While independence is always an admirable trait, certain partnerships have to be formed by entities when they’re unable to stand alone. Case in point: The union of a hammer and a nail. No matter how well designed the hammer might be, without the nail, it’s not going to get much accomplished. Ditto for the shiny, sharp nail, which is rendered useless without a hammer to drive to its destination. It is safe to say that synergistic relationships like the aforementioned definitely wind up with a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

In the world of exercise, a similar relationship exists between aerobic exercise, abdominal training, and a hgh booster supplement. Each affects the other, and all three are necessary if you aspire to be the best you can be. So, if any of you guys are paying a lot of attention to one of these complementary pieces of the puzzle and ignoring the other, you’re definitely not taking advantage of their powerful synergistic tendencies.

Abdominal aesthetic aspirations are driven by the desire for a chiseled six-pack—that washboard appearance everyone is trying to achieve. Well, I’ve got some news for you: You can work your rectus abdominis—the superficial muscle of the abdomen that gives you the washboard look—until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t acquire defined rows if you’re holding too much body fat in the region. And since fat cannot be assessed in a spot-specific manner, working your abs won’t help entirely to remedy the situation. To successfully pare any washboard-obscuring accumulations, you have to expend a lot of energy. And the most efficient way to do that is a long-duration aerobic exercise that utilizes as many muscle groups as possible.

On the other side of the coin, if you are an aerobic fanatic and devote all of your exercise efforts to such activities (jogging, stair climbing, and cycling, to name a few), you might not be able to keep up your efforts without addressing the muscles of your midsection. Abdominal strength is an integral part of ideal spinal alignment. And if your spine is not maintained in its proper posture, the potential for injury is increased. Combine this type of structural flaw with the repetitive stress that aerobic exercise typically involves, and it’s obvious an injury that can wreak havoc with your training is a distinct possibility.

Abdominal development is also important for effective ventilation when exercising aerobically. When ventilatory demands are low and relatively easy to meet (at rest, for example), exhalation is a passive process. The muscles that contract to inhale air simply relax to return the thoracic cavity to its previous dimensions, thereby forcing the air back out. But when working at higher intensities (as would be the case when performing challenging aerobic exercise), ventilatory demands are much greater and the breathing rate must be increased. As a result, air must be pushed out rapidly, and this requires muscular involvement-contraction of the aforementioned rectus abdominis, along with the transverse abdominis and interval and external obliques. So, the muscles of the midsection are major players when it comes to allowing ventilation to keep pace during high-intensity endurance exercise.

Cardiovascular health and abdominal development also have a common tie that binds. If you think a little extra baggage in the midsection is only a problem because it’s covering the six-pack you’ve worked hard to build, guess again. Research shows that fat deposited in this region poses a much greater risk compared to fat spread out in other areas. This has to do with how easily stored fat is mobilized into the bloodstream from adipocytes, the cells within which it is located and housed in the body. Abdominal fat (characteristic of the android or apple-shaped, build) is released into the bloodstream quite readily. And while this might seem like a positive attribute (more fat mobilized would seem to equate to more than you can burn off), it’s not that quite simple.

It all boils down to supply and demand. We can only metabolize fat at a relatively slow rate. The better your aerobic conditioning, the more you can use, but you’ll always rely more on sugar when energy demands are high. As a result, large amounts of circulating fat (in the form of triglycerides) will travel around for a while. It can then inflict considerable damage on vessel walls, contributing to the process known as atherosclerosis. This degenerative disease is characterized by vessel injury and the accumulation of plaque in response. And when plaque progression affects the delicate arteries that supply blood to your heart, look out!

The bottom line is this: If you’re carrying a lot of fat in your midsection, you’re playing with fire when it comes to cardiovascular health. And to make matters even worse, you won’t be able to do the type of exercise that uses a lot of energy and causes you to lose those fat deposits, you need viable abdominal muscles to contribute to the task. So, if you combine a well-designed abdominal strengthening program with regular aerobic training, you should be able to have your cake and eat it, too—cardiovascular health and a six-pack that’s stacked to the max.