I'm assuming this is what you're talking about?
Yep that’s what I’m talking about.
I didn't think it was a form of cheating.
Nor do I which is why I call it “gaming the system” since you are still working within the mechanics allowed by the game, as opposed to using “cheat codes.” That might seem like semantics to some but to me there is a difference. The reason I’m not doing it this time around is that once my first character became so powerful from stacking potions and enchantments it basically broke the gameplay for me because my character became indestructible.
I did the same thing with my first character as you indicate, like taking repeated blows to up my armour or beating the crap out of Shadowmare with weapons and spells since it can’t die, at least at lower levels. Once I had enchanted my “god bow” I did accidentally kill Shadowmare when it walk in front of a shot and was one-shot killed by it.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with working within the system to maximize a character, however I’m finding this time around that gameplay is much more enjoyable for me when I’m not spending time just doing repetitive activities to up a skill as fast as possible.