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Plyometrics for Fat Loss, Zinc Supplements and Testosterone Levels

Q: Is there any value in performing plyometrics for fat loss?

A: I realize that some so-called boot camp programs use plyometrics to add variety to their training, but it has little benefit because it doesn’t have a significant effect on body composition. Plyometric training will not create a strong metabolic response and will not effectively develop muscle mass. You could certainly make such exercises extremely challenging, such as by jumping on and off a sturdy box for 10 sets of 10 reps with short rest intervals, but such a protocol reduces the quality of the movement—i.e., slowing down the transition between the eccentric and concentric contractions—and so it will not be plyometric.

7206-smart3Q: I’ve heard that zinc supplements can raise testosterone levels. Is that true?

A: Zinc is a critical mineral for maintaining robust testosterone levels, and the cells of the prostate require a very high concentration of zinc to work optimally. Low zinc in men impairs testosterone production, causes infertility and increases the risk of developing prostate cancer. Inadequate zinc has also been linked to low libido.

One recent study of 88 men aged 40 to 60 years showed that those with normal testosterone had significantly higher zinc than those with low testosterone. Low zinc was directly correlated with low testosterone, which put the men at greater risk for symptoms of male menopause.

Just as important, zinc is used to produce enzymes that initiate cell division, but prostate tissue requires 10 times more zinc than other cells in the body to stay healthy. Having adequate zinc in the prostate protects the cells from damage, inflammation and cancer development. Also, once the prostate cells are damaged and become cancerous, they lack the ability to accumulate zinc, leading to greater propagation of cancer cells that produce tumors.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit Also, see his ad on page 119.   IM


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