I know bench press wasn't the best example, but my point was that although increasing one's bench from 300 to 350 might be of little use for football, increasing it to 3,500 presumably would - how could it not? If he could become as strong as ten men by training ten times as much, I don't think all the wise, specific training in the world would make much of a difference against him.
The overall point I was getting at is that what type of training one does, including how specific, depends upon where one is in an overall program and where one is in relation to one's potential.
If one is severely out of shape, six-months to a year of bodybuilding and powerlifting routines and lots of food might be a wise preamble to any specific training, just to build up one's 'raw materials' in order to be able to adapt to and benefit from more specific work. Incidentally, I think most out-of-shape Aikidoka who ask open-ended questions about fitness probably fall into this category, hence I recommend a general resistance routine often.
Also, since Aikido is non-competitive and not geared toward full-blast, all-out application, it seems to me that maximizing athletic attributes such as power or strength in ways specific to throwing or taking ukemi wouldn't be all that useful. It seems like the main benefit of conditioning for Aikido is just to become generally prepared and capable of doing lots of Aikido injury-free.
I have read some of Coach Davies' articles before, and have met Charlie Newkerk down here in Florida.
Charlie was aware of a lot of exercises and principles, but I sensed a lack of 'big picture' in his thinking - it seemed sort of a hodgepodge. The virtue of a good coach is the ability to put together all the info into a long-term, periodized plan of action that organizes the various elements of training toward optimal performance at the appropriate time (season and/or competition). I certainly have only inklings of this, and will probably not go into training highly competitive athletes anyway.
As far as Davies goes, I spotted some serious problems in the article I studied: doing intense anaerobic endurance work before power exercises, photos of exercises done with what I consider dangerously improper form. Then again, it was in T-Mag, so it may have been dumbed down.
It seemed the general gist of his philosophy is a wide variety of exercises and an emphasis on developing a vast overall work capacity. There is definitely some virtue to developing a large work capacity. Reminds me of an interesting soviet vs. american anecdote I read once: some soviet wrestlers came over for a training exchange. So the US team was going to try their workout. Their usual warmup was a half-hour game of full-court basketball. By the end of the warm-up, the americans were nearly worn out, and couldn't really get started on the actual training session, while the russians were merely warmed up and ready to go.
I'll look through the site and see what they've got there. If you want my reading recommendation, I think the king of all training resources is Supertraining, both the book and the discussion group, run by Mel Siff. I have yet to see anything that comes close in terms of breadth, depth, and critical vigor: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Supertraining/