I was raised in the same dogma as your buddy so first starting here i was a little skeptical, but figured i would give it a chance. The work is hard for sure but still focusing on aerobic adaptations.
My compromise is that i won’t do a winter build block some suggest, but doing repeated ssb blocks to fill the time before starting build might get a little boring. I find making progress encouraging so i don’t mind repeating the workouts several times. The traditional base plans can probably be effective for many on here but it depends on what kind of training stress it takes for you arms how much time you’ve got to train.