T Nation

Closed Chain vs Open Chain

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…

[quote]alternate wrote:

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.

[/quote]

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I wish your friend told that crap to all the IFBB and WNBF pros who have regularly done and do lat pulldowns and dips.

Where do you come up with this stuff? You also tried to tell us that protein blocks fat or some ridiculous thing like that. Try reading anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics texts if you are truly interested in how the body works.

there is so much wrong with that I wouldn’t even know where to begin

??? muscular guys are too heavy to do pullups obviously

did you finally get that elusive glute DOMS?

[quote]browndisaster wrote:
??? muscular guys are too heavy to do pullups obviously

did you finally get that elusive glute DOMS?[/quote]

kinda, walking lunges did it.

How can muscular guys be too heavy for chin-ups? If they find them hard to do because they’re heavy, that’s even better as they don’t need external weight to get the training effect.

nah I was being sarcastic. I do think that pullups are a great measure of muscle to fat gain while on a bulk, while machines are a better measure while cutting.

[quote]alternate wrote:
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[/quote]
I just… I don’t… there are no words.

I agree with parts A and B, totally disagree with part C.

Squats are closed chain. Abandon all hope.

Now, I’ve read some pretty out there stuff on T-Nation forums throughout the years, but really? I now feel neuronal damage just from reading the entire first post.

Wow… Just fucking wow… :::Savage checks browser to make sure he isn’t on bb.com forums :::

well i never do pulldowns—only weighted/unweighted chins-- and i think my lats have grown fairly well

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[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:
well i never do pulldowns—only weighted/unweighted chins-- and i think my lats have grown fairly well

<-----[/quote]

That is obviously an illusion.

He must have a PhD in Bro Science.

[quote]alternate wrote:

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.

I agree. I do this often because my other bodyparts grow too fast. which leaves my lats lagging behind. Its either this or site injections.

BRB I am going to go gain weight to get better leverages for my squat, wait what? I gained twenty pounds of body weight and my squat is down twenty pounds!?

^ I don’t think that has ever been said seriously or ever will be. Obvious troll is obvious, and squats for example are a close chain exercise that benefits from weight gain, it has also been known for several decades as one of the best if not best mass builders.

[quote]Legalsteel wrote:

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:
well i never do pulldowns—only weighted/unweighted chins-- and i think my lats have grown fairly well

<-----[/quote]

That is obviously an illusion.[/quote]

the angle of pic makes for the illusion of a better v taper perhaps----the point remains though–i never do pulldowns and my lats are developing fine