Stick around long enough, and you will start to see it. What was once old is new again.

Don’t know what I mean? Let me help you. There is always that new trendy thing. Trendy, yes….new, don’t get fooled. For instance, do you like Lady Gaga? Do you hate Lady Gaga? It doesn’t really matter because she was called Madonna in the '80s. And before you teens of the '80s get too proud, she was called Marilyn Monroe back in the 1950s. If you are a master lifter, I hope you kept your albums because suddenly, vinyl is cool again. And yes, there is a huge difference between the amazingly rich sounds of an actual record needle on an album versus that of a laser on a CD, but I digress.

What was old is often new again in our world of powerlifting as well. I give to you...the supplement.

As a master lifter, I remember the long gone (and should be gone) supplements from when I started powerlifting back in the 1980s. Some of you might remember these or have seen an old add, or perhaps some of these amazing "will add 100 pounds to your squat in eight weeks" supplements are still around. We had Smilax, Ultimate Orange, Vanadyl Sulfate, V2G, Boron, Dymetradine 25, Dibencozide, Hot Stuff, and Cybergenics. If you are over the age of 40 and still powerlifting, you know all of these and then some.

As one supplement was discontinued, another would magically appear in its place. And that supplement would, of course, also claim to add 100 pounds to your squat in eight weeks, raise your testosterone to unheard of levels, and give you that ultimate, never-before-seen pump.

Training methods can fluctuate in-and-out of vogue as well. What was new again.

I will tell you what will never get old or go out of fashion, though. Something that transcends trends. Something so historically obvious but is virtually hidden in plain sight. Something tried and true but yet so non-sexy as to be often overlooked whilst on the search for that brand new shiny answer. That one thing that will do it all. That secret that will be revealed for just $49.95.

It has been there all along—from Don Reinhoudt to Laura Phelps, from Paul Anderson to Dave Hoff, from Ed Coan to Shawn Frankl, from Louis to Dave Tate, and Ernie Frantz to Dan Green—work ethic, consistency, perseverance, commitment, preparation, vision, courage, intelligence, and belief in self. Look at any powerlifter with a career like Gene Bell, Larry Pacifico, Chuck V, or the king, Ed Coan, and you will see that powerlifting trends came and went during their eras. Supplements and training methods were honed down or thrown out. But they remained some of the best.

© Starush | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Face it, if training method X, if supplement X, if drug X, or if equipment X were the answer, everyone would be a champion, right? If I use the latest trendy powerlifting widget, I should win, right?

The bottom line is that the answer has been there all along. It was never new. In fact, it’s pretty darn old. It's never truly been in vogue (because it is not easy), but it has never gone out of style. The answer for you as a powerlifter, an individual who like so many of us thinks about powerlifting all the time, is having a true work ethic, being consistent, having perseverance, being committed, being prepared, having a vision and acting on it, demonstrating courage, using your intelligence, and above all, having a belief in self.

I leave you with my own personal favorite quote excerpt which I feel applies to the point I am trying to make. Although, I am sure the author of this quote will do a far superior job than I have in getting you to think about the “you variable.” You are the secret to your own success just as much as you can also be the secret to your own mediocrity or failure. I believe that every man and woman who truly apples work ethic, consistency, perseverance, commitment, preparation, vision, courage, intelligence, and belief in self can take his or her powerlifting life beyond his or her wildest dreams. And that achievement, my friends, will never be out of fashion.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” 

—Theodore Roosevelt