Coach Chesty talks about "cheating" during exercise.
Are you acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage?
Are you avoiding something using luck or skill?
Are you in violation of a couple's assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity?
We could go pretty deep here, but as far as your squat depth goes, no you’re not cheating. I’m not saying anything goes here, as we do have something we’re working towards. And someone can always make the argument of “cheating oneself” (insert exaggerated eye roll).
The standard of an exercise is determined by the outcome we want, and the parts we’re using. This is something you’ve probably discussed with your coach, like what matters to you. We’re often dealing with a variety of makes and models, in all different conditions. A single standard could result in a positive adaptation for one, and leave another limping across the finish line.
The finish line is likely what drives the notion of cheating, and with the finish line constantly moving it can be hard sometimes to tell the difference between cheating and specificity. Competition can drive positive adaptations, and be downright fun. Winning can drive individuals to great heights, and some pursue it at all costs. It’s not like it’s geared towards joint and tissue health.
There’s a likelier chance you missed the free throw, or at worst, didn’t follow instructions. Cheating is a heavy claim and typically comes with scandalous aftermath.
At the end of the day focus on you, make that next rep better, and leave it at that.
Emile - Coach Chesty