Hehe, I generally understood what he was saying.
No, in all seriousness, I do understand that you'll be good at whatever you train for, but there are certain paramaters that vary from person to person based on genetics, that can greatly affect adaptation. Im looking for the optimal rep range, # of sets, rest times, etc... for a specific person, not based on what works for "normal people"
Elite athletes have two things that separate them from the average person. Genetic predisposition to their event, and hard work. With great genetics, hard work may not even be that important, depending on the sport, but all the hard work in the world wont get you anywhere, if you have lousy genetics.
What one of you was saying about how its obvious you'll be good at what you normally train in, isn't very true. If lance armstrong would have trained power lifting, instead of cycling, and trained with as much determination as he did for cycling, he may be able to make great improvements, but he would never reach the elite level in powerlifting. At some time in his life, he reckognized his strengths and weaknesses, and made the adjustments needed
People make statements like 1-5 reps is for strength, 8-12 is for hypertrophy, and 15+ is endurance. These are just estimates based on averages. Some people may be average, and thus following routines made for average joe is feasable, but some people are very different than the average.
If you have the genetic makeup of a marathon runner, and spend all your time training in the 1-5 rep range, your not training optimally. If you figure out that you can Deadlift 300lbs for 8 reps, and 330 for 1 rep, you gotta make a decision. Try training in the low rep range, to see if its based on your training, but if your max doesn't jump up much, then its obvious you should be doing higher reps.
Im not sure if looking further into this stuff will result in anything, but it is worth a try. Maybe I'll be able to explain why ive been stuck at 15 pullups for so long, and how 15 strict pushups is nearly as hard as 15 pullups. Really, 15 slow reps of anything is hard no matter how much weight is being used.
What it comes down to, is whether you should train your strengths, or your weaknesses. A lot of people say "your only as strong as your weakest link", so focus on your weaknesses. But I think you gotta look further, and ask, why is something my weakness? And train to improve that, but also spend a good amount of focus on your strngths. Remember, where would arnold be, if he decided to be a cyclist, would he be as good as lance?