I used the "Bring the Pain" programs back then, along with Ian King's arm specialization routine (not at the same time mind you). I found them to be good at bringing the pain, but did little for my strength. There's a lot of slow negatives and supersets, trisets, giantsets, dropsets, and the like. I increased in size while I was doing the routine, but my strength suffered significantly.
And on the arms routine, I gained approximately an inch and a half, but as soon as I went back to a more balance routine, I lost most of that and only kept what I could've gained by doing heavy compound exercises with some arm isolation thrown in for good measure.
If I were to recommend the Ian King programs to anyone, it would be to a beginner. There's a lot of focus on form and I think the slow tempos may help a beginner learn to lift correctly and activate the right muscles and all that. That's been my experience, anyway.