I wouldn’t have noticed anything special about this article back in 1999, especially not this line:

It is a common mis-conception, even among many kungfu students, that zhan zhuang merely develops solid stances. This type of chi kung is probably the most important for developing internal force. It is a little known secret that while kungfu novices (no matter for how many years they may have learnt kungfu) spend their time chasing after new kungfu forms, kungfu masters doggedly train in their same zhan zhuang exercise year after year.

Very interesting article. It also says 5 minutes max is a good rough guideline for a beginner.