A friend of mine had an interesting theory that whilst closed chain exercises such as weighted chin ups, weighted inverted rows and weighted press ups might be good for co-ordination, their open chain equivalents (lat pulldown, rows and bench press) are superior to building muscle.
He said that this is because the body is efficient and actually hates putting new muscle on if the same goal can be achieved by other means.
When you’re doing weighted chin-ups or the like, the body knows that the most efficient way of making you get better at weighted chin-ups is not by adding muscle and strength to your biceps and lats, but by breaking down other areas of your body, thus making you weigh less, and, therefore, become better at doing weighted chin ups. The weight that you will lose will not be fat, because the body prioritizes fat above muscle, but you will lose the weight as muscle.
Now granted, my friend is no scientist, and his theory seems a bit wishy-washy to me, but interesting food for thought nonetheless.
It is definitely true that the body innately values fat above muscle and bodybuilding is a series of tricks to work against this nature.
And the most jacked people out there are definitely doing bench press/rows/lat pulldowns over weighted press ups/weighted inverted rows/weighted chin ups, but I don’t know if that is a result of the former being more traditional exercises whilst the latter are just gaining credibility, or if they’re actually just inferior…