One of the most compelling parts about that GQ article profiling a guy who went from tubby to hardbody in three months was his first interview with a trainer. He said, "I want a beach body." So the trainer said "Okay, we'll do whole body workouts." That surprised the author, because he grew up on individual part training (aka. tricep curls, leg lifts, etc.). His trainer said whole-body exercises like dead lifts would do the job better.
I've been trying to research that theory and found a great article at About.com that explains why you can do hundreds of bicep curls for years and never see any muscle pop up. It's called "Can You Really Tone Your Body," and it has some really good points. Also a good article at Askmen.com about how to carry out aerobic exercises to burn fat. There's also a good one called "7 Easy Steps To Weight Loss" and "Bodybuilding for Beginners" with some great tips on increasing your diet. I really want to try that, but first I need money to buy food.