That’s an accurate assessment.
However, I think that generalizing this topic in those terms isn’t the best way to go about it.
Instead, we can elaborate on losing fat AND strength training.
When we talk about fat loss, something that is often overlooked is that our bodies burn fat in the opposite order that it is stored. Most people tend to store fat in 3 areas. Butt, Waist, Chest. Women tend to store fat in their chests and buttocks more (proportionately) compared to men. Men store fat in the “gut” most often. Those who are overfat may have relatively lean bodies except for “problem areas.” Just knowing that simple fact (that fat is lost in the opposite order it was gained) can be enough for some clients to stay motivated to keep exercising and eating right so that they get the results that they are looking for.
We know that strength training is a great way to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. Visit this website for a good article that covers different aspects of strength training. I think this information is valuable to the layman. http://www.naturalnews.com/011285.html
Depending on the needs of the client, a good personal trainer can develop an appropriate strength training program that can help to encourage functional movement in everyday life while working to achieve those goals for fat loss and muscle definition.
Another thing to keep in mind is diet. Diets high in fat, generally, are not doing much to help you on your way to gaining muscle definition. As a blanket statement, following your RDAs is a great way to make sure you’re getting a good, balanced diet. The best thing you can do for your body is to put good, quality nutrients in, while maintaining appropriate portion sizes, regardless of physical activity.
Also, keep in mind that fitness is not measured by how “cut” you are. The appearance of fitness (shredded like a julienned salad) is not necessarily ideal. There can be a lot going on inside your body that might make a “shredded” person just as unhealthy as someone who is overweight/overfat. The opposite may also be true.
I think that muscle definition is a great goal to work toward as long as it is secondary to overall health and fitness.
Genetics does play a role however, what you do with it is another issue. Proper nutrition and balance of Protein, Carbs, Fat and Hydraytion. Strength training will also be important as well as aerobic activity. If you are prepairing for a fitness or bodybuilding contest, your nutrition will change drastically, RDA usually will not apply. I have a few before/after photos of past clients posted in my “Success Stories”.
Muscle definition is about the muscle ‘showing;’ I agree with the other posters in that this translates to a proper diet (one with the proper amount of dietary fat) and through exercise (using the muscles helps them grow and shine through). The amount of definition is definitely related to one’s genetic makeup and other factors such as hormones, so as I always remind my clients, “don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself.”
Powerlifting and bodybuilding.
Want to gain muscle definition? You’ll be pumping your body to failure on most reps, or “faking failure” with HRT training.
Periodization will be your friend too. Splitting workouts into the generic “chest day/ leg day/ back day/ shoulder day” doesnt work in fitness, but if you want definition thats the best way to go. It allows you to really push one area while giving the other areas adequate time to recover.