upper position and return it to the starting position as slowly as possible, under control, straining your arms as much as possible.

Yes, it’s hard and even painful, but safe and effective. The same applies to any exercise where there is an opportunity to “help” oneself with the body. But this option, when, for example, you perform a “bench press” and, to do more repetitions, “spring” the barbell against the chest – this is no longer cheating, but an insanely traumatic method. And if you want to also increase the load in the bench movements, then you will need another tactic, the description of which can be found below.

Forced repetitions
They are ideal for exercises where you cannot help yourself with inertial motion. For example, “bench press”. At the moment when you completed the specified number of repetitions and the last repetition was given to you as hard as possible – do the following: lower the barbell as slowly as possible to the lowest point, and your partner or coach is already helping you straighten your arms. It is important that the belayer does not lift the barbell for you, but only helps a little.

It turns out that your muscles are working beyond their capacity – this gives good strength stress and results. I would especially emphasize that it is better to perform forced repetitions no more than once and only in the final approach. This method is used for all types of presses: barbells and dumbbells, for some types of rows, and even for pull-ups on the bar.

But it is very important that you are properly insured. There are many videos on the Internet where the belayer is so illiterately trying to “help” that he drops the barbell on the occupant or on himself, or takes the weight into another plane – because of which the person gets injured.
An excellent method for working on muscle definition. From English, pump is a pump , that is, your task is to “pump” as much blood as possible into the working muscle for the approach. This is achieved by work with light weights, the highest quality exercise performance and a large number of repetitions – an average of 15-20 per set.


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