Workout Routines

Explosive, Closed and Open-Chain Workouts for Mass Gain

Get a multi-dimentional mass-building workout with the revolutionary ECO training system.

Who would ever aspire to be one-dimensional? What guy, outside of perhaps a competitive cyclist or wrestler struggling to drop weight, wants to be strong but not big? Or big but not strong? Often, the ideal scenario would have you big, strong and powerful, as well as athletically functional outside the gym.

If you want to build muscle and increase your strength, it stands to reason, then, that your next workout shouldn't be created in a vacuum in which only one of the four objectives above is considered at the expense of the other three. Sure, from time to time you may want to focus on adding some size, functionality be damned, or on boosting your five-rep max on core lifts, even at the expense of the additional hypertrophy that accompanies high-rep training. But in between such phases, why sacrifice one goal for another when you really don'’t have to? Behold a routine that'’s actually multidimensional: ECO Training.

Muscle Hat Trick

No, it isn't a program for environmentalists, though they're more than welcome to take part in it. ECO stands for Explosive, Closed-chain and Open-chain exercises. Explosive exercises are plyometric or ballistic-type movements such as squat jumps, depth jumps from a bench and clap push-ups. Closed-chain exercises are those in which your hands or feet remain stationary and your body moves (think squats, push-ups and pull-ups). With open-chain moves, the resistance is in your hands or at your feet, such as leg extensions and most barbell and dumbbell upper-body exercises.